Dissertations and Baseball

Some days you don't like your dissertation (actually, this goes for just about any kind of writing...) You read it, and you think: "What the hell am I even talking about?" No one is immune.

See, a dissertation is like a baseball season. It's long, and your feelings about it at any given moment are not indicative of how you will feel at the end of it. Some days you feel great about it. Some days you hate it. Both of these extremes are based on limited data sets. Both of these feelings are essentially wrong.

So, yesterday when my Pirates won their home opener, I was pretty happy. Zach Duke pitched a gem, and Freddy Sanchez was knocking the ball all over the yard. But I also knew that it was one game out of 162. Duke will return to earth...as will the rest of the team. Getting too high or low is a mistake. Likewise, yesterday when I disliked my dissertation, I chalked it up to a bad day. I set it aside.

Now, comparing my dissertation to the Pirates is not the most hopeful comparison. The Pirates are about to set a pretty unbelievable record in futility. Nonetheless, I think my experiences as a Pirate fan (and as a baseball fan) have, in some way, prepared me for the "ups and downs" of writing. Now, if only ESPN would interview me about my dissertation so I could try out some of my sports cliches:


Brown seemed despondent as he sat, shoulders slumped, in front of his laptop. "Some days you just don't have it," the six-year graduate school veteran opined. "But you just have to grind it out and live to fight another day."


Great metaphor. As a fellow

Great metaphor. As a fellow dissertator, it really spoke to me.

I like the cut of your jib.