Monday, February 21, 2011

A Degree of Modesty

Last week I decided to pop by the university and get a PhD. Since then, a lot of people have been asking, "do you feel any different now that you have a PhD?"

Well yes, of course I do. Whenever I insist that someone call me "doctor Phronk"—whether it's government documents, or my friends, or the lady serving me shawarma—I get a nice little reminder that I am, in fact, superior to all the common people without PhDs. That's a great feeling.

It also feels different knowing that I'm now qualified to force my opinion about anything on anyone. Also, I don't know if you knew this (you don't have a PhD, after all), but a psych degree comes with a free license to kill. It also makes you a god in the sack, lowers your THAC0 by 3, and allows you to glow when you get in a fight.

Actually, I set up a camera to record my PhD defense so you can see what it was like:

Err but for reals, being The Last Dragon a doctor is, for me, a relief but otherwise no biggie.

These past 6+ years of grad school have certainly been important to me, but my degree was only one project I was working on. It's not what has defined me as a person. So I'm proud of checking one more thing off my list of accomplishments, sure, but it is only one thing.

As a polymathic sort of person, I get pleasure in pursuing a variety of goals. Reaching those goals is rewarding, but often secondary to the pursuit. I don't feel different when I complete a multi-year project, because the ongoing learning and building I'd been doing all those years was already fulfilling the reasons for starting the project.

Now I can focus on some other pursuits more. Substantial ones like kicking ass at my job, publishing some of my research, and finishing up those half-completed novels that are sitting around, but also more nebulous ones like building relationships with kickass people, blogging, and contributing to the good of mankind.

(Speaking of which, I will be sharing some of my knowledge, academic and otherwise, at Podcamp Toronto this Saturday. Come if you're in TO and bored.)

I'm proud of my PhD though. Sometime I should tell you guys what my research is all about, because I was extremely lucky to be able to study what I actually wanted to study, and it turned out pretty cool. Until then, cheerio.

-- Dr. Phronk, M.Sc., Ph.D., O.M.G.


Dale said...

I'd say congratulations but being a non-doctor, I'm not sure it would mean much :-)

Phronk said...

I didn't think any well-meaning words could mean less than nothing, but, well, there they are.

(j/k, I'd say thanks)

Sachz said...

Podcamp sounds like a lot of fun. I would go if it was even remotely close by. Good luck on your presentation.

Forest City Fashionista said...

You're right about the journey being more important than the end result (otherwise, my life could be seen as a rather lacklustre expense of time with little to show for it), but the fact you put in all that time, energy and discipline and are now a "Dr" deserves a big "YAY". Me (with only a lowly "BA") - I'm extremely proud of myself when I get my taxes done.

Hey Lady! said...

Yes, you should enlighten us about what you're a doctor of. That way we can decide whether to be impressed or to wonder why you wasted all that time and money.

(Of course I'm kidding, seriously that's awesome. Congratulations. You should make everyone call you "Doc" like "Doc Brown". That would be cool...)

SharkBoy said...

Doctor, my foot hurts

Tatiana said...

Yeah, I'm curious about your research. Being a polymathic type of person myself (albeit with no attention span), I'm often curious about people who pursue the lofty goals of doctorates. And congrats! And what do you do for work anyway?

Anonymous said...

Ah, another PhD god. I'm married to someone with a JD, myself, which certainly makes HIM think he's GOD too. I'm infinitely inferior with my simply BS ( in Psychology.

Ah well. I, a mere mortal, simply looks up to you.

Seriously though, congratulations on your Academic Accomplishment.

I'm looking for more thought provoking blogs. I don't know if I've found one here, but I laughed my ass off so hard during the first half of this post, i now feel compelled to follow and read more; after all, a doctor with a sense of humor must be more interesting than the usual blog banality, right?