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People say the rudest things!


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Alright, my last rant was good fun, so here goes another...

Have you found that people say some really rude sh*t sometimes when it's brought up that you're going for a Ph.D.? Here are some of my favorites.

I know a guy who, like 25 years ago, went to the Business school at one of the universities to which I'm applying. When he heard I was applying there (to a different program) he pulled me aside and said, "you want a recommendation letter? You let me know." Um. Yeah. No.

This smug guy I know (has an ivy league undergrad degree and likes to flout it) was going on and on one night about how it's become so easy to get a Ph.D. these days that they're practically worthless. He was really working it. Finally, after awhile, I asked, "how long did it take to get yours?" he said, "my what?" I said, "your doctorate. Since you've been telling us all how easy they are to get I assumed you had one." And scene.

You guys have to have some good ones too....please share!

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This smug guy I know (has an ivy league undergrad degree and likes to flout it) was going on and on one night about how it's become so easy to get a Ph.D. these days that they're practically worthless. He was really working it. Finally, after awhile, I asked, "how long did it take to get yours?" he said, "my what?" I said, "your doctorate. Since you've been telling us all how easy they are to get I assumed you had one." And scene.

Beautiful!

Yes, for sure, PhDs are very easy now. Practically everybody gets them and it's very easy to get into programs. That's why they have entire web forums and communities for people to support each other in this process. blink.gif

Some people are ignorant. Even people with Ivy League degrees.

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I am tired of people acting like a masters is second rate to a PhD. They are just different. I am graduating with a chemical engineering degree from a top 20 program and persuing a M. Eng in Biomedical Engineering. I don't want to end up in research or academia. My goal is to have a happy career in industry. The best route to that is a masters and NOT a PhD. I wish people would stop acting as if a PhD would be too hard, or that I am getting a masters because I can't get into a PhD program directly. Different degrees have different purposes.

Thanks for the rant. :)

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I am annoyed by the commercially-oriented lot.

- So you are applying for a Ph.D. because you can't get a job?

- ... No. I am applying for a Ph.D. because I want to have a Ph.D. I wasn't even applying for jobs.

- So what are you going to do with a Ph.D.? Will it get you a better job?

- I want to teach and do research. This is what people with a Ph.D. do.

- ... I don't understand. Will you get a proper job after you do some teaching and research?

- ... No. I want to make a career in academia.

- So are you attracted to poverty?

- I wish you were more ambitious and applied for Law or Medicine.

- I am ambitious.

- No.

- Yes.

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I've only ever wanted to teach college level history. That's it. That's all I want to do. Sure, there's the research and the "publish or perish" and I can deal with all that, but I want my Ph.D. so I can teach.

My parents seem to think my getting a Ph.D. is a waste of time, and don't understand why this is so important to me, when I can just "teach high school." Apparently, I'm "doing it wrong." Everyone my mother has talked to (at a community college one town over) has told her that I'm doing it wrong, and should be getting a job after I graduate in May, and give it time before I apply to a Ph.D. program, because that's how I'm "supposed" to do it. All because she had a friend who didn't get her Ph.D. until she was 50, because she was teaching high school first. So my mom's friend's path automatically has to be mine.

As if that wasn't bad enough, my mother has thoroughly convinced EVERYONE ELSE in my family that I'm wasting my life, and that I just want to be a "permanent student" and that I should be getting a job after graduation instead of getting my Ph.D. so that I can become "a productive member of society." Because, apparently, I'm not one of those, and I shouldn't be bettering myself because, you know, she didn't.

A bit of backstory--my mother didn't start college until I was four. She had me only a year after she graduated high school, and went to college because now she had a baby and needed to. Apparently, my birth is the reason my mother (still) doesn't have her masters degree (although she's working on it through an online university). When my mom realized I was serious about the masters and Ph.D. program, she started to get really nasty about it. I'm assuming it's because I can go to a Ph.D. program right after my masters because I don't have children so I can do what she couldn't. I think my mother is jealous of my accomplishments and is doing everything she can to make my life miserable because of it.

I'm really dreading Christmas Eve/Day, because I know it's going to turn into an argument over "why don't you just get a job and stop being a drain on society?" with random interruptions by my aunts, uncles, and grandparents telling me the same thing.

I hate my family sometimes. I don't understand why they don't realize how important this is to me, and I really don't understand why they think it's okay to make me feel inadequate about going into a Ph.D. program. I wish I had never told them I was applying, because, while I still wouldn't have familial support, at least I wouldn't have this constant familial disapproval and disappointment.

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To sputnik and those of us in a similar boat:

In another life I interviewed for med school. I told one interviewer about how I felt constantly intimidated during the process because, upon visiting any given school, I inevitably learned that 90% of the other folk invited to interview that day were from undergraduate institutions more reputable than mine (often significantly so!). The interviewer responded that he had felt the same way while he was interviewing, in fact he had felt intimidated even after being accepted. During a party for newly matriculated students, he was standing at a urinal next to an Ivy League peer who was lecturing about the virtues of his undergraduate education. While he was pissing on his shoes. Problem solved.

Edited by Vaporized
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I think my mother is jealous of my accomplishments and is doing everything she can to make my life miserable because of it.

I'm really dreading Christmas Eve/Day, because I know it's going to turn into an argument over "why don't you just get a job and stop being a drain on society?" with random interruptions by my aunts, uncles, and grandparents telling me the same thing.

I hate my family sometimes. I don't understand why they don't realize how important this is to me, and I really don't understand why they think it's okay to make me feel inadequate about going into a Ph.D. program. I wish I had never told them I was applying, because, while I still wouldn't have familial support, at least I wouldn't have this constant familial disapproval and disappointment.

That's a really horrible situation... Many people take time off between undergrad and graduate work, but it's by no means a requirement. Mostly, it is seen as being valuable because it gives you time to really figure out what you want to do. If you are already certain that a PhD in history, despite the perpetually horrendous job market, is what you want, then there's nothing wrong with going ahead with it. However, don't necessarily limit yourself to PhD or bust. In another post, you were a bit worried that your "numbers" weren't as competitive as you would like, so possibly you could consider doing an MA, if offered, to show you can do graduate level work, and be in a better position to get into better program when you're done.

That said, the CUNY GC may not be as "highly ranked" as the others in your list, but I think that's mostly because, as a state school, their funding leaves something to be desired and their teaching assistantships are essentially adjunct positions. Nevertheless, much of the faculty is excellent as are the facilities, resources, and the location. And, if teaching is your thing, you will likely be teaching 2 classes of your own per semester at various CUNY schools by your 3rd year. Best of luck to you!!

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I think my mother is jealous of my accomplishments and is doing everything she can to make my life miserable because of it.

I'm really dreading Christmas Eve/Day, because I know it's going to turn into an argument over "why don't you just get a job and stop being a drain on society?" with random interruptions by my aunts, uncles, and grandparents telling me the same thing.

It's so sad when your family does not support you...

I am sure they love you, they just do not know enough about academia.

There MUST be people in your life who support you, though - talk with them about your plans and don't talk with your relatives about that. If they try starting a conversation with you about your future, just say firmly: "I appreciate your opinion, but I believe I know what I am doing. Now let's talk about something else." Don't let them depress you.

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Erica, I'm so sorry to hear that your family is acting like that. sad.gif Maybe they'll have a change of heart at some point.... but until then, don't let them get you down. We certainly don't think you're making a mistake or anything.

-

This smug guy I know (has an ivy league undergrad degree and likes to flout it) was going on and on one night about how it's become so easy to get a Ph.D. these days that they're practically worthless. He was really working it. Finally, after awhile, I asked, "how long did it take to get yours?" he said, "my what?" I said, "your doctorate. Since you've been telling us all how easy they are to get I assumed you had one." And scene.

A++

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-

A++

LOL Thanks! I have a tendency to "go there" when I think people are using social norms to be rude. I tend to disregard the social norms and go right for the throat. He kinda had it coming though. It wasn't the first time he'd been down that road.

I donno. I just feel that sometimes, some people, when they hear you're going for a Ph.D. take it as a challenge to prove that you're stupid or somehow less intelligent than they are. Am I crazy here, or have you guys had that experience, too? My job makes me interact with a lot of people, so that may be part of why I've had the experiences I've had. But, I donno. It's weird!

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I am annoyed by the commercially-oriented lot.

- So you are applying for a Ph.D. because you can't get a job?

- ... No. I am applying for a Ph.D. because I want to have a Ph.D. I wasn't even applying for jobs.

- So what are you going to do with a Ph.D.? Will it get you a better job?

- I want to teach and do research. This is what people with a Ph.D. do.

- ... I don't understand. Will you get a proper job after you do some teaching and research?

- ... No. I want to make a career in academia.

- So are you attracted to poverty?

- I wish you were more ambitious and applied for Law or Medicine.

- I am ambitious.

- No.

- Yes.

Muahahaha....That's hilarious....I'm gonna used that phrase from now on...

"Hey...blah blah blah....are you attracted to poverty?"

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That's a really horrible situation... Many people take time off between undergrad and graduate work, but it's by no means a requirement. Mostly, it is seen as being valuable because it gives you time to really figure out what you want to do. If you are already certain that a PhD in history, despite the perpetually horrendous job market, is what you want, then there's nothing wrong with going ahead with it. However, don't necessarily limit yourself to PhD or bust. In another post, you were a bit worried that your "numbers" weren't as competitive as you would like, so possibly you could consider doing an MA, if offered, to show you can do graduate level work, and be in a better position to get into better program when you're done.

That said, the CUNY GC may not be as "highly ranked" as the others in your list, but I think that's mostly because, as a state school, their funding leaves something to be desired and their teaching assistantships are essentially adjunct positions. Nevertheless, much of the faculty is excellent as are the facilities, resources, and the location. And, if teaching is your thing, you will likely be teaching 2 classes of your own per semester at various CUNY schools by your 3rd year. Best of luck to you!!

I'll be finishing my MA this coming May. I'm in the process of finishing up my thesis as we speak (well, not RIGHT this second--I'll be all over that again in the morning), so I don't really have anything else I could do after I finish this except a Ph.D. program. It's why I'm so worried about it.

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I remember when I was younger (early college) and wanted a PhD, my uncle looked at me and said something to the extent of "We'll have to pay for more school?" Nevermind the fact that my family stopped helping me with tuition my second year of school (not for any bad reason; they couldn't help after awhile), nevermind the fact that my uncle is not my parent and therefore is not obligated to pay anything, but he still acted like I was putting a burden on him.

Then there was my roommate during my application process, continuously making comments about how she was "soo glad" she was going to be done with school and that I was crazy to want to stay in school. We'll just ignore the fact that she was applying to MS programs too until her boyfriend refused to follow her to her dream school and she didn't get into the one school he wanted her to go to. She's now working at Best Buy while he's in school (not knocking off Best Buy employees, I just wouldn't make such a huge life decision for someone I had just started dating).

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people aren't saying the rudest things. they aren't being offensive either. i think people who seem rude/offensive are usually those not familiar with the pros of PhD and the good things it brings. they focus on how long it takes to get a degree, and how excruciating it is to go through certain classes.

personally, my family, friends and professors have taken my decision to get a PhD very positively. i've also come across some (friends) who think going for a PhD is a waste of time. meh.

Edited by bhikhaari
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I don't necessarily get rude responses. It's either amazement because a PhD is an elusive degree--not many people even attempt it let alone finish; or they think i'm high falutin'. I wonder if those that attempt law or medical degrees get that type of response as well. Its something about the PhD degree that people seem to have adverse reactions towards.

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My favorite quote when I was going through the application process was, "you know you can make more money in the long run if you stay here." Keep in mind this was a state agency and the only way to make more money would be to go private sector. He wasn't sure what to make of my, "it's not about the money; it's about achieving a goal."

This smug guy I know (has an ivy league undergrad degree and likes to flout it) was going on and on one night about how it's become so easy to get a Ph.D. these days that they're practically worthless. He was really working it. Finally, after awhile, I asked, "how long did it take to get yours?" he said, "my what?" I said, "your doctorate. Since you've been telling us all how easy they are to get I assumed you had one." And scene.

Hilarious, to be sure, but I'm hoping you meant "flaunt" and "End scene."

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When I was applying last year, I got some comments that really made me angry. Then I began to make a mental collection, and turned it around so that they amused me. My favorites came from two co-workers. One told me flat out, "you're too old to go to grad school", and the other told me, "You're going to hate it, because all of your professors are going to be younger than you are". These were people that I knew well and spent a lot of time with. Even now that I'm in school, I get rude comments from people I meet all the time. I think the comments just come from ignorance.

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When I told my parents that I was leaving a 6-figure career that I hated to go back to school to study theology, they practically disowned me. It was only 6 years later when my mother came down with cancer that they decided to talk to me again. The odd thing is that they considered my values all messed up for pursuing something I love over making lots of money. However, when I was making that kind of money, I found it much more difficult to keep it, because of the extended hours they expected you to work, the eating out, and the level of appearances you were expected to maintain. I was unhappy, stressed, and despised working for managers that were no better than high school dropouts. I'm much happier now doing what I like.

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<br />people aren't saying the rudest things. they aren't being offensive either. it's us who choose to be offended. just think about it. many people are not familiar with the pros of PhD and the good things it brings. they focus on how long it takes to get a degree, and how excruciating it is to go through certain classes.<br /><br />personally, my family, friends and professors have taken my decision to get a PhD very positively. i've also come across some (friends) who think going for a PhD is a waste of time. meh.<br />
<br /><br /><br />

While I can't say that I agree with you on this point entirely, I think my intention and yours are of the same cloth. That's why when I started this thread I framed it as "good fun" and named my "favorites." I think laughing at the people who (sometimes try to) hurt us is the best way to take the sting out of their comments and to empower ourselves. I typically find moronic, rude comments to be amusing. That is because I am arrogant. ;)

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@EricaMarie -

Reading your post, I could hardly believe my eyes. I'm in an incredibly similar situation (have master's, applying to English Ph.D. programs), and my family thinks I'm nuts, a loser, avoiding "real work" (as if I weren't teaching/tutoring my ass off)--all of them work long hard hours at jobs they have because they all decided not to attend college and/or not to take it seriously; and because I've made a different choice--and don't have to wear a uniform to work--they've got a lot of disdain for me.

DELAYED GRATIFICATION PEOPLE COME ON! I know, I know, they just know nothing about it...but they're my PARENTS, for god's sake.

I'm sorry to hear that you're going through similar shiz. But I am comforted to know someone else is surviving the same petty battle.

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