Tag Archives: dissertation


Where should I begin? A lot has happen since my last post. I will venture to say for a variety of reasons this has been one of the most emotional months I have had in a long time. But through it all I am blessed. Summers have always been the time that I grow the most and with growing comes a certain amount of growing pains. There is no progress without struggle.  I defended my dissertation June 28- I passed with minor revisions. I turn in the revisions on Monday.

Dissertation Defense

I am humbled and grateful for the feedback of my dissertation committee. One of committee members told me how impressed she was with the amount of work I was able to accomplish in 9 months while also teaching. I am often my biggest critic and it is hard for me to take time to celebrate my accomplishments in the way that other people do. Its far easier for me to focus on my inadequacies. I have a PhD at 26, but yet I am still unemployed, searching for the next step in my life. At times I feel like I am not even close to where I want to be. Creating the life that I want is way harder than I imagined. As  happy as I am to say that I am not a student, I know I will miss the structure of that life. I excel in collegiate and graduate environments not because I am so smart, but because I understood that world. I knew what the requirements was to finish and I methodologically charted a plan to complete those requirements in the most efficient way. Within the first 2 months of undergrad I planned what classes to take and when in order to finish in 3 years…I finished in 2.5 years. So while my defense was a celebratory event, it triggered anxiety and depression.

Last Saturday my little brother got married to Brittannie Stanley in Florence, Alabama.



The trip was beyond interesting and extremely draining. I maintain that I do not ever want children of my own. If you ever catch me pregnant, either my birth control slipped up or the condom broke. I did not drive the children back, but I am pretty sure they made it home safely. At one point I was dreading attending the nuptials, I am not good around people especially church people.  Weddings tend to bring up all kinds of emotion for people, not always good ones. As a safety precaution I invited 3 people, none of whom had met the bride and one person I hadn’t even met before. But thankfully I didn’t need it. Brittannie’s family was beyond amazing and welcoming. I am in awe of how beautiful her family was to me, my friends and my family. I felt a level of acceptance and love that I rarely experience.

I was a bridesmaid in the wedding, the only bridesmaid that didn’t go to college or grow up in Alabama with Brittannie. I packed a dress to wear to the rehearsal  and rehearsal dinner. Since my plan of buying new sandals and getting a pedicure didn’t happen I ended up wearing a polo button up, some pink gap chinos and Sperrys. Mercedes said I was cute. I showed up to the church- all the other bridesmaids had on dresses looking like southern belles with their pretty permed hair. I immediately felt out of place, even though the boys looked like they had just fell out of bed. I realized then that I wasn’t as comfortable with my gender performance as I thought I was. Let me be clear my discomfort was not caused by anything other than my own insecurity. I wanted a dress on so bad in that moment. But by the next day it was my shaved sides and my differences that made me not only stand out but made me beautiful. Being comfortable with who you are is always a process.

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I told the lady who did my makeup that I did not need waterproof mascara. There was no way I was going to cry. Damnit I am a THUG. I have seen 4 seasons of The Wire ( my summer project). But I will be damned if my eyes did not start watering and my lips started to quiver when Brittannie walked down the aisle to Jeremiah. I don’t think I ever seen my brother so happy. It was like he transformed to a man in front of my eyes.

That was Saturday, Sunday my grandfather made his transition. His health had been declining but he was doing better when we left Florida. He was my last living grandparent. I am grateful for his life and that I got a chance to spend sometime with him in June.

Granddad and dad

He kinda remembered me. As with both of my father’s parents they left me years before they died. The loss of memory is a hell of a thing. The funeral was today but I am in North Carolina for a conference. I feel like I am absent too much sometimes. At some point I am going to have to face what  I am running from. Three weeks has been the longest period I have spent in Florida since the move back…I could barely take it. Just itching for an escape.  Maybe I am running from my parents love. I have never really been able to believe in the concept of unconditional love. There is always conditions…

This is long. There is more I should share. Mercedes came for three weeks. I am not moving to Philadelphia. Maybe Charlotte though…still figuring things out. Remind me to tell you the story about how I officially became a heathen. My heart is a little frozen now, still deciding if I want to thaw it out.

Until the next time…may the peace and light of Blue Ivy’s smile be with you.

-Just Tab



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Things I don’t like to talk about…updates.

Things I don’t like talking about: school/academia and my relationships.

Things my friends like asking about: school/academia and my relationships.

I prefer to talk about my savior- Blue Ivy Carter, CrossFit, Beyonce, my abs , Dhubai, Oprah and more Blue Ivy Carter. Don’t get me wrong there are times I do talk about the random people I am dating or what’s going on in my academic life. However, I have found the writing of my dissertation to be incredibly draining and all-consuming. I think about the writing of it, revising, defending it, future job plans ALL THE TIME! So it is often the last thing I want to discuss with others, I like to give myself a mental break from the dissertation, especially when I am engaging with others in social contexts.

445Likewise with dating, I am way more apt to share stories of the ridiculous experiences I am having with people I have no plans to take seriously. I tend to guard relationships and people that I see as viable partners away from the early scrutiny of friends and family. Or I speak about them in a very nonchalant way. “We cool.”  “We just kickin’ it.”

With that being said- I have some updates (just in case you were wondering).

My original plan was to defend my dissertation in the spring–like two weeks from now. While I was on track to do this, ASU introduced a summer graduate fellowship. This fellowship provides funding for advance PhD and MFA students. The amount of funding they were offering was extremely tempting for a person like me who planned to live off her parents for the summer. Since summer funding at my university is so rare, plenty of people were also excited at the possibility. In order to apply, I had to withdraw my spring graduation application. Which was cool because I realized summer completion was  a better option anyway( gives me more time before I have to pay Sallie Mae).  279

I found out yesterday I got the fellowship.  This is going to allow me the opportunity to fine tune aspects of dissertation and work on it without any teaching commitments.  I am also moving. May 12 is my last day in Arizona. I am headed to Florida for the summer. As always I will be doing a lot of traveling this summer, I might be in your city as some point.

As for the fall, I am planning to make Philly my home base. Yep, I am going back to Philly, Philly, Philly. Why? Not enough murders in Florida for me. That was a joke. As much as I hate the cold and dirtiness of the North—it does have the cultural and educational opportunities that Florida lacks. I am ironing out my master plan. I am focus and committed to constructing the life that I want.

Still why Philly? There are universities and theatres in Chicago, NYC, DC, etc. This leads me to the second thing I hate talking about—relationships. Young Tab, is planning to make her long distance relationship- a live-in relationship. I’ll tell you more later…I hear my father reads this blog.


In other news I am still a CrossFit junkie. I am getting stronger as I continue to preach the gospel of CrossFit. I have one more competition here in AZ before I move.  I been enjoying running and mudruns. Crazy, since I hate being dirty or running. Also, I have really been liking white people…like calling them my friends!  Blue Ivy is amazing and beautiful. The light of my life and continues to be the background on my phone. Isis is doing great, she is looking forward to her summer in Florida. I am planning to make a documentary about my summer( like Beyonce’ s Life is but a dream) mostly for my own enjoyment.

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I think that’s about it. I am excited about new adventures and sharing them with you.


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Posted by on April 10, 2013 in Academia, Arizona, Learning bout Tab!


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