Into the Labyrinth : A PhD Comprehensive Portfolio


     Researchers write stories. These narratives are accounts of a researcher's experiences and endeavours, the results from explorations, as told from their perspective. These stories are never isolated events devoid of historical, geographic, chronological or contextual grounding. Research stories have power and privilege to reveal new knowledge and truths, to persuade others to move in new directions, to surprise with twists in the familiar, or hide what is undesirable. This is my story as I capture this moment in time on my PhD journey.

     I am both the protagonist and hero of this story. My part is simple. I walk. I walk, step by step through the labyrinth of PhD courses, tasks, and explorations, culminating at the centre point of the process. This story is a quest and I am the seeker, in pursuit of knowledge, academic skills, scholarly competencies, and changes in thought. This story is without ending as there are many chapters yet to come. While I walk alone, there are others who influence and intersect along my path.

     This narrative is framed by my journeys before this story began. This introduction serves as prequel in order to understand and ground my PhD story. I am a life-long teacher and educator who has been in the profession long enough to see significant changes over time. I am a daughter of immigrant parents who escaped post-war Europe to find new opportunities to farm and raise a family in Canada. I am a first-generation post-secondary attender and the first in my extended family to begin a PhD. I am an avid reader and technology user stemming from a background of tinkering and exploring. I am creative and reflective, willing to try new things, which lead me to use both high tech and low tech ways of expressing, communicating, and storytelling. I am open by nature, but with an introvert's personality, which leads me to live in paradox. My dual roles as wife and mother influences and supports my research journey. Consider these pre-storied elements as you read my PhD story.

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