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1 minute ago, Caien said:

Haha, aw! My mom wanted me to go to California so she could visit me and go to the beach! (She is not impressed with this whole Indiana business...)

And picky, with that! :lol: 

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@orphic_mel528, I'm out of reputation, but I wanted to say how sorry I am that someone you've known for so long would take that kind of tact. So often it seems to me that people on the outside of acad

Just curious: What have the reactions been from family/friends/whoever regarding your PhD plans? About an hour ago, I told a friend I was starting my PhD this fall, and he made a wisecrack: "Putt

Oh my gosh. This is so similar to my situation. My friends have been largely supportive, but that's mostly because I didn't really have friends until grad school (and those two that stuck around from

@Caien

Ah, you know that's true! Part of the reason it takes so long is the extra time spent teaching. Hmmm, now I'm wondering how this woman got her PhD in two years...

@Yanaka

Yours too? My grandparents too are thinking to themselves, ohhhh, you know...we could move over to where you're going to school. And I'm over here like: Do what you want. But I'm getting my own apartment!

 

And for both of you, I can add one more story. Last semester I was taking a Shakespeare course and we were reading "The Merchant of Venice." I think two days prior I'd gotten into a conversation with my mother over the phone about transsexual people and I ended up telling my mother this long explanation about how the whole issue was based around this system our society has created when it comes to a person's sex, that a person might not feel the need to even be transsexual if we didn't have all these caveats about  how men and women should dress, act like, do, ect. I think I also mentioned at one point that she was just a little too judgmental. Anyway, two days later I had to call her about something and she asked me about the class that I just got out of and I told her the overall plot of the play. Her response: "You know, I think all of this weird stuff you read in college warps your thinking." I didn't even know how to respond to her, I just started laughing.

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1 minute ago, Silabus said:

 "You know, I think all of this weird stuff you read in college warps your thinking." I didn't even know how to respond to her, I just started laughing.

Sounds like my dad, but less bad!

Oh by the way, the other night a friend of mine joked about my wanting to be "an eternal student" or something, when I was explaining that I wanted to do a PhD. Hopefully I had thought about this kind of "observation" before and was able to remind her that it's an actual job already. Ugh--I hate it when people make those remarks...

Anyway, I'm glad we can vent about anything over here!

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2 minutes ago, Silabus said:

 

And for both of you, I can add one more story. Last semester I was taking a Shakespeare course and we were reading "The Merchant of Venice." I think two days prior I'd gotten into a conversation with my mother over the phone about transsexual people and I ended up telling my mother this long explanation about how the whole issue was based around this system our society has created when it comes to a person's sex, that a person might not feel the need to even be transsexual if we didn't have all these caveats about  how men and women should dress, act like, do, ect. I think I also mentioned at one point that she was just a little too judgmental. Anyway, two days later I had to call her about something and she asked me about the class that I just got out of and I told her the overall plot of the play. Her response: "You know, I think all of this weird stuff you read in college warps your thinking." I didn't even know how to respond to her, I just started laughing.

Oh my God! My parents have this thing that reading 'weird' books will affect me mentally. It's all because when I was a child I was home alone for a few hours, and when my parents got back they asked me why I had pulled the curtains upstairs but not downstairs (the reason was simply that I hadn't been downstairs), and my mom was like 'Nobody will be looking in at you from the upstairs windows', and snarky little 12 year old me was like 'vampires could', because I was reading Dracula at the time.

I'm a big fan of epic fantasy, and ever since then my parents have been trying to pressure me into reading more 'normal' books, and periodically ask me when I'm going to grow out of all this weird fantasy stuff. (Never, the answer is never.)

This is a fun little thread we have going guys :lol:

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Oh, I fudged that. It was "Measure for Measure," not "The Merchant of Venice."

You've both got great stories! It seems like we've all had similar experiences with friends and family.

Dracula! That's funny! I remember my mother once tried hiding all of my World of Warcraft novels because she was convinced they would "poison" me. However, she just hid them under her nightstand so I snuck into her room and took them back--only I hid them even better in my room. xD I too, am a very big fan of epic fantasy.

You know, actually, I'm a huge fan of the Knights of Fianna and pretty much any pop culture creation that gives a nod to them.

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6 minutes ago, Silabus said:

Dracula! That's funny! I remember my mother once tried hiding all of my World of Warcraft novels because she was convinced they would "poison" me. However, she just hid them under her nightstand so I snuck into her room and took them back--only I hid them even better in my room. xD I too, am a very big fan of epic fantasy.

You know, actually, I'm a huge fan of the Knights of Fianna and pretty much any pop culture creation that gives a nod to them.

People are honestly so, so weird. And would they read these novels to find out if the actually are bad or damaging? Not in a million years.

Yes you mentioned that before! I'm curious what texts you deal with? We get told Fianna and Cuchulain stories as children here (I'm actually from the part of Ireland where Fionn MacCumhaill supposedly hung out B)), but that's about the extent of it, what pop culture works have you come across that reference them?

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7 minutes ago, Caien said:

People are honestly so, so weird. And would they read these novels to find out if the actually are bad or damaging? Not in a million years.

Yes you mentioned that before! I'm curious what texts you deal with? We get told Fianna and Cuchulain stories as children here (I'm actually from the part of Ireland where Fionn MacCumhaill supposedly hung out B)), but that's about the extent of it, what pop culture works have you come across that reference them?

Ha ha ha! I'm the only one in my family who would even bother reading a book! I get my grandfather history books, he manages to get maybe halfway but then he's done. Except for...The People's Account of the American Revolution. He loved that one.

Ugh! I should have been born in Ireland I tell you. Getting told those stories as children sounds AWESOME! So I defer to Fianaigecht by Kuno Meyer. It's all the original poems and stories with explanations by Meyer. So far all of my Fianna stuff has been a pet project, I've yet to find a professor who is interested in them.

My favorite pop culture work is the .Hack series, it's an anime about people who get stuck in an online MMO. One of the characters, when he isn't playing the .Hack online game, is a translator. And after witnessing something amazing in the game, writes a poem on one of the stories:

Damage done to the evil shaped one,

too massive to compare.
Balmung of the Azure Sky,
Orca of the Azure Sea,
together they gallop at full speed.
In the depth of my bosom,
your names shall remain.
You are none other than
the descendants of Fianna.
 
I'll leave a link about it here in case you want to investigate on your own.
http://dothack.wikia.com/wiki/Descendants_of_Fianna
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38 minutes ago, Silabus said:

Ugh! I should have been born in Ireland I tell you. Getting told those stories as children sounds AWESOME! So I defer to Fianaigecht by Kuno Meyer. It's all the original poems and stories with explanations by Meyer. So far all of my Fianna stuff has been a pet project, I've yet to find a professor who is interested in them.

Haha, you know whats funny is they're all really depressing! They almost all end with the heroes dying. When I was little my mother's favourite was the Children of Lir, and mine was Oisin and an Tir na nOg, both of which just have horribly sad endings. Bet you're having fun with the name pronunciations? ;)

You know I've never heard of Meyer, but I just googled him and its so odd! I think perhaps, and this is something I mentioned in my SoP as something we need to get past, that nowadays Irish studies of the long nineteenth century seems to disregard the works and scholarship of non-Irish people from the period. Its a very self-involved critical discourse.

I was recently reading Standish O'Grady's The Heroic Period, which deals with more the Red Branch Knights than the Fianna, but you might be interested nonetheless. My interest stems from this intro he writes about the purpose and nature of history, which you'd think would be such an odd line of thought to take in an intro to book of myths, but this is characteristic of Irish 'histories' in the late nineteenth century, so as a student of historiography and narrative theory its fascinating. I'd also recommend TW Rolleston's Myths and Legends of the Celtic Race. Its considered a bit of a standard text on Irish mythology. Its a pity you haven't come across a professor to work with on this, have you considered coming to Ireland to study? (Edit: I just remembered in another thread you said you did in fact hope to come to Ireland, so never mind me :rolleyes:)

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27 minutes ago, Caien said:

I was recently reading Standish O'Grady's The Heroic Period, which deals with more the Red Branch Knights than the Fianna, but you might be interested nonetheless. My interest stems from this intro he writes about the purpose and nature of history, which you'd think would be such an odd line of thought to take in an intro to book of myths, but this is characteristic of Irish 'histories' in the late nineteenth century, so as a student of historiography and narrative theory its fascinating. I'd also recommend TW Rolleston's Myths and Legends of the Celtic Race. Its considered a bit of a standard text on Irish mythology. Its a pity you haven't come across a professor to work with on this, have you considered coming to Ireland to study?

Ha ha! They ARE depressing aren't they? I guess I got to them when I was in my mid-teens so I didn't find them depressing...or I just didn't think about it. But yeah they all do die! I love both of those stories too! If I had to pic though I'd probably go with you on Oisin. And yeah, the pronunciations get me. I imagine I actually butcher them.

I've mostly been treating this stuff like my own pet project. I haven't been able to use any of my research in a course because the professor has never read anything. So this information you've giving me is great! Like, I actually had no idea people disregard works and scholarship of non-Irish people. xD That's going to make it hard for me to get involved. And I'll have to get my hands on those two books.

My hope is that I can talk my PhD program into funding some trips to Ireland to study. Like I'd love to go to Trinity to study for a while. We shall see on that end.

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1 hour ago, Caien said:

Haha, aw! My mom wanted me to go to California so she could visit me and go to the beach! (She is not impressed with this whole Indiana business...)

Please have her binge watch all of Parks and Recreation, that'll definitely turn her around on Indiana :P Many P&R jokes were made during recruitment weekend haha. Li'l Sebastian does have an honorary degree from Notre Dame after all! 

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On 2/24/2017 at 8:20 PM, orphic_mel528 said:

Always the baby thing! And heaven forbid you say you don't want children, or aren't sure. That is, after all, the downfall of society: women in the workplace instead of at home. Yep. We did it, ladies; we destroyed the world!

My experience is similar but on the opposite end of the spectrum. At 32 years of age and a male with a wife and 3 year old kid, my family wants to know why I'm not just slugging through some job I hate so my wife can stay at home with the babies. 

We're even planning for her to do that with our next. For at least a year. $31k in the bank reserved solely for her to take a year off with no income if we have a baby while I'm in a doctoral program. 

My father-in-law couldn't be more disappointed in handing her over to me. :unsure:

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22 minutes ago, OutdoorsEd said:

My experience is similar but on the opposite end of the spectrum. At 32 years of age and a male with a wife and 3 year old kid, my family wants to know why I'm not just slugging through some job I hate so my wife can stay at home with the babies. 

We're even planning for her to do that with our next. For at least a year. $31k in the bank reserved solely for her to take a year off with no income if we have a baby while I'm in a doctoral program. 

My father-in-law couldn't be more disappointed in handing her over to me. :unsure:

Your FIL is a toad! Best of luck to you and your wife. I'm sure you will do just fine and your naysayers can eat it.

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My goodness! Thankfully, I don't have to deal with the "oh how will you ever have kids?!" issue... yet. I'm only about finishing up undergrad, and I'm planning to get my MA first, but I've already approached the topic (cautiously) with my mother, as she has always been under the impression that I will become a doctor. To be honest, I had been going along with her since about middle school, but halfway through my undergrad, I realized literature was my passion. Now that she knows I'm considering ditching med school, she's always coming up with little quips: she'll have a migraine and casually mention "well when you're a doctor you'll fix me," or she'll get a dean's list letter from my uni and say "oh I always tell everyone how smart my daughter is and how she's going to be a great doctor." They're not very rude or very forceful comments, but they do rub me the wrong way, and after a while it really starts getting on my nerves... 

Her biggest issue is the money. She's horrified that I'll be earning as much as she does (as a nurse), and keeps insisting that I'm going to be poor/never buy a house/never drive a nice car/never go on vacation/etc. The funny thing is, I'll be earning just as much as her, and sure we're not rich, but we do pretty well for ourselves–just came back from a Caribbean vacation, no less!  

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23 hours ago, Silabus said:

"You know, I think all of this weird stuff you read in college warps your thinking." I didn't even know how to respond to her, I just started laughing.

My entire hometown's collective response to higher education, in a nutshell.

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In my case..my dad has a Phd. He gave a shot at academia without much success. So he's been quite supportive. I think he wants to live vicariously through me a bit. Well it's more pressure on me.  

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Hi everyone, 

As much as I wish that none of you were having the kind of trouble that you are, it does make me feel much less alone to know that I'm not the only one! 

My situation is different, of course, as is more focused on my two best and oldest friends (they are basically sisters at this point). One of them is getting married in September and they are both acting like her wedding is more important than me starting a PhD.  I can't seem to draw any kind of boundary without being reminded that "this is her/my wedding! the only one!" whether it's about the cost of the bridesmaids dresses, what day the bachelorette party is, or if I can even afford to fly to California twice in less than 3 months.  I'm trying to decide between (at least) two offers right now, and I've received zero support from either of them. I resent when my decision between programs is equated to the choice of a bridesmaid's dress color.  I feel angry that my friends, who are my main support system in life, are disregarding this HUGE thing that's happening for me. I don't really have family other than my mom, who is supportive but can't really relate since she stopped her formal education with high school. I want help making this choice and I'm not sure where to turn. 

Whew, okay I feel a little better after typing that all out. 

 

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I just wanted to add that I have really enjoyed reading the personal responses on this thread. I think I was struck most by the women here that have encountered unwarranted commentary about marital &/or maternal expectations. Like many of you here, I am also a first-generation college student, & fall into the category of the non-traditional student in the sense that I'm 26, have a husband & 3-year-old (both amazing, btw). As a WOC, I have been met with extraordinary support from mentors, professors, &, of course, my husband (he's also an academic). 

As far as my family is concerned, they lack an understanding of this world & what real impact it can make on our world. My father still wishes I had decided to become a real doctor. & most outside of academics just don't understand why I am so excited to be continuing my education for another 5-6 years. Someone just asked me today why I would want to keep going to school, & didn't I want to have another baby? Enjoy time with my daughter? I think men certainly face less stigma for continuing on with their pre-baby aspirations. For women, it's seen as a very selfish act. However, I am fully aware at the amazing opportunity I have to leave such an amazing inheritance to my daughter. & it's not money (as you all surely know), but, as you all have already stated, knowledge. 

Sending everyone here an incredible amount of support--especially to the women here! Cheers!

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As an interesting anecdote that I think perfectly captures the universal reaction to PhD study from non-PhD': I let my mom read a paper I wrote recently discussing marital power dynamics and Irish culturalism in Joyce's Dubliners, and her only comment was "and you want to do this for the rest of your life?"

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4 hours ago, onerepublic96 said:

As an interesting anecdote that I think perfectly captures the universal reaction to PhD study from non-PhD': I let my mom read a paper I wrote recently discussing marital power dynamics and Irish culturalism in Joyce's Dubliners, and her only comment was "and you want to do this for the rest of your life?"

My mom's reaction after reading 2 paragraphs was, "What a waste of time and money." :D

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7 hours ago, onerepublic96 said:

As an interesting anecdote that I think perfectly captures the universal reaction to PhD study from non-PhD': I let my mom read a paper I wrote recently discussing marital power dynamics and Irish culturalism in Joyce's Dubliners, and her only comment was "and you want to do this for the rest of your life?"

Are you sure that wasn't just the Joyce? :P

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Thought I'd join the thread with my experience thus far!

I come from a small town in the Midwest (think like Footloose, no lie) and I am the first person in my family to graduate college. In the beginning, my parents could not wrap their heads around why I would pursue a degree past an bachelors. I took the past two years off to build up my research background since psychology PhD's are so competitive and they definitely did not understand why it was necessary or why I didn't go do a Masters instead. But through so many obstacles, like when my long-term SO (over 4 years, you guys) broke up with me 5 DAYS before my applications were due, they picked me up and carried me to the finish line. Two years ago, I could never have imagined the support I've been given by them. They went from very apprehensive and discouraging about my future plans to being my biggest cheerleaders! All it took was some time and A LOT of explaining my future career "timeline"

p.s. I have to say the two best days of my life was telling my mom/sister/grandma I got an interview to a PhD (Mom bawled) and the day I received my first acceptance (Mom & sister bawled AND I got it on tape this time!) You guys, it's seriously the cutest video ever and it will be forever treasured. I am pretty sure they're just happy I'm choosing the school closest to them but I'll take it! haha :P

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On 3/2/2017 at 3:06 PM, catsnbikes said:

Hi everyone, 

As much as I wish that none of you were having the kind of trouble that you are, it does make me feel much less alone to know that I'm not the only one! 

My situation is different, of course, as is more focused on my two best and oldest friends (they are basically sisters at this point). One of them is getting married in September and they are both acting like her wedding is more important than me starting a PhD.  I can't seem to draw any kind of boundary without being reminded that "this is her/my wedding! the only one!" whether it's about the cost of the bridesmaids dresses, what day the bachelorette party is, or if I can even afford to fly to California twice in less than 3 months.  I'm trying to decide between (at least) two offers right now, and I've received zero support from either of them. I resent when my decision between programs is equated to the choice of a bridesmaid's dress color.  I feel angry that my friends, who are my main support system in life, are disregarding this HUGE thing that's happening for me. I don't really have family other than my mom, who is supportive but can't really relate since she stopped her formal education with high school. I want help making this choice and I'm not sure where to turn. 

Whew, okay I feel a little better after typing that all out. 

 

I wonder where the kind of attitude your friends seem to have comes from. Perhaps it may be in part because our culture glorifies weddings to an unreasonable degree. People think that their wedding is the most important day of their lives, and maybe it is for them. I've definitely experienced hostility from some people who care deeply about getting married, and take it as some sort of insult that I don't care whether or not I get married (even if I express sincere excitement for them, etc.). I also think people who don't want to go to grad school often think that those of us who do are just trying to defer 'the real world'-- I even know people who have applied to Master's programs claiming they just weren't ready to leave college. I'm sure they had a rude awakening when they found out grad school is not by any means just a couple more years of undergrad. 

Ignore me if you just needed to vent, but have you tried asking your friends why they seem dismissive of your accomplishment and your need to deliberate your options? It could be that they're so absorbed with the wedding that they don't realize they're doing it. For instance, I have a friend who is chronically ill, and she sometimes needs to be reminded that just because her issues are very real and shitty doesn't mean they have to dominate everyone's life all the time. Just because your friend getting married is a huge deal doesn't meant that you choosing a PhD program isn't also a huge deal deserving of some attention.

I'd say turn to your professors, advisors, and the good people here at Grad Cafe for advice. Your professors/advisors know you, care about your future, and have presumably been in a similar position. And, though I know having a close friend to talk to would be better, I've found that there are so many helpful perspectives on here. Best of luck!

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My sister is the only one that's outwardly critical, but I think all of my family is skeptical. My sister has said "Remember when you wanted to be a lawyer [I was 14]? I think you should look into that" and 'You know mom plans to support you for the rest of your life, right?" and after I told her that some people end up as adjuncts on food stamps, she said "I'm not going to feel pity for you if that happens"

 

Generally speaking, she's been fine and is really interested in where I want to go and what my plans are and stuff. But, she definitely has said some shitty things. My friends have been soooo supportive and pretty jealous. I got into my first school really early so I knew right away I had some sort of future plan. Meanwhile, they're still unsure about next year.

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