Steven Wright and Dissertations

December 6th is Steven Wright’s birthday. Here’re some words of wisdom from perhaps the world’s most calm comic for stressed-out dissertation students everywhere…

Only one in four jokes ever works, and I still can’t predict what people will laugh at.
— Steven Wright

You may experience a similar success rate with your dissertation. Of course, in this case the goal isn’t to make anyone laugh. But, you’ll find that some parts of your prospectus, proposal, or dissertation resonate with your committee, and others don’t.

Don’t view this as a specific shortcoming on your behalf. Rather, think of it as simply the process of tailoring your dissertation to your committee.

What “fits” your committee, likely wouldn’t fit another committee, so it’s not about right and wrong. It’s simply about making the few people on your committee happy with your work.

Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.

— Steven Wright

Said other way, you’re not allowed to become a doctor until you already are a doctor!

The real reason why you haven’t graduated yet is that you’re still a doctoral student, not a doctor. Graduation acknowledges the fact that you’ve completed the transformation from future doctor to actual doctor. The degree doesn’t confer transformation, it confirms transformation.

So, when your committee returns your draft, and you can’t quite understand what they want, take some solace in the fact that it’s becauseyou’re not a doctor yet. When you have completed the transformation within yourself the obstacles to graduation will appear to fall away.

Keep at it; you’ll get there!

I’ll leave the rest of these here just for fun (‘though you’ll probably find some dissertation ah-ha’s if you’re paying attention)…

What’s another word for Thesaurus?
— Steven Wright

Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.
— Steven Wright

There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.
— Steven Wright

I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done.
— Steven Wright

If at first you don’t succeed, then skydiving definitely isn’t for you.
— Steven Wright

Sponges grow in the ocean. That just kills me. I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be if that didn’t happen.
— Steven Wright

I got this powdered water – now I don’t know what to add.
— Steven Wright

If you saw a heat wave, would you wave back?
— Steven Wright

I think it’s wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly.
— Steven Wright

Is it weird in here, or is it just me?
— Steven Wright

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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