Day 129: Grad Student Characteristics

So, after a weekend blogging-break here just quickly the list I promised. The format is still messed up but I don’t have the time to fix it. I really have to get my conference paper done, since the MLG begins on Wednesday. A more in-depth post tomorrow.

You might be a Grad Student if… actually take the time to compile a “you might be a grad student if…”
list and then begin silently crying because it is WAY too personal think you should be paying rent for your office/library chair instead of
your home.

4.your office is better decorated than your apartment. have ever discussed academic matters at a sporting event. regard ibuprofen as a vitamin. find the bibliographies of books more interesting than the actual text. find yourself explaining to children that you are in “20th
grade”. look forward to taking some time off to do laundry. have more photocopy cards than credit cards. wonder if APA style allows you to cite talking to yourself as
“personal communication.” are thinking “I’ll be golden in 2012…just you wait and see get irresistible urges to use in-text citations in casual e-mails. start referring to stories like “Snow white, et al” have a coffee maker, phone charger, and food in a lab. have a janitor-like collection of university keys. write programs for classes that have nothing to do with programming. look at undergrads and long for the “simple life” refer to late work as an “ongoing project” “fill up your car” with 75 cents worth of gas procrastinate on one project by working on another project. are staying in school simply to avoid paying off the tens of thousands
of dollars you owe the government in student loans. are working on one thing but feeling guilty that you aren’t working on
the other thing. think your communication with God would be cited under “interview”

28.your significant other (who’s not a grad student) says that they thought
your Chicago Manual of Style was about fashion and you piss your pants laughing
about it and tell that story to all other grad students for months and months
and every time still find it funny. can’t calculate a mean unless you’re using SPSS or SAS buy the 2nd copy of your thesis to be burned at the “after
thesis” party to which 3 other people show up–your roommate who can’t
remember your name because you hardly spend any time at your house, your
neighbor who’s there for the free booze, and the significant other who has
somehow has managed to stick it out w/ you for the process.

32.the only style you recognize anymore is APA Style

33.You might be a grad student if you feel slightly sick whenever the thought
occurs to you that the entirety of your thesis will be read by a maximum of
five people: your advisor, an external examiner, a selfless friend editing the
spelling mistakes and perhaps one or two nerds who – for some reason or another
– are interested in the same stuff as you. The feeling of sickness is soon
accompanied with the related question “Is it really worth all
this???” might be a grad student if you choose beverages on the basis of caffeine
concentration cannot see the surface of your office desk anymore because it is covered
in books, photocopied/printed articles, printed spreadsheets/graphs, half-eaten
junk food, at least three empty cups of coffee stained in various colorations
and a half-full cup of coffee, pens, worn-out computer and a calendar marking
the days left until you have to hand in the thesis. food is the high point of your day.

37.people (non-grad students) ask you “Are you going to be done
soon?” and you laugh but inside a little part of you dies.

38.the local coffee shop experiences a “noticeable” decline in
profits should you leave the city for more than 4 days. refer to a particular microfiche reader in the library as
“yours” and get annoyed if you find someone else on it when you go to
use it. sleep in your office/lab (in a sleeping bag) and shower at the school
gym because it’s more convenient to stay the night (while running a sim or
analyzing data) than to go home and come back.

41. 14 hours a day on campus is typical, even on an elusive day known as

42. sleeping in means sleeping until 8:30 don’t remember the definition of “evenings” or “weekends.” You’ve been
told that they exist, but you are highly skeptical.

44. the books on your desk are piled so high that people cannot see you sitting
at your desk

45. the area under your desk is never vacuumed because you are occupying your
desk when the cleaners vacuum at 4am

46. you know Denise, Kevin, and Carlos, the security and cleaning personnel
personally because they’re your only company when you work through holidays and
nights in the library

47. you pick up a little Spanish from saying hello to the janitor every night,
and the first thing she teaches you to say is “I’m very tired”

48. you get hate mail notes on your desk by undergrads complaining about your
extended occupation of a library desk

49. you can’t help but sigh with envy when you overhear undergrads stress over
10 pg final papers in the elevator

50. you find comfort, company, and solace in visiting Facebook/Myspace in the
wee hours of the cold morning in the library all alone

51. you consider power bar + extra large coffee a proper lunch/dinner

52. you procrastinate by counting the number of empty coffee cups on your desk

53. you sleep with your laptop at your bedside.

54. all of your office plants die because you procrastinate on your thesis by
watering your plants (note: for those of you still wondering, plants do not
need to be watered 40 times a day)

55. you can no longer count the number of times you have fallen asleep and
woken up with “QWERTY” imprinted on your forehead

56. you have figured out the exact way to balance your head on your hand so you
can take a nap during a lecture while making the professor thinks you are
looking at a piece of paper.

57. the number of library books that you have checked out at one time= 20
library books checked out from two university libraries, 2 books on hold, 2
books from a different state, and 2 books borrowed from professors… and then
you wonder why you are online instead of reading them…

58. you can analyze the significance of appliances you cannot operate.

59. you have ever, as a folklore project, attempted to track the progress of
your own joke across the Internet.

60. you are startled to meet people who neither need nor want to read.

61. everything reminds you of something in your discipline.

63. you have ever spent more than $50 on photocopying while researching a
single paper.

64. you actually have a preference between microfilm and microfiche.

65. you can tell the time of day by looking at the traffic flow at the library.

66. you look forward to summers because you’re more productive without the
distraction of classes.

67. professors don’t really care when you turn in work anymore.

68. you have given up trying to keep your books organized and are now just
trying to keep them all in the same general area.

69. you have accepted guilt as an inherent feature of relaxation.

70. you reflexively start analyzing those greek letters before you realize that
it’s a sorority sweatshirt, not an equation.

71. you frequently wonder how long you can live on pasta without getting scurvy

72. you can identify universities by their internet domains.

73. you are constantly looking for a thesis in novels.

74. you have difficulty reading anything that doesn’t have footnotes.

75. you understand jokes about Foucault.

76. the concept of free time scares you.

77. you consider caffeine to be a major food group.

78. you’ve ever brought books with you on vacation and actually studied.

79. Saturday nights spent studying no longer seem weird.

80. the professor doesn’t show up to class and you discuss the readings anyway.

81. you’ve ever travelled across two state lines specifically to go to a

82. you appreciate the fact that you get to choose which twenty hours out of
the day you have to work.

83. you still feel guilty about giving students low grades (you’ll get over

84. you can read course books and cook at the same time.

85. you schedule events for academic vacations so your friends can come.

86. you hope it snows during spring break so you can get more studying in.

87. you’ve ever worn out a library card.

88. you find taking notes in a park relaxing.

89. you find yourself citing sources in conversation.

90. you’ve ever sent a personal letter with footnotes.

91. you have a favorite flavor of instant noodle.

92. you have ever said (and meant) “I’d be delighted to proofread your

93. you spend more on books than on tuition.

94. you actually _hope_ your professor assigns homework.

95. you get a 3-hour final with 5 questions or less.

96. you spend Saturday morning waiting for the library to open.

97. you’ve memorized your professors’ home phone numbers.

99. more than 25% of your textbook is “left as an exercise for the

100. you are on a first-name basis with everyone on the library staff.

The Top Ten Lies Told by Graduate Students
10. It doesn’t bother me at all that my college roommate is making $80,000 a year
on Wall Street.
9. I’d be delighted to proofread your book/chapter/article.
8. My work has a lot of practical importance.
7. I would never date an undergraduate.
6. Your latest article was so inspiring.
5. I turned down a lot of great job offers to come here.
4. I just have one more book to read and then I’ll start writing.
3. The department is giving me so much support.
2. My job prospects look really good.
1. No really, I’ll be out of here in only two more years.


1 Comment

  1. #76 is so true. As soon as any vacation starts, I feel myself start to get really anxious, like I know I ought to be doing something, but it’s hard to tell what it is, and there’s just to much time in which to get something done, so I just feel immobilized. I have to say, though…I don’t feel guilty about giving students low grades any more. Sometimes it makes me feel a little bit vindicated. Shh…don’t tell anyone.

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