As a PhD student in the middle of Middle Earth, I thought I would get myself a replica of the One Ring from The Lord of the Rings, as a PhD commitment ring. The ring has the following inscription:

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,

One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.


One Ring to rule them all. A rule is a line gauge (also called “ruler”), a device that measures distance or length. The PhD journey starts with knowing what you want to measure and how you can measure them. Measure them (the variables), all of them.

One Ring to find them. This is, of course, data gathering. I will find them (my data).

One Ring to bring them all. After finding your data, you have to bring them all (together) — data collation, analysis, and write up.

…and in the darkness bind them. Of course, this refers to the final stage: the binding of the dissertation.

The One Ring captures the entire PhD journey. So yep, I am getting myself one.