Here is an entertaining blog I read this morning on “The Manuscript Beard,” the beard male members of the professoriate grow when developing a book length project.
It got me thinking about the many types of academic beards I have grown over the course of my college career. There was the “I’m a freshman in college and just discovered my independence” beard, the term paper beard, the “I finally got through that quarter and I’m not leaving the house for a month” beard, the “I can’t believe I thought it was a good idea to submit so many conference proposals at the same time” beard, and the “written exams” beard. After I passed my oral exams and advanced to candidacy, I started a dissertation beard, but quickly realized that it would be a very long time until the dissertation process would be over so I shaved that one (though in all fairness it is sort of being continuously regrown. I have a well-trimmed beard most of the time so my academic beards are not completely brand new growth, but rather result in various full-beards with different areas at completely different stages of development).
These academic beards are one of my ways of dealing with the mental chaos and self-doubt you encounter through out graduate school. How do you deal with these things?