Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Pursuing the Precious: Grad School

"We be nice to them if they be nice to us." Below you will find find Five Ways that Pursuing a Phd is similar to becoming Gollum.  Merry Christmas, Ya'll!

1.) Obsession with the Precious or Dissertation:  Finishing a Phd means obsessing over a particular question to the point that you and everyone around you can no longer stand the subject (or your presence). That's Right, Folks. Each day Grad Students plop themselves down in chairs, picks up their laptops, and pour over the same factual tidbits over and over again until  they become mindless drones clutching their papers, drooling, and mumbling: "Its mine.  My own. My Precious."  

2.) Split Personalities: Too much time spent alone reading and writing often causes the lonely Grad Student to develop antisocial tendencies. (Did you know touch deprived monkeys become antisocial?  The same thing goes for grad. students)  For example, when invited to an event or outing, like Smeagol, she begins an inner battle between the person who entered academia (a somewhat sane individual) and the one who she is now (a poorly dressed hobo who sleeps all day and stays up all night).  This conflict can lead to terrible confusion, nasty outbursts, and self degradation: "You don't have any friends.  Nobody likes you."

3.) Strange Eating Habits: By the end, of their first semester the average Grad Student has begun scavenging for food: free lunches, leftover cookies, three day old pizza crusts.  You name it.  We'll eat it.  In fact, the consumption of junk food often becomes so overwhelming that by the end of their second year when offered a even a raw fish, a Grad Student will respond: "The rock and pool, is nice and cool, so juicy sweet. Our only wish, to catch a fish, so juicy sweet." 

4.) Overzealous Reactions: Listen, Kiddies, Colleagues do not equal Friends.  This means Grad. School is often an isolating business.  That being the case, when a Grad Student happens upon an opportunity for some real fun she tends to jump at it in what can only be described as a socially awkward and overly zealous way: "It plays GAMES, Precious."

5.) Negotiations: Listen, Grad students live a life of constant avoidance.  Writing a dissertation is akin to taking the One Ring to Mordor.  Its rough going.  We'd rather keep the Ring and skip the Trip!  This means when said Student's Advisor demands chapters, she begins making excuses.  My hair is falling out.  I lost my mind.  My grandmother died, AGAIN.  I have halitosis.  Dear Lord, "It burns.  It freezes.  Take it off us!" 

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