I’m beginning to understand what dissertation-writing is about. As students reach this “terminal” stage in academic pursuit, the challenge is for students to identify/find their own problems, or set their own assignment topic (as opposed to instructors giving you a topic; although sometimes, it may not happen that way, :)). Write a gigantic long essay. Once it is approved and graded by a committee of experts, it passes for defense. The student then gets her PhD. As in creative pursuits, the greatest challenge is in problem-finding. Once a student gets past that and is able to articulate that in clear writing, problem-solving is much easier. I’ve spoken to three persons so far who have told me that the journey is worth it. So don’t yield to temporary blues, my peers. Doing a PhD requires perseverance, discipline and focused attention. One must not have only cognitive potential, but the mental and emotional strength to finish the journey.