i can't roll my eyes back any further than this

February 2, 2009 at 12:02 pm (blog-a-day!, jinxing myself, rants, stupid grad school)

Long ago, this blog was started as a way for me to deal with losing my mom. It also turned into a way to vent about how much I hated grad school, and you can’t bitch about grad school without bitching about your adviser, right? I always thought it was funny when I got comments from friends in grad school in other places along the lines of “Wow, how come your program sucks so bad? Mine is great!” followed by, 6 months to a year later, “Holy crap, you were right, grad school sucks!” comments. ‘Cause face it, people, grad school really does suck. It is a special kind of torture that science students put themselves through in order to become either completely disillusioned* by science or to go so deeply into denial about how bad academic science is run that they become professors and propagate the crappiness inherent in the system. If you decide that the whole system of publish-or-perish is not worth dealing with get-grants-or-starve work that they never tell you about when you are in school dreaming about becoming a scientist, you skip the Ph.D. ritual and opt to become a tech rather than a prof.

One thing you realize in grad school is that every single mildly sane grad student has a hobby of some sort, which they didn’t start until they got to grad school. I was actually talking about this with my boss yesterday- she plays violin and has forever, but didn’t really get back into playing in quartets until she was in grad school. I took up crafting in grad school, and one of my labmates became obbessed with dog rescues while another started volunteering with an elder hostel…the list goes on and on. The madness induced by the frustrations of being a grad student have to be balanced by or taken out on some completely unrelated event. The people who I see burning themselves out on work and wanting to drop out of science completely are the ones with no outside interests at all.

ANYWAY, the point of this post was actually to talk about how my graduate adviser recently, after two years, got back in touch with me. We have a long (professional) history- he was my mentor when I was in college and I developed a serious hero worship complex with him- he did the kind of science I wanted to do and was passionate about the same animals I was (elamsobranchs- look it up, kids). Then I got to grad school and he was a major jerk. I’m talking serious favoritism to the my lab mates, who were boys and definite “cool kids,” while I was a lowly girl with serious depression issues in desperate need of guidance which I totally did not get. Needless to say, I graduated with some serious resentment towards him. I even have a comment about it on my Facebook page- something along the lines of “I am awesome now and my old adviser, who said I would never be awesome, can suck it.” Now, I would like to point out to the universe that Facebook is not a professional website. It is a silly place to catch up with friends and see who got fat. Thus my comment about what I do now vs. grad school- I want people to see that I do awesome science techniques now, despite being told in grad school that, and this is a direct quote, I was a “waste of resources” and “would never make it in the sciences” (my adviser had a temper tantrum at me, which hardened my resolve to continually think evil thoughts at him). On Facebook. Where it doesn’t matter.

So, recently, randomly, my adviser has gotten back in touch with me. On Facebook. Even though he has my email and phone number. So, my Facebook page is super secret private, so I knew he’d never see it. Plus I don’t care. It’s just Facebook. No one cares. But I forgot that when you message people on Facebook, they can see your page. Poop. Well, whatever, he knew there’s no love lost between us, since we haven’t communicate in two years.

*I was very confused about why I kept screwing up how to spell this word. Turns out I was writing “dis-solution-ed.” I am awesome.


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