Saturday, April 10, 2010

Daddy issues part 2

Ok so yesterday I handed in my dissertation to my committee (yay!!) and I also sent a copy to my dad and was all "Hey, I submitted my dissertation today!! Yay!! I'm attached a copy in case you want to read it. My defense is in 2 weeks!"

This is the response I got:


By all means celebrate this milestone! You can celebrate again when you've passed the defense, and again when it is submitted. -- J"

Oh wait, no, that wasn't my DAD that was my DISSERTATION ADVISER. Here it the email my actual dad sent me:

"Wow! Good luck. No promises but i will try to read it.

You're playing it close to the deadline since your graduation is May XX. They usually suggest revisions. Let's hope they are minor. Today we live in the world of word procesers."

I don't know, I may be overreacting here. But why does he have to be such a debbie downer? Like, my adviser is confident I will pass obviously (and he is the chair of my dissertation and the guy who actually has to sign off on whether I pass or not) but my dad has to give all these warnings about how I'm playing it too close.

Maybe, dad, I know WTF i'm doing, and I'm actually good at what I do? Ever consider that? Argh!!!!!

Am I overreacting? Should I say something to my dad or just let it go? When I got my professorship job I was also somewhat disappointed with his response and actually, come to think of it, when I first got into grad school he went on this whole rant about how I should be worried about how I will balance having children with a career. Because, like no women in the history of the world has ever had children and a successful career apparently?

Why does he have to give all these freakin warnings and try to stress me out? Why can't he just leave it at "congratulations!"? Why can't my dad be more like my adviser???


  1. Is he just a worrier all around?

  2. Oh honey. You ought to see the email I just got from my brother.
    No one in this world can ignite and belittle our souls like family.
    _I_ am telling you to celebrate. Okay?
    You should be damn proud of yourself and obviously, you ARE good at what you do.

  3. My dad is the same way--always doling out the warnings before the cautious congratulations.

    I always thought he was against me moving here for the first time, 6 years ago. I even argued with him about it one night, citing an email he had sent me. He challenged me to go re-read that email, because I said I'd saved it, and when I did, looking at it with fresh eyes all those years later, I saw it completely differently.

    I've been where you are, in terms of finishing that HUGE accomplishment and then also awaiting another major change and I think your emotions are just running on adrenaline and hyped-up overdrive. Mine do that, and I always over-react at situations and look back on it and realize that I was just "hot" at the moment.

    Don't read too much into it, and take it as his way of being a dad, even way after you really need parenting. Mine is sooo guilty of that.

  4. Moom- I don't know, he only seems to be 'worried' when I'm succeeding at something.

    I guess there is some context here, in that my dad also has a PhD and I think he had a very hard time of it, and his committee DID make him do a lot of revisions. And that was in the days before word processors (he got his PhD right after I was born in 1982), so he had to retype everything I think.

    But still...

  5. Yeah, I think it's a bit of an overreaction this time.

  6. Congratulations!

    My dad is like yours: never a compliment, always points out the risks and mistakes...

  7. My Dad was a huge worrier and would tend to have something negative to say about most things I said I was going to do... so I think a lot of fathers dole out this sort of "advice".

  8. My dad can be the same way, too, AE. My mom says that he is just being superstitious; by saying all of the bad things that could happen, he is trying to prevent them from happening. My solution is to tell my mom whenever he makes one of his comments, and then we roll our eyes and put it out of our minds. I know you don't have that option, but you're using the blogosphere for kind of the same purpose, it seems. If you can, it probably helps to view this as not personal, just a character trait of your dad.

  9. Definitely overreacting. Let's see what he says after your dissertation is successfully defended.

  10. This seems like an overreaction. I consider my parents to be very supportive and I expect that I'd get a very similar message from my father in the same circumstances.

    (Heck, I just passed my analysis qual and one of the first things he asked me was when I had my next set of quals)

  11. Is it possible that your dad is trying to find some way (even if it's annoying and negative) to still be your father? That's what it sounds like to me...

  12. He probably does it because his dad was the same (a lecturing type, hard to receive a compliment from, feeling responsible to make you perform even better).

    Typical for some daddies. Hope to be different myself, though.

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