I’m going back
In my forties I returned to college. It was a master’s program, and although I wasn’t a good student right out of high school, struggling through to an undergrad degree came once I began working in law enforcement and paying my own way.
I blew through the master’s program and was happy to have been graduated. I did it because I’m very competitive and wanted the challenge. But then, I needed something else.
I needed answers. The very next semester I was back. I’d entered a doctoral cohort with the desire to understand the culture of law enforcement. I’d been a part of it for decades, but needed to know why it had such a powerful influence.
After a record-setting pace, I’d crafted a research proposal and launched across country to interview and observe agencies and cops all-across America. I was bestowed the coveted PhD in a hooding ceremony and soon sold my research to a publisher.
The textbook made me the “expert” in cop culture. I traveled the country teaching about it, consulted with agencies on improving it and was pursued as an expert witness to explain it.
But, I was left with more questions than answers. While it may have help illuminate questions for many others, I found myself still in the dark.
Not about the organizational structures or the operational culture. I wanted to know why it had affected my life so drastically. Honestly, despite the success, I was left empty.
So, now I’m going back.
Why would I return to a doctoral program in my fifties? This time I’m looking in the book I should’ve been studying the whole time – the good book.
Maybe I’ll see you around campus.