The Pygmalion Effect and Dissertations

July 26th is George Bernard Shaw’s birthday. His most famous play, Pygmalion, told the story of a girl of lower birth being transformed into the toast of high society. Doctoral students undertake a similar transformation on their dissertation journeys… Pygmalion, the play, was named after a mythical Greek sculptor who so loved a statue he had […]

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Needles, Threads, and Dissertations

July 25th is National Thread the Needle Day. Let’s celebrate by talking about how you can thread the needle with your dissertation, and why you shouldn’t… In football and basketball, threading the needle means successfully passing the ball between two closely spaced defenders. In billiards, it’s a shot between two of your opponents balls or […]

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24/7 and Dissertations

July 24th is the 24th day of the 7th month of the year. Most doctoral students think of their dissertations as a 24/7 thing, too… I talk with several doctoral students each week. And, time and time again I am struck by how incredibly stressed they are. Does this sound like you? “Quite frankly, [my […]

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Vanilla Ice Cream and Dissertations

July 23rd is National Vanilla Ice Cream Day. You can celebrate by forgetting the fudge sauce, whipped cream, sprinkles, and a la mode, from your ice cream and your dissertation… I prefer chocolate. My son, cookies-and-cream. My daughter, mint chocolate chip. And, my other whatever she can get. Everyone has their favorite, but today is […]

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The Maddux and Dissertations

On July 22, 1997, Greg Maddux pitched a victorious complete game using only 76 pitches. Whether you’re a baseball fan or not, this is exactly what you want to do as a dissertation student… OK, right up front, I love baseball. And, Greg Maddux is one of my favorite pitchers. And, I’m a huge Chicago […]

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Footprints and Dissertations

On July 21, 1969 at 02:56:15 UTC, Neil Armstrong made perhaps the most famous footprint in all of history. Describing it as “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” Armstrong identified an important duality dissertation students… Yesterday, I discussed the lunar landing and what you can learn about setting and achieving dissertation goals. […]

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Tranquility and Dissertations

On July 20, 1969 at 20:17:40 UTC, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong successfully set down their lunar module on the Sea of Tranquility. Immortalized with the famous words, “Houston, Tranquility Base, here. The Eagle has landed.” This was the culmination of years of work involving multiple skill sets, all focused on a common goal. Sound familiar? […]

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Planets and Dissertations

On July 19, 1595, Johannes Kepler had a great epiphany about the motion of planets in our solar system. In turns out that he got it terribly wrong at first, but that didn’t matter — a fact that should cause dissertation students to rejoice… I’ve told you before that I’m a bit of a science […]

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Perfection and Dissertations

On July 18, 1976, Nadia Comăneci became the first person in Olympic Games history to score a perfect 10 in gymnastics. Although a generation of young athletes would strive to be like Nadia, no dissertation student should… Let’s play a little game, shall we? Let’s see how much I know about you… You earned your […]

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Soaps and Dissertations

On July 17, 1986, the 13th Daytime Emmy Awards featured Susan Lucci losing, for the 7th time, including six in a row! But Susan Lucci wasn’t done, and therein lies a lesson for dissertation students… Susan Lucci portrayed Erica Kane in ABC’s All My Children for 41 years, from 1970 through the show’s cancellation in 2011. She […]

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