A doctorate is pretty big in the world of qualifications but the focus of study can be tiny.


She is 65 and has just graduated from Massey University. She is Dr Hilary Laracy but it is the subject of her six-year PhD that interests me more than the age factor.

Yes, I share her interest and concern but I feel I could have knocked out an academic paper in a week. Or a fortnight at most if I factored in enough long lunches.

After that I would consider the subject done and dusted. Also, if I spent any longer than

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