September 27, 2008
The Top Ten Lies Told by Graduate Students (according to the Harvard Crimson)
10 – It doesn’t bother me at all that my college roommate is making $80,000 a year on Wall Street.
9 – I’d be delighted to proofread your book/chapter/article.
8 – My work has a lot of practical importance.
7 – I would never date an undergraduate.
6 – Your latest article was so inspiring.
5 – I turned down a lot of great job offers to come here.
4 – I just have one more book to read and then I’ll start writing.
3 – The department is giving me so much support.
2 – My job prospects look really good.
1 – No really, I’ll be out of here in only two more years
Top Five Lies Told by Teaching Assistants:
5 – I’m not going to grant any extensions.
4 – Call me any time. I’m always available.
3 – It doesn’t matter what I think; write what you believe.
2 – Think of the midterm as a diagnostic tool.
1 – My other section is much better prepared than you guys
The truth about grad students, post-docs, and professors
A grad student, a post-doc, and a professor are walking through a city park and they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out in a puff of smoke.
The Genie says, “I usually only grant three wishes, so I’ll give each of you just one.”
“Me first! Me first!” says the grad student. “I want to be in the Bahamas, driving a speedboat with a gorgeous woman who sunbathes topless.” Poof! He’s gone.
“Me next! Me next!” says the post-doc. “I want to be in Hawaii, relaxing on the beach with a professional hula dancer on one side and a Mai Tai on the other.” Poof! He’s gone.
“You’re next,” the Genie says to the professor.
The professor says, “I want those guys back in the lab after lunch.”
One sunny day, a rabbit came out of her hole in the ground to enjoy the fine weather. The day was so nice that she became careless and a fox snuck up behind her and caught her.
“I am going to eat you for lunch!” said the fox. “Wait!” replied the rabbit,” You should at least wait a few days.”
“Oh yeah? Why should I wait?”
“Well, I am just finishing my dissertation on ‘The Superiority of Rabbits over Foxes and Wolves.’”
“Are you crazy? I should eat you right now! Everyone knows that a fox will always win over a rabbit.”
“Not according to my research. If you like, you can come into my hole and read it for yourself. If you are not convinced, you can go ahead and eat me for lunch.”
“You really are crazy!” said the fox, but since the fox was curious and had nothing to lose, it went into the hole with the rabbit.
The fox never came out.
A few days later, the rabbit was again taking a break from writing when a wolf came out of the bushes and was ready to set upon her.
“Wait!” yelled the rabbit,” You can’t eat me right now.”
“And why might that be, my furry appetizer?” said the wolf.
“I am almost finished with my dissertation on ‘The Superiority of Rabbits over Foxes and Wolves.’”
The wolf laughed so hard he almost let go of the rabbit. “Maybe I shouldn’t eat you–you really are sick in the head! You might have something contagious.”
“Come and read it for yourself, you can eat me afterwards if you disagree with my conclusions.”
So the wolf went down into the rabbit’s hole…and never came out.
The rabbit finished her dissertation and was out celebrating in the local lettuce patch.
Another rabbit came along and asked, “What’s up? You seem very happy.”
“Yup, I just finished my dissertation.”
“Congratulations! What’s it about?”
“‘The Superiority of Rabbits over Foxes and Wolves.’”
“No way! That can’t be right.”
“Oh, but it is. Come and read it for yourself.”
So the two rabbits went down into the rabbit hole. As they entered, the friend saw the typical graduate abode. A computer with the controversial work was in one corner surrounded by discarded papers. And on one side of the room there was a pile of fox bones, while on the other side there was a pile of wolf bones. And in the center, there was a large, well-fed lion.
The moral of the story:
The title of your dissertation doesn’t matter. The subject doesn’t matter. The research doesn’t matter. All that matters is who your advisor is.
Top ten reasons why God never received tenure:
10 – He never got a Ph.D.
9 – He had only one major publication.
8 – It wasn’t published in a refereed journal.
7 – Some doubt that he wrote it Himself.
6 – Sure, he created the world, but what has he done since?
5 – The scientific community can’t replicate his results.
4 – He rarely came to class and just tells students, “Read the book.”
3 – His office hours are irregular and sometimes held on a mountaintop.
2 – He doesn’t present at conferences.
1 – He spent too much time teaching and not enough time doing research.
Top ten reasons why He doesn’t care about not having tenure:
10 – He’s the boss.
9 – His only publication is still the most influential in the field, with millions of citations a year.
8 – Sure He didn’t write it Himself, but with 12 grad students, would you?
7 – Everybody says “Amen” to His opinions.
6 – Disagree with Him, and you may end up in hell.
5 – He’s well known for being a hard worker: six days a week nonstop; rests only on the 7th.
4 – Nobody can beat His 4.5 billion years of field work and 3.5 billion years of DNA expertise.
3 – Most agree He was the first one to be awarded a Nobel prize. Nobel himself.
2 – His research facilities are simply the best: Even well funded scientists will admit they work in conditions which are “far from Heaven” when asked.
1 – He doesn’t depend on NSF money.