Monday, June 02, 2008

Best of the Blogosphere, Part 8: Axis of Evel Knievel on Ph.D. Dissertations in Retrospect

(Eighth in an occasional (at this point very occasional -- the last one was more than a year and a half ago) and entirely whimsical series. Other entries here.)

I haven't done one of these posts in a long time, but in honor of my current endeavor, I thought I'd revive this old series. This post certainly fits my criteria -- it's more than a year old, and well worth re-reading. I even recently found myself googling to try to find it again, always a signal that it was a very good candidate for this particular honor.

So, Noble Readers, I hereby present the eighth official Attempts Best of the Blogosphere™ award to the Axis of Evel Knievel post "Greetings from the Bell Jar". It's about the writer's return to their Ph.D. dissertation a few years later. Here's a bit from the beginning:
I offer today's post as a tribute to all the PhD. candidates out there groaning beneath the awesome, shin-splintering burden of their dissertations. You know who you are.... I come with a message from beyond the threshold: As much as you may hate what you're writing at this exact moment, you will only feel a more precise and exhausted loathing toward it later on. Your prose will seem more lame, your conclusions more uninspiring and aimless, your insights more delusionally smug than you can possibly imagine as you sit there today in your pajamas, choking with writer's block and wondering if you should take a nap, drink yourself sideways, or simply heave yourself beneath the tires of a bus....
And it only gets better from there. Go read it. Especially if it applies (or applied, or will likely apply) to you. You know who you are.

In the meantime, I'm ending here, keeping this post uncharacteristically brief. Figuring out the reason why is left as an exercise for the reader.

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