Oh, don’t we all wish it were done then? But alas, while a summer graduate might get to walk through June graduation, the actual hell of it all perhaps is only heating up.
There are revisions, rewrites, enduring the time lines of others and last-minute additions. The “Summer of Healing” got hijacked by Dissertation Hell.
Clearly, I have some feelings about that. What can I tell you about the dissertation process other than it is pretty much a nightmare. For everyone involved. The candidate. The partner. Children. Pets. Family. Friends. One’s health. It is demeaning and demoralizing. It rips you up and spits you out and leaves you with a reactive, reptilian brain. It really isn’t a pleasant process.
But enough about that because now we can celebrate. She is officially Dr. Ladyfriend!!! Turned in. Signed. Sealed. Delivered. Getting bound. Books boxed up. Desk cleaned. Sense of humor returned.
What does it take to get a person through a doctoral program? I mean, besides a super incredible partner (hi! that’s me!) and support from lots of other people (hi parents & friends!).
Some edible items offered up some help along the way. Things that were no-brainers, readily available and quick. (Disclaimer: there actually were fruits/vegetables eaten during this process. Promise. Really.)
Dissertation Sandwich: The sandwich that saved the day. Toast 1 slice of bread. Preferably homemade, but whatever you have if totally fine. Top with thin slice of sharp white cheddar. To this add a slice of thick cut bacon. Preferably thick like Beeler’s, Hempler’s or Thundering Hooves. Lastly top with 1 over-easy egg with the yolk intact. Apparently, having the yolk intact is important and more important than you might know. At least more important than I would have guessed. *Helpful Hint: Your average Doctoral Candidate is likely preoccupied and might not have the best problem solving skills at her disposal. If they are adamant about the state of their yolk you may want to suggest they crack the egg into a ramekin first. This way if the yolk inadvertently breaks, they can put it in a jar in the fridge for someone else to eat or use. Instead of getting tossed (ahem). Obvious? Yes. But trust me… such ideas are nowhere near your doctoral candidate’s radar. It really isn’t their fault. They are just in the process of being brutalized. It’s fight or flight and eggs, cracked or otherwise, aren’t part of all that.
Coffee, two ways: Brew coffee. A full pot. First cup is likely in a Java Bean diner mug. With ½ & ½. Served hot. From there on, fill pint glass or Vessel tumbler with ice, pour in coffee and add ½ & ½. Drink. You’ll need a lot of this it seems.
Dissertation Hot Chocolate (or “can you make me one of those things?”): Polish Pottery mug. This is important. The lip is just right. Heat milk. Add cocoa mix (usually Ghiradelli) and stir. Try not to make a big mess. (but no worries-you will anyway). Top with as many marshmallows as you can. Then top with as many chocolate chips as you can before they fall off when you deliver it down the hall.
French Toast: Nothing fancy. Just thick slices of bread (I think day old bread makes the best because it soaks up more custard). I mix egg and milk (or ½ & ½ if I’m feeling decadent) in a cake pan and put in some cinnamon and vanilla. I don’t follow any set proportions other than I generally figure 1 egg per person having french toast and then add milk. If I had to guess I’d say about 1/2 tsp each vanilla and cinnamon. Maybe a bit of nutmeg. Soak on both sides in custard. To cook, I generally brush pan with melted butter or oil.
Klonopin (anti-anxiety medication). No, not a food. But consuming it on a regular schedule to maintain a steady level isn’t such a bad idea. Consult your doctor, blah, blah, blah. Perhaps our air vents should have been vaporized with a nice Klonopin mist. Yes, that would have been nice.
Coffee Cake: This was an important thing to have on hand for breakfast or snacks. It’s good! Try it…it is great with any kind of fruit. Pears, apples, berries, stone fruit…it’s all good!
Any Fruit Streusel Coffee Cake (based on recipe from Seattle Times)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup whole wheat flour
- 2 ¼ tsp baking powder
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup non-fat or 1% milk
- 4 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
- 1 ½- 2 cups any fruit combo
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup whole wheat flour
- 3 TBSP cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Heat oven to 400°. Mix dry cake ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients into another bowl. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix well.
- Pour into greased 8×8 glass baking dish. Spread the batter. Top with fruit.
- Mix dry streusel ingredients and then add butter and mix together/sprinkle over batter.
- Bake for 30-35 until golden & dry on top. Cool in pan.
To the newly minted Dr. Ladyfriend Jennifer Self, you completely rock my world and I am beyond proud of you! Your commitment to yourself, your family and social justice is inspiring. Your journey has taught me so many things about ‘growing & resisting.’ I love you.