Wednesday, March 4, 2009

On panic attacks

At what point does my concern over not yet having a dissertation topic stop being premature? Granted, I'm a worrier. I tend to concern myself with things over which I have no control, or have a small possibility of even happening. But this... this not having a thesis... this is inevitably going to bite me in the ass. So given that I have about 9 months until I need to propose, when is the appropriate time to start hyperventilating?


  1. I followed a link from Dooce's comments here and wanted to respond to this... I got my PhD in psych in 2004. I found that my topics came to me very quickly, almost in a "flash of inspiration" type of thing. So I'd say you're probably still ok, 9 months out. Depending on how hard a worker you are and how much you already know about the topic you end up with, I'd say that you'll need a good 3 months to track down/read background literature in order to create your proposal. If you don't have a good idea of your topic at that point, definitely worry. :)

    That's my experience (in psychology), anyway... YMMV.

    But I really came to your site because I saw your post about looking for a dog breed. I wanted to suggest if you haven't that you look into greyhounds. They don't need as much room as you might think (although it's important to have a space for them to run, whether it's a yard or a dog park), because indoors they are very low energy. The joke is that they are 60-mile-an-hour couch potatoes, and it's definitely true of mine!

    They are very sweet and intelligent dogs (again, in my experience), and you get to feel good about adopting them because they are generally rescues from the racing industry. Mine is admittedly very timid, but he was older when I got him (5, they do adopt out much younger dogs as well) and since he'd never been around people much he was just really cowardly at first. He's gotten better, but I suspect he'll always be a nervous dog.

    Anyhow, enough about MY dog, I just wanted to mention that they are a great, low-key but intelligent breed, so that might fit your needs! :)

  2. I know this is creepy as hell, but whatever. I read your comment over in dooce, about wanting a herding dog, but not having room for one. Look into corgis- they are around 25 pounds, about 12 inches tall, and cute as all get out. They are smart and trainable, although you do need to keep them busy.