Posts Tagged With: grad life

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

Categories: edumacation, Humor, Nerdgasm | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving, Y’all!

The sun has finally decided to shine here in Berlin, and for that, I am very Thankful!  I was thinking about composing another list of everything I’m thankful for, but then I came across the one I wrote last year, and it pretty much says everything I wanted to again this year!

So, instead, I thought I’d share this picture with all of my fellow PhD students out there.  It’s from the guys and gals over at PhD comics, and – as always – they have captured the essence of grad life perfectly.  So, I hope you’re all enjoying the holiday and are with some loved ones.

I was going to go have some schnitzel and sauerkraut for dinner, but then I found out that Hard Rock Cafe Berlin is offering a Thanksgiving Dinner all day!  So, after another evening in the archives, I’m going to go enjoy some turkey, dressing, veggies, cranberry sauce, and most importantly of all: pumpkin pie!


X Thankful PhD Students

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Grad Life: A Story Etched in Stone

During my research year in Germany, I came across a number of epic statues around the city, and they spoke to me.  Below is the story of graduate school as depicted by the sculptors of old Europe.

In the Beginning


This depicts your undergraduate advisor, guiding the young, naive, and still idealistic version of yourself to the hallowed grad school applications.

The First Semester


You enter the arena that first, exciting fall semester, and are armed with the basic history-grad student essentials: historiography, the latest edition of the Chicago/Turabian manual, cheap alcohol, and a diminishing sense of self-worth.  If you’re lucky, a more advanced warrior (otherwise known as “ABD student”) will take you under his or her wing and help shield you from some of the pressure of the academic battlefield: conference deadlines, seminar presentations, nagging undergrad students, and absentee advisors. 

In the Valley


Woe unto you: You enter your readings/qualifying exams year with determination, only to emerge as a shell of your former self 9-12 months later, barely clinging to an ABD status and letting all other accomplishments and pride fall to the ground.  Exhausted and with your soul crushed, you begin to wonder why flipping burgers or sleeping under a bridge is such a bad thing. Luckily, the angel known as Jack Daniels is there to lift your spirits and give you the motivation (delusion?) to carry on.



Supported by research grants, significant others, friends, family, and more whiskey, and armed with the spear of bitter determination, you finally slay the dissertation beast that has ruled every waking moment of your life for the past decade.  Having been safely sheltered inside the confines of the Ivory Tower during the entire duration of your epic quest, your doctoral committee signs off on your dissertation and you pass your defense.  At long last, you receive validation of your life’s purpose! 




You can finally sheathe your sword, for you are done.  Now that you are [far too] old and wise – symbolized by an awesome, manly beard – Academia places the honor of three little letters behind your name. (The actual ceremony involving hoods, cloaks and funny hats sounds just as fantastical as this statue is epic).  Now you are free to face the world as a revered Doctor of Philosophy, free to lead some other innocent soul to grad school applications. 

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