What Every Grad Student Loves . . .

Conspicuos Consumption

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal has a great comic about grad students today. I love how it pokes fun of grad student’s snotty reading habits–one of my favorite grad school pasttimes was shocking fellow students with my poor choices of reading/viewing material.


Eerily Similar to My Own Grad School Application Process

Panel on Productivity

I’m sitting here at SXSW in at a panel entitled “I’m So Productive, I Never Get Anything Done.” It’s probably the worst panel at a conference that I have ever been to. I wish that I tweeted regularly so that I knew how to quickly tweet with the appropriate hashtag and tell everyone at the conference, including the organizers, how much I hate it.

Anyway, what’s making me mad about it is that the people who are on the panel have no information, no research, and no advice. They simply say, “buckle down, don’t let yourself get distracted, and do the work.” Oh, thank you.

If it’s true that these people are great at self-control, then I don’t think that they are the best people to offer advice to those who want to be more productive . . . But wait! Now these supposed experts on self-control are freely admitting that their personal relationships are screwed up because they are constantly distracted by their phones.

Here’s my theory: the people on the panel are not more productive than the people attending it. They are just more confident and more forgiving of themselves. Maybe it would help the people attending the panel to believe that they are productive. Maybe believing it makes it true.

Guest Post on Poetry & Public Culture!

Thanks so much to Mike Chasar, of the excellent Poetry & Popular Culture blog, for inviting me to write a guest post on a LeBron James Nike commercial that doubles as a poem. I had a lot of fun with this. I typically don’t dwell on poetry in this blog, but for those of you who are curious, this is kind of Liz’s Dissertation Lite.

Also, Mike Chasar wrote one of my favorite pieces of poetry criticism EVER, “The Business of Rhyming: Burma-Shave Poetry & Popular Culture.” So you know how happy I am to be on his blog! ;)

The Simpsons on Graduate Students

It’s Really Over Ritual

I didn’t really know what kind of ritual I wanted to do to signify to myself that grad school is really over. Luckily, my husband had the perfect idea. He photocopied the signature page from my dissertation and brought it with us in our post-defense celebrations. He encouraged all our friends to sign it, and also asked that they make the page look “like it has been through hell.” The project was enthusiastically embraced by all, and I have one really fantastic memento of my defense day to show for it. It was a great party, and those signatures not only show how I was supported by friends (and in some cases, people I barely know), but that I’m a doctor now in the eyes of the world! It’s an accepted fact. And I’m pretty psyched about it.