Contributed by Justin Dolan Stover
Do you consider your PhD to be a job or a vocation? Both. If it were only a vocation the lack of funding and stability wouldn’t bother me. If it were only a job I couldn’t sustain my motivation to work. Having aspects of both keeps me driven and satisfied.
In 20 words or less, tell us why you decided to do a PhD? Being an academic historian is the most difficult profession I could think of; a PhD was the first step.
Justin’s diary: I have several times over the past calendar month attempted to clear my mind, sit and write a diary entry which would illustrate the experiences of an American studying in Ireland. Numerous mental obstacles emerged, however, which prevented me from doing so. Allow me to mention just one: the annual experience of registering with immigration. Last year my wife and I queued for many hours, waiting with others in the cold and rain, to present ourselves, our documents and €150 each, to legally remain in Ireland. The ordeal lasted 13 hours. This year we shaved that down to 7 hours. I rose at 4am to join the queue and secure our place. Arriving at Burgh Quay at 4.30am, I was eighth in line. My wife joined me when the offices opened at 9am as she is four months pregnant and in need of a toilet every 45 minutes or so. Read more