PhD equals

These days, when people ask me “how are you?” or “what have you been up to?” or “what’s the story?”, I only have one answer. PhD.


-How are you?



-What have you been up to?



-What’s the story?



My entire life is PhD. Even the bits that aren’t PhD are PhD. I am leaving for Ljubljana in 10 days, and I need to get a complete first draft done in those 10 days. In those ten days, I have one conference, two seminars, two nights out and one two-day trip to Cork. That’s as well as packing for two months away and planning for the courses I’ll be giving while there. I still have a hell of a lot of work to do. I am a big believer in what can be done at the last minute. After I get back from Ljubljana, I have another 34 days to get the PhD submitted.  I’m not going to go over that deadline. It would cost me six thousand euros if I did. And I only have so much sanity, blood, sweat, tears and desperation left to give.

I haven’t been working consistently over the last few days. I have good days and bad days. Friday the thirteenth was spectacularly bad. When my mother rings to see how I’m doing, she always asks how many words I’ve written. I frantically scrabble around in my mind for a number that sounds realistic. Sometimes I say a number that’s lower than the previous number I told her. Then I have to say something about editing and one step forwards two steps backwards. Don’t ask people doing a PhD how many words they have written. It’s rude. It’s like asking someone how many bowel movements they’ve had that month.

During my last bowel movement, I pondered what PhD might stand for. This is what I came up with:

PhD = Pretty Huge Dungpile

PhD = Preposterously High-faluting Drivel

PhD = Punitive Harmful self-Desecration

PhD = Pretentious Hollow Delusion

PhD = Pissy Hate Douchebag

I’m not in the best mood with my PhD, but I’ll get there.


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