The Amazing Mr. Book
My parents came back from vacation and immediately asked me how productive my week with the dogs and cat had been. The discussion went something like this:
Dad: How was your week?
Rebecca (calm): Fine.
Dad: How’s your dissertation coming along?
Rebecca (agitated): Can we talk about something other than my dissertation? Please?
Dad (sounds puzzled): I just wanted to know how it’s coming.
Rebecca (contemplating the accumulated mass of writing otherwise known as Chapter Three): It’s going OK.
Mom: How long do you think your disser…
Rebecca (interrupting, and beginning to panic): Ack! Stop! Don’t say the D-word! I can’t handle it!
Mom: Can we call it something else?
Rebecca: No! It is what it is. Please can we talk about something else?
Mom: How about Mr. Dissertation?
Rebecca: Eh? What?
Dad: Or Mr. Book? It will be a book eventually, right?
Mom: How about “The Amazing Mr. Book”?
Rebecca: Amazing Mr…(trails off)
Dad: I like it. Your dissertation is hereby christened “The Amazing Mr. Book.” So, how is “The Amazing Mr. Book” coming?
Rebecca: It’s going OK….
I don’t know a single grad student who actually likes responding to the question “How is your dissertation going?” It’s right up there with “When will you be done?” I don’t know if calling my dissertation something other than a dissertation will help me talk about it with any more ease, but I’m willing to try anything at this point. So, The Amazing Mr. Book it is. As nicknames go, that isn’t so bad….