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Author Topic: Wish your family understood  (Read 31582 times)
infopri
I guess I'm now a VERY
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When all else fails, let us agree to disagree.


« Reply #30 on: June 29, 2007, 1:46:31 am »

I can't limit it to just one thing, either.  Sorry.

- No, a dissertation is not a "paper."  I can't just go to the library for a few hours, pull an all-nighter, and be done with it.

- Getting a Ph.D. (in my field, at least), does in fact take longer than a bachelor's or a master's degree.  Or even both combined.

- As other posters have mentioned, teaching a class Thursday morning does not mean I'm free to entertain you Wednesday night, especially if the class is a first-time prep.  I invited you to arrive on Friday for a reason.

- The fact that you don't understand my field does not make it unimportant.

- Yes, this is a "real" job, just as real as Sister's job as a saleswoman at Big Department Store, just as real as Mom's job as a school librarian, even just as real as Dad's job as a store owner.  And I work more hours than any of you (when I'm working)--except maybe Dad (when he was alive).

- No, I can't just drop everything and come running (hundreds of miles) every time you "need" me, especially for non-emergencies.  (Corollary:  No, I can't just "do my research later, after I get back" or "get a substitute to take the class.")

The sad thing is, I come from an educated family.  Almost everyone in my parents' generation onward has a college degree, my mother has a master's, a cousin has a Ph.D., etc.  Still, they have no clue.
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People who do not understand numbers should not be allowed to use them for anything. - DvF

MYOB.  Y enseņen bien a sus hijos.
vortex
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zen


« Reply #31 on: June 29, 2007, 8:57:26 am »

Both of my parents and my mother-in-law are professors (at Big State in Middle of Nowhere), and they still don't understand!  They are all in vocational or semi-vocational fields and can't understand why I can't get a job in the same part of the country where they live.
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It is in this fathom-long body endowed with mind that the beginning and end of this world are made known. -- The Buddha
joey_fan
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« Reply #32 on: June 29, 2007, 9:13:48 am »

I forgot to add this one, reflecting on the job market made it very clear to me how many misunderstandings my non-academic family had.

1. No, I can't just decide I really really want a job at, say, Princeton, and get a job as an administrative assistant in X department and "work my way up."

2. Yes, there is pretty much just ONE point in the year when ALL the jobs in this field get posted and only then can you apply.

3. You can't just up and "relocate" to a different campus, even if it's in the same state system.

4. Just b/c you have a degree from a fancy school doesn't in itself guarantee you get a job. [This one is a real difficult one to explain.]

The worst thing is having to answer the same questions over and over--and often times it's the same people who repeatedly ask the same question. As if asking it again will get a different answer...?

I try to have a sense of irony/humor/distance when I respond to these questions (as I don't want to sound bitter/condescending)--so I'm glad I can be somewhat snarky in this venue.
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goingcrazy
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« Reply #33 on: June 29, 2007, 9:47:07 am »

Oh yes --- I did forget about answering the same questions over and over and over and over . . . again! Ughhh! I realize that people are trying to act interested but I have had various individuals think that I graduated after I finished my coursework and took my foreign language exam. Then, after my candidacy exam some started congratulating me. "No, I am only half of the way done." Two years later, after my comps, even my father thought I graduated! Now, while writing the dissertation, I really have no patience for the questions being asked. I just say, "You will know when I graduate because you will be there."
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joey_fan
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« Reply #34 on: June 29, 2007, 9:50:23 am »

I love that response.

I just say, "You will know when I graduate because you will be there."
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alaskamtngirl
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« Reply #35 on: June 29, 2007, 9:58:31 am »

1.  I may be home more during the summer, but that doesn't mean I'm not still WORKING.

2. Yes, teaching online takes easily as much time as teaching in the classroom, and no, I can't just "check in" once a week to make sure my students are turning in their assignments.

3. Yes, I really DO need ALL of those books.

4. Graduate students/GTAs don't make a boat-load of money.  There's a reason people in the know call us "starving graduate students."

5. No, I can't wait to read the three chapters in Foucault's Power/Knowledge in the hour and a half I have tomorrow morning before class.

6. Just because my major is English doesn't mean that I'm obsessed with everyone's grammar...and yes, cultural studies and rhetoric are valuable fields of study that ARE related to an English major.  No, I don't get paid just to "read old books."

7. There are no substitute teachers for college classes.

8. Yes, I have to work in the evenings.  I have to work on weekends.  I have to work during Christmas break.  I have to work during Spring Break.  I have to work during the summer. 

9. No, my cousin (who drives a school bus) and I don't have loads in common because we're both in "Education."

10. The fact that I'm working on my PhD in English does not inherently qualify me to explain/assist with my nephew's Trigonometry homework.
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infopri
I guess I'm now a VERY
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When all else fails, let us agree to disagree.


« Reply #36 on: June 29, 2007, 12:18:48 pm »

2. Yes, there is pretty much just ONE point in the year when ALL the jobs in this field get posted and only then can you apply.

YES!  I forgot this one.  Even my husband didn't quite believe this, and he's an academic!
« Last Edit: June 29, 2007, 12:19:13 pm by infopri » Logged

People who do not understand numbers should not be allowed to use them for anything. - DvF

MYOB.  Y enseņen bien a sus hijos.
hmaria1609
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« Reply #37 on: June 29, 2007, 12:28:19 pm »

From the master's (as a terminal degree) perspective,
1. Reading and writing is work
2. Getting onto Blackboard and reading the posted materials for it for an online class is classtime
3. Keep a regular bedtime?  Hah! Yeah right!
4. Job offers don't always materialize prior to graduation.
5. Can't just drop stuff because you demand instant attention when you call.

Fortunately that's all behind me. Phew!
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not_a_gradstudent1
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« Reply #38 on: June 29, 2007, 12:56:25 pm »

Just because my major is English doesn't mean that I'm obsessed with everyone's grammar...
You think that's bad, try being a political scientist (especially one who doesn't study US elections) in a presidential election year...
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dr_stones
We broke a six-pack in the store to get just one
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пошлите законоведами пушки и деньг


« Reply #39 on: June 29, 2007, 12:58:01 pm »

How many of you had a hard time getting your (esp. extended) family to understand you, in general, when you were coming up?
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"History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme." Samuel "Steroid Free" Clemens
iomhaigh
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« Reply #40 on: June 29, 2007, 1:10:23 pm »

How many of you had a hard time getting your (esp. extended) family to understand you, in general, when you were coming up?

I've always been one of the peculiar ones (the artist, the one wearing tie-dye in high school, the "smart" one, etc.) in my extended family.  They've never really gotten me, and I imagine many of them never will. 

The nuns in the extended family got me, so that forced the rest of them to play nice because no one crossed the nuns. 
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I am the very model of a modern major general.
finallydone
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« Reply #41 on: June 29, 2007, 1:46:19 pm »

The two "dumb" questions I always hate:
1) So when will you graduate? 
      What I say:  [Politely] Getting your PhD (especially in the humanities) is not like undergrad where you are done in 4 years after getting so many credits. 
      What I really want to say in a particularly snarky voice is: Yes, I realize that I have been in school for eight years.  No, I can't definitively say when I will graduate.  I wish I knew.  It depends on when I finish the *&(*&%^*&^ dissertation that (yes) I have been working on for the last 3 years that has become the bane of my existence, the yoke around my neck, the project that must have been inspired by Satan....not that I am hating the diss experience in the slightest.

2) So are you going to come back and get a job at home?
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samspade
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« Reply #42 on: June 29, 2007, 1:59:14 pm »

I will have to say that my mother has never understood me. She complained when I was a child that I was more interested in books than sitting by the pool. My father on the other hand is a scientist that understands the grad school process and has been incredibly supportive.
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joey_fan
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« Reply #43 on: June 29, 2007, 2:14:26 pm »

Ah yes, that one's the killer!


2) So are you going to come back and get a job at home?

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malcha
Creepy Lit Critter, Undead Language Lover,
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posting live from her FCFU


« Reply #44 on: June 29, 2007, 2:17:35 pm »

Ah yes, that one's the killer!


2) So are you going to come back and get a job at home?


Or, "So, are you going to work at X [your graduate institution]?"

Not that I should be posting on this thread.  In fact, I may need to start a new thread for people from overly academic families who understand all too well.
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I mean, what's the point of killing a monster if you don't get to loot its corpse afterwards?
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