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Graduate Student Barbie

June 3, 2012

UPDATE January 28, 2014: Now available in doll form! Courtesy of reader Deanna Foster who writes, “A very good friend of mine is doing her PhD, and I was inspired by your blog to give her a “Graduate School Barbie” for Christmas. I made some modifications to a barbie I picked up at WalMart. She really enjoyed it – thanks for your blog post!”

xmas2013 A

xmas2013 C

xmas2013 B

UPDATE November 26, 2013: Now available at the USA Today!

UPDATE November 4, 2013: Now available at the Huffington Post!

UPDATE August 8, 2013: Currently this post is at ~300,000 views (298,742 to be exact). THANK YOU INTERNET!

UPDATE December 6, 2012: Folks, I am deeply humbled by the attention this post has received. Here are recent stats:

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Welcome!! Over 48,000 of you, most likely current or former graduate students, stopped by to say hi and laugh just yesterday alone. Most of you found this post via a link shared on Facebook or Twitter. I’m so glad you are here, and I hope the post made you laugh and cheered you up. I drafted this post at an incredibly low point in writing my dissertation. I felt horribly alone in the struggle to finish and honestly just felt so hopeless about ever finishing. I still cycle through these emotions. At another low point recently I glanced at my blog stats and was just flabbergasted by how many folks have visited this past week. A great many of you have left comments, shared your experiences, reblogged the post on your own blog, shared the link with others, and liked the post. You cannot imagine how beautiful this gift is to receive from you, and I don’t know how to truly express my gratitude to you all. Even though we must all overcome our own individual struggles to complete our own PhD/graduate school journeys, I am forever grateful that to plainly see that we are, truly, not alone here. Thank you for stopping by, and I truly hope your journey is successful, fruitful, productive, and OVER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. THE ONLY GOOD DISSERTATION IS A GOOD DISSERTATION – GET ‘ER DONE!!

* Results may vary but not by much

Graduate Student Barbie (source and major props for awesomeness)

A new gift idea for your loved ones: Graduate School Barbie (TM).

Graduate School Barbie comes in two forms: Delusional Master’s Barbie (TM) and Ph.D. Masochist Barbie (TM).

Every Graduate School Barbie comes with these fun filled features guaranteed to delight and entertain for hours: Grad School Barbie comes out of the box with a big grin on her face that turns into a frown after 2 weeks or her first advisor meeting (whichever comes first). She also has adorable black circles under her delightfully bloodshot eyes.

Comes with two outfits: a grubby pair of blue jeans and 5 year old gap T-shirt, and a floppy pair of gray sweatpants with a matching “I hate my life” T-shirt. Grad School Barbie talks! Just press the button on her left hand and hear her say such upbeat grad school phrases like, “Yes, Professor, It’ll be done by tomorrow”, “I’d love to rewrite” and “Why didn’t I just get a job, I could have been making $40,000 a year by now if I had just started working with a Bachelor’s. But noooooo, I chose to further my education, I wish somebody would drop a bomb on the school so that I’d have an excuse to stop working on my degree that’s sucking every last drop of life force out of my withered and degraded excuse for a soul…” (9V lithium batteries sold separately)

Grad School Barbie is anatomically correct to teach kids about the exciting changes that come with pursuing a higher education. Removable panels on Barbie’s head and torso allow you to watch as her cerebellum fries to a crispy brown, her heart race 150 beats per minute, and her stomach lining gradually dissolve into nothing. Deluxe Barbie comes with specially designed eye ducts. Just add a little water, and watch Grad School Barbie burst into tears at random intervals. Fun for the whole family!

Other accessories include:

Grad School Barbie’s Fun Fridge (TM) Well stocked with microwave popcorn, Coca-Cola, Healthy Choice Bologna (99% fat free!),and a small bottle of Mattel Brand Rum ™.

Grad School Barbie’s Medicine Cabinet comes in Fabulous (pepto-bismal) pink and contains Barbie sized bottles of Advil, St. Johns Wort, Zantac, and your choice of three fun anti-anxiety drugs! (Barbie Medicine Cabinet not available without a prescription).

Grad School Barbie’s Computer Workstation. Comes with miniature obsolete PC (in pink of course), rickety desk, and over a dozen miniature Mountain Dew cans to decorate your workstation with (Mountain Dew deposit not included in price. Tech support sold separately).

And Grad School Barbie is not alone! Order now and you’ll get two of Barbie’s great friends! GRADUATE ADVISOR KEN, Barbie’s mentor and advisor in her quest for knowledge, higher education and decreased self esteem.

Grad Advisor Ken ™ comes with a supply of red pens and a permanent frown. Press the button to hear Grad Advisor Ken deliver such wisdom to Barbie as “I need an update on your progress,” “I don’t think you’re ready to defend yet”, and “This is no where near ready for publication.”

Buy 3 or more dolls, and you can have Barbie’s Thesis Committee! (Palm Pilot and tenure sold separately.)

REAL JOB SKIPPER, When Barbie needs to talk, she knows that she can always count on her good friend Real Job Skipper ™, who got a job after getting her bachelor degree. Press the button to hear Real Job Skipper say, “Sometimes I wish I went for my masters degree” and “Work is so hard! I had to work a half an hour of overtime!” Real Job Skipper’s Work Wardrobe and Savings account sold separately.

WARNING: Do not place Grad Student Barbie and Real Job Skipper too close to each other, as there have been several cases of children leaving the room and coming back to find Barbie’s hands mysteriously fused to Skipper’s throat.

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164 Comments leave one →
  1. Jane permalink
    June 4, 2012 6:23 am

    I just defended in 2009. I empathize.

    Like

  2. June 4, 2012 10:39 pm

    Wow, this post has gotten tons of views – hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did! Maybe there is a Barbie Post-Graduate Dream House that we can celebrate in. :)

    Like

    • December 4, 2012 8:37 pm

      It’s not real, just like her graduation. That’s why it’s called a “Dream” House. :p

      Like

      • December 4, 2012 10:45 pm

        HA!

        Like

    • JoAnne permalink
      December 6, 2012 12:17 pm

      I really think you need to submit this to Mattel!!!

      Like

  3. Karen Spencer permalink
    June 4, 2012 11:32 pm

    Grad school Barbie’s family also doesn’t recognize her – they haven’t seen her since she graduated from college, and on the rare occasions when she does make an appearance, the dark circles under her eyes and frown marks on her face have aged her beyond recognition. Then there’s the fact that if she does leave the library or lab long enough to actually eat a cooked meal, she can’t keep her eyes open for more than 10 minutes – hardly long enough to enjoy Mom’s home cooking.

    When I was in grad school I’d get a lift home by security after the library closed, have a bite to eat and keep studying. My husband and I were living with my mom, because she lived within walking distance of the hospital. One night as I went to bed at around 2:30 a.m., my husband muttered: “Who is it?” My response: “Do you know where you are?” We saw each other by appointment!

    Like

  4. June 5, 2012 10:32 am

    This is a laugh riot! Graduate school Barbie should also come hunched over with a permanent hump in her back from sitting at her little pink computer for days at a time.

    Like

  5. April permalink
    June 5, 2012 11:13 am

    Picture this with two small kids and a real job and you would have me!

    Like

  6. Ben permalink
    June 5, 2012 12:32 pm

    if this is made I will purchase hands down.

    Like

    • June 5, 2012 8:52 pm

      i will, too, if they make a black one with unkempt natural hair!

      Like

      • June 5, 2012 10:53 pm

        Unkempt natural hair is the best!

        Like

      • Alane permalink
        June 6, 2012 2:17 pm

        how about no hair!

        Like

      • June 6, 2012 2:32 pm

        You know, this Barbie’s gray-tinged hair is most likely falling out from the stress and she can’t afford to get it cut, so I think this works well too.

        Like

      • June 8, 2012 7:41 pm

        That’s why you need to add at least 2 accessory items – a big hat f/the hair, and don’t forget the obligatory black slacks or skirt & blazer (most likely purchased by her grateful mother as a gesture of support for her “progress” towards completing her degree) it’ll be the only interview/job talk/invited lecture “grown-up” outfit she will own until she gets tenure.

        Like

      • June 8, 2012 8:36 pm

        Yes!! These stretchy skinny jeans from Old Navy are cheap, cute, and are as close to wearing sweats to work as I can get away with. Would love some great hats too.

        Like

      • Carla permalink
        December 6, 2012 11:02 am

        Ha… Hilarious.. So real,, so true…

        Like

  7. June permalink
    June 5, 2012 7:54 pm

    Sadly, graduation doesn’t solve Grad School Barbie’s problems. If she’s lucky, she turns into Assistant Professor Barbie, with whole new publish or perish anxieties, tenure woes, and “when do I get to have a life, again?” issues. Grad School Barbie needs a TARDIS to go back in time and reconsider.

    Like

    • Heather_Bales permalink
      June 13, 2012 9:21 pm

      Because a TARDIS really does make everything better. And to make it perfect, through in The Collectible Matt Smith as the Doctor Doll! Life would be a beautiful thing then!

      Like

  8. redcordelia permalink
    June 5, 2012 10:47 pm

    I think it’s a symptom of her delusion that she thinks she would be making $40,000.00 per year with a bachelor’s. I work at Walmart with a Bachelor’s and I make minimum wage, and there are lots of other people with bachelor’s degrees of all sorts working at Walmart in my town.

    Like

    • AlieLynn permalink
      June 6, 2012 2:05 am

      Not being able to find a job with a bachelor’s in political science is the exact reason I have been torturing myself with grad school (plus racking up massive amounts of student loan debt). If I could have made $40,000 right out of undergrad, I’d be doing it without complaint.

      Like

    • Eve permalink
      June 8, 2012 11:45 am

      My friend went to college for a semester and is making $40,000 base and has earned over $30,000 in straight commission. (She does sales for an internet/cable company). So it’s all about networking and knowing how to sale yourself. Having a degree doesn’t guarantee you a good job but it can help put you above others in some careers

      Like

      • Rodri permalink
        December 2, 2012 2:27 pm

        I make $40,000 with a Bachelors.

        Like

      • November 10, 2013 7:57 pm

        I make 40k with a bachelor’s degree and I’m doing my degree in an tangentially related field online right now. I might die.

        Like

    • Dave permalink
      October 9, 2012 8:29 am

      Too true. I’m 20+ years in the workforce (post-masters). After years of searching, last year I landed a job making $33K. I’d be grateful to have made $40K with a bachelor’s degree.

      Like

      • October 9, 2012 9:23 am

        Thanks for sharing! Congrats on the new job!! What kind of work are you doing?

        Like

    • ava permalink
      December 6, 2012 3:43 pm

      you’re right … I have a Master’s degree and I only make $40,000.

      Like

  9. June 6, 2012 8:46 am

    This is truly one of the funniest things I have read I love it.

    Like

  10. myra menguito permalink
    June 6, 2012 9:29 am

    LOL!!!! I graduated in MA June 2, 2012. I can super relate!!!!

    Like

  11. myra menguito permalink
    June 6, 2012 9:39 am

    Barbie should also have bottles of energy drink and stress tabs. Her system is also confused- she’s hungry, but when she eats even the slightest food, she gets sick! And when Skipper plays with her or talks with her, she seems just staring at nothing!

    Like

  12. June 6, 2012 10:08 am

    This was amusing until the crack against “real people” jobs. How petty and uninformed.

    Like

    • June 6, 2012 10:42 am

      Interesting interpretation. I read it as the folks who got real jobs made the better monetary choice, i.e., earning and enjoying life instead of paying and watching that choice hurt you, current economy and difficulties in findings jobs notwithstanding.

      Like

      • June 6, 2012 2:49 pm

        It’s not a matter of better choices – I think that this smacks of the insecurity grad students misinterpret as judgment from others.

        The Real Job Skipper bit implies that grad students work harder than the otherwise employed, have made difficult choices with lower returns, and are more demonized by the economy. The working world of today is not the 80’s – many graduates (of BA’s or otherwise) are struggling to find employment. Expense accounts are not brimming – and I work for a company whom everyone assumes wallpapers their offices with bills.

        The whole bit seems to ignore that they chose to be there. Choose your choices or cut and run.

        Like

      • roddy permalink
        July 29, 2012 11:12 am

        The joke surely is not in the interpretation of others, but in your own confusion over why you could have picked such a bad, unreasonable and SM choice… Try doing both: I work full time AND am a full time PhD student (I know, it doesn’t add up, hence my dark circles). And seriously, this is an ever going situation: work colleagues think you “study” because you are afraid of the “job market”. Yet, my full time job always seem like such a vacation! With coffee and lunch breaks, and even week-ends! And you get a pay check! Wow… (oh yeah… and rich friends all have a bachelor as my poor friends all have a MA. go figure).

        Like

    • AFG permalink
      October 12, 2012 1:45 am

      How petty and uniformed? I work 80 hours a week in my lab trying to get my PhD making less than you. We do work harder than you just to graduate! Maybe you studied history or something but making it in the world of Neuroscience is quite different. So please… give me a break!

      Like

      • Elizabeth permalink
        December 5, 2012 11:29 am

        Er — Firstly, ellegentsia’s original complaint re: “petty and uninformed” was about jobs vs. grad school, not discipline vs. discipline. I’m in the humanities and my husband is in neuroscience, and I can assure you that we work equally hard. He’s just better-funded. Secondly, a BA in history will not get you a career in history, so a historian with a BA and a “real job” is almost certainly not working in her field, and her current job says nothing about her academic discipline.

        I find both comments hasty: a satire of grad school life need not also include a fair and balanced assessment of other choices. A defense of “real jobs” is not a slap at AFG’s choices.

        Like

  13. June 6, 2012 3:26 pm

    Overcrowded Adjuct Office also sold separately.

    Like

  14. Alex permalink
    June 6, 2012 5:15 pm

    How about Grad student barbie–music school edition, complete with stacks of music papers, over-inflated ego (coupled with zero self-esteem), and a medicine cabinet stocked with anti-depressants, beta-blockers, and lots of vodka?

    Like

    • December 4, 2012 8:42 pm

      You’d have to add mucinex and zyrtec to the medicine cabinet, and a stack of water cases in the corner.

      Like

  15. nycrican2 permalink
    June 6, 2012 11:51 pm

    Just love this. As a current doctoral student, it would be great to be able to buy a Ph.D. Masochist Barbie doll. Thanks for the laugh!!

    Like

  16. June 7, 2012 9:24 am

    Reblogged this on As told by CatMan, The Rose Bandit and commented:
    For anyone that has friends that are becoming long term students and continuing their education….I know you can relate to this post! Imagine if Barbie REALLY looked like this?!

    Like

  17. June 7, 2012 2:53 pm

    Real Job Skipper…LOL

    Like

  18. June 8, 2012 1:37 am

    HILARIOUS!!! ROFL!!! This is a great post! Reminds me that one should always try to rest as much as possible when studying or working hard.

    Like

  19. June 8, 2012 2:32 pm

    LOL! This will be me very soon… damn Real Job Skipper!

    Like

  20. Zoe permalink
    June 8, 2012 6:10 pm

    Does she get an allowance for Rx meds? Or at least a compassionate supplier?

    Like

    • June 8, 2012 8:34 pm

      I hope so or it ain’t gonna be pretty…

      Like

  21. June 8, 2012 9:08 pm

    Reblogged this on blairblog1 and commented:
    worth sharing!

    Like

  22. June 9, 2012 4:37 am

    amazing…..

    Like

  23. June 9, 2012 12:31 pm

    Reblogged this on stacybraiuca and commented:
    OMG funny….. had to share!

    Like

  24. June 11, 2012 3:35 am

    Brilliant!!!

    Like

  25. June 12, 2012 1:26 am

    Reblogged this on lifeofjennie and commented:
    This is how I feel in a plastic world…

    Like

  26. onceateacher permalink
    June 14, 2012 3:46 am

    pretty funny…but the bad grammar made this graduate-school-grad cringe! grad school barbie needs a proofreader.

    Like

  27. Mary Jane Tenerelli permalink
    June 17, 2012 4:59 pm

    I loved this! I was graduate school Barbie with newborn…crazed; exhausted and more often then not streaked with spit up.

    Like

  28. June 19, 2012 9:56 am

    Reblogged this on The Filling Cabinet.

    Like

  29. Hardworking Skipper permalink
    July 6, 2012 2:36 pm

    Wow, the Real Job Skipper bit was upsetting. I have so many friends in grad school, and while I appreciate how hard they work, they are also generally people who have their education paid for them and get to live off their parents. They don’t usually bring up the source of their funding, though, and instead prefer to whine about how hard school is while simultaneously lording their pursuit of higher knowledge over those who work their asses to the bone to pay bills. You think Real Job Skipper wouldn’t like a higher degree? Did it ever occur to you that not everyone can make grad school happen for themselves, and that a bachelor’s degree is the most expensive worthless item on the job market today? How many people graduate with mountains of debt even though they worked all through college, only to find that they can barely get a job at Subway? I get that grad school is a LOT of work, but don’t act like some kind of martyr. The stab at Real Job Skipper is exactly why grad students get such a bad reputation for being stuck up and detached from the real world. People at real jobs have bags under their eyes and shitty computer stations where they pull all-nighters and don’t have time to eat real food, but they don’t get the satisfaction of knowing they are definitely working toward something. They could be laid off any day, and then no matter how hard they worked, they are back to square one. A grad student knows that if they put in the ridiculously long hours and dedication, they will eventually come out with something they can lord over everyone for the rest of their lives. This was a funny post, but get off your high horse and recognize that hard work is hard work and there is no Real Job Skipper with some easy lifestyle she got handed to her because she made the selfish choice not to further her education. There’s just people with trust funds or rich spouses, and people without them.

    Like

    • July 6, 2012 2:45 pm

      To be fair, some of us (myself included) are working as many hours as Real Job Skipper and have been combining this with grad school for the last 8 years. There is no external funding except what I bring in with my own two hands. There is no guarentee that there will be a job waiting for me especially since up to 70% of all new faculty positions are adjunct, non-tenure track and there are mountains of debt to pay off. Working 3-5 jobs while trying to finish school is something I would wish on no one. This is not something to hold over someone’s head, it’s more of a “here’s what you could be in for” heads up for others like me who had to learn all this the hard way – if you don’t NEED grad school to get where you want to go in life don’t do it!

      Like

    • Mouse permalink
      August 10, 2012 8:26 pm

      This is probably the most ignorant comment I’ve ever seen. The reason grad students get angry at the “real life skippers” is because they are envious of them. People always “hate” people who took another route in life because they think that maybe that path would have been easier or better than the one they chose, when in fact any path you choose is gonna suck.They never said that skipper didn’t do any work or wasn’t as good as grad school Barbie. Okay? This whole article is supposed to be a joke. It’s sarcasm and satire, not a biased rant about how some people are bad and others aren’t.

      Like

    • December 2, 2012 2:44 pm

      I was a “Real Job Skipper” as a paralegal for big, scary corporate law firms for 8 years and then I decided to go to law school along with a bunch of my paralegal friends. As I type this, I’ve got a g-chat from one of them asking why we decided to forgo steady paychecks and LOTS AND LOTS of paid double-time for this torture (not to mention the Rolls-Royce benefits). But when it was the other way around, we were wishing we had the easy life of a student: go to class, read and then take a final. What’s the big deal, right? The comment about “Real Job Skipper”, as other commenters have noted, is not about making a judgment about people who have jobs or their choices. I sometimes wish I was back at work and feel jealous of my friends who work and are “real adults”. See, right there…it’s like I feel like my friends with careers are “real adults” and I’m suck in some limbo wondering if I’m going to pass my classes and someday get a job. Oh and I’m 31 and don’t have anyone bankrolling my legal education, unless you count Uncle Sam.

      Like

    • Not a Trust Fund Grad permalink
      December 3, 2012 1:39 am

      Grad students are “generally people who have their education paid for them and live off their parents”? That statement is incredibly uninformed and laced with misplaced resentment. I stress all the time about trying to pay my bills, working my part-time job in retail when I should be studying, researching, or writing, and wondering how I’m going to pay my student loan debt if I can’t find a job after I graduate. Additionally, we also worry about how to pay for the debt incurred from our own undergraduate degrees. You are grossly stereotyping graduate students as a “trust-fund” type, which is not only unfair but inaccurate. Also, you claim that graduate students “lord” their education. Completing a master’s, Ph.D, medical degree, etc. is an incredible accomplishment and those students have a right to be proud of their many years of hard work. They have completed an intensive academic curriculum and countless hours of independent research to earn their degrees and titles. Also, I think it is insulting to Real Job Skipper’s to say they are not working toward anything. You suggest that people in the workforce cannot find satisfaction without a graduate degree and that their jobs are meaningless and unrewarding. Ignorant and condescending. Finally, to suggest that the difference between people in grad school and those in the workforce has to do with money is erroneous. The selection process to get into an academic institution is quite rigorous. It requires stellar grades, recommendations, and test scores, writing samples, intriguing personal statements, an excellently crafted resume or CV, generating relationships with scholars out of thin air, an articulate interview, and a strong thesis. Graduate programs are seeking dedicated intellectuals who will make a difference in their field. One does not simply qualify by the size of their bank account.
      Although it might be esoteric to you, this joke reflects a shared experience for graduate students. It is obviously not meant to be harmful and you have taken it out of context – a classic faux pas.

      Like

      • December 3, 2012 11:51 am

        Well said!

        Like

    • Elizabeth permalink
      December 5, 2012 11:38 am

      Hardworking Skipper, the satire does not have to speak to you. It’s not about you. It’s about grad student Barbie and HER perspective.

      Like

  30. July 28, 2012 10:57 pm

    I’m in chapter 1 and I will feel like I will not make it. Such a sea of information…wondering if I will ever get it all organized. Enjoyed the posting but I hope I don’t look as terrible as poor ole over educated Barbie. :)

    Like

    • July 29, 2012 12:06 am

      Hi Mary, thanks for writing and sharing. I won’t lie, it’s tough, but you already knew that. How is chapter one coming along? What would be helpful? I highly recommend the book Destination Dissertation – it has very practical, step-by-step guidance. GOOD LUCK AND KEEP GOING!!

      Like

  31. Sande permalink
    September 6, 2012 8:12 am

    I need some where can I buy them>

    Like

  32. September 6, 2012 4:05 pm

    I would add: Tenure is discontinued in most locations, no longer available.

    Like

  33. October 2, 2012 6:41 pm

    Brings back many memories…hilarious!

    Like

  34. Justin Schwartz, Michigan Philosophy 89* permalink
    October 9, 2012 2:44 am

    Old Matt Groening joke from School Is Hell: Graduate School — because some people never learn. I don’t know what the worst decision of my life was, but getting a PhD was high up there.

    Like

    • October 9, 2012 9:22 am

      Thanks for sharing, I definitely feel your pain. Gearing up for the market and curious how you have used your PhD?

      Like

  35. December 2, 2012 2:49 pm

    Reblogged this on Nouveau Yuppie Beauty and commented:
    This gave me the LOL’s. I wonder if there is a “Law Student Barbie”, that says things like, “I’m never going to get a job in this market,” and “OMG, I am never going to understand the difference between legal vs. equitable claims and remedies.”

    Like

  36. December 3, 2012 12:36 pm

    Reblogged this on I'm Not a Librarian.

    Like

  37. MasteroftheUniverse permalink
    December 3, 2012 10:10 pm

    My Barbie gains weight each semester as her addiction to chocolate and Double Bubble and fried cheese and Greek pizza and Diet Coke… Oh my gawd. I need post doc therapy and liposuction.

    Like

  38. December 4, 2012 7:33 pm

    Reblogged this on I like to think I'm funny… and commented:
    Extremely accurate.

    Like

  39. December 4, 2012 8:47 pm

    Reblogged this on The Many (Mis-)Adventures of Kittu Pannu and commented:
    This kinda sounds like my life right now… Damn you, honors thesis!

    Like

  40. December 5, 2012 7:46 am

    I think I’ll wait for homeless or inmate Ken.

    Like

  41. Cian Mulligan permalink
    December 5, 2012 9:31 am

    Surely Grad School Barbie is a Real “Job Skipper” also? :)

    Like

  42. MariceD permalink
    December 5, 2012 9:02 pm

    I made $40K with a bachelor’s back in ’97 and then stupidly went to graduate school, racking up $35K more in student loan debt. You know how much I made in my first job outta grad school? You guessed it: $40K.

    Like

  43. December 5, 2012 11:14 pm

    Reblogged this on Grad School Sojourn and commented:
    Yup, this is about right. This is what grad school is like :)

    Like

  44. Julie permalink
    December 6, 2012 3:16 am

    defense next week. :x

    Like

    • December 6, 2012 9:22 am

      Good luck!

      Like

  45. Christy permalink
    December 6, 2012 8:40 am

    Thanks for letting me laugh at your misery. And thanks for making me feel better about not getting an MA. lol although I gotta say, the description of Grad School Barbie sounds like she would be awfully similar to Working Mom Barbie or Working Dad Ken.

    Like

  46. Chris Evers permalink
    December 6, 2012 10:56 am

    Awesome :)

    Like

  47. Donna Ferber permalink
    December 6, 2012 12:05 pm

    I have been out of my PhD program for thirty years now, and I actually have fond memories of the comaraderie in the lab, the long experiments and the excitement of doing science. We worked really hard and lots of us played hard I don’t recall thinking it was so terrible. Yes, taking the qualifying orals was awful and the dissertation not much fun, but I think I did not have such negative feelings about it.

    Like

    • December 6, 2012 1:10 pm

      Congrats!! I’m glad you had a different, much more positive experience than most of us here. I have not seen so much camaraderie as competition. I wonder what changed, guessing there is much speculation to be had here!

      Like

    • December 6, 2012 5:07 pm

      As my committee members said to me several times when I was finishing, “I’m glad I don’t have to get a PhD now! I don’t know that I’d be able to do it.” I think a lot has changed in terms of expectations, time demands, job outlooks, and the relationships between graduate students and faculty. Some camaraderie is still in the lab (although I’ve known of several experiment-stealing cut-throat relationships), as is the excitement of doing science, if you have enough energy leftover after running experiments, teaching, grading, and writing (all in one day, every day).

      Like

    • emily.mancil@gmail.com permalink
      December 7, 2012 12:03 am

      Did you go to an R1 school?

      Like

  48. Peter Angevine permalink
    December 6, 2012 12:09 pm

    If you wanted to make money, you should have studied engineering.

    Like

    • December 6, 2012 1:11 pm

      True, yet I don’t think it was implicit or even considered possible that it would be so difficult to make a living wage.

      Like

    • December 6, 2012 5:08 pm

      Does anyone go to graduate school to make money?

      Like

  49. tsalibian permalink
    December 6, 2012 12:17 pm

    Fantastic. Thank you for this. Defending my dissertation proposal next week. Eek!

    Of course there should be an “Unemployed REAL JOB SKIPPER,” who provides more solidarity than the original RJS. And the “ONLY SLIGHTLY INDIFFERENT BRATZ” dolls, who are so sick of GSB’s complaints. I know a few. You try doing what GSB does, haters.

    Well done, Karen.

    xxo

    Like

    • December 6, 2012 1:12 pm

      GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN!!

      Like

  50. Beverly permalink
    December 6, 2012 2:29 pm

    Now you need divorced, middle aged Ken with a barstool trying to pick up Midge who’s had a LOT of work done!

    Like

  51. Joyce Marie Klaus permalink
    December 6, 2012 3:11 pm

    I am so with you!

    Like

  52. December 6, 2012 3:15 pm

    Great Gift for the holidays

    Like

  53. December 6, 2012 7:04 pm

    Gosh the beginning of this post had me crying and just ended with lmao! Thanks!

    Like

    • December 7, 2012 1:05 am

      :)

      Like

  54. December 6, 2012 8:42 pm

    she actually has another tee-shirt, with the comment “Don’t ask me about the thesis”.
    d.

    Like

    • December 7, 2012 1:16 am

      :)

      Like

  55. December 6, 2012 9:15 pm

    i just sent this to a friend who’s almost done with her Ph.D. i think she’ll get a good laugh out of it :)

    this is absolutely EPIC!

    Like

  56. Sonya Tolpova permalink
    December 6, 2012 11:49 pm

    http://www.graduatestudentabuse.org

    Like

  57. Tim Dewitt permalink
    December 7, 2012 1:23 am

    Uh when exactly did you write this? This post has been circulating since at least the late 90’s…

    Like

    • December 7, 2012 9:38 am

      Please see note about unknown original author at the top of the post.

      Like

  58. professor, now permalink
    December 7, 2012 9:17 am

    What made R1 political science grad school hell in the late 80s to mid 90s was–try to top this–arriving caring about books and justice and individuals, but discovering that all of the other GS were Invasion of the Body Snatchers Ken, humorless white guys calculating the Soviet Threat throw weight Schelling deception ratio factor analysis PROBIT. When the Soviets sort of evaporated in the middle of their diss, they switched en masse to quantitative modeling of “interactions” defined without a soul, e.g. not war but “militarized dyads.” How naive was I.

    Like

  59. babz permalink
    December 7, 2012 10:26 am

    I am almost sixty.There are great child rearing gaps in my education. I didn’t laugh nor crack a smile . I swear. I am now going to bed for the rest of my life and re-write sentences and paragraphs in my head until i fall into a deep sleep. And tomorrow?I am going to do it again .

    Like

  60. December 7, 2012 10:52 am

    LOL! Hilarious. Thank you sooooo much for this post… one in which all of us tired and drained (it was only in grad school that I learned that these are two completely different states of exhaustion) grad students can find solidarity and commiserate together. I am literally writing this response during a break from writing my VERY LAST final papers in my last semester of my Master’s program. Thank you for a smile and for such encouragement. It’s always great to know I’m not alone.

    Like

  61. Nancy permalink
    December 7, 2012 11:25 am

    I loved reading this grad Barbie description. Remember those feelings well. I am a professor now and it was worth sticking it all out. Love my job, colleagues, and my schedule.

    Like

    • December 7, 2012 1:06 pm

      Thanks for the update from the other side – this is encouraging!

      Like

  62. Milana Cypert permalink
    December 7, 2012 12:08 pm

    I am a Real Job Skipper and I still deeply empathize.

    Like

  63. Satan Hersef, aka C J Collins permalink
    December 7, 2012 3:23 pm

    This was reported in the Cult of Fiscal Responsibility and I, Satan Hereself, who is the lone arbiter of everything as well asthe Empress of the Universe, by virtue of completing three and a half useless degrees (BA/BFA Fine Arts and Philosophy, MS in Counseling, Masters of Divinity and ABD in Women’s Ethics from a now defunct institution), award you a PHD with Highest Honors and a tenure track position, as well as complete loan forgiveness, on the basis of your contribution to the sum of human and alien knowledge, based on this post. Congratulations, and welcome to The Omniversity of Recognition, Respect and Curiosity.

    Like

    • December 7, 2012 6:47 pm

      LOL – AWESOME. :)

      Like

  64. Leah permalink
    December 8, 2012 1:05 am

    You are not alone! Thank you so much for this post. People may make of it what they wish, but I would imagine that for most of us it is just a ray of sunshine during an outrageously stressful time. Oh, and reading about Real Job Skipper actually made me laugh out loud! :)

    Like

  65. Jean Kloss permalink
    December 8, 2012 12:16 pm

    Grad school that you love followed by a richly fulfilling (and certainly not stress free) career is my hope for all of you. After doing time in 2 Ph.D. programs, I found that ministry (with a M.Div.) was my place. I wish you all such joy.

    Like

    • December 8, 2012 12:37 pm

      Thank you and CONGRATS!!!

      Like

  66. December 9, 2012 1:11 pm

    Reblogged this on Hinda Tzivia Eisen and commented:
    What a great post! As a fellow graduate student, I totally sympathize.

    Like

  67. Polly permalink
    December 9, 2012 2:39 pm

    Hi Karen,
    The good thing about it is it does eventually end. I went to graduate school working full time and with 2 kids under 3. I call those those “the missing years!” I defended my master’s thesis in January of 1997. There is life on the other side!! Good Luck an just keep plugging along!!

    Like

    • December 10, 2012 1:34 pm

      Thank you for your support! Congrats on defending and your ensuing successes!

      Like

  68. December 10, 2012 5:57 pm

    Awesome. Except her hair should be a buzz cut or a pixie cut at the very best. Very few of my the women in my cohort left grad school with a full head of hair. Most of us cut it off because we didn’t have time for regular showers.

    Like

    • December 11, 2012 10:45 pm

      Have you seen dry shampoo? It’s fantastic!

      Like

    • tammy mccurry permalink
      December 12, 2012 4:04 pm

      Or maybe she could come with an assortment of toques (that’s Canadian for beanie) which was my solution to declining showers :)

      Like

      • December 12, 2012 4:14 pm

        LOL

        Like

  69. December 10, 2012 8:12 pm

    I must say, not only is this brilliant, but it made me feel better. Really.

    Like

  70. December 11, 2012 9:42 am

    This is pure gold. Absolute 24-karat brilliance. And every word of it MUCH TOO TRUE.

    Like

  71. December 11, 2012 10:04 pm

    Reblogged this on STRICTLYFISHWRAP and commented:
    This has made the rounds this last week. Fabulous.

    Like

    • December 11, 2012 10:47 pm

      Made the rounds? Where? How? 😃

      Like

      • December 12, 2012 9:39 am

        Around the internet. As in you’ve gotten a lot of hits for it because it’s so awesome!

        Like

  72. tammy mccurry permalink
    December 12, 2012 4:01 pm

    Thank you. I am getting ready to defend my PhD dissertation after eight long years during which time I translated volumes of Latin, gave birth to two little girls to add to the two kids that I started my doctoral work with, lived through the death of three of my four living grandparents and a younger cousin, subcontracted a bigger home (not a dream house) for my rapidly growing family, learned to read German in addition to Hebrew, and managed to stay married. Quite a struggle! I am both thankful and sorry that I am not alone. I wouldn’t wish this on anybody, well maybe my “real job” friends :)

    Like

    • December 12, 2012 4:14 pm

      Good luck!!!

      Like

  73. December 12, 2012 8:20 pm

    Finishing my next to last semester of my masters in nursing (nurse practitioner), and this is so spot on–it made me and my classmates around the country laugh and nod along as we read. Thank you so much for this and good luck in your scholastic adventures!

    Like

    • December 13, 2012 2:12 pm

      Good luck!! How did you get the link? Very curious!

      Like

  74. rebecca permalink
    December 13, 2012 12:59 pm

    I finally finished yesterday – and I’m 50! Nearly killed me (was in the hospital twice). I may stay in bed now for a month!! One of my girlfriend’s sent me Barbie – I’m Barbie’s half dead grad school mother!! lol

    Like

    • December 13, 2012 2:13 pm

      LOL – congrats!!

      Like

    • Julie B permalink
      December 13, 2012 5:51 pm

      I’m with you, Rebecca–52 and supposedly finishing. Passed my defense a month ago and still re-writing to please five committee members in four different departments. I’m closer to quitting now, at the very end, than I was years ago. If I can’t write like the chair wants me to, what’s the point? This is beyond frustrating.

      Like

  75. December 26, 2012 7:02 pm

    A handful of very good issues here and actually just didn’t have a clue concerning any of this earlier so thanks for the insight

    Like

  76. January 6, 2013 10:27 pm

    You can do it. The sleep after a successful defense is one-of-a-kind. Only experienced by newly-minted PhD’s. Sadly, my hair never returned, but it was worth it. In retrospect.

    Like

  77. July 27, 2013 8:09 am

    The lows in a PhD can be really low, thanks for sharing! Will share this later today.

    Like

  78. November 3, 2013 6:04 pm

    God, grad students act like they’re martyrs. I have a “real job” near a major research university and have rented out rooms in my house to graduate students. With the exception of med students, I work more hours and have pulled more all-nighters than any of them–including the law students. Although they put on a facade otherwise, going out with friends is a regular occurrence for them. It is typically not for me due to my “real job.”

    It’s like grad students want to feed some myth that they are continually overburdened with work. I think it’s more a matter of PROCRASTINATION. Hey, how about instead of going out the next few Friday nights, you stay in and work, so that at the end of the month you aren’t whining and complaining about “how little free time” you have?

    The typical grad students, at least the ones I’ve found to rent from me, are (and this is generalizing) 1) 23-year-olds who breezed through undergrad due to their easy/useless major or 2) individuals who never had a demanding career in the real world, so of course grad school would seem like the hardest thing ever for individuals from these two groups, and those from the second group would consider themselves to have had a “real job” before (even though it was nothing of the sort), hence the supporting myth that those in grad school work “so much harder” than people with “real jobs.”

    Like

  79. Holly M. permalink
    November 8, 2013 9:51 pm

    Oh My Goodness! This sounds just like my daughter. She’s working on her Masters.

    Like

  80. WordsFallFromMyEyes permalink
    November 9, 2013 4:25 pm

    Great stuff indeed, Karen :). Good on you!
    Thank SubmissiveNightOwl I found you :)

    Like

    • November 9, 2013 5:23 pm

      :)

      Like

  81. deZelle12 permalink
    December 5, 2013 12:34 pm

    Reblogged this on ░░░░░░░░░Our greatest fear ░░░░░░░░░is not that we are inadequate ░░░░░░░░░ It is that we are ░░░░░ ░░░░░░░░░░░░ powerful░░░░░ beyond measure ░░ and commented:
    Read this about a year ago and Huffington Post just published it a month ago. Amazing how much traction this little post blog got recently. Either way, I can totally relate

    Like

    • December 5, 2013 12:39 pm

      Thank you for the kind words! This post has gotten a lot of traction, it’s both crazy and awesome. Thanks for reblogging it!

      Like

  82. January 28, 2014 12:52 pm

    Karen,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’ve laughed myself to tears of relief and joy reading your posts – just to know that, indeed, I am not alone…and yes…it will end.

    Mary, ABD/Adjunct in New York City

    Like

    • January 28, 2014 12:56 pm

      Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your experience. GOOD LUCK AND KEEP GOING!!

      Like

  83. June 21, 2014 1:38 pm

    Hi there! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came
    to give it a look. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m
    book-marking and will be tweeting this to
    my followers! Fantastic blog and brilliant design.

    Like

    • June 21, 2014 1:52 pm

      Thank you for the kind words and for sharing!

      Like

  84. November 11, 2013 8:40 pm

    Thank you for the kind words!

    Like

  85. November 28, 2013 12:12 am

    Thanks for sharing the post!

    Like

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