Sunday, June 2, 2013

Dissertation Motivation from the Mouths of Babes: By Guest Bloggers Ariana and Joaquin

Joaquin, Sofia and Ariana at the Park - Photo by Antonio Pertuz,
I sometimes have to tell my two small children Ariana, age 9 and Joaquin, age 5 that Mami can’t play with them because she is working on her dissertation. The first question my daughter asked was, “what is a discommunication?” I think at first she was just trying to get the word “dissertation” right, but now we joke around about this “discommunication” which seems to fit better than “dissertation,” especially on some days when I feel cut off from regular communications.

Saying no to my children can be so difficult because I then feel selfish or like I’m missing out. But then I think about how much our family lives will improve when I do earn my doctorate. I also remember that it’s better to be a role model for my children and show them that you can achieve your dreams if you work hard for them and persevere. The biggest lesson of all for me and for them is that there will be moments you have to make difficult choices and sacrifice one thing for another.

So this blog entry is dedicated to my two children Ariana and Joaquin. I invited them to be my guest bloggers. Ariana, the eldest had her first taste of qualitative research when she interviewed her brother to get his answers to the questions I posed to her. Below they share their perspectives on missing out on play time with their Mami, finishing what you started and achieving your dreams.

What does it feel like when Mami says no, she can’t play because she is working on her dissertation?
ARIANA: When my mom tells us that she can’t do something for us, it makes me feel a little upset, but I know that she needs to get her work done in order to graduate. And also, we both get a little something out of our mom’s dissertation too. Sometimes our mom pays us to help her with her work when I help her sort her papers and make labels with the labelmaker. Since I am older than Joaquin, I get to do things that would earn me more money like write down the names of authors on a sheet of paper! 
JOAQUIN: I feel sad because Mami has to work and we want her to play with us. 

Why is it important that you finish something that you start?
ARIANA: It is always important to finish something that you start so that you can get it out of the way. When you have to do something that you don’t want to do, then you should just do it early instead of waiting until the last minute because at the last minute you are rushing to do something that you don’t even want to do. 
JOAQUIN: It is important because when you finish something you feel good about it and proud of yourself. 

How do you think it would feel to achieve a lifelong dream?
ARIANA: I think it would feel awesome to achieve a lifelong dream. My dream is to be a Lego designer. I know this might seem silly, but I LOVE Legos. I would definitely love any Lego set that anyone shows me. Plus, Legos are also educational. They have to do with science and math. Anyway I would love for this dream to come true. 

Will you call Mami “Dr. Mami” when she is finished?
ARIANA: This will be the shortest response. I’m just warning you. Sometimes I will, but “Dr. Mami’’ will take longer to say than just regular “Mami.” It’s easier and faster to say. 

Are you looking forward to going to Mami’s graduation? 
ARIANA: Yes, because in the car on the way to the graduation we can listen to like 2 hours of Radio Disney and Radio Disney plays all the good kids music. Also, I can’t wait to see my mom graduate! It would be fun to be part of an audience to watch my mom. We would yell, “Go Mami!” so that she can hear us from the audience. 
JOAQUIN: Yes, because I want to be happy and if I go there I would be happy. Mami would be happy too.