I went through the files of my PhD students and smiled…nothing is funny actually. The records desperately seeking some actions but I held on for some thing good to come out some where….I am praying for some miracles. Out of 5 students registered under my supervision, one is missing in action, maybe indefinitely, another one has been spotted in Dubai (maybe on self-exiled mission), another just come and go as pleased and I am left with just two active students. And nowadays people are talking about KPI; so this is my KPI and it does not help me at all. I need to “graduate” someone fast or I’ll grow old waiting for nothing. I have been through the process and have experienced the ups and downs of it so please trust me. Deep down inside I have a strong feeling that they can make it through, that’s why I took them in the first place. But as they started the journey, they turn into something else---untouchable souls that defy the law of nature. At the first turn they became the “honeymooners”, the ones that have just unleashed the true face of freedom seekers. Paid holidays with running salary and a handful of pocket money, my honeymoon will start right now, thank you very much. Well that’s okay, don’t feel bad about it, enjoy before it lasts. This thing will come to an end eventually , okay; some will come down to their senses but there is always a handful of them that refused to accept the fact that the honeymoon is over.
At the next turn, when the dust settled, the work begins. It is not like a hard labor that will break your back but you have to turn on the light and start flipping the pages, running the programs and talking to people. The next phase is not easy to follow through but not as hard as you might think. PhD is all about doing things correctly, report the findings truthfully and the “discovery” part will eventually emerge. The keyword is DOING and if you’ve done nothing , there is no finding to report and with that there is absolutely no discovery. If you want to swim from this edge to the other end, then you have to do the swimming yourself, I will look from the distant and see if you need help. I will go in only if you are about to drown or something but do not expect me to swim with you in the water. The hard part of doing PhD is finding the reasons (Why?) when everything works against you. It’s like a group of people keep bashing your head while you’re trying to get up. Believe me that part is unbearable and it takes a strong gut to pull you through. I had been there and gone through it myself. I wrote about this and it is somewhere in this blog , dig it if you’re interested to know my story. At the end of the day you have to get up and face like a man. Cry yourself to sleep or bang your head but never give up. You must refuse to give up, even if someone told you to do so. Heck I’m not going home empty handed, no way---what I used to say when the faculty refused to accept my thesis. Well , the British have their own ego when it comes to this, how come this kampung boy from former colony want us to believe this rubbish…… I argued and stood behind my thesis. And the rest is history.
The three year-period is not that long but one needs to know exactly what to do, one thing after another and by the end of it your model has been justified and ready for the presentation. Don’t depend on luck because in PhD nothing is left to luck, everything must be accounted for. Believe in yourself and what you can do; make doa for your consistent effort and blessed intention. You can expect something rewarding to follow after you’ve finished…maybe more than you expected. Only Allah knows. I wish best of luck to my students and any of my beloved readers who happen to follow this same path. Good luck.