Saturday, February 21, 2009
Hello there my PhD student advisee! You look like absolute fucking hell. Is that peanut butter on your shirt? What happened to your hair? Or should I say what hasn’t happened to your hair (contact with shampoo or a brush I suspect)? I am picking up on a strong sense of fear, and a whiff of stale beer. Look sit down, relax, I am not going to hurt you. Yes, I am going to ask you THE QUESTION, that question all dissertators fear most in the world. But we’ll ease into things. I remember very well the pain this question will cause you. Will a walk down memory lane help? Let me assure you, I was essentially you once. Yep. I wore the same pair of shorts and tattered shirt damn near every day. The only days I remember not wearing this uniform were the days I didn’t even bother to get dressed. I lived on coffee and Johnny Walker. I was a hermit, as time progressed I lost all social skills, I had the same shifty eyes you do right now. My world consisted of a small room that was decorated in a style we can best explain as “library bomb” modern. Articles, books, and assorted papers were literally exploding onto every available surface. Any receptacles capable of holding my fluids of choice (coffee and my best friend Johnny) were littered throughout. There was a small window. Just outside this window you could find the items I had tossed, primarily my self-esteem, personal hygiene standards, ability to consume nourishing foods, and all awareness of the outside world. I understand, really I do. But, I have avoided asking you THE QUESTION for a few months now. As your advisor, I have to do it. You can understand that can’t you? So, brace yourself (and please crawl out from under my desk), here it goes: How is your dissertation coming along?