The dissertation was only the beginning.

People & Places
T: Amazing Husband
ST: Three-year-old Wonder
Prof. G: Advisor I
Prof. C: Advisor II
Julie: Stylish Sister
Rob: Awesome Brother
Belle: Our Cat
Bill: Grumbling BIL
Rita: Uncomplicated SIL
SMU: Smallish Midwestern University
Doctoral University: where I got my Ph.D.
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Quote of the Day
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Open Letters, All Unsent
Dear Advisors,

No, Chapter Six isn't finished yet, but it will be finished this week. It is much more complicated than I imagined it would be, but that means it is also much more interesting and a better test of my hypotheses. Yes, I still think I can give you a completed draft of the dissertation by Deadline #1. At the very most, only Chapter Eight (conclusion) will be incomplete by that deadline. I am working diligently and thank you wholeheartedly for your continued nagging.

Best wishes,
Prof. Me, ABD


Dear Brigitte,

I really do enjoy spending time with you and Hans. In fact, I look forward to it every week and I am sad when we can't meet; you have become a very dear friend to me. But I would appreciate it if you didn't call me several times each day, as 1.) I do not like talking on the phone; and 2.) it is distracting when I am trying to write. And, although it is very, very cute, I cannot understand Hans when he leaves messages on my answering machine.

Much love,
Prof. Me


Dear ST,

I know you are very curious about what is in the cupboard under the kitchen sink. I am sorry that it is locked, but it is for your own safety. Unscrewing all of the knobs from the kitchen cabinets and hiding them all over the kitchen is not going to make me more willing to show you what is in the cupboard under the sink.

Also, when you have to pee please remember to point your penis down so that the pee goes into the toilet. The garden hose effect you have going for you now is making your bathroom smell like a camping latrine, and I really am tired of cleaning the wall behind the toilet. Remind me to buy more Clorox Antibacterial Wipes when we go shopping tomorrow.

Love you always,


Dear Julie,

I cannot tell you how much your visit meant to me this weekend -- I really love spending time with you, reminiscing and being silly. You are a very fun person to be around. Thanks, too, for spoiling ST rotten on his birthday and for giving me a great haircut (again!).

We enjoyed meeting your new boyfriend. He seems like a genuinely nice guy, and I know that you care about him a lot. It was apparent over the weekend, however, that you are husband-shopping, and although you know in your heart that the new boyfriend is not husband material, you are hoping against hope that he will magically become husband material. He will not. He is a sweet, 26-year-old frat boy who is not looking for a wife, no matter how awesome you are. No amount of nagging from you will change that until he's ready.

Love you,
Your Big Sister, Prof. Me


Dear Mr. Ngaire Nakomi of Nigeria,

I am very sorry to hear that your father, the owner of Nakomi Oil, was tragically killed in an airplane crash a few years ago. I understand how stressful this must be, especially now that you have discovered that he has over USD $21,000,000 (twenty-one million dollars) in an inaccessible account that should rightfully be passed to you. Although it is very generous of you to offer me half of that sum if I email you my bank account numbers, please understand that I am slightly protective of that information. Regretably, I cannot help you access your late father's fortune.

Considering that, could you please stop emailing me every day? It is tiresome and a burden on my already overstuffed email inbox, and I hate to think of all of the other people who are missing out on this potentially lucrative opportunity. I wish you the best of luck in the future.

Prof. Me


Updated because I forgot one that is still bugging me, and now that I've thought of it I feel really, really sad. Shoot.

Dearest T,

I hear your clock ticking. I hear it loud and clear. But your comment last night, as we snuggled into bed after putting ST down for the night, made me feel kind of crummy: "Now that he's three, the clock isn't telling me how old he is," you said. "It's telling me that we now have, at minimum, three years and nine months between our kids."

I know that you really wanted to have three years (or less) between children. I know that you want another baby almost more than anything else. I want it, too. But I don't think you really understand what's going on in my life right now, no matter how compassionate you try to be. I cannot give birth to another baby and a dissertation at the same time. I cannot give birth to a baby in my first semester as an Assistant Professor next year. I promise you that we can work on this "issue" this summer, and plan for a Spring 2007 baby. I promise. But for now, please be patient and don't make me feel worse about it than I already do.

Love you always,
Prof. Me


And another, because I'm on a roll.

Dear Gap, Banana Republic, Levis, and Liz Claiborne,

Because my sister the shop-aholic was in town this weekend, I had the pleasure of shopping in your stores. In an unprecedented shopping spree, I actually bought four items (a big deal for someone who hates to shop).

My problem is this: I bought four items, and all of them are different sizes. I bought items that were sizes 7/8, 8, 10, and 12. In my mind, there is quite a difference between size 7 and size 12. But to you, the sizes are equivalent.

I humbly request that you actually speak to each other as you manufacture your clothing so that, in the future, I actually know what size I am. This would save me from many half-dressed trips to the dressing room.

Most sincerely,
Prof. Me
Posted with care by Prof. Me @ 4/04/2006 11:09:00 AM  
7 Words of Wisdom:
  • At 11:51 AM, Blogger ABDmom said…

    LOL. Too funny.

    How did the birthday celebration go?

  • At 1:55 PM, Blogger ArticulateDad said…

    You're hilarious. Thanks. As for the garden hose effect... I thought it was just a fluke of nature that The Painter is nearly capable of hitting the ceiling with his pee. (I think holding it until his eyes turn yellow helps).

    After many, many, many frustrating attempts, he finally just decided one day that pointing was more desirable to the alternatives (hear ominous music with that word). Well, except for one day last week at 3:00 am when he forgot to point... but he sounded genuinely remorseful.

    The bigger problem for us is since we're renting in Paradise at the moment, because buying a house here would cost 40-50% more, and we simply don't have it and don't wish to commute 45 minutes each way, the bathrooms are carpeted! Oh boy... it's fun trying to get the smell out of carpetting!

  • At 3:49 PM, Blogger ScienceWoman said…

    The saddest part about your last letter is that Banana Republic and Gap are the same company - yet I still wear different sizes between the two stores. And don't get me started on Old Navy (also the same company.)

    The letter to T seems out of place amidst this bunch. Although, I can definitely relate to it.

  • At 5:44 PM, Blogger Lilian said…

    This was a *great* post! Very funny and reveals so many things about you and what you've been doing in an unique format.

    After reading your letter to T. I felt glad that I "accidentaly" had the second baby before finishing the dissertation (and only 2 y. 3 mos after the first). Sure, I'm taking 8 years to finish, but I have my two boys (4 and almost 2)! I hope your plans and dreams for the 2nd child materialize in the next year or so.

  • At 7:15 PM, Blogger ABDmom said…

    I came back and read and see my LOL reaction is now out of place.

    I empathize with you on the T scenario. I know BH shares his feelings. I'm hoping for a fall 2007 baby, myself.

    Hang in there. We'll get through this (right?).

  • At 7:56 PM, Blogger Prof. Me said…

    When I wrote the updates on this post, I didn't intend for it to take a serious tone, but I suppose it did. I think the open letter to T is something I should probably blog about separately, but nonetheless the post does represent everything I was thinking about this afternoon.

    Thanks, all, for your kind comments. And yes, ABD: we'll get through it all. (Looks like we might even go through pregnancy together, huh? :) )

  • At 9:19 PM, Blogger Peri said…

    I can't decide which of these letters is the funniest. Thank goodness for your sense of humor. You make me feel like my life is normal.

    I so sympathize on the baby "issue." We'd love a 3rd child but it's either that or the dissertation and frankly, I think I'm getting too old to give it another go. I'll be cheering you on when the appropriate time arrives. In the meantime I'm floored by the fact that your dissertation is actually 8 chapters long! You're my hero for so many reasons....

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