Throwback Thursday: This Classic Story is Actually About PhDs

This post by Dr Anaise Irvine first appeared on Thesislink in January 2018.

Something amazing happened this week. Twitter user and certified genius Emma Razeng discovered the secret plot of one of New Zealand’s most famous cinematic exports.


This got me thinking… I wonder how many movies could be seen as being ‘about’ getting a research degree?

My PhD was a bit like Gravity:

  • I took a cautious step into the unknown, carefully tethered to a whole support system
  • Then I found myself way out in intellectual deep space, with no-one able to help me, except one trusted advisor who was often pulled out of range of communications
  • At times my brain conjured a George Clooney-like fantasy figure just to keep me going that little bit longer
  • Dodging various fires, and feeling like I had no air, I eventually considered giving up
  • But something deep in my subconscious kept me going, and against all odds, I used a combination of desperation and ingenuity to find a way back to planet Earth
  • I landed dazed and spluttering, stepping shakily onto solid ground
  • The whole thing took about 4 1/2 years to produce; much longer than expected

About Graduate Research School (Auckland University of Technology)

The Auckland University of Technology Graduate Research School offers support and resources to all postgraduate students at AUT. Come and visit us on the 5th floor of the WU building.

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