Charmaine recently pointed to the awesomely-awesome Stuff White People Like blog, which lives up to the Fat Tony test of being “funny because it’s true.” This week’s entry is on graduate school; being both whiter than white bread and a post-grad survivor, this hits closer to home than most things I’ve recently read on line:
Being in graduate school satisfies many white requirements for happiness. They can believe they are helping the world, complain that the government/university doesn’t support them enough, claim they are poor, feel as though are getting smarter, act superior to other people, enjoy perpetual three day weekends, and sleep in every day of the week!
After acquiring a Masters Degree that will not increase their salary or hiring desirability, many white people will move on to a PhD program where they will go after their dream of becoming a professor. However, by their second year they usually wake up with a hangover and realize: “I’m going to spend six years in graduate school to make $35,000 and live in the middle of nowhere?”
After this crisis, a white person will follow one of two paths. The first involves dropping out and moving to New York, San Francisco or their original home town where they can resume the job that they left to attend graduate school.
At this point, they can feel superior to graduate school and say things like “A PhD is a testament to perseverance, not intelligence.” They can also impress their friends a parties by referencing Jacques Lacan or Slavoj Žižek in a conversation about American Idol.
The second path involves becoming a professor, moving to a small town and telling everyone how they are awful and uncultured.
I personally found it necessary to blend both of the paths Ghostbuster-style…