A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A GRADUATE STUDENT

Anonymous


6:30 Wake up and lie awake in bed.
6:31 Realize you spent $18 on last night's dinner, means no eating out for the next 6 weeks.
7:00 Wake up suddenly with heart in the mouth when you realize you didn't hit the snooze button--you turned it off.
7:01 Fall asleep again.
7:44 Wake up with heart in the mouth again.
7:45 Ready to go to school, will shave tommorrow, will shower tomorrow, will eat early brunch at (Denny's/Penny's/Lenny's/Dinko's whatever cafeteria).
8:03 Arrive at school. Realize your foreign officemate arrived arrived earlier today and must have gotten more work done.
8:04 Pass by Advisor's office, chat with his secretary to find out if he is coming in today. He is, darn. Need to start work on the draft due this afternoon.
8:15 Read electronic mail.
8:20 Delete mail from students taking CMPSC201 regarding questions about the class. Hate your TA job. Depression: too much work to do today.
9:00 For jumpstart: go to Pepsi machine.
9:05 Kick Pepsi machine; promise yourself to call up the company and ask for your money back. Wonder why they would believe you.
9:33 Start printing out loads of stuff that may be vaguely related to your work.
9:41 Early morning stupefaction. Mutter nasty comments to yourself about your officemate.
9:43 Curse your officemate in a low tone he would not comprehend. Feel good about him not grasping English well.
9:58 Finger everyone in the department and most people half way around the world (using the "finger" command, of course) and feel good about making sure that all is well with your world
10:19 Feel sleepy, should not have stayed late playing tetris last night.
10:31 Momentary panic attack!!!!!!!!!!!!
10:43 Edit .plan file. write a shell program to edit .plan more easily.
10:59 Drop in at the advisor's office and borrow some book or journal that you don't need & and kinda make him aware you are working hard on your project.
11:05 Perverted daydreams
11:11 Read electronic news. Mid-morning yawn time.
11:34 Start typing junk at a very high key-in rate to pretend you are working hard as your advisor passes by from outside.
11:35 Press the BackSpace key for one and a half minutes until all the garbage you typed in is erased. Realize that you can type more than 256 characters in half a minute or less.
11:41 Flirt with the new girl in the department.
11:45 Print out some slides for afternoon's draft + presentation.
11:47 Print them again, you forgot to change the date from last presentation.
11:49 Print another copy in case this one gets lost.
11:51 Completely forget about suing the coffee machine company.
12:15 Hunger pangs: 12:20 BigMac/Fries time. Drink a not-so-cold generic can of cola from your desk. Ch-Ching, you just saved 35 cents by buying bulk cola.
1:00 Group Meeting with advisor.
1:14 Sudden awareness of one's shallowness, resentment towards your officemate for sucking up to your advisor. Get reminded by your advisor that you need to do some more work for your literature survey.
1:51 Advisor hands you the reddened copy of your draft for corrections.
1:51:02 The 49 second urge to murder advisor begins!!
1:51:52 Realize that he controls your assistantship/grade/ graduation possiblity/graduation date/all job opportunities and the rest of your life.
1:52:53 Thank him
1:52:54 Thank yourself for not saying something stupid to your advisor 1:53:00 splitting headache #1 1:59 Check electronic mail, don't reply though, you are too busy to do that.
2:06 More generic cola.
2:17 Oh No, it is my turn to cook tonite :-(
2:30 Sit through the class you were told to sit through.
2:39 Look outside the window, make unrealistic plans to quit this degree program and take up a job. Wonder why you find blonde girls to be so pretty. Make a mental note to bring up this as a discussion topic with your philosopher roommate later.
2:48 More daydreams. Resist the urge to close the office door and sharpen pencil.
3:06 Worry about never graduating. Time to write a letter -- NOT! No time for that. Rearrange desk. Call up bank, see if you have any money. Fear of losing assistantship next Fall. Read LaTeX manuals to figure out how to put &$%&% in %$^% format.
3:43 Watch the clock. Make plans to pull an all-nighter tonite. Vow to watch only 2 TV programs.
4:58 Notice advisor leave.
4:58:01 Sudden sense of freedom. Go home for a quick dinner break.
9:00 Come into the office
9:01 The hard working grad student you are, you have to come to the office late at night to "get the work done."
9:03 Check electronic mail. Decide it would be a good time to attack those ftp sites since network won't be loaded. Run into "since network won't be loaded" traffic and get the pictures into your machine. Compress all the unwanted research/class directories to make space. Back up all the files that you just ftp-ed.
10:11 Admire the contents of your ftp directory. Wonder how depressing your life would be without all those free ftp sites. Begin work; Realize you need references. Realize its too late today to go to the library. Sudden feeling of having wasted the day.
10:49 Sudden feeling of possibly having to waste the night, decide to turn in early and come back very early tommorrow morning. Decide to play a Tetris on the system to put yourself in a good mood.
11:15 Play game after game after game to improve your score and get on the scoreboard. Realize that your officemate is still at number 6, two notches above you on the scoreboard.
12:20 Play until you beat your officemate into the 7th place. A sense of achievment!! Yes, today was not wasted!! Return home to find your roommate watching David Letterman reruns on NBC. Tell him about the "hard working grad student day you had." Discuss philosophy with roommate.
1:09am Think about becoming a philosopher and dining with 4 others. (The Dining Philosophers problem, hee hee :-) (Comp Sci joke) Argue with him about politics, why you find blonde girls attractive, why people prefer Japanese cars and whether it is better to set the heat to "hot" or "cold" to defrost the windshields faster.
1:49 Realize neither of you have bought milk today. Get reminded of the "too much milk problem."
2:04 Forget about getting up early. Turn the phone ringer off and go to sleep.