MrL8Nite goes back to school

"I don't mind change, I just don't want to be there when it happens." --Adrian Monk

I'd  rather be flying my stunt kites!  Imagine a nice sunny day, a 15-20 mph wind, and being slowly dragged down the beach.

That's a picture of me flying my kites in July of 2006 at Myrtle Beach, SC.  In 2007 I had to go to Pepperdine's TechCamp and missed the chance to fly my kites (grrr) at my family's annual beach reunion. But I've already checked the schedule and it looks like the usual reunion week in July 2008 is clear of any school commitments, so I'll update the photos in 2008!

Yeah, you read that right. MrL8Nite is going back to school to get his doctorate. Decided over a year ago to finally get the "Dr." in front of my name. It's been a dream for a while...might as well get it while I'm young (ha)! The trick was to find a reputable school, a degree in Education, and a program that could handle my travel schedule. I ended up in Pepperdine's On-Campus/On-Line program that started July 2007. I'll spend about four 12-hour days in classroom-based lecture twice a semester and work the balance of the time reading books, writing reports, and interacting on-line. So works. But I think this program is going to be a bit tougher than my Masters -- more hours, more books, more courses, over less months, with a dissertation and comps.

Anyways, that's what this site is all and my journey through my doctoral program. The site was started as an assignment for the first Human-Computer Interface course on the site, but will probably migrate with me to other "locations" as I'll want this site to be more feature-rich and more complex than I think Freewebs can probably handle. We'll see. In the meantime, check out the links (on the left or at the bottom) for my current courses, my blog, pics, and links to assorted wiki sites.

Summer '07

Quick update for 2008: Yes, I made it to my family reunion in July of 2008 and managed to get some kite flying in with my nephew. Nice heavy winds made for some great stunts early in the week. Lighter winds allow me to let my "younger" relatives try their hand at flying a number of my stunt's an annual tradition. 

I was also involved this summer with a little Pepperdine responsibilities. I had some Stats homework to do and I ended up helping out Cadre 14 with their first Second Life experience during their Tech Camp. But it was all traveling to the west coast this July.  It was nice to be back on the beach again with my family for a whole week! --cj

August 2009: All the "learning" (letter-grade) courses are done! I just got my grades for my last semester of classes. Whew! I have rather high academic standards, so it was a real crunch at the end of this program to make sure I kept my grades up where I wanted them. While I *did* make it to my annual family reunion, I spent many hours hiding in one of the beach house rooms working on papers for three courses. Still, I had time to enjoy with family...picnics, pig-picking, golf tournament, and of course some kite flying.

So, I have August off and then will return in September for the Comprehensive (Comps) course in the Fall. This is a "pass-fail" class that has me pull together all of my learnings over the last two-plus years into a cohesive paper that demonstrates that I have a mastery (or at least a solid grasp) of the key topics and issues. Then just after Thanksgiving I'll "defend" the paper to panel of my professors. If Comps goes well, by next summer I hope to be well into writing my dissertation...and flying my kites.


(December 2009 update: I passed my Comps exam...on to developing and writing my disseration.)

The summer of 2010 has me working (a bit slowly) on my dissertation and I also can now spread my time around a bit more effectively to catch up on the many things that I have deferred while in home repairs, some volunteer work, and some extra effort in my real-life job. I've spent the last several months reading and researching leadership and virtual learning papers and books, as my current dissertation focus is on effective leadership of virtual learning strategies in corporate or government environments. The more I read the more I see alternate possibilities for topics, so there will be some refining of my topic over the next few months.  Oh...I just got back from my annual reunion where my nephew and I flew stunt kites together.


Summer/Fall 2011 -- I'm finally getting moving on the dissertation. It took some time after the classes to get caught up on all the things I've put off for a few years (financial planning, speaking, web development, and of course, the job!), but I'm now on a roll, writing Chapter 2 (research). There's a long ways to go, but thankfully I had been reading a lot of related materials over the last year or two, so it's not like I'm starting from just seems daunting at this moment. And yes, I did enjoy the summer break...had a great vacation and the wind was perfect this year for some decent kite flying!

2014 Update

I've been a little delinquent in updating this page. Yes, I got to fly my kites the last couple of summers.  

This summer (2014) I passed the Dissertation Preliminary Defense (sometimes called the Dissertation Oral Defense) as you sit across from your Professor and committee members and verbally defend your work for the first 3 chapters. Surprisingly it wasn't as challenging as I expected, but that might have been because I've been "living" this dissertation for a few years now. I concluded the Final Defense of my dissertation in November 2014 -- passed with no modifications of the academic content! I did spend the Thanksgiving-to-Christmas window making format and layout changes to the paper. I submitted the final version of my paper to the school and uploaded the PDF to the UMI repository on Christmas Eve. I expect my college transcript to be updated with my new degree in January 2015 when the school staff returns from holiday break.

So, I'm DONE! This is the last update to this page. I might see some of you at the graduation ceremony in May of 2015 at the Malibu campus!

(For details on my dissertation research, go to