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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The Graduate Student Speaketh (ranting)!

Risky to read! Risky to write!
Grad rants r repeatedly trite!

(Cough Cough)! (The throat is cleared, head isn't)! The head is a herd of unsheared sheep, that having not slept well for weeks, have started bleating together, incoherently. The cacophony, the madness has a method to it, has a pattern, an underlying invisible, but valuable message We donot know the message yet, for it is in the same language that was used in the Passion of the Christ, and the available subtitles are in Egyptian heilographics. Like in all research questions, the needful is unknown, the wanted is missing, the doable has already been done, the possible has been perfected, the impossible is known to the advisor who has forgotten to mention it to the student. Besides the student is in a persistant state of procastination, distress or undress. "Procastination is my birth right, and I shall have it." In any case, doing is less important than thinking about what to do.

Thinking produces sprains in the millions of nerve cells that need to be activated out of the blue. It gives you kind of cramps you get when you get after a dog has chased you for a mile. I have worked like a dog all my life. My life is a bitch, gets ffffed quite often. There are no puppies yet!

ffffed means getting F's you dumbo!

Miracles don't happen. Every graduate student knows it, and yet expects one. Except on the defense day, they hardly ever get lucky! Come on dude, if you ever watched the movie Saint (its better than Jackal), you would know that proven three miracles can make you a Saint. By graduating and by getting a REAL job some of us get two miracles to occur. If you don't believe me, read PhD comics!

There are no flashes of brilliance. Sometimes there are no flashes, no light, no brillance. Some tunnels do not open to a bright sky. Anyone who ever told you you are smart never went to graduate school, and if he did, and still said that he just sympathized with you! We live with limitations, and hence we are not stupid. Whoever said "Genius has his limitation, stupidity is not this handicapped." was talking about us!

I believe in myself. I believein myself. I belie vain myself:)!

Cribbing helps. It brings back the focus to problem at hand: You! It motivates to graduate sooner. It presents a pathway of self-realization, which is underhanded way of say it helps you to stay conceited and happy. It makes your problem Somebody Else's Problem (refer to Douglas Adams for details)! Most importantly it cleanses your system of the remorse of not having accomplished anything. Not accomplishing anything is not uncommon, rather a success must always be treated with suspicion. A success is like a dream that a graduate student cannot have. A success is like a pay check that a graduate student knows nothing about. A success is a myth.

We are the drivers of myths, the movers of miracles, the believers in slackers, the seekers of not easily disproved. We are the hungry, we survive only beause there is a constant influx of free food from seminars. We are the grumbling, grunting gas bags of unfulfilled desires, and misplaced needs. We solve Differential Equations for food.

There are few things that keep us going, save our day. The coffee, the tea, the tablespoons of sugar, the crumbs of cookies, the leftovers from yesterday's seminars. If there is advisor, there is lo behold, Budweiser. There are deadlines; you have to stop working after they are over. And there is Google. Google knows everything. Google is god. What can be done, can be found on google. What cannot be done can be found on Google. Google is the best thing that ever happened to graduatestudentkind. Next time you google this long word, you will figure that it exists, and can be found on my homepage.

Being a graduate student is not all that bad for following debatable reasons:

Being graduate student makes you patient (good for guys as it helps them bear with their girlfriends)!

It makes you mentally tougher (you know SHIT HAPPENS, and you know how to deal with it)

It makes you humble and grumble (and you definitely learn how to mumble in a way that people associate with deep thinking of a doctorate holder)!

It makes you grow older and wiser and cynical and less hairy on the top and makes you miserly, capable of surviving on almost nothing (to eat and wear). (Leads to long term happiness as you have seen the worse already!)!

It makes people respect you, and they give huge allowance for your lack of dressing sense, lack of table manners, pot bellies, poorly shaved beards, forgetfulness and HUGE APETITE when invited for dinners.

It teaches you practical things like "how to stand on shoulder of giants" like Einstein did, how to write hundred pages without stating anything new and yet making it sound revolutionary, the skills of cooking and cleaning and the importance of being trivial in realm of how the world is and yet being hailed as experts (of a very narrow field, with only 3-4 people besides you knowing how less you really know).

Lastly, it gives you time, energy, motivation and ability to read and write such blogs:)!

PS: All advisors and graduate students mentioned here are imaginary, and all that is said here is quite unrelated to the happy life of this graduate student: unlike his future thesis, this is a work of fiction!

10 comments:

SeaSwallowMe said...

"...and the available subtitles are in Egyptian heilographics..."

... ROTFLMAO, vivek :)))

FunnyCide said...

ROTFL Vivek, We hear you.. we hear you..
and about "how to write hundred pages without stating anything new and yet making it sound revolutionary".. dont the inmates of the asylum know better??!! :D

Chay said...

Ok first off Viv...a rant from you!! My my that is worthy of applause in itself!! I dont think u are cured of anything yet...but you seem well on the road. ;-)) U have done well thus far - u joined the asylum, then u faced yourself and have taken the plunge!!! :-))))) I declare that thou shalt be humbler, grumbler and mumbler after each of thine therapeutic rant sessions....enuff already!!
Ok...are you describing your research or my life???? :-)))))) I so agree about procrastination...I mean...its the coolest thing to do eh!! put it off...do a fiddle de dee...Scarlett O Hara style (not the scarlett on Sulls/dss, but the one in Gone in the Wind!!) :-)))

"Some tunnels do not open to a bright sky"
Awww...now u are scoring brownie points!! :-)) Wanna hitchhike the galaxies??? ;-)) I am sure we can find a craic team here...

"Lastly, it gives you time, energy, motivation and ability to read and write such blogs:)!"
Either a grad student or a bored housewife...:-)))))) but we both rock dont we!!!

Good one Viv...enjoyed thoroughly, reading and commenting, as always...:-))))))))

PS: some double posts deserve double comments as well!! ;-))

cheti said...

"unlike his future thesis, this is a work of fiction" hehehehe !

Vivek said...

lollz cheti:) Wipe that grin off ur face; I really meant that:)

Don't like the rant too much, it would only open more cans of worms!:)!!

Chay said...

Aww Vivs...:-( rant a bit more. But then again, I shall not be held responsible if it will keep you from that thesis! :-))

Sumita said...

Vivek

"And there is Google. Google knows everything. Google is god. What can be done, can be found on google. What cannot be done can be found on Google. Google is the best thing that ever happened to graduatestudentkind"

LOL!! Hear hear!! I worship google...Couldnt have ever become a SAHM without it

Booky

buckwaasur said...

rotfl...:-))

i started reading this blog and was thinking of suggesting phd comics until i read where u already mentioned it...

my fiance is in the middle of her phd...she'd identify so much with this post...i'll pass on this link to her...:-))

Google is the best thing that ever happened to graduatestudentkind. Next time you google this long word, you will figure that it exists, and can be found on my homepage.

>>> lol...very neat...:-)

Ubermensch said...

two lines and i knew it needs alemon tea to enjoy it...forget thesis , how abt blogs?

Vivek said...

from sulekha:


Vivek Sharma comments:
on Apr 21 2005 6:56PM delete this comment block this user
booky... that counts for sure... chay wd agree, as wd rashmi:)!!

in fact u gals shd form a Housewife Writing Club (HWC), that can then become an international forum for talented housewives to launch and exhibit their literary skills!:) In fact I envy the housewives in some way, for they can have much more time to indulge in reading and writing stuff:)!! :)...!

Bookworm33 comments:
on Apr 21 2005 8:06AM delete this comment block this user
Vivek

"What about bored housewifes who become grad students??"

ha ha ha!!! am going to school...soon...not grad kind tho.. does that count?

Booky

Vivek Sharma comments:
on Apr 20 2005 11:11PM delete this comment block this user
In lighter vein, like my research problems, my choice of girls is insanely difficult to get:)! In fact, I use failure in one to drive me to work harder in the other:), so bad day at research is good for writing and social life, bad day socially is great for working:)! Its bizarre logic, but ask any grad student: u wd never like to work on a sunny day (thats y all major research univs are in North in US:))!!


chayalife comments:
on Apr 20 2005 7:44PM delete this comment block this user
bosss...dont get a bored wife...period!! Lolllz!!! even if she is diffy to look at....dont get a bored one...:-)))))

See..there was one part of my comment which I removed just before posting it....look for your mail....:-))))))

But what Vivs...u trolling Sullls....dont tell me buddy!! I have a few gal-pals who would fancy a poetry writing partly eccentic scientist int eh making! :-))))) ;-))

Chay...

Vivek Sharma comments:
on Apr 20 2005 7:39PM delete this comment block this user
humsafar: u must have been a grad student:), for after reading so much crap only our tribe can desire more:)!!

chay... lets meet in The restaurant at the end of the universe for a cup of tea (oh that series is still boiling on a hot plate somewhere)... but ur comment has got me thinking.... I will procastinate all attempts of acquiring a bored housewife (for if she is going to be quite like me, I wd rather look in the mirror:)!!)

What about bored housewifes who become grad students?? There ought to be someone here on sulekha (doubly qualified to rant and write:)!!)

chayalife comments:
on Apr 20 2005 7:12PM delete this comment block this user
Ok first off Viv...a rant from you!! My my that is worthy of applause in itself!! I dont think u are cured of anything yet...but you seem well on the road. ;-)) U have done well thus far - u joined the asylum, then u faced yourself and have taken the plunge!!! :-))))) I declare that thou shalt be humbler, grumbler and mumbler after each of thine therapeutic rant sessions....enuff already!!

Ok...are you describing your research or my life???? :-)))))) I so agree about procrastination...I mean...its the coolest thing to do eh!! put it off...do a fiddle de dee...Scarlett O Hara style (not the scarlett on Sulls/dss, but the one in Gone in the Wind!!) :-)))

"Some tunnels do not open to a bright sky"
Awww...now u are scoring brownie points!! :-)) Wanna hitchhike the galaxies??? ;-)) I am sure we can find a craic team here...

"Lastly, it gives you time, energy, motivation and ability to read and write such blogs:)!"
Either a grad student or a bored housewife...:-)))))) but we both rock dont we!!!


Good one Viv...enjoyed thoroughly, reading and commenting, as always...:-))))))))
Chay

humsafar comments:
on Apr 20 2005 6:58PM delete this comment block this user
superb piece of humor! Write more!
humsafar.