A couple of other blogs had posts this week that caught my attention and that I wanted to share.  Both have to do with what is needed for you to finish your PhD.

GRIT: A psychologist has come up with a painfully simple 12 question instrument to determine whether someone has the stick-to-it-ive-ness to finish something great.  She calls it GRIT.  See Getting Things Done in Academia (newly reawoken) to understand a bit more and follow this link to the instrument itself.  I got a 4 out of 5, meaning I have quite a lot of Grit.  Hardly a surprise.

SPITE:  In contrast, Post-Academic in NYC talks about the power of SPITE to drive you through the completion of your dissertation.  I could empathize here, since there was an extent to which I finished to prove a particular full professor wrong.  I’m pretty sure he told people I would never finish, and that pisses me off.

I’m not quite as bitter as Post-Academic, and I don’t know that spite alone could have gotten me through if I hadn’t had grit as well.  Grit was the part of me that said “You said you were going to do this, so DO IT.”  Spite was just the gleeful voice in the back of my head that wanted to rub his nose in it.

P.S.  The universe gave me a graduation present this summer.  I was asked to review an article on a topic I know something about.  I agreed.  When it showed up, it was clearly the latest edition of an ongoing series of reports by aforementioned full professor.  I shredded it.  Not maliciously, but because he had failed to support any of his assertions with research or facts, and I called him on every single one.  It was cathartic.