|Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Sofia Bautista Pertuz at Fordham University|
Monday, July 22, 2013
Ordinary Workday, Extraordinary Encounter
So what does this have to do with my dissertation and Latinas completing doctoral degrees? Not much, except that not so long ago, I was upset with myself for taking precious time away from dissertation reading to read her book. The guilt was tremendous, but I needed some inspiration and I found it in her memoir, which really turns out to be a leadership book if you read carefully and find the golden nuggets of life lessons in her personal and professional journey. This shows that sometimes it's okay to take a break and read something else that inspires you beyond the articles you read for your own writing. Her life lessons and commentary about academia especially, were just as useful, gave me as much motivation and was time well spent.
So yes, I did tell her that I was working on my dissertation and that I was a doctoral student in addition to being a higher education administrator. She was very encouraging and supportive. However, now that I told her that I was going to finish and earn my doctorate, this means I have to do exactly that. If I don’t, then I would feel like I was lying to her and you do not lie to a Supreme Court Justice, or any judge for that matter. Wouldn’t that be like perjury? I know that we were not in the court of law, but I'm going to just pretend that if I don't finish, then I would be guilty of perjury and no one wants to be accused of that, especially not me.
Therefore, I will continue my journey with hard work as Justice Sotomayor put in to get where she is and with the support of my network and community that I appreciate so much. That was a big key to her success that she constantly stressed in her book – the people who helped her along the way to get where is she is right now. I hope the Facebook group I started recently helps to create this much needed network for all Latinas in this journey to consider, complete, or celebrate doctoral degrees: https://www.facebook.com/groups/LatinasCompletingDoctoralDegrees/
I am a proud (and working on being a wise) Latina!