Fall Break

Hi All, Here in the states we’re approaching Thanksgiving break. Thanksgiving is a heap of white people bullshit but it is a break built into the academic calendar so we’re going to take our own advice and take the week off to rest after finishing up our two month long series on teaching time management.Continue reading “Fall Break”

How to Fail

Earlier this week we shared that a crucial part of making progress on your dissertation isn’t just letting go of perfection but actively giving yourself the freedom to fail. Today, we’re going to share our favorite ways to fail. If you take lessons in acrobatics, stagecraft, or tumbling, one of the first things you willContinue reading “How to Fail”

Free to Fail

My birthday was last week and I threw a party. In lieu of a cake I made dozens and dozens of macarons. They were delicious (it was the cake batter buttercream) and my guests were very impressed. Several people told me that they didn’t know I had such advanced baking skills as macarons have aContinue reading “Free to Fail”

A Dissertation is a Thousand Cranes

Being from a working-class background, I grew up identifying “work” as something with visible, tangible results. My stepdad poured concrete. His work was a series of discrete tasks. That is not to say it didn’t take skill–it absolutely did–but at the end of the day, when his work was done, there was concrete where thereContinue reading “A Dissertation is a Thousand Cranes”

September, Baby!

Welcome to the Academic New Year! For myself, and many of the academics I know, September is the most magical month: new planners, new pencils, new pens, new term and, most importantly, new potential. September feels like a new start and this time, baby, we’re gonna get it right! We often go into a newContinue reading “September, Baby!”

Manage Out

One of the wisest pieces of advice I got while I was writing my dissertation was from a senior faculty member who observed that, “Sometimes, through no fault of their own, advisors and advisees get stuck in a loop rehashing the same issues in the text.” Again, in it’s own way, this can be aContinue reading “Manage Out”

Editing A Draft: A Seven Part System

Congratulations! You’ve completed your first chapter draft and are feeling that peculiar mix of excitement and nausea that settles in before sending something to your advisor and/or committee for feedback. Before now and then, however, you want to make sure that everything is as perfect as it can be to reduce the nausea part. We’veContinue reading “Editing A Draft: A Seven Part System”

Start With Editing

So far this October we’ve given you some of our best tips to make dissertating feel doable and, dare we say it, exciting!, rather than terrifying. If you are an astute reader (and of course you are, you smart cookie) then you’ve probably noticed that we haven’t talked much about writing at all. Certainly, we’veContinue reading “Start With Editing”

Writing vs. Editing

When I was in coursework I often had 3 seminar papers due around the same time at the end of the semester. Combined with teaching responsibilities and the rigors of trying to be a person (e.g. cooking, cleaning, showering) I often wrote these papers at the last minute. What I mean by that, is thatContinue reading “Writing vs. Editing”

WTF: Dissertating

The dissertation. If you want to go from ABD to PhD, or abd2phd, then you have to write a dissertation. You can do all the other things we’ve discussed from prelims to teaching to service work and if you don’t write the damn dissertation then you don’t get the damn PhD. As my partner andContinue reading “WTF: Dissertating”