‘Monkey on My Back’


Welcome to Monkey on My Back!

Firstly, thank you so much for reading my book (if you have not read it yet it is available from Amazon both in print and as an eBook – see the link to purchase the book below).

I hope it helped you in some way with your own PhD related queries/PhD journey.

On this site I intend to add updates to my PhD related reflections contained in the book.  I am now two years post PhD and I know as time passes I may have new insights and experiences going forward.

I would like to welcome you to leave your comments and feedback on the book below. Did you find the book helpful?  Did you disagree with anything in the book?  What could be added or improved?

You are also welcome to share your own PhD experience (if that is applicable to you).

All your feedback and comments are very welcome.  I do appreciate you taking the time and trouble to comment.  You are also welcome to email me at:  tcarroll@lifeisalaboratory.com and sign up to receive blog updates through this site.

Thank you so much,

Tom Carroll


“Loved the book Monkey on my back

To the author, I just finished Monkey on my back, started it yesterday and finished it this morning. It was a fascinating read. Thank you so much for taking the time to write the book:) After finishing my masters in Elementary Education I always wondered it I would attempt the last and highest degree in my field, my PhD. 

However, life happened I was married and had three children and fast forward 12 years.., recently and somewhat out of the blue, I decided to revisit the thought of a PhD. So I went to Amazon and your book title caught my eye. In reading the book I started analyzing “why” I wanted my PhD and “what” would my life look life afterwards. The “why” scared me a bit because I realized that I actually cared that other teachers viewed me as the “best” teacher. But wait, getting a PhD doesn’t make me “the best” only hard work in my classroom and with my students can result in making me a great teacher! So the PhD doesn’t accomplish this!!! Wow, that was deep! And then second, how does the PhD change my future. Well in my case I want to either continue as an elementary Teacher or start an after school program for troubled kids … Neither of which I need a PhD. So you have helped me answer my question and helped me conclude that for my life a PhD is not smart! Thank you for challenging me to “think” and for pointing out that a PhD does not necessarily make you better at your vocation. Sincerely, Heather G (USA)”



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