Fieldnotes 2: “In New York City, you have to make your own space”

The following are excerpts from my fieldnotes describing a recent site visit. The names have been changed to protect privacy. Excerpt 1 Roughly 45-minutes into the three hour visit, I noticed something interesting happening. This wasn’t anything I hadn’t seen or … Continue reading

Prologue to the Research #RaisingDissertation

#RaisingDissertation.001#RaisingDissertation is a way to keep me sane and connected to the outside world while working, at times in isolation, on my dissertation research. From time to time, and depending on my mood, I will post draft excerpts from my dissertation research to this public blog. I welcome dialogue from subscribers, readers, and lurkers. I acknowledge that ideas belong to the universe. That said, however, if you wish to write about my research elsewhere, you must cite my work here. For those in the press reporting about the media and technology uses among ‘disconnected’ youth, and youths involved in foster care and juvenile justice systems, feel free to contact me directly. I’d love to share my research with you; this should not to be confused with doing your research for you. For others researching in this area, I also welcome your insights here. As always, I’m happy to connect.

The following is an excerpt from an ever-growing dissertation involving the mediated lives of vulnerable or ‘disconnected’ youth in New York City.

Continue reading

On raising Dissertation

I’m raising a child right now. Her name is Dissertation. She keeps me up all night. I dream about her. I worry about her. I think about her while walking the streets of New York City. She’s got me. I’m on her schedule. I have headaches during the day, and when I rub my shoulders, it sounds like I’m popping bubble wrap paper. The more I pay attention to Dissertation the more I learn about my life story. It’s weird. She expects me to guide her, to make her something that the world will appreciate, and that scares the shit out of me. But she’s my responsibility. I can’t let her down because I love her. The times when I think I’ve got it all figured out, she tells me to rethink my assumptions. And I’m pretty sure that since giving birth to this life of words, I’ve gained at least 10 pounds. Thank god for Malbec and Idris Elba.


Yes, boo. You right.

I passed.

The letter arrived in the mail today around 4pm EST. When I saw the return address from my department, I knew. Before I could even open the letter, it fell from my hands and onto the lobby floor of my apartment building. Nerves. For the past four months, I had an inkling that I passed my doctoral certification exam, but one’s never quite sure when it comes to these things; that is, the intellectual validation from your senior level peers.

I still have two more steps to accomplish before I advance to full candidacy; the Certification Study (or “pilot study”) and Literature Review. Here’s to knocking ’em down like bowling pins on the last frame.

Now that I’ve passed this step, I have a bucket load of confidence going into my own research. I happy. I’m relieved. And, well you basically . . .

Cause . . .

That’s right, I said . . .

I’ll be poppin’ that doctoral student swag until further notice.

On to the next…