Reason #8630 why doing a phd is like being in a shitty relationship
For me, the experience of writing up a phd dissertation is not unlike that of
being in a long distance relationship in 1836.
You are lodging in the servants quarters in the home of your father, the innkeeper, while your beloved set sail for Jamaica with the East India Company. Each day you hope for a letter scented with the exotic aroma of sugar cane, and as the sun sets you pray that Mister Aloysius Fetherington III has not been scalped by natives or crushed under one of those newfangled tractor machines.
But the letters are few and far between, and on those rare halcyon days when an envelope with 8 stamps on it does arrive, the missives are rather breezy and never as reassuring as you hope they would be.
“Dearest UniversityofLies, I pray you and your family are keeping well. Jamaica is glorious this time of year and the crop is exceptionally fine. There is a wonderful Englishwoman here, whose father makes 5000 a year, who has been introducing me into ‘society’. I am sure you would not want your Aloysius to be lonely in the hot sultry sweaty colonies! Anyhow, must dash—meeting Portia for a game of croquet!”
And of course, since it is 1836, there are no good ways for you to check up on Aloysius and Portia and her father who has 5000 a year. No airplanes, no phones, no skype, no facetime, no dice.
What the fuck does this have to do with a phd, you scratch your head and wonder? Well I hope you don’t have lice, for one thing.
It is amazing how advisers can pretend they are on the distant and exotic island of Jamaica when they have not read your stuff and are hiding from you. Now I realize that they are busy people, but come the fuck on. After several months in ye olde inboxe, a phd student deserves some fucking feedback, a meeting, or at least a courtesy email or phone call, just so you know they are still shuffling on this mortal coil. something quick but informative so you don’t have to despair, like, ‘hey wasaap homeslice, in the middle of an indigenous uprising but we should meet up for a starbucks soon and discuss your fascinating chapter on the socioeconomic patterns of victorian shoplifters!’
And then I wouldn’t feel like I was being ignored, and this shit was just being dragged out for another fucking 3 years because nobody really gives a shit about you finishing your phd except for YOU.