Welcome, Welcome, to Another Year at Hogwarts

Let’s start with a completely useless fact about me.

I was lucky enough to attend private school. It was in a 110 year old house, that had been a hospital, a private home, and a business in the past. We had three hundred students. We had a very strict vice-headmistress. We had a very kind headmaster. We had four teams which competed in competitions and missions in order to gain points; the best house won the cup each June. Basically, it was Hogwarts without magic.

It was also before JK Rowling ever even envisioned Harry Potter.

Starting with a life regret will sort of set the tone of this blog. It’s a ridiculous life regret. I can’t control what JK Rowling writes (or wrote). I also can’t control when I went to private school or how old I was when Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was published.

A PhD is a lot about feeling out of control, feeling that you should be in control, and frustrated that you don’t control either of those things.

This blog is going to have two main missions: the first is to answer the unanswered questions. Those questions you think are too silly to ask anyone. The ones that make you blush just to think about.

The second mission is honesty. Everyone spends their PhD pretending they are fine. You meet people at a reception, or a department gathering, or a conference and they all act like they Have It All Together. They do not. And I’ll be honest about that from the get go. I was a wreck for 99% of my PhD and I make no qualms about it. But I also know that everyone around me (including my supervisor) thought I was doing great. Part of the PhD process is getting good at pretending you are fine. Part of it is realizing you aren’t and getting help when you need it.

This blog is my way of helping.

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