April 2015
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Friday, April 24, 2015

Things Learned During a French PhD

Books, books, books everywhere....

I’m halfway there – or at least I tell myself. Writing a doctoral thesis, and in a different language no less, is an experience that fortunately one need only do once in life. I’m thinking back to that time I told myself, “Yes, this is a good idea.” I’m sure I wasn’t sober.

There are stages you go through until you finish the document, if you ever finish it. For the moment, I’m in what I can only imagine is something like stage 3 of 5.

Stage 1 was the easy part -- pretending to work. This is the most enjoyable part of an academic’s career where you say, “Yes, I am doing a PhD.” And that’s about it. Maybe you read a few books, but let’s be honest here, you’re relaxing. Then there’s stage 2, when the work starts and you feel like you’re actually making progress. One interview completed? Have a drink. Two interviews transcribed? Time for a vacation.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Paris Marathon: 3rd Times's a Charm

The bling...

It all starts off great. Standing in the corral you look behind you, thousands of colorfully-dressed runners set against the Arc de Triomphe, as 54,000 marathoners barrel down the Champs Elysées. It’s surreal.

I approached the starting line and too the opportunity to empty my bladder once more – the last time I’d do it for several hours. And we were off, running past Mayor Hidalgo towards Place de la Concorde, along rue de Rivoli, and past the Louvre. These first few miles are exhilarating as people from all over the world cheer you on in different languages. Then the thoughts start running through my head...

Mile 1 Already? OK by me.

Mile 2 Mexican and British tourists should be cheering for me, too, right? We're almost the same...

Mile 3 Helloooo firefighters.