[Address updated: 1/22/2016, 10 am] The Society for U.S. Intellectual History (S-USIH) is currently accepting submissions for the inaugural Dorothy Ross Prize for best article in US intellectual history by an emerging scholar (defined as a current graduate student or […]
ANNUAL BOOK AWARD FOR BOOKS PUBLISHED IN 2015 SUBMISSION DEADLINE: JANUARY 31, 2016 For contact information regarding where to send copies of books, please email: email@example.com The winner of the book award will be honored at the annual conference to […]
Please use this page to collaborate on creating COMPLETE PANELS for the 2016 conference. The committee is especially eager to ensure ethnic, gender and institutional diversity at the conference. We welcome the participation of graduate students, independent scholars, and all […]
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[Editor’s note: the guest essay below is adapted from award-winning journalist John McCaa’s commencement address at the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony at the University of Texas at Dallas on December 17, 2015. — LDB.]
Lots of Questions, but No Shortcuts
By John McCaa
Fellow scholars, I know what you have been through.
I stand here reminded of the times I had submitted for my advisor’s review the latest draft of my dissertation — reminded of the hope, the confidence, I felt, as I drove toward campus to hear his thoughts (most assured that I had dazzled him!), only to sit down in the chair in his office opposite him and see that look most of us have received from our advisors at some period or another in the writing stage.
And I returned to the house despondent, knowing how much more work was ahead of me before I would be ready to defend. And yet, dejected as I was, I also recall the comforting words of my wife, reminding me, “This is supposed to be hard; they don’t just give away PhDs.”
So never mind “that look” — I can still remember the smile on my face and the faces of my professors when they called me back into the room after my defense and said to me, “Congratulations, Doctor McCaa.”
See, you have a right to be proud, and to enjoy these moments.
But just know that in the days ahead, you will probably encounter fear about your work again. This may be especially important for some of you younger graduates to know ahead of time.