I am a doctoral student in English working half-halfheartedly on a  dissertation, but wanting to do anything else but write it. While my chapters remain unfinished, my closets become more organized, my dogs get walked incessantly, and I begin an incredible number of projects destined to remain in the same state as my chapters. Determined to thwart this trend, I decided that something I start must actually have a chance to be completed. I cannot allow for failure in both practical and passion-driven pursuits.

As a compulsive undertaker of random aspirations, I have decided to channel my whims into three main “productive” distractions for those moments when the academic muse does not strike: yoga, sailing, and learning Italian. My goal is to let myself pursue these goals while plodding along with my dissertation. This blog is designed to chronicle my victories and defeats in the journey to fulfill my academic and professional obligations while embracing constructive yet whimsical ambitions.

Pet the Dog is dedicated to everyone who, like me, has the compulsion to do something interesting while having to carry on with something that has become dull.

May all of our endeavors make us feel as lovely as when we pet a dog.