Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Life, such as it is

I just can't help feeling like there is a wide, wide world out there, if I could just make it past chapter 2.

So the graduate student association sold t-shirts last week that say this on the back:

You might be a grad student if...
  1. You find yourself explaining to childen that you are in "20th grade."
  2. You have accepted guilt as an inherent feature of relaxation.
  3. You start refering to stories like "Snow White et al."
  4. Everything reminds you of something in your discipline.
  5. You look forward to summers because you're more productive without the distraction of classes.
  6. You regard ibuprofen as a vitamin.
  7. You appreciate the fact that you get to choose which 20 hours out of each day you have to work.
  8. You are startled to meet people who neither need nor want to read.
  9. You look forward to taking some time off to do laundry.
  10. You wonder if APA style allows you to cite talking to yourself as "personal communication."
(If you're not totally busting up laughing right now, I don't want to talk to you anymore.)

I'm totally there on #2, and #4, and I've felt that way about #5 for a while now, and #7 has become more and more real to me as I have more and more tightly scheduled my days, some days with more success than others, and I just did laundry yesterday, but I was writing at the same time. And, oh yeah, I've been a #4 junkie for a while, and have actually felt #8 since elementary school, so those aren't necessarily just because I'm a grad student, but they are part of my life. :)

And here are more, from my recent personal experience as a grad student:

11. You talk to your friends on gmail chat, but not in real life, because gChat you can do in the library between finding references and finishing up #$@%* chapter 2.
12. You actually did see your roommate yesterday, but only because she came to your office.
13. You have reverted to the "wearing clothes only to avoid being naked" style that you were accused of at one point in your past, because trying to decide on anything cute requires brain power, and you have to reserve all of yours for the thesis. Jeans, sneakers, a t-shirt and a hoodie requires no brains at all.
14. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator is the only exercise you dare try to fit into your day. (I don't need any more procrastination / distraction techniques.)
15. You can find the volume of "Applied Linguistics" that you need in the library without checking your notes for the, what's that called?, filing number?, not Dewey decimal? whatever. You know what I mean.
16. You measure your worth in hours spent on the thesis that day.
17. You are not as brave as Jenna and actually turn off your wireless while thesisizing--those gChats might be the only human interaction you have that day.
18. You consider gChatting human interaction.

3 comments:

jeremy said...

>1.You find yourself explaining to childen that you are in "20th grade."

Luckily, Ben's in preschool. But I think soon he will realize that his friends' dads don't do “homework”.

>2.You have accepted guilt as an inherent feature of relaxation.

I did this years ago. Once you get past this point, it's not too bad.

>3.You start refering to stories like "Snow White et al."

Um, no.

>4.Everything reminds you of something in your discipline.

...and your spouse, family, and friends (what's left of them) despise you for it.

>5.You look forward to summers because you're more productive without the distraction of classes.

I do not know these “Summers without classes” of which you speak.

>6.You regard ibuprofen as a vitamin.

Nope. Not me.

>7.You appreciate the fact that you get to choose which 20 hours out of each day you have to work.

I wish! Family has taken a lot more time out of my day ever since Brooke declared that sleeping in the same bed does not constitute “time spent together”.

>8.You are startled to meet people who neither need nor want to read.

See item 4 for a list of these “people”, and their reaction to my shock.

>9.You look forward to taking some time off to do laundry.

I'm so glad I have a wonderful, beautiful, happy, wife.

>10.You wonder if APA style allows you to cite talking to yourself as "personal communication."

Of course, it does.

>13.You have reverted to the "wearing clothes only to avoid being naked" style that you were accused of at one point in your past, because trying to decide on anything cute requires brain power, and you have to reserve all of yours for the thesis. Jeans, sneakers, a t-shirt and a hoodie requires no brains at all.

You have to choose a “hoo-die” to wear? Brooke has hidden all of my clothes and leaves the ones I'm supposed to wear the next day out for me.

>16.You measure your worth in hours spent on the thesis that day.

I don't, but my wife does.

The Daring One said...

These are great. I got that second major in English to prepare me for grad school but my grad degree is currently in "child-rearing." I'll be that 50 year old grandma getting my graduate degree when my kids are older.

Thinking about the weird things we consider to be relaxation, the other day I was canning beef chunks at the church cannery and couldn't help but feel how nice it was to "get a way from it all" and "have a break."

david mckay said...

Hi there!

I'm glad you liked those - I wrote them in 1995 when I was a grad student in history at Iowa. They are part of two much larger lists that you can find pretty much anywhere on the net these days, generally (though not always) without attribution. I'm anonymously famous! For the record, I wrote no. 2 and nos. 4 through 8.

I should get one of those t-shirts.

I'm amazed that those lists are still around.