September 27, 2005

Another 3 years of voluntary poverty

Yesterday I enrolled as a full-time PhD student and I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy it very much. Friends tell me that doing a doctorate suits me down to the ground. I certainly hope so considering the financial hardship that will come with it. It seems I am putting my faith in the adage that if you enjoy what you do, you'll never work another day in your life.

When I tell people what my PhD proposal is about they often laugh.

My PhD is about the equals sign. I guess it's the apparent lack of scope that is funny. Someone suggested yesterday I could spend the first 18 months on the top line and the final 18 months on the bottom line. (Obviously that's ridiculous – I'll also need time to consider the space between the lines.)

But what I love about spending 3 years intensely studying = is the limited scope. Where other students worry how on earth they will slim their proposal down, I have the luxury of deciding how I will broaden mine. And no doubt somewhere along the road I will discover that those harmless looking parallel lines are a can of worms unto themselves.

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