Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

My Ph.D.  §

My Ph.D. doesn’t exist yet, but it consumes time that I wish I could give to my family.

My Ph.D. is my career, the only career I’ve ever managed to assemble.

My Ph.D. is the only identity that I have, after a lifetime of losing identities and grappling with overdependence on others and on circumstances for identity.

My Ph.D. is the single biggest source of insecurity in my life.

My Ph.D. is the largest, longest project I’ve ever attempted.

My Ph.D. is that which carries me ever farther away from my friends and family.

My Ph.D. is that which pays the bills so that I can have a family.

My Ph.D. is the thing I would most like to be rid of in the universe.

My Ph.D. cannot be discarded without also discarding family, security, identity, my daughter, my wife, and everything else.

My Ph.D. marks a potential failure much more than it does a potential success.

My Ph.D. is that at which I absolutely must succeed; failure is not an option.

My Ph.D. is evidence of the bankruptcy of capitalism, the essential failure of America, and the decline of the welfare state.

My Ph.D. is evidence of my own hypocrisy.

My Ph.D. is an elitist exercise in imperial aggression and oppression.

My Ph.D. is part of a scam currently stealing from much of America’s middle class.

My Ph.D. is part of the grand tradition of the enlightenment, which also gave us medicine, electricity, technology, and the concepts of ethics and human rights.

My Ph.D. costs way too much money.

My Ph.D. offsets that cost by giving me a bigger income by a significant margin than any other income I’ve ever managed to earn.

My Ph.D. is evidence of my maturity and age.

My Ph.D. is evidence of my immaturity and being a “professional student.”

My Ph.D. is an anachronism in a changing marketplace.

My Ph.D. is needed by the world now more than ever before.

My Ph.D. will someday make my daughter hate me.

My Ph.D. will someday show my daughter what is possible for her.

My Ph.D. takes too much of my life and energy.

My Ph.D. doesn’t get nearly enough of my life and energy.

My Ph.D. is me.

My Ph.D. does not nearly begin to account for all that is me.