Is this Real Life?



Curious Wanderer?  For the past four months, I’ve taken a break from this blog and have been curiously wandering through madness as I work on my dissertation.  I’ve set a deadline of #May2016 for the completion of my degree, and essentially that means that I have NO room for error.  But, by now my committee has commented on my draft of Chapter One, and I’ve completed a first draft of Chapter Two.  So, I feel I’m making good progress.

I’ve had so many opinions on a number of events that’ve occurred recently: the Charleston massacre and the debate over the Confederate flag, Donald Trump’s hilarious entrance into the presidential election, the fact that the Rosetta probe on that far-flung comet woke back up, among many, many others.

But, I’ve had no energy to sit down and write anything now that all day of my every day is spent literally writing history.  So, instead, I give you a few memes:  #phdlife






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The Grad Life

As our semesters are wrapping up, here are a few reflections on the life of a grad student: 

X conference questions

How often does this happen at conferences? Sometimes even the audience member forgets what s/he was supposed to be asking!


X Daily Crisis



X God of Procrastination



X Humanities vs Social Science




X Writing & Drinking

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The History of Grammar Nazis

X Ancient Grammar Nazi

X THE in German

Because, YES, there are really that many ways to say “the” in German. This is why I drink.

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Mapping the World

Here’s a really interesting map that shows what Americans in different parts of the country call soft drinks.  I remember moving to Buffalo and laughing at how they call it “pop”… and I also remember having to TRY to explain to my students why we Southerners call every damn thing Coke.

Waitress:  “What would you like to drink?”
Me: “Coke”
Waitress: “What kind?”
Me: “I guess I’ll take a Mt. Dew.”


Me: “I’m heading to the store – I’m going to pick up some Coke – what kind do y’all want?”


X softdrinksmap


X World per America


Europe According to the United States of America


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Grammar Nazis, Attack!

The Ultimate Grammar Nazi: 

Grammar Nazi

Know Your Shit

Oxford Comma Strippers

To Funny

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Grad Life

If you’re a grad student and you haven’t checked out the folks over at Ph.D. Comics, you definitely should.  They have some great comics that pretty much capture the life of a grad student.

Here are some of my favorite ones that I’ve come across lately:

Work Output

Your Graduation

Ask a Question during a Seminar?And lastly, while Ph.D. supposedly stands for Doctor of Philosophy, here are some alternate meanings:

PhD ?

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Grad School Stress

Stressed = dessert

Coincidence? I think not.

College Owl

How freakin true is that?

Text Symbol

Made me think of my earlier post: OMG, like LOL!!!!!! :))):):)!

Picnic Bike

Having this awesome picnic bike could cure some of my stress!

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Grammar Nazi

Just a collection of grammar memes for the other grammar conscious folks out there:


Comma & Period Quotation Marks Alphabet in math Punctuation is Powerful Spell Check Spell Check 2

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Thank God Almighty I’m Free at Last!

The semester from hell has finally ended, and I’ve enjoyed several days at home, relaxing with family and friends.  I’ve been thinking about the past fall semester and have come to a couple of conclusions about some things:


  • Most of my students are only about five years younger than I am, but I guess they think that I don’t know about Google, Wikipedia, or copy/paste.
  • Even when my students deserve it, I just can’t bring myself to give them a zero.  So, instead I give them something like a 7; turns out that a 7 will freak out students more than a zero will, and then I get to sleep well at night.
  • My students know that they don’t have to be completely formal with me, but when I get an email that starts of with “Hey Jakey :)”  I just stop reading and hit delete.  Smileys in an email?  To your instructor?  REALLY?
  • I found this comic strip that pretty accurately depicts the stages of procrastination:
  • I got a study carrel (cubicle) in the library this past semester.  It’s nice because at least I know I’ll always have a quiet place to study.  But by the end of the semester I realized I had been hoarding about 25 books in there, even though I hadn’t checked them out (so, they would still show up at “on the shelf” if anyone was looking for them online).  Normally, I hate when people do this, but when I tried to make myself put them back out of moral obligation, I found myself shrinking back into the dark corner of my carrel, stroking my favorites, hissing “My preciousses…
  • This one is related to the above point: I searched the university’s library for a particular book this semester.  It was going to be THE perfect book for a class, but of course, the university didn’t have it.  Someone had checked it out.  So, I put in yet another ILL (inter-library loan) request to find some other library in the country that had it.  And then I added a little snide comment on the request about how I have to ILL more books than I can actually find in the university library.  About ten days later, the book showed up for me and it struck me that it looked really familiar.  I went home and looked on my bookshelf…Oops.  I was the one that already had it checked out from the university library! 
  • I’ve found out that there are certain words, that no matter how often I’ve had to type them, I cannot spell or type them correctly to save my life: memorial, persecution, characteristic.  And one that I usually misspell so badly that spell check doesn’t even have any suggestions:  individual.  See:
  • I hate when my body’s physically exhausted, but when I lay down to sleep, my mind is still racing. So, I try counting sheep. But then I end up wanting to ask historiographical or theoretical questions about the sheep: where are these sheep coming from? What socio-economic forces are causing these sheep to jump? How can I adequately cite & reference these sheep, and who has talked about these sheep before me? Are these even sheep? For that matter, what is a sheep? …. Grad school will warp you.
  • I am a stress eater and a stress cleaner.  That means that after the end of this semester my pants are a lot tighter, but my apartment is clean as hell!
  • Sometime around midterm this semester, when I was overwhelmed and having trouble finding the motivation to write papers, read my books, and grade papers, I found myself thinking, I wish Professor Dumbledore lived in our History tower.  I’d go see him right now.
  • A few weeks ago, as I was about to submit my final paper, I was proofreading it again to search for any typos or anything else wrong with it.  After getting to the end of the first page, I got bored reading my own paper, thought Fuck it, and then hit the send button.
  • Once I hit send, I did my happy-history-nerd dance.  Yes, I have a happy-history-nerd dance, and no, there is no video to show it.
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