I do everything in the wrong order.
It's normal to branch off in new directions once the freedom of tenure removes the Sword of Damocles from hanging over a professor's head. When I earned tenure as an art professor, my work had already started evolving into realms about understanding, about making sense of the universe, about the mind at its beginning.
But while I was happy with how my art was going, I kept feeling like I had hit some hard limit. I didn't feel like I was advancing ideas in all the ways that I really wanted to.
I started taking classes in information science because I wanted more tools in my toolbox. It was just the kind of field I was looking for. Real science, using mixed methods. Strong disciplinary rigor, informed by interdisciplinary pursuits. And it just so happened that there's an excellent program at my own university, so I could just keep taking a course at a time.
And the next thing I knew, I was leading a bizarre double life pursuing a Ph.D. in Information Science while being a professor. I've only talked about my studies in limited private conversations, never publicly, because I didn't want to give the impression that I was unhappy with my job or anything like that. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Fast forward five years. Today I successfully defended my dissertation, Situational Intuition: Hierarchical Modes of User Experience in Human Computer Interaction. Twenty years after getting my first terminal degree, an MFA in filmmaking.
It hasn't really hit me yet that I'm done. I mostly want to take a nap. Once it's up in ProQuest, I'll post a link to you can read it if you like. You can tell it's serious scholarship because there's a colon in the title.