Among things that have a serious impact on life, dissertation writing definitely takes one of the leading places. Come to think about it. Some people can write dissertations for ten years.
My Mom is working on hers right now. After the words "dissertation writing" first entered our home (with my Mom carrying huge books, hundreds of photocopies and other research materials), weird things started happening. First of all, my parents' bedroom (not a big room itself) somehow managed to accept one more piece of furniture - a huge table.
"For my dissertation writing", explained my Mother joyfully, looking at our troubled faces. We stood silently, saying nothing. Next thing that appeared quite logically was the appearance of the new chair. To sit on when writing a dissertation. This chair took the rest of space in the room. Now getting to the wardrobe was as hard, as trying to run away from a hungry bear.
Especially when Mom was working on her "thesis writing", or whatever else she was doing at the table. In these cases my sister and I had to climb on the bed, jump off on the other side, and only after doing this manage to squeeze to the wardrobe.
Note that exclamations like, "MOM! I need to get a shirt to wear for tonight's show" were not taken into consideration. "You are tiny enough to get here, honey. I'm working", was a typical response (was... still is, actually). Dad was the biggest victim, for he is the biggest member of our family. I think that eventually his shirts and pants will travel all the way across our house to the kitchen or any other place that is far enough from the bedroom.
After getting a chair and a table, Mom thought that one more important accessory for dissertation writing is a pair of glasses. Can you imagine our surprise when one evening she came home wearing them? "You look... sophisticated", my sister said. I guess she was right. Personally I thought that if it goes like this, soon my Mom will start sleeping in a cap and a gown. However, her explanations were as easy, as two times two.
"My eyes get very tired after writing a dissertation. Doctor said glasses will help. I think they are pretty cute". Yep. Also, Mom never tried to gain control over the computer. It was the three of us - my Father, little sister, and I - who fought to get access to it. And what do you think? She appeared on the threshold of my room one evening (wearing glasses, and holding dissertation writing drafts, of course) and said that she needs a computer. When Dad mumbled that he wants to finish a campaign, and my sister tried to make it clear that she's next to play, Mother said, "And I need to start writing a thesis, and all the materials are on this CD".
Luckily, I realized that if I don't pull my "illiterate" family members away from the keyboard, we are facing the risk of staying without dinners, for unfortunately Mom is the only one in among us who's got talent for cooking. Once I understood it, we were saved. This has been going for two years now. All of us learned something from an experience called "how to write a dissertation: the survival guide".
I learned bed climbing, and can't imagine what is going to happen when Mom finishes writing her thesis (or writing a dissertation; I'm not sure what the key point is). There will be no more "Grab a shirt" missions that are so much fun, actually. My sister now knows that writing a thesis is much more useful than having her Sim move to a new house.
Dad learned to appreciate family dinners (rare moments when in the evening Mom is not writing a dissertation), and he thinks of them as of the biggest joy in life. Finally, Mom found out that fighting for room space, computer and free time can help in generating hundreds of great ideas (not only for writing a thesis).
We've all realized that there is nothing dramatic in dissertation writing if one is taking it seriously. Actually, at these family dinners Mom tells a lot of interesting facts from her dissertation writing. She gets them from her specialized sources, and we talke about them for hours. Dissertation writing is a great experience not only for the person that writes it, but for the entire family, as well.