Sad Day in the H.R.R. Gorman Life

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen that I’m currently writing my PhD dissertation (I defend in October).


Sadly, this has meant that I’ve been VERY busy and, worse, have ergonomically injured my hands. I decided to give up most Twitter ‘work’ because at least this would reduce my writing load by something.

Up until now, I’ve tried to do as much reading and commenting on WordPress as I could, but the conditions have gotten worse. Now it’s both my hands experiencing different symptoms (thank God neither are like carpal tunnel symptoms). I took a couple days off this weekend and they felt better, but after yesterday I went back to square one.

Sadly, I think I’m going to have to cut back on some WordPress things because I simply can’t type that much without destroying my hands. Unfortunately, this is going to mean comments go first. I’ll still do some, but I probably won’t do some of the more banal ones (a.k.a. the ones that are just “this is good!” or “I liked this!”). I think it’s more important for me to try keeping my creative mind working, so I’ll try to make blog posts during this time until I don’t have any more dissertation to write.

Don’t feel bad if I don’t respond to your stuff for a while. I’m not trying to be mean – I just can’t do it.

Best wishes,

H.R.R. Gorman

41 thoughts on “Sad Day in the H.R.R. Gorman Life

  1. Jade M. Wong says:

    Oh gosh, good luck on your dissertation, H.R.R.! And take care of your hands!! WordPress will be here when you’re ready to return to it, hopefully in possession of a new PhD!

  2. jomz says:

    A PhD dissertation, you say? Nice. I can’t say I can completely relate since I only have a master’s thesis under my belt.

    I understand that it requires a ton of work.

    What is it about, if I may ask?

    Good luck on your defense, and hope your hands heal soon.

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      My field of study is chemical engineering, and I do bioseparations with novel ligands. I would tell you the title of my thesis, but that would unfortunately reveal who I am in real life! H.R.R. Gorman is a pen name. πŸ™‚

      • jomz says:

        I looked up what bioseparation with novel ligands is about and ended up reading a lot more than what I bargained for. Which means I understood jack diddly-squat! Hahahahaha…

        Definitely something way above my pay grade. πŸ˜€

        Anyway, I wish you all the best of luck. Have a nice day.

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      I’m doing my best – it’s hard to keep myself from writing for fun, but I think it’ll be for the best in the end. I’m getting an ergonomic mouse, so hopefully that will at least help the worst finger (the one I use to click).

  3. Tom Darby says:

    So sorry about your hands, my friend and sorry about your dissertation…oye, whadda pain. Maybe you can look into one of those voice to computer writing programs in the future. Take care of those hands, fingers and wrists!

  4. shimusiccritic says:

    I think anyone who knows anything about you , let alone about dissertations, will know not to take anything personally and be understanding. I hope all goes well for you, and may the odds ever be in your favor.

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      I think I’ll graduate fine (got plenty of data), but it’ll be a rough road getting everything prepared for the defense. I can’t wait to be allowed to put “Dr.” in front of my name!!!

      I agree, I think people will be understanding, but I just kind of wanted them to also know I hadn’t died, haha

  5. Miriam Hurdle says:

    You’re so brave, so busy on your blog while doing your dissertation. When I did my Ed.D. for three years and dissertation in the third year (that means having full time study plus dissertation), I didn’t know what was going on in the news. I was working full time also.

    When I published my book last year and did a lot of typing and formatting intensely for three months, it resulted in carpal tunnel problem on my right arm after October, 2018. Nothing was broken or torn, confirmed by the orthopedist. The occupational therapist said I could only type 10 minutes at a time and must take breaks in between. So your dissertation first, if you want to check the blogs, use touch screen to touch “like.” I have to settle with that for as long as it take to heal.

    There’s nothing to do to prepare for the oral defense. You just have to know your subject well. I got stuck with one question, but my Chair came to my rescue. He reminded me of something so I could answer the question.

    What is the title of your dissertation? It must be very long.

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      I hope your carpal tunnel symptoms have dissipated! I don’t think my symptoms are carpal tunnel (it’s mostly in my fingers), so that’s lucky. I told my boss it was getting bad and that I may be slower this time, but he was ok with that. I’m getting out the first draft hopefully later today, so maybe in a couple weeks we’ll have something close enough to finished that I won’t have to struggle as much.

      I’m pretty good at oral presentations. I’ve done two oral preliminary exams, a masters’ defense, oral exams for classes, and (though many think it irrelevant for practice) taught 4 classes. I’ve made 2 talks to audiences of 300-ish peole, too, so I’m confident I can hold my own. I am scared, however, that the one guy will try to ask me the weird computer questions again – I had no idea how to answer them last time because I couldn’t understand what he was asking.

      If I give the title of my dissertation, it’ll easily give away who I am in real life! H.R.R. Gorman is a pen name I use because I’m super paranoid. However, I will say that I’m in Chemical Engineering and my research is, widely, about novel affinity ligands for downstream bioprocessing. πŸ™‚

      • Miriam Hurdle says:

        Good to hear you just have problem with the fingers. Mine is from the index finger and extends to the tendon and radiates the the pain to the upper arm, but it’s diminishing little by little.
        I paid probably $975 for someone to proofread and typing of my dissertation. I understand that not error is allowed in a dissertation.
        A friend got his Ph.D. from Oxford. The day of his defense was intense. His wife (in the US) prayed for the whole duration. Oxford doesn’t accept correction, redo or extension, so it was a nervous moment. He passed!! πŸ™‚
        It sounds like you’re all ready for the oral defense. I wonder if your oral defense let you clarify the questions!! πŸ™‚
        Only two months to go! You’re in my prayers.

      • H.R.R. Gorman says:

        I really do want to ask that professor to ask those questions again! I thought I’d answered them adequately last time, but since then I’ve tried to figure out what he wanted.

        In the sciences, quality of English in a dissertation isn’t really… judged. It has to be understandable, of course, but mistakes are expected. Bad data, however? Oooh, they’ll slash you down!

  6. Jules says:

    Take all the time you need to heal. Write for the stuff you need.
    Visit when you can if you only stick in a πŸ™‚ if and when – that will be fine too.

    All the best, Jules

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