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diplomas, retrieved from another box

Twenty years ago, I wrote a dissertation to complete the requirements for a PhD in nursing. A flurry followed where I presented papers and posters at conferences on my research. Eight years later, in 1999, I published some of the results in a refereed journal. A highlight for me.

Jump to now. A colleague is publishing a book on my topic and asked if he could reprint that article in his book. I said sure, no problem. That would be a nice honor to have my work recognized again.

So I emailed the company that published the journal. A curt response. No. According to their polices, no complete reprints are ever allowed.

One good thing is that my work is protected forever. One not so good thing is that my colleague still wanted to include my work in his book. Would I be willing to rewrite something from a different angle?

Yes, of course. In my move six years ago from home to condo, I had saved one box labeled “Jobs – PhD”.  While purging my file cabinets for the move, I had thrown in files that had significant meaning to me, never intending, really, to look at them again.

There are twelve computer-paper-sized boxes stacked in our study closet. I found the PhD box. I found hard copies of my research paper presentations. And I got to work.

Now, five days of work later, I’m almost finished. To revisit something that was so into my bones, I found, was still in my bones. Phrases leaped out of my brain onto the page as I typed the introduction, methods, setting and sample, date collection, data analysis, findings, and implications.

And, as exhilarating and exhausting as conducting and writing up the actual research was, originally, for nearly two years, I readily floated back there for the past five days. What a gift! To feel alive in an area of expertise. To be able to be intellectually stimulated. To have had the experience of getting advanced degrees (I did a thesis for my master’s as well) that few women my age had and young women today can take for granted.

Someday, I’ll tell you about the topic. Right now, I don’t want to spoil it for my colleague’s publication. But I can tell you that the sample was older adults. A few were younger than I am now!

Meanwhile, would someone please help me with my APA format? You know that precision with typing up references of where periods, commas, spaces, caps and lower case, parens…go? Writing Caring Lessons did not require that precision.