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We are all beggars!

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Although begging is an indispensable tool, I hate it. I guess we all do. Even when done for the right reasons, it often invites awkward situations and therefore, is a pitiful act.

This application season, I decided to apply to few PhD programs, and had to go through the begging process all over again. When I say ‘again’, I mean those hundreds, and perhaps even thousands, of beggings we have done so far in our lives. Here are some of my personal favorites (because they remind me how pathetic I was during each of these incidents) with brief side-explanations:

Mommy, can I get an ice cream? Since mommy could not say ‘No’, we got bolder/better in begging. Therefore, I classify this as the mother of all begging acts, since this particular begging style opened doors for all other styles.

Will you please be my prom date? Being at an age where every single person of the opposite sex looked like an angel, who dared to say no?!! But we all know there were some snobby prudes. Thanks to these fellas, we asked out the backup date, and this is when we learned how to outsource in begging.

Dr Professor, will you please write LoRs for me? And this is where it gets nasty. You have gone to the same professor/s requesting many types of LoRs – for scholarships & grants, internships, jobs, and grad schools. I agree that growing up, begging has become our second nature and we should not feel uneasy in doing what is our second nature. And I would have perhaps consented with you right there. But worse part is having to knock their doors and remind them several times. In other words, begging for the same thing over and over and over and…. when will it end?!

It is my belief that people from all kinds of faculties at the Grad Café – from those who dig the Ottonian dynasty and Hobbes to those who get mental orgasms when they hear about metagenomics and metaparticles – get all along just fine not because we are more mature and have learned to respect each other; but because we all empathize each other for having to beg all the time. We all know how dreadful and painful the process of begging is.

At this point, most of us think that we will be able to land into a program we are crazy about, and will be able to attend our dream school, and then live happily ever after. Some of us might have even already started to devise plots in dropping the begging profession because we think it’s finally time to move on. Well, sorry to break this to you my friends, but begging ain’t gonna leave us. Like I mentioned before, it’s been our second nature, and has been shadowing us all these years along. It is utterly stupid of us to think that it will give up on us that easy. As soon as we start our graduate programs, I guarantee you that we all will be begging even more.

Give me money. Poor grad student here!

Please help me operate this machine. Anyone?

Please give me money to go to a conference.

Publish my paper already (I’m getting sick of begging)!? [The editor replies: “Say ‘Please’, beggar!”]

Face it. There is no escape from begging… even after grad schools. Sure, the style and level of begging might upgrade to an advanced mode, but it will still be there. And you better be ready for it – coz a whole lotta begging is still to be done!

Comments welcome! :)

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