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Pacing And The Humanities Ph.D.

January 15, 2008

Having finished my dissertation less than two years ago, I still read articles intended for graduate students with interest. Here’s one I wish I had read around 2000-01.

It’s not that I ever felt burned out. I loved my topic and was driven. But I do wish, in retrospect, that I wouldn’t have been in such a hurry. Perhaps I should say that I wish I hadn’t had to hurry. My funding was limited and my loving, supportive, employed-by-a-not-for-profit wife couldn’t give me a free year, so I had to move more quickly than I would’ve liked. We do the best we can, yes?

But, with regard to the Tomorrow’s Professor/Mary McKinney crosspost, one still needs to breath. Taking time to step back helps keep things in perspective. Learning to pace yourself early in the process will help on the treadmill that is academic life.

With the larger ends in mind, here is a pointed thought from the piece: “If I get tenure, but no longer have my __________, what good is tenure?” The authors inserted “marriage,” but I challenge you to fill in your most valuable relationship. – TL

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