Saturday, February 16, 2013

So, then...

…I guess I received my PhD a few days ago or something?  It is kind of a big thing, so I might as well mention it here.  It's odd: I keep vacillating between "holy shit, I can't believe I did it" and "huh.  I feel pretty much the same as I did before."  It seems like a big thing from a distance, and sure, it is, but you do it so gradually that by the time you get to the end, it's just sort of a fact of life--though it should be noted that, as recently as, oh, three months ago, I was still harboring doubts about whether I would be able to finish my dissertation to the satisfaction of my director, who does not fuck around.

In fact, that there dissertation is the most amazing thing: or, to be more precise, the fact that it exists at all.  It definitely does!  It's two hundred fifteen pages.  But I look back and think: wait, when the hell did I write that?  I mean, I clearly did; I have a folder on my computer called "Dissertation" that contains one hundred forty-four items, including all manner of notes and quotes and chapter drafts.  If you wanted, you could look through the various drafts and see how this shit evolved.  But man.  How is it possible that I actually DID this?!?  I'm super-lazy!  It just doesn't add up!  Phoenix Wright wouldn't buy this for a moment!

Well, in any case, it got written.  So THERE.  Was this whole thing worth it?  There are all sorts of people who will emphatically tell you NO! NO! NO!  DON'T GET A PHD!  YOU FOOL!  But that's not really helpful; it may make statistical sense, but when you try to apply it to an individual person, it breaks down.  Like BMI measurements.  I'll say this for it: it absolutely undoubtedly caused me to experience great intellectual growth that I would absolutely NEVER have done otherwise.  That's not nothing.  Then again…having a job and making some money is not nothing, either.  And in that sense, all I can say is, To Be Determined.

Still, the fact is, if I hadn't done it, I know damn well it would be something that would be nagging at me forever.  So, I'm glad I did.  That is all.


Anonymous Anonymous pontificated to the effect that...

Congratulations! Are you planning to try to publish your dissertation (or some version thereof) as a monograph? I am told that this is relatively common in the liberal arts (relatively compared to mathematics).

There are now quite a few RPG Classics alumni with PhDs. Now that it's done -- hypothetically, would you like to try to get a teaching position somewhere?


9:36 PM  
Blogger GeoX, one of the GeoX boys. pontificated to the effect that...


I'd certainly like to publish a substantially revised version of it, but "substantially revised" is key. I may end up just cannibalizing parts of it for individual articles before that can happen. I've already more or less done that with one chapter.

Who else from RPGclassics? Anyone I'd have any chance of remembering?

Finding a teaching position is currently my number one goal. I'm blasting out applications to colleges, both two- and four-year, as fast as I'm able. I feel like I OUGHT to get a bite or two somewhere, but this remains to be seen.

9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous pontificated to the effect that...

Well, there's myself (applied mathematics) and Sinistral (biology/medicine), plus a couple of others that I think came well after your time. There were at least two law degrees, as well.

Good luck with the job search. Academic job-hunting is grueling, but once you succeed, you get a degree of freedom that would probably be difficult to find at another type of job.


10:53 PM  

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