Honesty

Here is where I’m at.

I’ve launched a new website, and am in the process of launching a new blog. As well, I am working towards getting a subscription going, with free and paid offers. And, you know, also working my self-employed day job. That doesn’t leave a lot of time.

I’ve been considering, over the last month, how to keep this blog going. Most of what I wanted to write has been written, and although I could expand on issues presented in these posts, I think there’s enough here to be helpful to people starting, doing, or finishing a PhD. And there are no lack of other resources on the Internet. I’m not sure how much more help I can be.

That’s not to say I’m deleting this. It will remain, at least for the foreseeable future. And I will continue to respond to comments, so if you have anything you’d like to ask, please feel free. And if you’d like to share the resource with others, please feel free.

But I know myself, and I know attempting to keep this going will result in something getting ignored (either this blog, or something else more vital to a paycheque). That’s being honest with myself. And being honest with yourself is an important skill. We always know we *want* to do better, but we can’t always do so. We can’t always get everything done. That’s okay. That’s human. But trying, missing, and then feeling bad about it is a vicious cycle. It is better to make time for what you know is important and what you know you can accomplish, than to try to overwhelm yourself.

So this is me, not overwhelming myself, and being honest. I’ve really enjoyed working on this resource for other PhD students. It’s helped me a lot, and I hope it’s helped some of you! Take care of yourselves, don’t feel too much guilt, and good luck.

 

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PhD Comics

Have you discovered PhD Comics yet? No? Good heavens, what have you been doing with all your time?

[If the answer is working, I don’t want to hear about it. Procrastination is a tried and tested method of surviving the PhD.]

PhD Comics ‘Piled Higher and Deeper’ is about life in academia. It was created by Jorge Cham who has a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford. The comics show up nearly everywhere, from the academic journal Nature to the NY Times. Some of the comics have even been made into books. In 2014, the site was getting a million visitors a month.

PhD Comics is mainly directed at the sciences, but (and this is coming from a humanities PhD) they’re just as funny no matter what field you’re in. In fact, if you are humanities, they might make you feel a bit better about your life. Science is hard, man.

Reading these comics every week was part of my sanity-saving arsenal of techniques. It reminded me that a) I was not alone, b) there was something to laugh about, and c) it could always be worse.

If you haven’t checked the site out, or haven’t been on it in a while, please consider this post as doctor’s orders to do so immediately.

You can start at the very beginning in 1997 here. Or fast-forward to my favourite of all time here.