Going paperless part one: your desk

A couple of months ago I published a post called ‘Are you a piler or a filer?’ In it I compared my experience of going paperless to giving up smoking; I have been trying diligently for a year, but still print out about 50 sheets a month.

In response to my post Marek Martyniszyn (@Martyniszyn) sent me a long desccription of his working methods. Marek recently submitted his PhD thesis focusing on international aspects of competition law at the University College Dublin. For the 2012/2013 academic year he joined the Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies in the Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where as a Senior Research Fellow he will be conducting research on the interface of competition and international law.

The document Marek sent me was very long and detailed. I have decided to publish in two parts because I think this is valuable advice for anyone in the process of giving up the paper habit.

Screw you thesis!

Last time we met my friend, PhD student and working academic ‘Dave’ he was walking through the Valley of Shit. Dave emerged from the deathly valley soon after I published that post, but he has now hit the last phase of PhD study, which I call “PhD detachment”. Dave, somewhat more colourfully, calls this phase “Screw you thesis!”. He tells us why in this post, but caution – there’s some strong language!

The academic migrant experience

At a dinner not so long ago I got into an interesting conversation with a third generation academic. She complained about her father giving her advice on how to do her PhD. I joked that this was bound to be Thesis Whisperer Jnr’s fate, but I couldn’t help contrasting her stories with my own experience.

My father was sincerely impressed when I started my PhD and pleased as punch when I completed, but he would never have dreamed of giving me advice on how to do it. You see, I’m a first generation academic. An academic migrant.