Of beards and dissertations

I’m finally seeing light by the end of the dissertation tunnel! I’ve given my final presentation before the preliminary examination, which is why I wanted to give you a brief update on what I’m currently doing. As some of you know, I started to grow my beard 1 January 2013 and I won’t shave it until my dissertation is in the preliminary examination process so this update will be focusing on beards and dissertations.

First of all, why on earth did I decide to grow my beard as a sign of my dissertation process? Analogy to sports is obvious:

Professional athletes – especially in team sports – grow beards during special times for various reasons, so that’s one way to justify my beard (other academics have also done this).

One reason is also curiosity: I wanted to see how my beard growth turns out to be. I’ve often had some beard/moustache thing going on, but a full lumberjack beard – never.

One more reason: peer pressure. To be honest, I grew tired of people asking me how my dissertation is progressing, so I decided to signify it with my bodily capabilities. As long as people can see me sporting a beard, my dissertation is not finished. *sigh*

So how do all those three reasons relate to academia? Competition, curiosity, peer pressure – not necessarily taking a stance on whether they are good or bad qualities, they nonetheless describe some aspects to academia. So from now on whenever you see a bearded academic, think of it as a living analogy to the profession 😉

Yours truly with an eight-month beard.
Yours truly with an eight-month beard.

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