the zomg grad skool carnival!!!1 Posting by Your Humble Narrator

I like many of the people posting have shed what I have known for the last 6 years and moved on to something new and different.  I am now a graduate student.  I come from a small public liberal arts college*, and there were no grad students at this college, and the mystery of what a grad student is and does created a lot of unknowns for me.  Are they expected to dress like the professors do**?  How are they expected to behave?  For some reason I felt that there was this magic distinction between undergrads and grads, this defining line in the sand.  I don’t feel any different?  I know I don’t look any different?

The environment I am in is much different now, I moved near 1,000 miles away from where I did my undergrad to MRU.  My old biology department consisted of a handful of professors.  Here I think they have hundreds of people who could be labeled biology professors.  Furthermore, our entire science department*** all fit in to one three floor building.  Here a subfield of biology has its own building, plus at least 4 more other buildings dedicated to what I would classify as biology.  SPLAC could fit on one square block, this campus stretches for what seems eternity.  The weather is hugely different, one place was hot and humid and could reach the 100s in temperature, the other, rarely broke 80 and could be as cold as -20.  Also, for the first time in my life people comment on my accent****.

Looking back on the application process I do not know what scared me so much.  It turns out I got accepted everywhere I applied, apparently I did something right.  If forced to answer what I did do right, I would say it was the rapport I built with the PI’s before I even applied, but who knows?  I honestly wish I would have applied at less ‘safe’ places and a few more elite places.  I did land at an elite university, but it was my only reach school, since the application process was mostly free for me, perhaps I should have applied at more places.

I’ve left behind a lot, my entire life was in the state I moved from, my family, my friends, my school, my dog, my sports team, my bars, my motorcycle, everything.  With leaving behind comes the realization that there is a world of possibilities where I am going,  I am the first person in my family to attend graduate school.  I will be the first person in my family with a master’s degree and a Ph.D.  I’m only the 6th college graduate, and the youngest college graduate.  It is weird being the first in your family to do something.  My family has no idea what I’m doing, what it means, and what it will do for me.  While they have been supportive, they ask a lot of strange questions*****.   I also leave with the realizations, that I will find new friends, a new place to drink, I can follow my sports teams anywhere, my dog is probably going to die soon anyway  (he is like, 16?  He has had a good run), and my motorcycle will get down here eventually.  I also have Pam, my ever present girlfriend and sidekick to help me out, which makes things so much easier.

A question for you all in the meantime, what the fuck is a grad student?  Are we faculty (we do teach courses) are we staff (some researchers are labeled staff?) or are we students (I don’t think I need to explain that one.  Can someone fill me in?


**Ya know, that kind of half business casual dress they all seem to wear.

***Physics, geology, chemistry and biology

****Fuck you all!  I don’t have an accent you all have accents!  I speak normal, like they do on television!

*****How are you going to pay for it?  Why don’t you study this completely unrelated field?  What kind of job will you get after this?  When will you move back home?  When will you get a real job?  Seriously people, just roll with it.


~ by epiphron13 on July 21, 2010.

3 Responses to “the zomg grad skool carnival!!!1 Posting by Your Humble Narrator”

  1. We are lab minions.

  2. No one can read this fucken shit if you don’t correct your theme. Light on dark is fucken unreadable.

  3. […] CPP very politely pointed out that the style of this blog can in fact be difficult to read.  I looked at it and found no […]

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