Doctorate 101 A Concise Guidebook For Your Doctoral Journey
In Doctorate 101 author Dawn McLucas shares her personal journey pursuing her doctorate degree. Along her journey she shares tips and things to consider when pursuing a doctorate degree. McLucas starts off by sharing what she had to overcome to obtain her doctorate. The author continues on to provide in-depth information on what is needed in order to earn a doctorate.
I found a lot of the information in the book to be very helpful and pragmatic, like the authors recommendation to list out your goals prior to pursuing your doctorate. This is similar to creating a vision board and will help readers keep themselves on track. I also appreciated the emphasis on motivation when times get tough. The biggest pieces of advice that the author provides is in the lessons learned section, as she shares with readers that this journey is not a cake walk and to expect some roadblocks.
Dawn McLucas provides the reader with insightful and encouraging information. I believe those who are pursuing their doctorate will benefit from reading this informative book as McLucas sets the reader up for success by creating clear expectations and then diving into how to overcome them along with handling moments of doubt.
The writing comes off as conversational and encouraging, which makes the reader feel like they are listening to a friend or a mentor. The book is setup in an easy-to-read format and flows smoothly between sharing the author’s experience in pursuing her doctorate and her lessons learned as well as tips to stay motivated and how pursuing your doctorate can be rewarding.
This step-by-step guide will mitigate any surprises prospective students may encounter when pursuing their doctorate. The author shares exactly what to expect from planning your classes, scheduling your time, research and presenting your data.
Doctorate 101 shows readers that even though this is a difficult task, it is not unattainable. With hard work and perseverance it is possible. Doctorate 101 is an important book to read when pursuing, or even considering pursuing, your doctorate. McLucas sets the reader up for success and provides the motivation needed when you begin to doubt yourself.
Pages: 33 | ASIN : B09VY96N1G
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
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How to Manage Food, Booze, Stress, Sex, Sleep, and Exercise on Campus
The Greatest College Health Guide You Never Knew You Needed provides readers with health tips and information they’ll need to manage the obstacles they face in college. Why was this an important book for you to write?
Taking care of yourself in college can be difficult because there’s no training for it! Most students are better prepared to pick their major or talk to strangers than they are to put themselves on a sleep schedule or navigate the dining hall three times a day. We both struggled with our health in college because we had no idea what to expect, which meant we couldn’t be proactive and didn’t know what to do when things got hard. Furthermore, the bad habits we developed in the early years of college were difficult to break! After a group of my senior runners (I’m a HS XC coach) expressed concern about the survival of their current good habits in the campus setting, Dave and I felt compelled to help them prepare.
What is a common misconception you feel people have about their health?
The biggest health concern many college students have before they get to campus is the “Freshman 15.” While weight gain can be a byproduct of unhealthy habits, taking care of yourself is so much larger than a number on a scale. A variety of factors can negatively affect the way we feel – stress, stagnation, lack of sleep, toxic relationships, overconsumption of alcohol – and it’s too limiting to assess how you’re faring in the college (or any) setting based simply on whether or not you can still fit into the pants you packed when you left home. Rather than focusing on how to change a number on the scale, students should be focusing instead on figuring out what routines and practices make them feel good physically, mentally and emotionally.
What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?
We wanted to make it clear that “being healthy” isn’t a level you reach in life. Feeling good is fluid. Sometimes you’ll be able to prioritize yourself and other times you won’t. At various points and for various reasons, your health will get put on the backburner. And that’s OK! It’s NORMAL. We argue that getting off track and feeling physically, mentally, or emotionally terrible at some point is to be expected, but that also it’s also completely possible to turn things around when you’re there. It’s even easier when you have the tools. We wanted to offer college students tips for getting back back on track while also communicating the idea that starting again is nothing to be disappointed about or surprised by. In fact, learning how to course correct can help build your self-esteem and will ultimately become easier over time.
What was the writing collaboration process like with author Dave Henry?
Writing this book together definitely added a new dynamic to our marriage. To start, we have very different work styles. Dave is a creative right-brained thinker who likes to see the big picture before proceeding. I’m an A-type left-brainer all the way, so I work best on a rigid schedule. We struggled at times because of those differences, but the final product benefited tremendously from our respective strengths. For instance, Dave’s ability to patiently finesse sections improved the writing in many areas, and I made sure that we stayed on schedule and covered all of our talking points as we went. While we are opposites in a lot of ways, we are similar in that we both tend to bring an enormous amount of passion and energy to everything that we do – we met coaching sports after all! When we’re fired up, it’s hard to stop the train. This project was fueled by our love for the material and for the students who inspired it. It’s been life-changing getting to work together. Every exciting new development is ours to celebrate, and every disappointment is an excuse to eat ice cream and get over it. And frankly, whatever happens from here is just a bonus. We both feel like we’ve already won – we’re so proud of this book and are thrilled to have finished this race together.
Posted in Interviews
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What It Takes To Survive
University on Watch is your true story detailing the obstacles you faced in academia and how you were forced to overcome your disabilities while facing bias and ignorance from people at the university. Why was this an important book for you to write?
I fell in love when I was in college in New London with language. If I was ever going to put process the trauma and move towards healing I needed to recapture the events in the book through the very words that were so precious to me years ago.
What were some ideas that were important for you to explore in this book?
The impact of a major mental health disorder on a person’s life. Specifically, for young people alone and isolated from supports, and other vulnerable people. They needed to know what it takes to survive, and the various threatening intersections there are in the health and healing.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from your book?
Always keep in mind your behavior and the goals that you are setting out to accomplish. The behavior has a direct impact on us and the outcomes in life. Sometimes, without doing everything we can do to keep moving is all we have to hold on to in our darkest hours.
You are a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Has your time helped others informed the development of your book?
Without the clinical language, I wouldn’t’ be convinced I had what it took to write the book. Prior to healing and becoming a social worker, I had only one lens through to see the world. Back then, I also felt a certain way about my grip on the world (shame, guilt, all of it). The point is without a whole new way of understanding the world, what else was I offering but a closed-off and a non-illuminating text.
Posted in Interviews
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University on Watch
University on Watch: Crisis in the Academy by J Peters is a unique reading experience. It is the author’s true story of what he endured going through the world of academia and how he was forced to overcome his disabilities AND the biases and ignorance of those at the university to achieve his education goals.
It is a stunning examination of those dark things that should not be tolerated or accepted on any level, but ones we all know occur when backs are turned or no one is looking. More than that, it is the story of hope. Of how we can achieve our dreams no matter the obstacles thrown in our way. Despite the almost horrific exposure of academia’s underbelly people choose to ignore, this tell all confession is a message of inspiration for those with disabilities and mental health issues. Author J Peters wrote University On Watch after enduring a major crisis at New London University. It took ten long years for him to come to terms with what happened there. No, I won’t spoil that for you with this review. During that time he took a closer look at who he was and who he wanted to be. J Peters has since gone on to become a rhetoric scholar and, in his own words, a person living with schizophrenia.
This book is written in a straightforward manner, both open and easy to follow. J Peters pulls no punches in his recounting of his time at the university. His book is a journey of self-discovery that will engage your emotions on a deep level. If you don’t walk away questioning the how and why of this scenario you may need to go back and reread it. University on Watch is unlike anything you will read. Do yourself a favor- walk a mile in J. Peters’ shoes.
Pages: 150 | ASIN: B07NP2891M
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
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The Ultimate College Student Health Handbook
As a new college student straight out of high school, alone for the first time, it can be scary to become sick. Many kids are used to their parents taking care of them and giving them advice. However, once you are in college you must take care of yourself. The Ultimate College Student Health Handbook provides the essential tips and tricks a student would need to prevent an illness or take care of themselves when they fall ill. This exceptional guide will help you determine whether you just need a warm tea and some sleep or a doctor visit.
The Ultimate College Student Health Handbook is the perfect book for parents to slip into their kids luggage when they go off to college. Written by a doctor, it is filled with reliable and factual information presented in easy and understandable terms. It prepares young adults and enables them to be self reliant. Nothing tests your capability like being sick with no one around to care for you as your mother would. You are vulnerable and weak. You have to make important decisions like how high a fever is too high.
The Ultimate College Student Health Handbook has a laid back style with a pinch of humor. It covers a wide range of topics from hangovers to real health issues. Jill Grimes, MD, FAAFP, has tailored the content to a specific demographic, but it is also accessible to everyone else. While you could just Google ‘hangover cure’, the results you get are not always accurate and could lead you down a rabbit hole of bizarre stories. This informative and engaging guide comes from a medical professional. Jill Grimes has created a book that is perfect as a quick reference for common issues. It’s easy to flip to a section, learn about symptoms, treatment, and prevention.
What I liked most about this book was how it distills issues down into easily understood pieces of information. While it could be easy to spend a whole page or two explaining why things occurred, Jill Grimes is able to sum up issues in a small paragraph followed by bulleted points. The accompanying illustrations are simple, cute, and effective.
I know this book is aimed at college kids, but I really think that this book is a great medical reference guide for everyone. Again, you could go to the internet, but then you have to dig through ads, comments from non-professionals, and misleading information to find what you need. If you are a parent with a child about to depart for college, give yourself peace of mind by gifting this book to them. I found it immensely helpful.
Pages: 333 | ASIN: B084G9BF3P
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
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Gazelle in the Shadows
Based on her own life, Michelle Peach has crafted an intriguing story in Gazelle in the Shadows. Some parts of the story are fictionalized according to the author. The novel opens with Elizabeth Booth who has been kidnapped. She’s battered and bruised and not sure who is responsible. Her British diplomatic immunity does not seem to be of any use to her at the beginning of the story.
We then cut to an earlier time on a cold, rainy April day in the north of England. She is in Professor Mansfield’s office, attending school at the Centre for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies in Durham University. Not sure where she will succeed, she decides to enter the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as a Diplomatic Service and she loves it.
Most of her life seems to have been about finding out who she is in her family. She grows up wanting to leave home and go on adventures. The point of meeting with her professor on that April day is to convince him to allow her to do her study in Damascus. She is the only student from her class going there. On the flight to Damascus, she is told by the flight attendant that there are no hotel rooms and arranges a place for her to stay.
Starting with the people on the flight, I did have to suspend disbelief somewhat to make myself believe that she could be as naïve as she was behaving. It seemed odd to me that anyone would trust a man on a flight and follow him afterward, even if he did work for the airline. It does seem to me that it would raise red flags.
She is literally a stranger in this new land and finds herself offending without meaning to. For example, when she drops bread on to the ground, she does not realize that bread is a sacred food and should never be wasted. She finds that navigating this new, strange land is not as easy as she had expected. I did love her descriptions of the exotic locale. She really brings the countryside to life with her writing.
This story is filled with mystery and suspense. This story was interesting to be because, unlike most books I’ve read, it’s about a place I knew little about when I started reading. The cultural issues that arise throughout the story are every bit as interesting as what is happening in the story. The only negative about the book is that I felt I knew what might be happening early on in the story even though I was not entirely correct. Despite that, the author has crafted a story that kept me turning pages way past my bedtime.
Pages: 327 | ASIN: B07CPX2WH5
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
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Inspired By My Faith
A Fire in the West is a genre-crossing novel with elements of fantasy, science fiction, and inspirational fiction as well. Did you start writing with this in mind, or did this happen organically as you were writing?
Harry James Fox: I agree that the novel steps all over the genre boundaries. Some have insisted that the books in the Stonegate series are really Dystopian or Action/Adventure with elements of Romance. My only defense is that I wrote stores that I enjoy reading. I suppose I wanted a novel that explored a collapse of civilization that would later lead up to the events described in the Bible in the Book of Revelation. But I decided not to write about the final Armageddon. These novels might be thought of as a prelude, however. I tried to make a believable society that could reasonably have developed a few generations after the beginning of a new dark age. I was not concerned with fitting within conventional genres, so it must have happened organically.
Lucia Mudgway: It was actually Harry James Fox’s idea about this trilogy in the first place. Harry masterminded the plot and story-line as well as outlining the major characters and the map of the area and the names of the towns, and and I helped create and develop it as well as adding some new characters into the mix. Basically, my writing was inspired by my faith and my knowledge of history from my undergraduate studies at University where I completed a Bachelor of Arts/Humanities degree majoring in Creative Writing and History. I am currently completing a Masters of Divinity degree after completing a Grad Dip in Creative Writing last year. A lot of my ideas did happen as I was writing, and it often felt as if there was an external spiritual force working with me.
The characters in this novel, I felt, were intriguing and well developed. Who was your favorite character to write for?
Harry James Fox: The characters from the earlier books were old friends, such as Donald and Rachel. But the character that I liked the best was Arielle (“Ari”). She has a big heart and finds the strength to face adversity and emerge the stronger for it. I like her level head and her courage. I do find that I need some help in developing female characters, but my co-author, Lucia, was helpful in making her believable.
Lucia Mudgway: My favorite character was Robbie as he reminded me a little of the prodigal son whose defiance led him into dangerous waters where his faith was tested after doubting God and backsliding. I also loved the evil False Prophet as he reminds us that we are living in a world of spiritual darkness today from leaders who are not always interested in looking after the people, but where self interest and power are what motivates them. I guess I have a fondness for the false prophet because I helped create him with Harry. I found some inspiration for his character in Ephesians 6:12 which states, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of the world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” It was evil that ruled the mind and soul of the False Prophet, so I would recommend reading the three books of the trilogy to get a better picture of how despicable the False Prophet really is. The second book, “The False Prophet” reveals his character more fully.
You both have written a fascinating novel. What was the collaboration like between the two of you on this book?
Harry James Fox: Lucia helped a great deal with the second novel of the series, and she actually wrote a novella based on the characters in the first book in the series. I then expanded this novella into a full-length novel. But I decided that the third novel would be one where we both were co-authors from the beginning. I was very pleased with the partnership. I probably would have procrastinated, but she helped keep me focused. I rather specialized in all things military, and she was the creative idea person that created an intriguing plot. It all went quite smoothly.
Lucia Mudgway: The collaboration between Harry and myself was pretty amazing and we work really well together, bouncing off each other for ideas. I am definitely interested in working with Harry in the future on other books, but at this present time I am trying to complete a novel I started years ago called “The Isis Factor”, which is a fictional thriller/romance inspired by facts and some true events. This story is set in England where the major protagonist, Nick Flanagan, an MI6 agent, is caught up in a world of terrorist activity from terrorists buying arsenal supposedly from the Russians for military training camps in Afghanistan. I am hoping to complete this in 6 months and have it published soon after completion.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be published?
Harry James Fox: I always have several projects at different stages of incubation. I am considering reworking some unpublished material and creating a novella, a prequel to the Stonegate trilogy. I imagine it will be published in 2019. I am a former intelligence officer and definitely have an interest in Lucia’s book “The Isis Factor.” I have volunteered to help with some technical details.
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From author Harry James Fox, and co-author, Lucia Mudgway, comes an epic Christian fantasy, third in the Stonegate saga. In this gripping finale, Donald of Fisher and Rachel of Westerly as well as Carla and other favorite characters return to face another attempt by the evil False Prophet to overwhelm the free towns of the East. However, this tale centers around Donald and Rachel’s son, Robby, as he confronts all of his demons— his forbidden love for Ari, his cousin, and his conflicts with his father, Donald. Ari, Carla’s daughter, also finds herself in the heat of battle and is tested as she had never imagined. Family secrets emerge amid the threat of war, but courage, duty, and love become more important than ever. Will the False Prophet finally succeed in stamping out freedom, or will good finally triumph over evil? Will Robby find redemption for his decisions, and will the shocking truth about his past set him free to be with Ari?
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
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The Turmoil of Future Existence
The Philosophical Future discusses the social and psychological challenges facing people in the 21st century. Why was this an important book for you to write?
Man is of course a creature of needs, which are easily misunderstood and in a confrontational world often taken by the individual as absolute imperatives. Violent actions and reactions, and more broadly aggressive behavior in general, tend to satisfy only, and too often, wrongly perceived needs of an instant. Long-term consequences are imprudently ignored. But it is too late as a rule to correct the mistake.
To avoid this familiar trap, nothing avails save the self-aware use of individual will — a learned capability — to survey each situation as it arises, and then rationally decide on and carry out a plan of action (including non-action) suitable to the circumstances. In an overly crowded world, and given today’s climate of festering person-to person and group-against group hostility, however, nothing appears to succeed other than violence or a threat of it. Whatever deprives the “other” of his ability to remain a self-respecting combatant can be employed. This wholly negative world view leads down an unsustainable road — in fact to social chaos.
Calls for meaningful change fall on mostly deaf ears. They do not convince. Nonetheless, the burden for positive change rests with individual minds. Such social unanimity as does occur is forced, and unless or until enough self-discipline takes hold in individual minds, and without coercion, this millennial consummation seems just as probable as another..
This book was written with such global issues in mind. Its significance lies in the message which it conveys to minds honestly aspiring to achieve a personal knowledge of what they may expect to encounter in the way of social, psychological, and moral trials in years to come.
You have an M.A. from the University of Wisconsin and an Ed.D. from the University of California, and you taught at many different schools. How has this experience helped you write this book?
Teachers, much akin to dispensers of religious doctrine, today more than ever share a burden of communicating to students more than mere facts or supposed facts originating with cultural authority. The effective teacher has also himself both learned and understood the “material” of his lessons. Even so, automatic transfer from one mind to another is a misconception. Not all learning experiences can be summed up in this formula. Even the substance of what there is to be learned erodes in this migration.
The basics of language and social skills can of course never be taken for granted. This includes all knowledge that can be reduced to a common parlance, including number, letter, names, places, dates, and even some rules of interpersonal behavior. The tyro can usually master this domain with aid from a teacher who himself studied and retained not only the rote aspect but some of the life-value of its content. Still, more than ever beyond this one needs certain more fundamental elements to make his way in life.
Most individuals, sadly enough, while they do achieve a grasp of these lesser aspects of behavioral competence, fail to move past them. Even many teachers may not learn to question themselves, to seek beyond their already memorized data base to explore the deeper significance of being human. For all further, higher knowledge, the kind needed to live with meaning, though built on a firm foundation of “the basics,” requires a yet greater step, and the true teacher recognizes this. All such higher knowledge demands a learner, as well as his teacher, who together strive for genuine understanding — so that each of them in the web of his own experience questions both himself as well as the “why” of things, basic and abstract alike.
I think this book does a fantastic job of delivering complex ideas in an understandable and meaningful way. What do you hope readers take away from your book?
To those whose developing interests include a genuine curiosity about conditions of life over the longer tomorrow, and assuming they are looking for an unvarnished view of today’s global scene, with some adumbration of what lies ahead, this book aims to provide some, but not all, and never absolute, answers. It is not indeed a prediction but an advisory. It deals only with the possible, in an age of few if any certainties.
Most young people, but also readers in general, tend to live on two levels of thought: On one hand they have a vision of society as some kind of mechanical entity; its fundamental workings go on at a comfortable distance; unless one becomes caught in their legal entanglements, they can be ignored. On the other hand, when society calls on them as individuals to participate actively in its formal activities (such as jury duty), thought and intelligence must be brought to bear; even so, the passive state of mind dominates. Typically (even in the jury room) one follows the herd.
For this typical reader this book then cannot help but sound a wake-up call. Neither mechanistic nor presumably-more active approaches to life in society in fact suffice. Knowledge of the whole and of its salient moving parts and of one’s own capabilities for adaptation to the turmoil of future existence — these will be key to genuine success in the art of living.
Where do you think society is headed and what can an individual do to ensure they are successful in that future?
The question of where society is headed and how it is likely to get there cannot be answered without giving thought to the individual’s plasticity of character and his motivations as a moral being. If individuals en masse pay no heed to what serves the common good, then the way forward becomes rife with predictable social decline. But this view overemphasizes the dark side. Neither man’s overall world outlook nor his web of relations in a complex environment ever reduce to a simple unidirectional pattern, at least in the short run.
History reveals one singular truth: In its gradual development, and often without conscious control, society “fixes” some problems, analyzes others without acting on them, and simply ignores those it cannot deal with. So we cannot rationally envision either a future utopia or dystopia. There is no end-point. The real wild card remains the “average” individual’s capacity for directing his powers either to improve the common good along with his own sense of social stability, or to give way to mental and moral negation, with destructive results in society.
Men are not prisoners of history, as is often claimed. But there is just so much any generation can do in a practical sense to unleash itself from on-the-ground conditions and the relatively passive state of mind it inherits. Revolutions come and go, yet underlying capabilities cling to their natural limits. The process is slow, unseen, and does not involve conscious volition other than to a limited degree. So the likeliest condition of society a century hence, barring an atomic or planetary disaster, will represent in essence only a repetition in substance (though not in detail) of what have been the commonplace evils of our time: over-population and consequent mass poverty; ever increasing global hysterias; police-state governments; continued lack of education and subsequent bewilderment over how to live a meaningful individual life in a complex and demanding environment. The true individual may disappear as this process works itself out. Yet fortunately, his eventual reappearance cannot entirely be ruled impossible either. And how this unresolved dichotomy is then resolved will make all the difference.
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This book surveys the breadth of mankind’s postmodern malaise, which is achieved through a discussion of the major challenges, social and psychological, which every individual faces in the effort to live fully in the twenty-first century. These challenges lay in broadly familiar domains: self- and group-consciousness; common man and his place in a future society in which mental activity dominates; work and leisure; knowledge and values accruing from it, both for self and others; possibilities in education; civilization, with its “Dark Age” phenomena and its dreams of progress; the role of the past in contemporary life; and power, both in society and within the sovereign individual who, though bound by physical and intellectual limits, functions as a seeker after the freedom and self-fulfillment which are so wholly integral to the human condition. And finally a serious question: What fate awaits the perpetual non-conformist, whose views, however unwelcome in his own time and in a contemporary environment, may in fact anticipate future living conditions?
Posted in Interviews
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