Dissertation Boot Camp: Val Style

I graduated from UConn in 2011, and I gave a talk there this morning.  After my talk I met with some friends for lunch who are in the middle of their dissertations.  As it starts to get nice outside in Storrs, many of them are having trouble writing their dissertations.  As such, my former office mate (and future “doctor”) has been running “Dissertation Boot Camp”.  I’m told that this wasn’t her idea, but she has added her own touch to it.  Basically, student pay her $80 dollars and if they don’t commit too many infractions over the period of boot camp, they get all or part of their money back, hopefully with a completed dissertation.  Below are the rules and consequences that Val has set forth for boot camp.  If you want to use Val’s template for your own dissertation bootcamp, you get get it here.

The rules:

  • Show up on time. You must sign in/out when you enter/leave the lab.
  • Keep talking to a minimum. If asked to stop talking, you must do so immediately.
  • Internet usage is for dissertation related business only
  • You are allowed one hour off during bootcamp hours to be taken at whatever time (or times) you chose.
  • Apply for a minimum of 3 jobs per week outside of dissertation bootcamp hours. Print confirmation and submit at end of week.

The consequences:

  • First infraction: Verbal warning
  • Second infraction: Buy Val coffee that morning
  • Third infraction: Buy Val coffee for a week
  • Fourth infraction: Val will take $10 from your dissertation fee
  • Fifth infraction: Val will take $20 from your dissertation fee
  • Sixth infraction: Val will take $50 from your dissertation fee
  • Seventh infraction: Val will rate you on http://www.ratemyprofessor.com. It will be a one star rating.
  • Eighth infraction: Val will send an anonymous email to your advisor. It will say “<Insert your name here> is not motivated or smart enough to earn a PhD”
  • Ninth infraction: Val will send an anonymous email to your advisor. It will say, “<Insert your name here> thinks your research is not at all innovative or useful.”
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Posted on May 22, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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