A PhD Candidate’s 12 Days of Christmas

So let’s get really honest here. I have no true love to lavish any gifts on me, and even if I did, he’d not be able to afford the traditional fare. Nor do I have the space for 12 partridges, 12 pear trees, 22 turtle doves, 30 French Hens, 36 calling birds, 40 gold rings (though he can certainly send these to me, if he wants), 42 geese a-laying, 42 swans a-swimming, 40 maids a-milking and the requisite 40 cows (or goats–or sheep) for them to milk, 27 dancing ladies, 20 leaping lords, and all this dancing and leaping accompanied by a bunch of hungry musicians–namely, 22 pipers and 12 drummers, all making one heckuva racket.

And speaking of a racket–let me be frank. If such a guy gave me this, he’d be in deep doo doo. Talk about the worst kind of present to give a student. Quiet and space are what’s needed most. No, I won’t have these lavish gifts.

Instead, here’s the realistic 12 days of Christmas for anyone working on a dissertation.

On the first day of Christmas break, there was just enough time

  • to read an article of background literature.

On the second day of Christmas break, there was just enough time

  • to bike for 20 minutes and
  • read an article of background literature.

On the third day of Christmas break, there was just enough time

  • to run three shortish errands,
  • bike for 20 minutes and
  • read an article of background literature.

On the fourth day of Christmas break, there was just enough time

  • to outline four dilemmas,
  • run three shortish errands,
  • bike for 20 minutes and
  • read an article of background literature.

On the fifth day of Christmas break, there was just enough time

  • for five strong coffee drinks!
  • to outline four dilemmas,
  • run three shortish errands,
  • bike for 20 minutes and
  • read an article of background literature.

On the sixth day of Christmas break, there was just enough time

  • for six hours of research,
  • five strong coffee drinks!
  • to outline four dilemmas,
  • run three shortish errands,
  • bike for 20 minutes and
  • read an article of background literature.

On the seventh day of Christmas break, there was just enough time

  • for seven little cat naps,
  • six hours of research,
  • five strong coffee drinks!
  • to outline four dilemmas,
  • run three shortish errands,
  • bike for 20 minutes and
  • read an article of background literature.

On the eighth day of Christmas break, there was just enough time

  • for eight ignored phone calls,
  • seven little cat naps,
  • six hours of research,
  • five strong coffee drinks!
  • to outline four dilemmas,
  • run three shortish errands,
  • bike for 20 minutes and
  • read an article of background literature.

On the ninth day of Christmas break, there was just enough time

  • for nine false-starts at writing,
  • eight ignored phone calls,
  • seven little cat naps,
  • six hours of research,
  • five strong coffee drinks!
  • to outline four dilemmas,
  • run three shortish errands,
  • bike for 20 minutes and
  • read an article of background literature.

On the tenth day of Christmas break, there was just enough time

  • for ten computer glitches,
  • nine false starts at writing,
  • eight ignored phone calls,
  • seven little cat naps,
  • six hours of research,
  • five strong coffee drinks!
  • to outline four dilemmas,
  • run three shortish errands,
  • bike for 20 minutes, and
  • read an article of background literature.

On the eleventh day of Christmas break, there was just enough time

  • for eleven interruptions,
  • ten computer glitches,
  • nine false starts at writing,
  • eight ignored phone calls,
  • seven little cat naps,
  • six hours of research,
  • five strong coffee drinks!
  • to outline four dilemmas,
  • run three shortish errands,
  • bike for 20 minutes, and
  • read an article of background literature.

On the twelfth day of Christmas break, there was just enough time

  • for twelve inspirations,
  • eleven interruptions,
  • ten computer glitches,
  • nine false starts at writing,
  • eight ignored phone calls,
  • seven little cat naps,
  • six hours of research,
  • five strong coffee drinks!
  • to outline four dilemmas,
  • run three shortish errands,
  • bike for 20 minutes and
  • read an article of background literature.

And if any so-called true love wants to know:

 

Bonjee’s Christmas List

Twelve books vital for my dissertation

Eleven collections of church writings

Ten good commentaries

Nine recent publications

Eight hard-to-find articles

Seven early analytic tomes

Six LLP collections

Five journal subscriptions!

Four books by Davidson

Three first editions

Two volumes of Aristotle

The unabridged Oxford English Dictionary

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