Having been “Dr. Anderson” for a little over a month now, I have realized that there are a number of changes that occur after getting your Ph.D. There are also, however, things that don’t change at all. So, I present to you all some musings on things that change (and don’t change) after earning your Ph.D.
1. Contrary to what you may think, upon earning a Ph.D. you are NOT suddenly imbued with a tremendous and unfailing reservoir of knowledge. I was certain I’d feel 100x smarter after the defense . . . no dice!
2. Your spouse WILL still expect you to do the dishes, take out the garbage, and fold the laundry. And rightfully so! But reading and thinking all day really is tiring!
3. I have yet to tire of being called “Dr. Anderson.” The title still has that “new doctor” smell to it.
4. Suddenly, former professors allow–nay, encourage–you to call them by their first names! This is truly part of the rite of passage!
5. Getting bound copies of your final dissertation in the mail WILL make you feel like a superstar, especially if you’ve done so on lulu.com. My wife the graphic designer made me an INCREDIBLY AMAZING dustjacket that lulu printed, along with the manuscript, and it looks awesome. These make great gifts . . . until the piece is published for real!
6. You WILL suddenly have the panicked realization that you do not own enough books to be called “Dr. Anything.” What will commence is an exhorbitant and embarrassing spending spree that you can only legitimate by saying “ummm, it’s for work.”
7. You WILL NOT feel adequately dressed unless you have the appropriate professorial attire, which for me involves at the most a suit and tie, and at the very least a button up shirt and a sport coat. Oh, and a cup of coffee. That completes the outfit. Wearing anything else just feels wrong; it’s almost like literally wearing kryptonite: you don’t feel like you say much that’s terribly intelligent when outside of uniform.
That’s a good, biblical list of 7!
A little levity (with a hint of reality) to start your week!