My editor,

In my previous post I mentioned sending off a chapter to my editor, so it occurred to me spill a few words about my editor,

I’m using Dr. Alan Roda’s service to professionally edit my thesis and ensure that it complies with APA 6th formatting style.  I was exposed to Dr. Roda’s service way of a trusted recommendation from member of my cohort who was very happy with Dr. Roda’s services, and I now know why.’s staff of Ph.Ds has done exactly what I need.  They have edited my chapters to ensure scholarly tone and style.  They have suggested changes to words, sentence structures, and paragraph order to help me clarify my intended meaning. They have challenged me with questions based on what I have written as my Principal Investigator would.  What they have never done is to cross the ethical boundary of writing new material for me.

Frankly, I appreciate the cost effectiveness of billing practices.  They charge a basic rate for their services with their normal turn-around, but offer quicker turnarounds for a modest additional fee.  This quicker turnaround service has been valuable to me as I play ‘beat-the-clock’ on some of my chapter deliverables.

Look, it’s impossible to effectively edit your own work.  No, you’re not that good.  In case I’ve not been clear, I’m happy to recommend Dr. Roda’s group, to any doctoral candidate who wants to turn in scholarly work that is coherent and free of errors in grammar and punctuation..

No, I’ve received nothing from them for saying the things I’ve said here.  I just appreciate and respect excellent work at very fair rates.


PS: I had to edit this text hours after posting it because (a) I did NOT have edit this piece, and (b) I found two errors in the text.  It goes to show…  jlk

Overall Doctor of Law and Policy GPA

I just received my final course grades for the Spring, 2016 quarter,which is my final quarter in the Doctor of Law and Policy program.  This means that I now know that my final program GPA is 3.952 for 100% of the coursework.

It doesn’t matter, now.

As I noted a few months ago, what matters is defending my thesis.  I am staying focused and on point, but that said, I’m very happy with my final GPA.


Nearing the end…Doctor of Law and Policy

Cohort 8, Professors, and Key Program Staff. June, 2016.

Cohort 8, Professors, and Key Program Staff. June, 2016.

About 15 minutes ago the last quarter of Cohort 8’s Doctor of Law and Policy program at Northeastern University in Boston came to an end.  All of the classwork is complete.  Grades for the last quarter will come out in about 36 hours, not that the really matters now (well, maybe a little bit).

My thesis is coming along splendidly.  Still on track to now complete it by July 30th, and defend it on August 30th.

I’ve enjoyed the time I’ve spent with the members of Cohort, all of whom have become very close and important friends over the past two years.  We shared in a common journey and struggle, helping each other and thereby helping ourselves.

Over the course of studies, we’ve been gladdened by a marriage, a birth, various job changes, and a retirement.  We have also been saddened by the loss of extended family members, serious injuries, kidney stones, and cancer.

Cohort 8 has become its own family, with our key professors, Neenah Estrella-Luna and Dan Urman sometimes acting in loco parentis.  James Passanisi has been our kindly uncle for the past two years, working to make sure that we didn’t stray too far from the center, and properly scolding us a few times when we did.  David, and Wendy (a.k.a., Taz), have been our co-schemers and co-pranksters.

I look forward to seeing all of my family and our professors when we reconvene in September to be hooded as Doctors of Law and Policy.

I consider myself immensely lucky to have landed a spot in Cohort 8 of Northeastern University’s Doctor of Law and Policy program, and to be with such magnificent, intelligent, passionate and caring people.


Doctor of Law and Policy: All Classwork done? Check!

Today, after 24 intensive weeks spanning two years, my Cohort and I completed all required in-person classwork in Boston (well, 22 months in Boston, and two more months in Washington, D.C.) for the Doctor of Law and Policy degree at Northeastern University.

I have to finish my thesis by July 30th-ish so I can defend it on August 30th.

I have come to truly enjoy being in the company of the other 14 surviving members of Cohort 8.  We started a couple of years ago with 24, and I am sorry they did not end up making the journey with the rest of us.

As of now, 9 members of Cohort 8 have successfully defended their theses.  Most of the rest will defend in the next two weeks.  I suspect I’ll be the last one.

I’ve very proud of what we have all accomplished, and looking forward to seeing what they will accomplish when they are conferred their degrees on September 22, followed by the hooding six day later.

I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I am stronger than the train.


Grades for Winter 2016 Posted. I don’t care.

I’ve just received the grades for the Winter 2016 quarter, which ended at 23:59:59 on Sunday, April 2, 2016.  As I have promised for transparency purposes, I’ve posted them to the left side of this screen…scroll down if you’re interested.

I am not interested…anymore.

Huh?  I don’t care about my grades?

The reality now is that the real grade for me will come during the first week in September, when I’m officially notified whether my thesis is accepted in final form and I have successfully defended it.  There’s no guarantee of either or both, so I cannot lose sight of what’s vital…finishing up the writing and getting the defense completed and behind me.

Okay, to be fully honest, I do care about my grades, but that’s my pride speaking.  I’m glad that I’ve meet the high standards set by the institution, so far, and I’ll be happy when my final grades are posted.  But I’ll be a lot happier when I get the official letter from Northeastern saying that I should stop by for the doctoral hooding later that month.

That’s the only grade that counts, now.


Finishing up the Winter 2016 Quarter…Thesis Time

I’m (way) behind on my writing timetable.  Who would have thought it would take longer than planned to write a thesis?  No, not me.  Yeah. Not me.

Pages don’t write themselves.  It takes fingers on keys to make the magic happen.  That’s that magic I’m working on.

Talking with some of my Cohort members, I’m not alone.  We use the discussion boards to push and pull each other along.  I don’t know where I’d be without the support and encouragement of those 15 friends and colleges as we face our final quarter together, starting in, ah, 2 hours and 46 minutes.

I should be able to post my grades for the almost completed quarter later this week.

Time passes.

On the passing of Justice Scalia

justice_scalia_20160215No, I have no special connection to the last Justice Scalia.  No, I was not a big fan of his opinions (and, more accurately, his many dissents).  However, I learned long ago to read his opinions and dissents.  He was a brilliant legal scholar, a literate writer, and a debater to be feared.

Over the past couple of years in the DLP program, we studied many of Justice Scalia’s dissents and opinions.  The dissents were always more fun.

Here are some links to quotes from the great mind, now silenced.



Pipes Are SUCH a Problem

While my own ‘pipes’ are healing, and I had my internal liner (stent) removed a few days ago, the main sewer clay pipe for my home failed.  I suppose that’s not a surprise after 35 years of service.

To fix the sewer, we had an internal liner installed.  One liner out; one liner in.

Just another reminder that life gets in the way of life, sometimes.

Missed Classes

Regrettably, I’ve missed this month’s classes at the University.  I have a good excuse: a kidney stone that refused to gracefully exit, and demanded the rather personal attention of my urologist in a surgical setting.  The little bastard is gone, now.  Good riddance vile creature.