۱۳۹۲ اردیبهشت ۹, دوشنبه

On Authoring a PhD


'Most doctoral students experience some form of midterm slump in their morale, one or more periods when they lose confidence in their project and wonder if it is worth continuing. If your topic is inauthentic for you, if you are not genuinely interested in your thesis question and committed to finding an answer to it, then it will be all the harder for you to sustain your confidence and momentum through such periods. It is also pretty demotivating at this stage to become aware that you have picked an uninteresting or uninspiring topic that is unlikely to maximize your later career prospects'. (p22)

در میانه نوشتن تز دارم این کتاب پاتریک دانلیوی را می‌خوانم. انقدر خوب وضعیت یک دانشجوی دکتری و مصیبت‌‌های نوشتن تز را توصیف کرده است که هیجان زده شده‌ام. از اینکه همه دانشجوهای دکتری یک دوره‌ای دارند که در آن ناامید می‌شوند و دائم از خودشان می‌پرسند که «  برای چی انقدر زحمت و استرس؟  آخرش که چی؟».  دوره تاریکی که اعتماد به نفس آدم نابود می‌شود  حس خوبی است وقتی بفهمی که تو تنها نیستی و دیگرانی هم آن بیرون با خودشان و تزشان درگیرند. آن تیکه آخرش هم در مورد علاقه به موضوع قابل توجه آنهایی که به شروع دکتری فکر می‌کنند. خواندن کتاب شدیداً توصیه می‌شود.

این پاراگراف را هم دلم نیامد که اینجا نگذارم:

'During the course of your doctorate there will be gruesome occasions, at dinner parties or drinks with strangers, when someone turns to you and asks what it is you do. Once you admit to working on a doctorate, your conversation partner’s inevitable follow-through is to ask about your subject. From this point on you have typically about two minutes to convince your normally sceptical inquisitor that you know what you are doing and that it is a worthwhile thing to be at. [...] So the ‘dinner party test’ is always a frustrating experience to undergo, and many students feel that it is an impossible one for them to pass. To expect them to be able to capture the essence of their sophisticated and specialized topic, and to convey it in a few lines to a complete stranger, is just absurdly to underestimate what they are about. Yet in my view the test is a good one. If you cannot give a synoptic, ordinary language explanation in two or three minutes of what you are focusing on and what you hope to achieve, the chances are very high that in a very fundamental way you do not yet understand your thesis topic' (p 22-23).



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