Support For Christi Thomas

This blog is to help offer support to the Thomas Family and their daughter, Christi, in her battle against cancer. Please visit Christi's website at to learn more. There, you'll find journals, photos and a lots of other information about this amazing child and her family.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Where Was Shayne

Anyone ready for a guessing game? Thankfully, Shayne will be home very soon, but in the meantime can you guess where he has been based on parts of an email he sent me? Here goes:

We had an interesting breakfast and lunch. We had black hard boiled eggs, steamed bread, and many other exotics for breakfast. For lunch we went to a very fancy place and they ordered a lot of specialties like goose, whole fish, soup with anchovies, hot hot pepper and mushrooms, scallops in garlic. Everything was spicy and was served on big turn table that everyone ate off of together. We just spun the table and took a bite.

We are anxious for Shayne's return home!

July 2003, age 6, in NYC. I believe I snapped this picture after those incredibly painful 3F8 treatments in the spring of 2003. I pushed her stroller down 1st Avenue to a restaurant, owned by a Greek family, where she had a grilled cheese sandwich. A man asked if she lived at the Ronald McDonald House and when I said yes, he brought her a huge bowl of ice cream. Without this picture, I would have totally forgotten that afternoon, and the kindness of a complete stranger. God is good!!

Many have asked me in recent weeks if I will have completed my Ph.D. if I successfully pass my oral defense in August. In short, the answer is a big NO, but I wanted to share here the program requirements, if only to remind myself of how far I've come and not how far I have yet to go.

Keep in mind, I only started this degree (I applied in the fall of 2003 from the Ronald McDonald House) because I was incredibly fearful that I would lose my job due to caring for Christi. I thought a Ph.D. in Education would allow me to do something else in the field of education. I knew with nearly 20 years of experience I would be too expensive for a school district to ever hire me. I have two loves in my life - my family and my teaching. I knew I didn't have any control over what happened to Christi's life, but I would try my hardest not to be without teaching, which I loved. Thankfully, with the dear Lord above, I did not lose my job. When Christi died, I was in the midst of my residency and I felt I had invested too much to drop out. I believe Christi would want me to finish, and so I am trying to do just that. I intend to wear a special angel pin on my graduation robe in her memory.

Take GRE - CHECK! Fall 2003
Apply to OSU's Graduate School - CHECK! Fall 2003
Interview with OSU for Acceptance - CHECK! Fall 2003
Begin taking 700, 800 & 900 level courses - CHECK! Winter 2004
Complete Residency Requirement - Three Consecutive Full-Time Quarters. (I actually took six full time quarters, but.....) CHECK! Spring 2007
Complete 150 Hours of Coursework - CHECK! (Winter 2004 - Spring 2008. I only took one quarter off. I am so glad that I am no longer making the four hour round trips to Columbus!!)

Pass Candidacy Exams. That is what I am currently working on. I receive four questions - each with many subsections - and have ten days to write a 20-30 page response with references. This is to sum up my 20 quarters of coursework and to show my expertise in my four areas. The oral part will be conducted over a two hour exam with my doctoral committee of four Professors in late August. If I pass, I will move from just a "Ph.D. Student" to a "Ph.D. Candidate". After that I will submit my research proposal to the Institutional Review Board (IRB), conduct my dissertation research and write my final two chapters. (Three of my five dissertation chapters are already written.) If all goes as planned, my oral defense of my dissertation will take place next spring and I will graduate in June; however, all of this is contingent upon passing my candidacy exams in August.

I am proud to be at a Research I Institution; however, there are times when I wonder why I just didn't get a Ed.D. instead. I would have been done years ago. The title "Dr." goes with both degrees. Then I remind myself that I selected the most challenging and rigorous program for good reason. (I'm just not certain what that reason is!) Times are tense; prayers appreciated! THANK YOU!!!


At 10/7/08 7:16 AM, Anonymous Kara said...

Sounds like the breakfast I ate every morning when we adopted our daughter from China!

At 10/7/08 8:03 AM, Blogger MAGS2827 said...

Would Shane be in Japan?

Shayla always seems to be a happy child. You both must be very proud of the great, well rounded girl she is.

At 10/7/08 8:33 AM, Blogger Olivia said...

You are absolutely amazing, Angela! I have absolutely no doubt you'll pass all with flying colors.

Loads of love,

At 10/7/08 1:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

my guess is China (but I don't know what city)! Hope he had fun :) I'm in the midst of a never-ending PhD myself and have great respect for you persevering with everything else you have going on in your life. You'll make it!

At 10/7/08 4:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well angela, dont you have quite the drive to keep on going... you will be so proud when you finish all of your schooling.... I too just started going to college after being out of school for 12 yrs..... it definitly is a challenge, so I pray that you get through all of your challenges, and I will be praying for you everyday....

At 10/7/08 6:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear Angela
I haven't written for a while but I often think of you. I love to see the photo's of your sweet, beautiful girls smiling faces.

Beijing, China? Or Japan? The turning dishes are called Lazy Susan's in the west anyway!

Take care,
Love Angela

At 10/7/08 8:26 PM, Blogger HeatherB said...

You my dear sweet friend are simply amazing!

You ROCK!!

Oh and I'm terrible at guessing games, but perhaps someplace in Asia for Shayne's trip?

With much love and many prayers,

At 11/7/08 12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a totally far fetched guess for "Where's Shayne" guess. To me... "black hard boiled eggs" sounds like 100-year old eggs, steamed bread sounds like some kind of dumpling, and I had more whole fishes(? ... that's a word, right?) put in front of me when I was in China then I care to remember. Soo..... my guess is China. And, if I am right, and I don't really think I am, if he's being served crazy spicy food, then he's probably in the southern part of the country, Hong Kong or Shanghai.

Cape Cod, MA


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