MAD SCIENTIST

Dear Ella and Suse,

I am a postgraduate student nearing the end of my PhD (or rather, near the end of having any money to do it, but without an end in sight). In addition to not having an income and having a very daunting body of scientific work to write I am terrified about my future. Science is notorious for having very few opportunities to overwork as an underpaid lab rat, but the pressure to work in a field that I have so heavily invested my time and money seems to come from so many angles. Some people think that I must have no time to read, and that I must devote all of my waking hours to this project, but the problem is that the more time I devote to this, the more waking hours I actually have and I fear the insomnia and stress is driving me insane. The other day I discovered that I had left the oven on for two days after cooking a meal. Is there something I can read to calm my mind about my future and help me focus on finishing this beast in my present?
Sincerely,
Mad scientist
Dear Mad Scientist,
Though we fully sympathise with your ailment, having been there ourselves in some respects, we urge you to remember that this time will pass - it is a short lived agony. Your best companion and friend is The Man who Planted Trees. This short, beautiful fable, that comes with calming woodcuts, will send a message of optimism and gentle reassurance. Take a deep breath, lie back and go on a journey with the man who decides to repopulate his land with the forests that have disappeared, acorn by acorn. By the time you reach the end of the tale, your own green shoots of optimism will be peeking out from under your workload.
Yours,
Ella and Suse
We prescribe - The Man who Planted Trees by Jean Giono

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