Tuesday, July 05, 2005


I got my PhD way back in 1993. A long time ago now, but they were some of the best days of my life so far--where I met most of my best friends.

I was trying to remember what it was like--and realized it was much like my life is today. Typical day started about 8 a.m. and finished at 10 p.m. That was my day as a student--at least 4 days a week--unless an experiment went wrong in which case I'd wasted all of the preceding day's work, but I'd get off early.

And that is my day as a mom and a writer, LOL. (plus night duty)

Some people have funny attitudes to people with Ph.D's (or fuds as we called them). Some people get intimidated, others get shirty and start quoting the old 'university of life' crap. What--you think I live in a vacuum? Some people are determined to prove they know more than you do about some freaky obscure subject. Very likely--I'm not good at everything.

Let me tell you what a Ph.D. tells you about someone--nothing about their intelligence that's for sure...just that they can probably pass basic maths and English.

What it tells you is they know how to work hard, perservere against crappy situations, equipment failures and idiots who call themselves professors. They also know how to live on next to nothing for a surprising amount of years... sound familiar?

My dad always gives me grief about 'university types'. It annoys me because it makes out that I think I'm better than somebody else--not so--not even close. I respect and admire anyone who works hard. I am deeply grateful to those men and women who put their lives on the line in the military. I am in awe of teachers because I can barely cope with two kids, let alone thirty! I even admire people working in MacDonalds because I know it would drive me crazy.

But maybe that happened a long time ago :-)


  1. Sigh...the world of academia. A lot of the people I know involved in academia are snobby and condescending of anything smacking of "genre." On the history level, I had to deal with "popular" and "academic" history books - i.e., if you published with a popular press, like Random House, you were not a "real" historian. But if you published with an academic press, you had finally made it. My whole argument was, "Oh yeah? And who's going to read it if you publish with an academic press?" The answer? "Other academics." And how does that benefit the world as a whole?
    Whoops. I'll get off my soapbox now. I chose not to get my PhD in history for the very reasons I mentioned above. I didn't want to live in the so-called Ivory Tower - and after being in grad school for two and a half years, I know it exists (at least in my field, it did.)

  2. Snobbery in science tends more to be who you know :)

    Cambridge and Oxford don't/or at least didn't recognise PhDs from outside their institutions and tried to call people with doctorates from other universities Mr/Miss. That went don't really well I can tell you LOL!! History sounds full of its own pecularities too !!

  3. WOW! Should've read these posts BEFORE I re-enrolled in Grad School, huh? ;)

    My masters will be in education with an emphasis in Special Education. After that, I'm thinking my Plus 30 in Administration and Supervision--honestly because there's nothing else that will get me a promotion besides that degree. Of course it this writing thing ever pays off...

    I'll just stop at my masters. I love school, it's just that teacher's don't make very good even with a doctorate. A lot of tuition for not a very profitable return. :(

  4. OH and I guess around here our snobbery comes from Vanderbilt, Yale, Harvard, etc.

    Sighs. Never could afford the tuition to those places.

  5. Kim--you're right, teachers and scientists never make huge amounts of money :(

    Oh well!