My Road to the Ph.D.: The Bubble


I’ve come to realize that I am now living in a bubble–a vacuum that does not take the real world into consideration.  This is not so dissimilar to life as an undergraduate only there is no real social component to this academic experience (at least not yet anyways…) and I am separated from my family which makes my sensitivity to the nature of this experience a little more acute.  I have few chores to attend to around my apartment and that for all intents and purposes, the prime mover of all that I do are my academic commitments: reading, writing, and thinking.  Where else but in a shielded environment can one have these as the sole priorities in the day (and night) than in an isolated bubble?

I’m fortunate than most.  I don’t think many would be able to afford to make this happen–either due to time, money, or manpower.  While I can’t afford to pay for this upfront, Lisa and I are able to manage the costs of the student loans that will follow.  Since I teach, the summer is a natural choice allowing me the time without significant disruption to my job.  And perhaps most importantly, my in-laws live only a short distance away and are providing a significant amount of support to Lisa and Noah while I’m gone.  Although she won’t have me around for companionship, Lisa will definitely have at least the same amount of practical assistance with Noah throughout the day.

And so, I am able to continue on with my work in the bubble without the worry of distraction… well, as little worry as possible.   I will miss my family (and do already) but I’m appreciative of the opportunity I’ve been provided and will make the most of my bubble.

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About fhelvie

I live in CT with my wife and two sons. I am also writing my doctoral dissertation, which is focused on the relationship between American literature and comic book superheroes. I have served as a panelist at a number of conferences discussing my research in comics, medieval literature, and pedagogy. Most recently, I had the good fortune to present at the New York Comic Con. In addition to my work in comics scholarship, I'm also a full-time professor of developmental English.
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