You just might be a graduate student if... spend more on books than on tuition. actually hope your professor assigns homework. get a 3-hour final with 5 questions or less.
...the words "free time" are unfamiliar to you. spend Saturday morning waiting for the library to open.'ve memorized your professors' home phone numbers.
...your professors know your home phone number.
...more than 25% of your textbook is "left as an exercise for the reader." are on a first-name basis with everyone on the library staff. can analyze the significance of appliances you cannot operate.
...your carrel is better decorated than your apartment. have ever, as a folklore project, attempted to track the progress of your own joke across the Internet. are startled to meet people who neither need nor want to read. have ever brought a scholarly article to a bar. rate coffee shops by the availability of outlets for your laptop.
...everything reminds you of something in your discipline. have ever discussed academic matters at a sporting event. have ever spent more than $50 on photocopying while researching a single paper.
...there is a microfilm reader in the library that you consider "yours." actually have a preference between microfilm and microfiche. can tell the time of day by looking at the traffic flow at the library. look forward to summers because you're more productive without the distraction of classes. regard ibuprofen as a vitamin. consider all papers to be works in progress.
...professors don't really care when you turn in work anymore. find the bibliographies of books more interesting than the actual text. have given up trying to keep your books organized and are now just trying to keep them all in the same general area. have accepted guilt as an inherent feature of relaxation. reflexively start analyzing those greek letters before you realize that it's a sorority sweatshirt, not an equation. find yourself explaining to children that you are in "20th grade". start refering to stories like "Snow White et al." frequently wonder how long you can live on pasta without getting scurvy. look forward to taking some time off to do laundry. have more photocopy cards than credit cards. wonder if APA style allows you to cite talking to yourself as "personal communication".

The Top Ten Lies Told by Graduate Students
(taken from the Harvard Crimson)

10. It doesn't bother me at all that my college roommate is making $80,000 a year on Wall Street.
9. I'd be delighted to proofread your book/chapter/article.
8. My work has a lot of practical importance.
7. I would never date an undergraduate.
6. Your latest article was so inspiring.
5. I turned down a lot of great job offers to come here.
4. I just have one more book to read and then I'll start writing.
3. The department is giving me so much support.
2. My job prospects look really good.
1. No really, I'll be out of here in only two more years.

Top Five Lies Told by Teaching Fellows:

5. I'm not going to grant any extensions.
4. Call me any time. I'm always available.
3. It doesn't matter what I think; write what you believe.
2. Think of the midterm as a diagnostic tool.
1. My other section is much better prepared than you guys.

Ask and ye shall receive
(to the tune of "If I only had a brain"):

If I only had a thesis
Then they wouldn't call me specious.
They would not reject my claim.
Do Do Doot Da Doot Da Dum
I would write it and defend it
I would leave and that would end it.
I'd be off to win my fame.

Why God never received a PhD:

1. He had only one major publication.
2. It was in Hebrew.
3. It had no references.
4. It wasn't published in a refereed journal.
5. Some even doubt he wrote it by himself.
6. It may be true that he created the world, but what has he done since then?
7. His cooperative efforts have been quite limited.
8. The scientific community has had a hard time replicating his results.
9. He never applied to the ethics board for permission to use human subjects.
10. When one experiment went awry he tried to cover it by drowning his subjects.
11. When subjects didn't behave as predicted, he deleted them from the sample.
12. He rarely came to class, just told students to read the book.
13. Some say he had his son teach the class.
14. He expelled his first two students for learning.
15. Although there were only 10 requirements, most of his students failed his tests.
16. His office hours were infrequent and usually held on a mountain top.
17. No record of working well with colleagues.

This letter was first written by a graduate student in Europe in 1954 and has traveled around the world at least 16 times. At first I wouldn't believe that it would work, but after trying it, I am now a believer in its mystical and magical power.

This letter was received by a graduate student in Chicago, IL in 1973 and within two weeks, he had completed a 5600 page doctoral dissertation and began a career which lead to a Nobel Prize. A few years later, another graduate student received this letter and sent it to 5 of her friends, and she too completed a 3100 page paper which is continues to grow to this day!

Simply write five pages of text on the given subjects for each person on this list. Than place your name in slot #1 and move everyone else's name down one space. Send this letter to ten of your colleagues, and within a month, you too will have a thesis or disertation which your advisor can choke on if he or she doesn't go blind or break his or her back first.

  1. Bernard T. Donovan, M.S. student in biochemistry
    EPR spectroscopy of crud from my refrigerator

  2. James C. Messier, PhD. student in political science
    The Cuban Missile Crisis: What if Nixon were president?

  3. Frances K. Allen, M.A. student in music theory
    Development of polyphonic forms from Gregorian Chant

  4. Penny S. Jordan, PhD student in computer science
    Is Windows 95 merely Mac 84?

  5. Thomas J. Quinn, MBA student
    Bears and Bulls in the stock market, but what about Sox and Cubs?

The last person who received this letter and did not respond was tormented by receiving 100-level teaching assignments until he was 40 years old. Today he works as a clerk for the Little-Plastic-Pizza-Table Museum in Cleveland, OH, making minimum wage and regretting his terrible decision not to perpetuate this letter.

A grad student, a post-doc, and a professor are walking through a city park and they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out in a puff of smoke.

The Genie says, "I usually only grant three wishes, so I'll give each of you just one."

"Me first! Me first!" says the grad student. "I want to be in the Bahamas, driving a speedboat with a gorgeous woman who sunbathes topless." Poof! He's gone.

"Me next! Me next!" says the post-doc. "I want to be in Hawaii, relaxing on the beach with a professional hula dancer on one side and a Mai Tai on the other." Poof! He's gone.

"You're next," the Genie says to the professor.

The professor says, "I want those guys back in the lab after lunch."

An MIT student spent an entire summer going to the Harvard football field every day wearing a black and white striped shirt, walking up and down the field for ten or fifteen minutes throwing birdseed all over the field, blowing a whistle and then walking off the field.
At the end of the summer, it came time for the first Harvard home football game, the referee walked onto the field and blew the whistle, and the game had to be delayed for a half hour to wait for the birds to get off of the field. The guy wrote his thesis on this, and graduated.

Graduate Admissions Committee
Department of Psychology
Big Deal University
Collegeville, USA

Dear Committee Members:

Thanks for your letter of March 30. After careful consideration, I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your rejection at this time.

This year I have been particularly fortunate in receiving an unusually large number of rejection letters. With such a varied and promising field of schools, it is impossible for me to accept all refusals.

Despite your outstanding record and previous experience in rejecting applicants, I find that your rejection does not meet my current career needs. Consequently, I will begin taking classes as a graduate student in your department this August. I look forward to seeing you then.

Best of luck in rejecting future applicants.

Sincerely Yours,
[Name Withheld]

Deep Thought by Jack Handy:
Instead of studying for finals, what about just going to the Bahamas and catching some rays? Maybe you'll flunk, but you might have flunked anyway; that's my point.

Top Ten things that suck MORE than writing a psych thesis:

  1. Getting hit by a truck
  2. Being stranded in the Sahara without water
  3. Falling in a pool of alligators
  4. Discovering that your house was built on top of a graveyard
  5. Hearing voices in your head
  6. Being eaten by turtles
  7. Getting a package from the Unabomber
  8. Studying thermodyamic engineering
  9. Writing a dissertation

    And the number one thing that sucks more than writing a thesis:

  10. Not graduating

So I guess I'll get back to work.