Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Almost-Dr. Crazypants

I'm living with a crazy person.

The man who I've loved for almost 13 years has suddenly become a distracted lunatic who wanders about the house muttering, "Can't finish. Gotta finish. (Insert sciency words about beetles here)." I wake at 2 a.m. to discover empty coffee mugs littered about (always more than one...why? He only has one mouth...) and an even blearier-eyed lunatic staring at what looks like a bunch of wavy lines to me and muttering even louder (more sciency words).

In other words, Dylan's dissertation is due soon and he is freaking the freak out. It's not his fault. From what I understand, the dissertation defense is essentially The Academic Hunger Games: "Oh, you didn't replicate your study using this rare fish from The Marianas Trench? FIREBALL! Game over, Tribute!" Still, he displays a startling creativity in coming up with new things to be anxious about:

Dylan: "I'm going to be working at Target in the fall, I know it."

Me: "What? Why Target?"

Dylan: "Because no one will publish my dissertation and I won't be able to get a job."

Me: "Obviously that's not true." Pause. "I wonder what kind of discount you'd get at Target, though...hmm..."

And later on:

Dylan: "I'm really worried about what my adviser will say when he introduces me at the defense."

Me: "What do they usually say?"

Dylan: "Oh, nice things about what you've done in your academic career and your research."

Me: "So,'re worried he's going to say, 'Dylan sucks, now tear him apart and feast upon his living and totally inadequate flesh'?"

Dylan: "Yeah, basically."

The thing is, I don't blame him one bit for all the crazy. This is huge and stressful and I'd be freaking out, too. Actually, I'd be balled up in a corner somewhere humming "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Mis. I am so proud of him for putting himself through this that I can barely look at him without tearing up. I know he's going to get that doctorate and no one will eat him at his defense (though I'm packing him a crossbow in his lunch that day, just in case), and he will get a job that, sadly, will not enable me to purchase toilet paper and cute graphic T's at a 25% discount.

So for now, I'm trying to just love him through the crazy and wash his many coffee cups every morning with a smile on my face. Just think: in a few months I can call myself Mrs. Dr., except I won't, because that's clearly terrible. I did, however, tell him that I will probably call him "The Doctor" instead of Dylan for at least the next several years. I wonder if he gets a sonic screwdriver with the diploma? That could come in handy...(P.S. that's a Doctor Who joke because, hey world, did you know this show that started running several years ago is awesome? 'Cause I just found out...)

Seriously. Who wouldn't give this guy a doctorate?


  1. LOL!! Big hugs to "Dr. Crazy". You're going to do great, Dylan!!!

  2. Not sure how it works in the sciences, but in my field, they won't let someone schedule a defense unless the adviser and committee know it is in fact a defensible dissertation. As I tell my Ph.D. candidates, they know more about their work than anyone else in the room- no need to be nervous about the defense! Good luck!

    1. Defense is already scheduled, so hoping it's the same in his field!

  3. Here you go Megan, it is his yay you are a doctor now gift:

  4. oh wow, this is exactly why i didn't go for a PhD. just finishing my master's thesis and defense had me reduced to this state. it's almost over! :)

  5. I have no doubt it will go amazingly! Hugs!!!

  6. I can't imagine how stressful it must be to defend a dissertation. I also can't imagine how stressful it is living with someone trying to do so. My husband is a tad over-dramatic, so if he ever decides he's going back to school I'm making him move in with his parents.

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  8. I just found the Doctor too! I've been chewing through the entire 2005 series. I'm onto Matt Smith now...and it is amazing. Obsessed. If I didn't have a massage appointment in 15 minutes, I'd totally go watch some right now!

  9. How. How have you NOT known the doctor..... I am a bit saddened. My nerd hero did not know dr who.... thats ok you rock in so many other ways I can forgive this ;-)