Hendrix and Dissertations

November 27th marks the birth of Jimi Hendrix. A genius musician, yes. But, did you know that Jimi Hendrix was also a philosopher of the highest order with ample words of wisdom for dissertation students everywhere?…

I’ve been imitated so well I’ve heard people copy my mistakes.
— Jimi Hendrix

You may not want to copy their mistakes, but finding a dissertation or two to study and emulate as you’re writing your own is very sound advice.

For as much emphasis as doctoral students put on the creativity required to produce a dissertation, at the end of the day, it’s really a cookie-cutter document that one might expect to be produced in a factory. Yes, each one is unique, but the areas of commonality vastly outnumber the areas of difference.

So, go out and find an example or two. Use them as guides rather than trying to write the whole thing from scratch. Just try not to copy the mistakes!

Even Castles made of sand, fall into the sea, eventually.
— Jimi Hendrix

Your dissertation is not a monument to anything. Don’t waste your time trying to build it up beyond what it is… a school project. Yes, it’s the biggest, hairiest, scariest school project you’ll ever face.

But, when it’s done, no one will ever really talk about it again. Like a sand castle, it will fall into the sea. But, you’ll still be standing, and with that spiffy-looking Doctor degree, no less!

So, keep your eye on the prize. The dissertation’s just the way you get there.

Sometimes you want to give up the guitar, you’ll hate the guitar. But if you stick with it, you’re gonna be rewarded.
— Jimi Hendrix

Did you know that Jimi Hendrix had a very specific and rather pronounced case of verbal paraphasia? He would substitute the word, “guitar,” for a variety of nouns, in this case, “dissertation.” 🙂

Excuse me while I kiss the sky.
— Jimi Hendrix

You just let Jimi kiss the sky. He was a genius. Us mere mortals have to settle on more mundane pursuits. Your feet need to be firmly on the ground so that they when you keep them moving, they actually move you forward.

Of course, if you keep you feet on the ground and moving in the right direction, before long, you’ll graduate. When your committee first calls you, “Doctor,” you may very well feel like saying, “Excuse me while I kiss the sky!”

If you need extra support and guidance to make it to graduation, I may be able to help. If you'd like to find out whether you qualify for the support we offer throughout the dissertation process, then...

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Dr. Russell W. Strickland

RUSSELL STRICKLAND, Ph.D., has been referred to as a “rocket scientist turned management consultant.” In truth, he applies an eclectic body of work from astronomy and nuclear physics to dynamic inventory management to market research to each of his student engagements.

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