As I have been mentioning so often now, I am writing my thesis at the moment. A thesis with six chapters (apart from introduction etc.) for six years of my research life in Stanford. I have facts and results. Papers from previous researchers to quote. A guideline to write a thesis provided by the school and examples of theses of students before me. And yet, I am going crazy trying to keep everything flowing from one chapter to the other, to explain things in a way that people, who are not expert in the area, can understand. Okay my target audience is still scientists and not economists or lawyers or artists. But the scientist category is also very wide.
Why am I ranting about this? Well, I was reading this article by J.K. Rowling on the current elections in UK (yes, I keep up with the news across the world. Okay, you got me. I got the link via Sparky.). It’s about one of the political party in UK called Tory party (or the Conservative party, currently lead by David Cameron. They were in power from 1979-1997, first lead by Margaret Thatcher (1979-1990) and then by John Major(1990-1997)) and how they disapprove of single mothers (It is also called ‘nasty party’). In the article she mentions about the time in her life when:
Between 1993 and 1997 I did the job of two parents, qualified and then worked as a secondary school teacher, wrote one and a half novels and did the planning for a further five. For a while, I was clinically depressed. To be told, over and over again, that I was feckless, lazy — even immoral — did not help.
One and a half novels, and planned five novels! Despite being depressed, having added responsibilities of being a single parent AND working a day job. And yet, she created this amazing world. And yet, the books flow from one to seven seamlessly. Honestly, I am in awe! I have a new respect for that lady.
P.S.: I can’t end this post without quoting few more lines from her article that I think is true in any society (emphasis mine):
“one of the biggest social problems of our day”. […] Women like me (for it is a curious fact that lone male parents are generally portrayed as heroes, whereas women left holding the baby are vilified) were, according to popular myth, a prime cause of social breakdown, and in it for all we could get: free money, state-funded accommodation, an easy life.