A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A GRAD STUDENT
6:30 Wake up and lie awake in bed.
6:31 Realize you spent $18 on last night’s dinner,
means no eating out for the next 6 weeks.
6:32 Hit snooze button. Go back to sleep.
7:00 Wake up suddenly with heart in mouth when you realize you
didn’t hit the snooze button–you turned it off.
7:01 Fall asleep again.
7:44 Wake up with heart in mouth again.
7:45 Ready to go to school, will shave tommorrow, will eat early
brunch at (Denny’s/Penny’s/Lenny’s/Dinko’s whatever cafeteria).
8:03 Arrive at school. Realize your foreign officemate arrived
arrived earlier today and must have got more work done.
8:04 Pass by Advisor’s office, chat with Secretary to find out if he is
coming in today. He is, darn.
Need to start work on the draft due this afternoon.
8:15 Read electronic mail.
8:20 Delete mail from students taking CMPSC201 regarding questions
about the class. Hate your TA job. Depression: too much
work to do today.
9:00 For jumpstart: go to Pepsi machine.
9:05 Kick Pepsi machine; promise yourself to call up the company
and ask for your money back. Wonder why they would believe you.
9:33 Start printing out loads of stuff that may be vaguely related
to your work.
9:41 Early morning stupefaction.
Mutter racist comments to yourself about your officemate.
9:43 Curse your officemate in a low tone he would not comprehend.
Feel good about him not grasping English well.
9:58 Finger everyone in the department and most people half way
around the world (using the “finger” command, of course)
10:19 Feel sleepy, should not have stayed late playing tetris last night.
10:31 Momentary panic attack!!!!!!!!!!!!
10:43 Edit .plan file. write a shell program to edit .plan more easily.
10:59 Drop in at advisor’s office and borrow something you don’t need
& and kinda make him aware you are working hard on your project.
11:05 Perverted daydreams
11:11 Read electronic news. Mid-morning yawn time.
11:34 Start typing junk at a very high key-in rate to pretend you
are working hard as your advisor passes by from outside.
11:35 Press the BackSpace key for one and a half minutes until all
the garbage you typed in is erased. Realize that you can
type more than 256 characters per half minute.
11:41 Flirt with the new girl in the department.
11:45 Print out some slides for afternoon’s draft + presentation.
11:47 Print them again, you forgot to change the date from last
11:49 Print another copy in case this one gets lost.
11:51 Completely forget about sueing the coffee machine company.
12:15 Hunger pangs: 12:20 BigMac/Fries time.
Drink a not-so-cold generic can of cola from your desk.
Ch-Ching, you just saved 35 cents by buying bulk cola.
1:00 Group Meeting with advisor.
1:14 Sudden awareness of one’s shallowness resentment towards
foriegn officemate for sucking up to your advisor.
Get reminded by your advisor that you need to do some more
work for your literature survey.
1:51 Advisor hands you the reddened copy of your draft for corrections.
1:51:02 The 49 second urge to murder advisor begins!!
1:51:52 Realize that he controls your assistantship/grade/
graduation possiblity/graduation date/all job opportunities
and the rest of your life.
1:52:53 Thank him
1:52:54 Thank yourself for not saying something stupid to your
1:53:00 splitting headache #1
1:59 Check electronic mail, don’t reply though, you are too busy to do
2:06 More generic cola.
2:17 Oh No, it is my turn to cook tonite 🙁
2:30 Sit through the class you were told to sit through.
2:39 Look outside the window make unrealistic plans to quit this degree
program and take up a job. Wonder why blonde girls are so pretty.
2:48 More perverted day-dreams. Close office door and open a
few .gif files. Sharpen pencil.
3:06 Worry about never graduating. Time to write a letter–NOT!
No time for that. Rearrange desk. Call up bank, see if you have
any money. Fear of losing aid next Fall. Read latex manuals
manuals to figure out how to put &$%&% in %$^% format.
3:43 Watch the clock. Make plans to do a all-nighter tonite.
Vow to watch only 2 TV programs.
4:58 Notice advisor leave.
4:58:01 Sudden sense of freedom.
Go home for quick, short dinner break.
9:00 Come into the office
9:01 The hard working grad student you are, you have to come to the
office late at night to “get the work done.”
9:03 Check electronic mail. Decide it would be a good time to
attack those ftp sites since network won’t be loaded. Run into
“since network won’t be loaded” traffic and get the pictures into
your machine. Compress all the unwanted research/class
directories to make space. Back up all your pictures.
10:11 Admire pictures. Begin work; Realize you need references.
Realize its too late today to go to the library.
Sudden feeling of having wasted the day.
10:49 Sudden feeling of possibly having to waste the night, decide to
turn in early and come back very early tommorrow morning. Decide
to play a Tetris on the system to put yourself in a good mood.
11:15 Play game after game after game to improve your score and get
on the scoreboard. Realize that your officemate is still at number
6, two notches above you on the scoreboard.
12:20 Play until you beat your officemate into the 7th place.
A sense of achievment!! Yes, today was not wasted!!
Return home to find your roommate watching David Letterman
reruns on NBC. Tell him about the “hard working grad student
day you had.” Discuss philosophy with roommate
1:09am Think about becoming a philosopher and dining with 4 others.
(The Dining Philosophers problem, hee hee 🙂 (Comp Sci
joke) Argue with him about politics, why people prefer
Japanese cars and whether it is better to set the heat to
“hot” or “cold” to defrost the windshields faster.
1:49 Realize neither of you have bought milk today.
Get reminded of the “too much milk problem.”
2:04 Forget about getting up early. Turn the phone ringer off and
go to sleep.