Thursday, January 26, 2006

Grad students say the darndest things

Sure, kids are funny, and political malapropisms are amusing to be sure, but to hear the craziest shit you'll ever hear, you really have to speak to a grad student, preferably while they're drunk, and if they're awake, odds are they're drunk. I have therefore decided to start a regular segment of "Grad Students Say the Darndest Things" Here are two recent unbelievable utterances to get us started:

(in discussing bird flu) "I don't mind chickens, but I'm afraid of cocks...........what...what's so funny....why are you laughing?"

(in discussing a particularly bad picture of a girl which made her look mentally disabled and pregnant): "awww...someone impregnated the downs girl..."

There are others, but they're more "you had to be there" moments, I figure these are universally appreciable.

More to come soon, I'm sure.


Monday, January 16, 2006

Some People Just Don't Learn

Despite my posting on the basic tenets of grad student etiquette, I've had people continue to ask me such appalling questions as "Did you get your readings done?" and "Does laying your head down on your books count as studying?" I have therefore decided to outline definitively what does and does not constitute "work"

  1. Entering the library, even if solely for the purposes of checking email, shall be deemed research
  2. Incessantly hitting "refresh" on your browser when at the BBC News website, even though the page automatically refreshes on its own every several minutes, shall be deemed research
  3. Bumping into a classmate and then proceding to get coffee/a drink/dinner together shall be considered "peer review"
  4. Drinking, eating, watching downloaded shows/movies, web-surfing, MSN-ing and the like shall all be deemed diversions necessary for maximizing productivity in the long term by provided badly needed respite from the aformentioned forms of "work" (see paragraphs 1, 2 and 3)
So there you have it, no I must go perform #2 on the list.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Well ladies and gents, my time in Canada has come to an end. I leave tomorrow afternoon to return to London. My holidays, if they can be called that given the two papers I've had to write, just flew by. I got a chance to see a lot of old familiar faces, which was really nice. Apart from the fact that I'm not finished the aforementioned two papers, however, I think I'm ready to go back. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy my time here, nor that I'll miss all the people over here "across the pond" but I'm fairly eager to get back to school and back into the grind, though I know that a few weeks from now I'll look back on this and say "what was I thinking?!"

It seems Canada, which greeted me with non-stop snow for pretty much the first week I was here, is now transitioning me back to Londonian weather, with unseasonably mild (around 2 degrees) temperatures, lots of rain and lots of fog. I'd rather it be cold and snowy than cold and rainy though.

I don't really know when I'll next be back in Canada, which is kind of a weird thought to consider. My program ends in mid-September and, unless I have a job lined up directly after that, I'll likely be back then, but only long enough to look for a job overseas most likely. Ideally, I'd like to have a job lined up either in London (unlikely) or the Middle East directly after I finish. Even then though, I think I'd like to come back to Canada at least briefly before starting work.

A lot of people have been asking me how work on the aforementioned two essays goes. In response to that I'd just like to say "well I never!" Asking a graduate student about the progress of his/her work or research is like asking a woman her age or weight. It's just not done in polite company. Here's a brief etiquette lesson courtesy of PHD Comics
(click picture to link to external page with larger image. Doesn't work on my internet explorer for some reason)