DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Found the Golden Ticket!

Written by: on October 19, 2018

Greetings to the lucky finder of this GOLDEN TICKET from Professor Derek Rowntree!. Present this ticket at the main entrance of this educational journey at nine o’clock in the morning of the fourth day of September. Do not be late for the book given on this day will unlock critical patterns to change the course trajectory. Be sure to invite a fellow student or two to read along as well. One could not fathom the marvelous SURPRISES that awaits.

Maybe this is a little dramatic, but for months now, a bombardment of information for change overwhelmed the mental and emotional state this reader. To be frankly honest, it has caused a resistant to manifest from the very start of this doctoral journey.

The apprehension of starting doctoral studies was at play from the beginning due to life circumstances, new ministry position, teaching schedule and lack of intellectual confidence since schooling was now an element of the distant past or far in between. Subsequently with the introduction of new ways of reading, not reading and talking about a book never read, created yet another rift, yet another opportune moment of doubt to take residence in the mind of this reader.

education and business concept – tired student with pile of books and notes studying indoors

The thought on education from childhood was that education a treasure that everyone can process yet most take for granted. With this understanding, education became a career to be sought after in itself. It became the fuel to life and expression. An avenue to learn new ways of experiencing and seeing the world. Every free lecture, an opportunity to learn in a classroom setting or conference became a path to acquiring more knowledge and more wisdom. The discovery in life for education concluded, “there is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.”[1]

Consequently, one would assume this career student would breeze through studies at a postgraduate level. Far from it. The last year of the first master’s level program, the reigning title of an overachiever stood prominently in the eyes of university faculty and fellow peers. Not an overachiever in an arrogant or pompous posture, but an overachiever who worked extra hard to excel in every aspect of schooling. As a single mother, working two jobs and a full-time student, this was not an easy task. Every assignment turned in before time; aced all exams and excelled in essays.

Grades were perfect until an injury needing surgery did not allow for physical participation in class.  Though the doctor’s note was in hand, the professor adamantly insisted there would be exclusion from the physical part of the class. It was a dance exercise that had nothing to do with the Community Advocacy course. Since I could not participate, the final grade for her course dropped for an “A” to a “B,” ruining my perfect 4.0 GPA. The grade though protested with the teacher and dean of the program remained. Devastation stuck like a bow to the heart of this overachiever and halted forward movement in seeking education.

However, LEARN HOW TO STUDY: Developing the study skills and approaches to learning that will help you succeed in university — a virtual tutorial allowed a much anticipated “Aha” moment to transpire and the world makes sense again. This book gave light to the underlining issues or push back for the previously requested readings. It is quite evident in the past blogs; those readings were hard pills to swallow. The issues in retrospect had little to do with the material, but the approach is taken to comprehend or envelop the material.

The realization of unaddressed and unrealistic views on educational success surfaced while reading this book. The “Why” factor of educational pursuit resurfaced and strategies reignited. For anyone is to succeed as a student, he or she must understand what he or she wants of-of studying and what learning means to them as well as develop certain skills that are actually more life-skills than exclusively study skills.“[2]

This book even addresses the issue of perfectionism in the perceived notion of the super student. Fear of not being perfect or the “super student” has been at the forefront and has hindered some educational progress. Rowntree suggests “self-doubt often sets in because we compare ourselves with an idealised image of what we think the perfect student ought to be like – and consequently judge ourselves lacking.”[3] Though revealed late in this journey,  it became apparent this reader, this student’s educational journey that “perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”[4]

Wish there was a time machine to go back to September 4th and read this particular before the others. This book sets a precedent and the momentum needed for a first-year student in college, a returning student to university and yes a post-graduate degree student. Thank you, Professor Rowntree, for this golden ticket.

[1] Jiddu Krishnamurti, “Jiddu Krishnamurti Quotes,” Brainy Quotes, accessed October 155, 2018,

[2] Derek Rowntree, Learn How to Study: Developing the Study Skills and Approaches to Learning That Will Help You Succeed in University — a Virtual Tutorial with Professor Derek Rowntree, 6th ed. (publication place: MacDonald, 2016), 122, Kindle.

[3] Ibid 242

[4] “Vince Lombardi Quotes,” Brainy Quotes, accessed October 15, 2018,


About the Author


Shermika Harvey

8 responses to “Found the Golden Ticket!”

  1. Mario Hood says:

    I so resonate with this post. I took the enneagram link you posted in the facebook group, and it showed that I am a 1 and perfectionism is something that I have always struggled with. I am learning that even the comparison of the “ideal” is something to be mastered (for lack of better words). One thing that I have to keep coming back to is the God does not require me to be perfect in school, so I do not need to add that pressure onto myself. This book has helped me to understand that planning gives definition to the purpose and allows me to breathe and not choke under the weight of perfectionism.

    • mm Shermika Harvey says:

      Mario, it is a blessing to know that God does not require us to be perfect in any aspect. He is the one doing a perfecting will in and through us. Trying to be perfect is extremely difficult so I’ve learned to do what I can and do it with a plan (knowing it is subject to change) and an excellent spirit; He’ll do the rest.

  2. mm Rev Jacob Bolton says:

    First off, great Willy Wanka reference!

    Second, the story you shared about the professor that docked your grade . . . even with a doctors note explaining your physical participation level . . . sheds much more light on the professor and their personality, than your grade does on your academic achievements. I think Rowntree would agree.

    Keep chasing perfection . . . and attaining excellence!

  3. mm Harry Fritzenschaft says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your challenges and your underlying struggles. It would appear God has utilized Rowntree to help you make sense of your doctoral pilgrimage as well as re-examine some underlying beliefs you have had about yourself. Congratulations to you for your pursuit of excellence in the midst of many challenges. I am so sorry for your negative experience during your first masters level degree. Again, I am so glad you have found Rowntree to not only be helpful but perhaps also has restored your original motivation and passion for pursuing your doctoral research. Thank you for your unique way in expressing your thoughts and insights. Blessings, H

  4. mm Sean Dean says:

    Firstly, thank God I’m not the only person referencing movies in their posts. Second (and potentially more importantly) thanks for this story of your journey. I have always been a fairly mediocre student blessed with the ignorance of that fact and an ego that would imply I was much better. Applying to doctoral programs (I have at least 7 rejections) stripped me of both the ignorance and (most) of the ego. I came into this program feeling pretty overwhelmed by whether or not I was even capable of doing the work. I’m thankful for Roundtree’s reminder that perfection is not necessary, but more so I’m thankful to know that I’m not the only one that feels a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing.

  5. Andrea Lathrop says:

    Shermika, thank you so much for this insight into your educational journey. It is a privilege to hear some of it. I found this text to be extremely encouraging like you did. That there is no perfect, super student was helpful to be reminded of. Maybe I knew that already but I really needed the reminder. This book reignited some passion for me in what we are choosing to be a part of in this program. Thanks again!

  6. mm Nancy VanderRoest says:

    Thanks for your post, Shermika. I, too, strived to be the perfect student in school. I graduated from my Master’s program at the top in the class and thought that was of major value. But then I realized: is it the grade that’s most important or the knowledge and meaning that should take precedence?

    Recently, I heard a friend say, “You know what they call a graduating doctoral student whose grades aren’t the highest in their class? They call her/her: DOCTOR! Great point. Experience and learn along the journey – and the grades will follow suit!

  7. mm Tammy Dunahoo says:

    Shermika, I appreciate your vulnerability about how you have been processing. It seems many of us are experiencing some profound personal discoveries and even deconstruction in a positive way. It seems like a divine set up and one we will all look back on with fondness three years from now though somewhat painful at times. The learning process is so much more than the words in the book and you have described it well. Thank you!

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