Today is the deadline for Diane’s dissertation.  She’s been at it for 10 years.  Almost as long as we’ve known each other.  And the kids have never had a mother who isn’t typing away at what in our house is known as the blahonga (from the expression “blahonga, blahonga, blahonga,” frequently used during sermons by the village preacher in the Swedish cult cartoon series Assar).

Much of my advice to prospective PhD students — “don’t do it! don’t do it!” — comes from observing what Diane’s been going through.  She’s worn out three supervisors in the process — one very lecherous, one half-dead and then completely dead, one friendly enough but also a total coward.

So far this summer, the kids have been sitting at home watching their mother type.  But we’re going on a mini-vacation tomorrow (to eastern and southern Taiwan) and Diane is not allowed to bring the computer.