What Finding Nemo has taught me about dissertation writing

by | May 14, 2012

I have a two-year-old son. Like many toddlers, he becomes intensely obsessed with things, and by far the biggest obsession these days is the movie Finding Nemo. Fortunately, it’s a nice blend of adult and child humor, so we’ve survived the multiple viewings every week without going completely bananas.

I’ve found myself listening sympathetically to learners as they’ve called frustrated or exhausted with the dissertation process and thinking about the phrase Dory (the character voiced by Ellen DeGeneres in Finding Nemo) lives by: “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…” It’s gotten me thinking about all the other great lessons I’ve learned from watching Nemo ad nauseum and how beautifully applicable they are to the dissertation process. Here’s a taste:


Thank you for taking a peek into my life as the parent of a toddler. Thank you for all the hard work you do as a dissertator—we DO see it! And remember:

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…

What valuable lessons have you learned along the dissertation journey? What helps you keep swimming?