Today I spent part of my morning at home repairing our dryer. After a prolonged period where it made a horrendous screeching noise the drive belt finally snapped, thus necessitating the repair. After I installed the new belt, reassembled the casing, checked the gaskets, reinstalled the electrical contact on the door, and put the lint filter back in- all with the assistance of my lovely wife– she hit the “start” button. Bingo! Normal sounding, fully operational clothes dryer. And as I stood there feeling pleased with myself, a very upsetting thought ran through my head:

“I hope it feels this good when I get my Ph.D.!”

As a side note, I am aware of how gendered the above account sounds. Rest assured that we are good little liberals. Not that it's anyone's business but our own how we divide up housework.

4 thoughts on “perspective”

  1. last fall, i felt equally as good the day i finished my PhD as the day my partner and i re-did all the plumbing in the kitchen.

    in terms of cost/benefit ratios though, the plumbing was probably a better investment.


  2. PhD completion is far more anti-climatic. No buttons, no normal sounds, not even a definitive final moment. It’s not when you finish writing, nor when you pass the orals, nor when you make final revisions, nor when you hand in same, nor even when (if) you attend commencement. It might be when your Mom mails you a congratulatory greeting card addressed to “Dr. Drek.”


  3. You can make finishing more fun if you (or a family member) plan a big party to celebrate for the day after turning in the dissertation or defending. Many people told me that they felt defending was anti-climatic, but I was thrilled to be done. I woke up every morning for about two months with the feeling that a tremendous weight had been lifted. Perhaps you too will find defending more rewarding than home repairs.


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