I was considering Grad School…and then I saw this. HILARIOUS!

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 nowhere 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.

Author: Unknown

joannacr

289 Comments

  1. very very funny- thanks for the laugh- I needed it in my last term of course work for my grad degree- now if I could just pass the Math section of the Praxis II exam for my teaching licensure ): Waiting for Face Lift Barbie (:

  2. Kathleen, you are welcome! I’m sure this is something many of us (past/present) grad students can relate to. Good luck!

  3. Please write some more on Masochist (PhD) Barbie! I have my PhD Defence two days from now and could use a (hysterical, delusional, desperate) laugh!!

  4. As a group of exhausted and slightly hysterical higher education students, we all got much-needed giggle! Thanks!

  5. I’m pretty sure I had both outfits described when I was living as a hermit in my parent’s attic bedroom writing my master’s thesis. Thanks for the laugh.

  6. Wait, you forgot the third outfit: Thrift Store Teaching Ensemble. A slightly tattered yet still respectable last-year’s-blouse-and-skirt combination to wear when TA-ing or teaching; not really nice enough for interviews, though Barbie has done it. Is periodically too tight or missing a button, but Barbie has some trusty safety pins to save the day.

  7. Oh my God I’m wearing the tattered jeans and 5-year-old shirt right now…only my shirt’s from Old Navy.

  8. How come Barbie can’t hack it but Ken is a grad school advisor? Unfortunately, this article seems to discourage women from pursuing higher education by suggesting that it will make them old, tired, cranky and unattractive. My husband is currently pursuing graduate education in business and it irks me to hear his female colleagues complain about the hours and workload but I honestly never hear complaints from his male student peers. I wish the amazingly strong and smart women who pursue graduate degrees would set a better example to encourage and pave the way for more highly educated women in the work force.

  9. Elyse, seriously… My god, can we all just take a step back and chill instead of trying to make everything into an argument? (I’m going to assume that you’re a grad student yourself and you’re cranky from lack of sleep. At least, I hope that’s your problem.)

  10. I am not a grad student. I am a young professional female who is tired of seeing other smart women get passed over in every industry for opportunities because they doubt their capabilities. The mentality from which this article is derrived could not be more illustrative of exactly why that happens. Perhaps I should consider higher education in gender studies if fellow ladies would see my comment and actually try to defend this sexist drivel instead of to recognize it for what it is. You’re all a hell of a lot stronger and smarter than you give yourselves credit for if this is a joke to you.

    • Hon, you’re taking this far too seriously. The reason she’s the ‘grad school’ one and not Ken is most likely simply name recognition. Barbie is the main character, therefore Barbie is the grad student. We wouldn’t read it (or necessarily even initially get the reference) if the title was “A new gift idea for your loved ones: Graduate School Ken (TM).”

      I got my PhD in my early 40′s. I understand your indignation, and there are oh so many instances I would agree with you, but screaming misogyny in this case is not one of them. Not everything reeks of sexism.

    • Elyse, These are educated women who really don’t need someone like you to determine what is funny and what is not. I didn’t read anything that indicated women were “doubting their capabilities.” Bottom line, obtaining degrees often leaves you fatigued. Most people who attend college can relate to cramming for finals, pulling their hair out as they compile and complete their thesis, wearing sweats and drinking tons of coffee after only two hours of sleep. This is just the college experience that we look back on and laugh about. Instead of laughing along with others at something you have in common with them you decide to visit the Twilight Zone. Good Grief!!!

      • By the way, I’m a black woman, 63 years old with a boat load of degrees and I truly enjoyed reading everyone’s response and they fun they are having. I wish you would try to look at this from another perspective and join in the fun.

  11. Thank you for this! I am a PhD student and about to lose my mind! You just granted me a couple of minutes of sanity.

  12. I am a 50 year old, single, Ed.D. candidate, in my final semester of coursework. And yes, my mac’s protective case is pink. Too funny!! Hey Chris, break a leg 2 days from now!

  13. I love this! I am working on my MSN, am a grad assistant, wife and mom, AND a professional woman. This is my life, esp. the thrift store outfit :-) Only those who have experienced it first-hand will understand it.

  14. I’m a law student and a mother of 4 (I’m 33). I’m currently at the law school at 10:30pm studying.
    This is exactly how I feel most days.

    Real Job Skipper better step the hell away from me. I had a real job. I loved my real job. I want my real job back.

  15. The cerebellum is mainly important for motor control; the coordination of movement, balance, fine tuning movement, orienting the body in space, etc. If Graduate School Barbie is spending her days on the tea cups at Disneyland and/or walking tight ropes then she very well have fried her cerebellum, but what is more likely is she that she fried her cerebrum. The cerebrum is responsible for many functions including learning and memory, language and communication, and sensory processing.

  16. Don’t forget the “Disabled while getting your Bachelors Degree” Barbie. Because watching your Real Job Skipper Friends go about life is super fun. This model comes with lots of pain meds, and a activity calendar filled with doctors appointments and a Diploma with a set of darts on the wall.

  17. I am in the last 9 weeks of my masters program and this may be the best thing I have seen all quarter! Ha ha

  18. I’m still working on my Bachelors Degree, but I had a roommate in graduate school. I’d see him stay up ALL night to finish a project, and then see him find out that something about it was “unsatisfactory” so he got to do the whole thing over again. After seeing that I don’t really feel the need to further my education past my bachelors degree..

  19. Hahah Barbie’s brain is SO fried, she doesn’t even know the difference between the cerebrum and the cerebellum. At this point, both are most likely affected! And i’m a grad student and putting the gender BS aside, this is all pretty accurate!! You can be a hard working, capable woman (or man) doesn’t mean grad school is a cake walk and doesn’t mean you cant poke fun at it….

  20. This is hilarious, especially if you are in grad school. I’m pursuing my PhD and I can totally relate!!!!!

  21. I agree with Elyse. I find this “Barbie” sexist and derogatory. I started a doctoral program in my mid-40s, did find it challenging, but slogged on through and enjoyed an excellent career until retirement at 66. I had a lot more fun at my new job than I’d had at any degree requiring only a Bachelor’s (or Master’s), and would not have envied BA Barbie for an instant.

  22. I LOVE it! I’m rolling laughing right now! I was becoming Masochist Ph.D. Barbie when I decided to leave the program. I had never QUIT anything in my life. You know what…I have no regrets!

  23. PHENOMENAL motivator! I’m forwarding copies to all my grad students and post-docs. Speaking of which… Where’s post-doc Barbie?

  24. Hilarious! My study partner and I used to joke about spending some time in jail to get away from the pressure of simultaneous grad school/work/family responsibilities! We fantasized about free time to read, watch tv, work out, and eat food that is probably healthier than our current food choices. Gotta have a sense of humor to get through the tough times … this isn’t degrading or demeaning to those with an intact sense of self esteem and a healthy sense of humor!

  25. Women have a much harder time in grad school than men- not because of their ability and confidence levels, but because of sexism and then having to go home and do all the things that the man at home ain’t doing!
    Working on my PhD, full time job, and three kids. The “Working” part of the last sentence is sometimes very imaginary.

  26. Ken is able to be Grad Advisor Ken because he married Midge, who has a job, and takes care of him and the kids so he doesn’t have to worry about the details.

  27. I see the humor but I’m with Elyse on this one. That “aged” Barbie kind of creeps me out – “keep going to school and you will fail to attract a mate and be a wizened old lady by age…30?” Really? I know that’s not what’s intended, but there is a weird feeling under this, for me. Then again, I’m in math, and women are already very scarce in undergrad – I hardly know any in the grad programs here.

  28. Smart, funny, and beautiful, girls should be glad you’re too busy with grad school or you would be a big threat to their dating life. Keep up the writing and thanks for making me glad that I am “Real Job Skipper.”

  29. You forgot the aged Barbie who is trying to finish a dissertation, work full-time, look after a house and two kids under 10, and has a husband with a very demanding profession that doesn’t pay very well. This was me 30 years ago. You should have seen my medicine cabinet. I did finish but it took 7 years.
    signed, “Battered veteran”

  30. Sexist…degrading? Oh whatever. How about taking a second out of your controversial lives and find a little humor in this joke. If you haven’t done any grad work than you probably wouldn’t get the humor in this anyways – Actually, this could apply to male graduate students as well. Replace the Gap T-shirt with a 20 yr old stained up shirt with holes in the armpits that your wife has been trying to get you to throw away since the first week you met. To include, blank printer paper scattered throughout the “computer roomb”/mixed in with bills, important documents, and even their childs birth certificate for some. Oh, and dont forget about “date night” being postponed for yet another semester because the professor decided to add/make changes to the syllabus last minute yet again. Finally, the “man graduate Barbie” (which should be the Ken version) hasnt shaved in 13 weeks and is becoming shockingly familiar to looking like Grizzly Adams & Abraham Lincoln.

    Keep up the good work fellow grad students – Good luck to those who are also working on their bachelors degrees, and to those who have even went a step further and are in a PhD program (I couldn’t imagine what their “computer room” lools like). :-)

    • Grizzly Adams, I agree. This could be applied to men as well… Who wants to write on “grad school ken”???

      Kudos to everyone pursuing whatever degree it is you are pursuing. It’s a whole lot of work, very challenging but also rewarding.

  31. Alright, to everyone who thinks that this is too sexist. Grad school Ken is prematurely gray with a potbelly and serious depression due to crushed delusions of grandeur. He has 2 kids and a wife who is contemplating divorce. They are on food stamps. Yes, luckily grad advisor Ken pays more attention to him but that comes with its own drama when he has to go to the ombudsman to get the university to force grad advisor Ken to let him graduate after his 5th publication. His advisor just keeps repeating, “But he’s just so productive, we could do so much more great work together.”

  32. This is for sure the look of Post-doctorates!!! Hillareous! Love it! And it is so true!

  33. Awesome. Totally relate. I’m a full-time female grad student, working full-time, in my mid-twenties. Also just found my first gray hair. Am addicted to coffee. Sleep doesn’t happen as often as it should. Passing up two Halloween parties this weekend to work on three projects, one of which is my final project for my degree. So…this Barbie and I would probably be bffs, if we had time to see each other, haha.

    This is not sexist or degrading. It’s true. And HILARIOUS. And makes me feel like I’m not completely alone in how I’m feeling. If you haven’t done grad school, don’t bash it, because you DON’T GET IT. It’s supposed to make people smile and have a little laugh during their busy, stressful days. CHILL OUT. Goodness. Why so serious?

    SWEET FREEDOM IN MAY!!!

    • Thank you for your comment Rachel! I’m right there with you. Have had zero opportunity to celebrate Halloween. Good to know we’re not alone!

  34. Love this!! It is shockingly similar to my own life at the current moment. I posted a link to this from my blog!! Thanks for sharing.

  35. Just started my dissertation and soooo needed this. It gave me a good laugh and may be my last for a while. I know I will be coming back to reread this again and again.

  36. This is great. Thanks for the laugh and the commiseration. Also, thanks for the unintended hilarity of the posts by Elyse, who has no experience with grad school and apparently no sense of humor.

  37. If I recommended this for my wife I would get punched in the face… I can’t even share this for fear of sleeping on the couch for a week…

  38. Love this!!! I am a doctoral student in special education. Needed a belly laugh today:)

  39. Well, I believe there should be the option to have your graduate Barbie get fatter! Some people, when they live constantly on the brink of nervous breakdown actually eat more and go straight for sweets, so they tend to grow quite a bit larger around the waist! ;-) I certainly haven’t lost a pound during most of my PhD!

  40. It felt great to get a much-needed hearty laugh out of this! But Barbie is missing her JSTOR articles, assigned books (or kindle/ipad), and poorly scanned excerpts that make up her 500+ pages of weekly reading! I’m also working on my MA, while working full-time and trying to make time for my husband and corgi. All I know is that I have given up the delusional desire to become PhD Masochist Barbie…I have seen the look of fear and anguish on the faces of both the male & female 6th & 7th yr PhD students too many times, lol.

  41. Reblogged this on Bloggo ergo cogito et sum and commented:
    I think anyone should read this before considering going to grad school and more particularly, into a PhD program. Then again, there are many good reasons to do both! You just have to weight them against the circumstances you’re dealing with!

  42. This was worth the read just to witness Elyse have an aneurysm over it. Thanks! My daughter got a worthless & useless degree in “gender studies” and something like that would be perfect for Elyse, I think.

  43. Reblogged this on Thoughts From Vee… and commented:
    A good friend showed this to me today and I have to say it gave me quite a laugh. As someone who is finishing her M.A. program, I can totally appreciate this humor.

  44. @Elyse–It’s interesting how you judge what you personally know nothing about. (And, no, it doesn’t count if your husband is in grad school.) Please come back and let us know what you think of this post if you do decide to enter grad school. I’m sure your feedback will be much more respected and appreciated. In the meantime, have fun being a “young professional.”

  45. Don’t forget the fashion accessories! Grad School Barbie has THREE great outfits! (Each sold separately.)

    The Teaching Outffit: Dress Grad School Barbie in sensible shoes, high-necked blouses, and accessories guaranteed to keep Frat Boy Ken from even noticing that the TA’s a girl!

    The Interview Outfit: Grad School Barbie is sure to impress in her three-year-old suit that never fit anyway (comes in navy OR grey!) and her single string of tiny pearls. (Glasses sold separately.)

    The Night in the Big City Outfit: See Grad School Barbie’s hipster side when she prepares for a night on the town; black turtleneck, black jeans, black coat, black scarf, and onyx pin saying, “What Part of Absence of Presence Don’t You Understand?” (Also sold without pin as Ninja Ken’s standard outfit.)

    These are musts for all the future ABD fashionistas on your list!

  46. As a female graduate student myself, I can totally appreciate this. I think folks might hear women complaining about grad school more than men simply because men (in our society) are trained not to express their emotions. But believe me, many men are just as stressed (even without kids and gender obstacles). I do think that Ken should be an equally stressed out grad student rather than an adviser… and that grad school Barbie needs greasy hair!! Check out ‘PhD comics’ for more hilarity (that is equally distributed amongst genders). Oh, and I do think grad school IS worth it. The dark circles will go away.

  47. God, I hope the circles will go away. Don’t forget the overloaded backpack accessory. Sure to give you the need for years of Chiropractic appointments, and the all purpose black or brown leather tote bag that is basically a garbage bag with handles for carrying stuff that you don’t want in your backpack.

  48. Skipper is Barbie’s sister, not friend. Which makes the whole thing even more depressing.

  49. I feel like you shouldn’t be in grad school if it makes you feel this way…It’s not for everyone. I feel as though many people decide to go to grad school for the wrong reasons. Therefore, they end up feeling this way, when really, grad school just wasn’t the right “fit” for them in the first place. Life it too short to do something that makes you feel that awful for that amount of time. If you can’t handle the heat, then get out the kitchen (or in this case, grad school)! I mean really, anti-anxiety pills over writing a thesis??? If you are that worked up about it, then go do something else with your time! What happens when real stress comes about? My goodness…

  50. I’m with Elyse on this one. This depiction is just full of negative female stereotypes, and I’m surprised (and disheartened) to see so many women defending it. The idea that a woman pursuing higher education will complain, have emotional outbursts, depend on psychiatric drugs, and rely on the support of a man is disgusting. It was summed up well by the commentor who said that his daughter has a “worthless and useless” degree in gender studies. Everyone who commented positively on this needs to read Lean In.

    Imagine if this post had been about African-American grad student Barbie, and played into a wealth of negative stereotypes. How would you all feel then?

  51. I should add that I did complete my Master’s while holding a full time job (just so you don’t think I’m a “Real Job Skipper” ;) )

  52. Oh, and I am female. So there goes the male vs. female angle as well. I think females tend to seek perfection, as well as everyone’s approval; whereas males are more likely to “skate by” without much of a care about what others think. Females take it personally when their advisor is critical; males don’t. Hence the anxiety is associated more with females rather than males.

  53. This is my life!!!! hahahaha the dark circles under my eyes, after days of not sleeping well, thanks to all the research papers and investigations I got!

  54. You need to include J.D. Barbie, she looks about the same but curses a lot and whips around random acronyms like IRAC and DIRAC and sometimes speaks in Latin.

  55. This is too funny! I love barbie and I love how you related grad school with barbie! needed this laugh before I start writing my paper. Thanks!

  56. She should have a built-in recorder for all her qualitative interviews and a T-shirt that says “My life will start again in 4 years.”

  57. I wish it weren’t true, but there really must be a special place in hell for women who don’t support other women. In trying to encourage all women to feel empowered and not beat down by higher education, which is what this article encourages, many of you chose to try and tear me down personally in what I can only imagine is a defense mechanism. Self-deprecating humor is still just that– self-deprecating, and completely useless in bringing your own power into fruition. I wish I could ask for you all who have chosen to attack me personally to look inside yourself and examine the source of your insecurity. I wish you all success and happiness in your endeavors, but I also wish you all would own your own strength more and not continue to propagate negative stereotypes about the weakness of women onto the next generation. Lean In. Peace.

    • I think the point is that many of the women and men enjoy the article because they can relate. I dont think its because they dont think women are capable of doing it all without breaking a sweat, feeling overwhelmed, or complainng. They most likely enjoy the article because they have shared a similar experience, which means they are not perpetuating stereotypes, they are merely empathizing with one another and enjoying a few momwnts of needed humor without thought or care to how they are affecting the feminist movement. I believe to some you have taken this out of proportion and are condescendingly judging women on their ability to cope with stress as well as their outlet for enjoying an article meant for humor. Individuals cope differently with stress and this doesn’t make them any less or more powerful nor does being able to laugh at yourself when you are going through a difficult time. The fact that so many women are pursuing degrees should be triumph enough.

  58. Kathleen Dowd – You need to hire a math tutor for the Praxis. It isn’t just statistics! LOL. Good luck.

  59. Reblogged this on Knife before wife before life and commented:
    This is hilarious and very true for anyone who has done or is considering an MD or PhD. There is no person more unpopular than a girl medic in the science lab, apart from maybe a guy medic who turns up wearing a shirt and tie in his first day.

  60. There is no scarcity of women in graduate school, for those who think this is about discouraging women rather than showing how much graduate school (and the university systems as a whole these days) puts women in an impossible position: sacrifice years of your life with no pay only to find an unstable adjunct position on the other side with low pay and no time to actually have a healthy, balanced life. That’s not empowerment through education, that’s using and exploiting people just because there are enough of us delusional enough to think that maybe we’ll be one of the “chosen ones” who get to have it all. And yes, I did go to graduate school (twice, in fact) and I’d tell other women to get their empowerment elsewhere, because it is not easily come by there unless you’re very privileged, a workaholic who wants nothing else in their life to begin with, or one of the very small handful of chosen/lucky ones for whom somehow life and bad luck doesn’t get in the way of that tenure-track dream. I, for one, find this hilarious, and right on the mark.

  61. I do have an evil red pen! In fact, one of my students coined a term for when I use it on a manuscript or thesis. The term is “Paganization”, based on my last name. For example, when a manuscript goes through my hands, it gets “Paganized”… (;-)…

  62. Gawd Elyse is a self important…bi…errr….person. Between her barely disguised brag about how successful she is (including a brag about her future six figure salary husband which she advertised by mentioning he was pursuing an MBA, versus just sharing that he was in grad school) and her self appointed entitlement to determine how others should feel about something she herself has never experienced, it is a wonder she could humble herself enough to help all the other posters out with her determination of how a true “feminist” should think and feel.

    Elyse, you need to have a couple kids. Really. It will give you some perspective via a lesson in humility in regards to how UN – important what you think should be often is in the face of actual reality. And no, you purse dog doesn’t count.

  63. Skipper is Barbie’s sister; not her friend. Barbie’s other siblings are the twins,Tutti and Todd, Stacie and Chelsea The article is hilarious and true, but I like correctness in mythology, even when mocking. For the sake of correctness, Barbie’s best friend’s name was Midge; so the doll should be called “Real Job Midge.” Although in Barbie mythology, Midge had a baby, so that might delve into a whole other realm of criticism.

  64. There are so many people agreeing that this is an accurate portrayal (obviously somewhat exaggerated for humor) that how can others deem it awful and stereotypical? Stereotypes exist for a reason sometimes… Perhaps readers should take this as what it is meant for- comic relief- and relax. Why does the reaction to anything politically incorrect everything need to be overreaction? I am currently pursuing my second masters after completing my first this spring… And I’ll be done with this one in May! I have held down a full time 60+ hours a week job the whole time. This was amusing and there were parts I could relate to at certain times. No, I didn’t want to kill myself the whole time due to stress, but sometimes got stressful and chaotic! Why should women keep tight-lipped about facing any challenges they face, just to be like men? Men and women are different… It is not a bad thing, but it is a fact.

  65. I was very bothered by this Ken who gets to order her around and “decrease her self-esteem”. Women tell women that they can’t be successful instead of supporting each other in subtle hints like these.Then Elyse calmed me with the fact that I’m not the only one who wishes women valued themselves and weren’t each others’ enemies.

    Thanks Elyse!

  66. Guys, you really have problems….PhD Barbie could be a man or a woman, they both feel the same way in grad school. The perception of sexism tells more about those who see these stereotypes in that funny story than about those who laugh about it, or why are you so obsessed with gender implications in a simple metaphor for graduate life? I personally think it’s far more sexist to assume that women might be influenced by whatever image that story delivers. But, right, what can I say as a European…

  67. Haha love it. In response to this being sexist — all the men I went to grad school with were equally happy, sad, and unhinged. And I graduated faster than most of them, so me complaining certainly didn’t stop me from getting my “power” as Elyse put it. Also, to the person who thinks those who complain about grad school shouldn’t be in it really doesn’t understand being a grad student! Just finished my MS in marine science, I was doing what I loved – and that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t challenging and at times awful. It is part of the process. Becoming a better scientist meant being in numerous new and frequently uncomfortable situations so now I can feel confident in doing those things myself. Now considering my PhD, but then again, I might have Stockholm syndrome =)

  68. @srossmktg – The Karen Zgoda post is not the original source. This text has been in circulation since at least 2006 when I was taking my quals, and the original author was impossible to track even then.

    • That is correct Zee Zee. I did not write this, I came across it and like all of you.. I can relate to most of it. Back in 2011, when I originally featured it on my blog, I went on a hut trying to identify the author. I have not been successful.

  69. Gotta say, I’m with Elyse…and am completely saddened by the commenters tearing her down and failing to see how these kinds of attempts at humor only reinforce stereotypes that make grad school and professional life difficult for women.

    Oh, and for the record… I’ve got an M.A. and was in two different doctoral programs before graduating at the top of my law school class. Sorry, but having “been there” doesn’t make this post any more funny or any less depressing.

  70. Thank you for making me smile! I am a 51 year old grad student who works full time, still has classes to attend, and has to have 500 hours interning (I got about 100)! Yay me! I love Barbie and would so buy this one!

  71. Spot on, Schrodingerscat!

    To add to that, if you are able to work a full time job while in grad school, kudos to you! Everyone works at a different pace, and some naturally have more fuel than others/various different things on their plates. Also, some graduate programs require A LOT more than others, and the ability to hold any kind of job while inundated in said program becomes unrealistic. No one should be judged for their ability to be able to “handle” something, especially if they are, in fact, working towards their goals. Oh, and a “special place in hell for women who don’t support other women,” is a bit over-dramatic, no? How can you possibly know from an online blog that every woman who has supported the humor and can relate to this blog doesn’t support other women? A bit ludicrous, I’d say. Lighten up. Some of us need a little satirical humor while we’re busy pulling our hair out in order to empower ourselves, and just because every waking minute of our day might be taken up in order to get there, this by no means implies that we don’t love what we do. If we can’t laugh at ourselves, well then, we’ve officially lost that little piece of ourselves that does give us strength. Perhaps if you want to complain about sexism and objectification of women, you should spend your time campaigning or protesting against the Miley Cyruses of the world negatively influencing the younger generation. I would love to stay and debate further, but grad school awaits! CIAO!

  72. Ok folks get a sense of humor or you will never enjoy your job, your marriage, your children or anything else. This is a parody. Life is as hard as you make it our to be. Your happiness is in your hands not in the hands of those who have the guts to have a little bit of fun with life and all of it’s struggles, failures, victories and successes. I see those who have taken this personally as not capable of being happy. How sad for you. This is a parody of Barbie for crying out loud, not you. You make it sound like the guys don’t have to work for any of this and it is all handed to them. What planet are you living on? Sheesh lighten up. If you pigeon hole yourself into any of theses parodies remember it’s you that are doing that and not me. I couldn’t care less. This is funny.

  73. Life in grad school, I agree. Everyone needs to take a deep breath. Some of us, women included, think humor is the best way to handle our troubles (including self-deprecating humor). Between working and going to grad school, my cohort and friends found the best way to deal was to make fun of the situation. Most of my cohort were women, and that humor was the best support system we had. Everyone needs different kinds of support, but I will say this kind of tongue-in-cheek response to the foibles of grad school is the kind of support and necessary laughter my peers enjoyed. I’m certainly not trying to tear anyone down but I will say that just because some people enjoy this kind of humor to get through their day does not make it anti-woman or unsupportive, because I know without a doubt that satirical laughter helped me and my female colleagues succeed at our goal of completing our degrees.

  74. If you think Grad School barbie is depressing, wait until you meet next years models, The “Overqualified for this Position” Barbie, “Broke adjunct Barbie.” and “Student Loans Ruined my Life” Barbie.

  75. Finished my degree a dozen years ago, and I am sad to say this hits just as close to home as it did then. The degree got me the life I wanted, but certainly at a cost… Real Job Skipper – that was perfect.

  76. This was posted on my grad school programs Facebook group. I find this quite funny and fairly accurate. I am a 3rd year grad student. I start my clinical field training at the beginning of the year. I have been in school 7 years straight (completed my undergrad and started my grad with only a 2 month break between degrees) all while working full time, and being a wife and mother of 2. Some of these descriptions are dead on. I chose a field I am passionate about (I would hope everyone chooses a degree they are passionate about). There have been some great memories, but the work is difficult and definitely challenging. There have been times when I broke down crying (especially during grad school) and told myself I couldn’t do it. Then after calming down, I get right back to work. My degree is in mental health counseling, and for those not in the field, there is some self work you have to do before being able to help clients. It can be emotionally draining, but well worth it to help others.

    For those getting all worked up over the “gender bias and stereotypes” , I have seen many men break down and experience all this as well. I read this thinking about everyone I have had classes with (both men and women) not just myself or other women. Grad school is difficult and challenging, as it should be. It shouldn’t be as easy as high school or undergrad studies. . I am contemplating getting a PsyD. (Doctorate in Psychology for those unfamiliar). I have several colleagues who have gotten this degree in different specialties and each one has struggled through it.

  77. This is hilarious. They nailed it. Perhaps one for males: jeans with holes and glasses with a lens that falls out. Perhaps the desk drawer could even be filled with Ramen Noodle packs?

  78. This is just lovely and everyone’s comments have cheered me up today. I’m feeling the Mid-Quarter Meltdown in my Senior year of my undergrad and like I’m incapable of doing anything beyond getting to lecture and home in one piece. Hahaha!! Ha! Ha. Thanks all for the much needed belly laughs and encouragement to get out of this mental rut and KILL THE PROCRASTINATION MONSTER on my shoulder! I think the hardest part is believing I can have any sort of social and family time…or maintain a manicure, learn to use my sewing machine, read for pleasure, exercise regularly, cook from scratch, etc. etc. etc. Right. Life will happen the way I want after I complete the educational goal I’ve assigned myself. Heh heh heh until my next educational goal, that is.

  79. I stand up for all the masochist PhDs out there…just got my comp questions last week. I understand all the criticisms – the process makes us think like that, challenging everything and everybody [why shouldn't they suffer, too?]. I will propose a couple more accessories: The Book Tower [the overflowing used bookshelf primed to bury her any day now], The Grad Student Cell Phone [which no longer connects to your old non-GS friends because they just can't take you complaining about school anymore], or the fact that you may not be able to afford clothes BUT you can definitely afford wine! Great Post!

  80. You don’t look so bad for a grad student ;) . I know a lot of people who are furthering their education for all the wrong reasons though. Some just think it’s the thing to do, some because they gave up too quickly on finding a job. Very few people do it because they are passionate about something specific and want to explore it further, or because they see a serious problem in the world that they wish to solve. Now they get their Masters or PhD, and jump into an entry level or intermediate job where people expect more from them, and they can’t deliver because they don’t have the street smarts and practical experience, and only have very specific knowledge in one area.

  81. The reason this works, is because IT’S BARBIE! Tell me WHO in their right mind has never made fun of BARBIE? We’re talking about THE BARBIE here! The Barbie who, in realistic proportions would be, what is it…7 feet tall to get all that leg and neck into the picture? Those offended by your post can chalk it up to “Barbie being Barbie,” because no matter how cute the miniskirt and boots, Barbie just will never be a real Vet. (Doctor, lawyer, police officer etc.) because she’s a FAKE! The creativity of the post is funny. We all realize that if Barbie was complaining this loudly, everyone would be turning their heads while sticking their finger down their throat and whispering to their friends, “Gag me! She’s just doing this for attention! Spare me the drama woman!” While in the trenches of any difficult path we take a breath, dive back in, come up for air, laugh a little. We laughed more than we cried as we experienced my husband’s brain surgery and stroke (Ah-ah-ah…don’t even THINK about hiring “Brain Surgery Barbie for this one!) Hmmm… then again maybe I’m wrong. Could it be that the ambitious collegiate women are bitter because they did everything “right” according to “Barbie” …4 inch heels, mini-skirts, and thigh high boots and all, and didn’t get swept off their feet by Doctor Prince Ken? Well, this would explain the attitude of 90% of female bosses/managers who are on power trips who make life unbearable for their employees. But that’s not the case here… All in good humor gals, all in good humor. Thanks for letting me air some creative thought on a random link posted by a FB friend. Fun.

  82. I am a female and have two professional degrees (Ed.D. and Ph.D.) and found nothing derogatory about this! Instead I laughed out loud and then promptly shared it with three students whose dissertations I’m supervising! GREAT stuff!! If you can’t laugh at yourself through the process (or after it) you need to get help. Thanks for the laughter!

  83. Based on my own experience, PhD Masochist Barbie also needs a ponytail elastic, black hoodie, and headphones.I recently told a grad student that you aren’t really committed to finishing your dissertation until you’re prepared to put your hair on top of your head and wear the black hoodie sweatshirt 24/7 for 4 months and you’ve developed a playlist that can reliably get you through the morning cry and then hold back the panic for the rest of the day.

  84. Reblogged this on Coming Through the Rye and commented:
    Today, I’m reblogging this amazingly clever blog about grad school. Although I am not this stressed out yet, I’m pretty sure I’m doing something wrong, because everyone around me is this stressed out. I’ll probably make up for it at the end of the trimester. I hope it’s worth it!

  85. Yea…. unless you actually go to graduate school for something you absolutely love!!! Why pursue anything above an undergrad degree if you know you aren’t going to love it and have a vigor for it?

  86. This is the funniest thing I have read in a while (I may have to print and frame it to hang on my wall). I’m starting my final year for my MS in Mental Health Counseling and this story pretty much described my life. However, I didn’t see chocolate mentioned and chocolate is a must to ward off the end of semester/final paper psychosis that takes place.

  87. John: Where do you get your presuppositions? Couldn’t it just as easily be said that a good number of graduate students begin their programs years after graduating from college, working various jobs, starting families, etc, and gaining the “street smarts” necessary to be competitive in the professional world? These people have also possibly weighed out their options and gravitated towards something that calls to their passion… no two identities are the same ;)

  88. But she does have very pretty gray hair. That’s a plus. Academics don’t color their hair, saving big $$$$ over their working stiff sisters who just look, well, like they color their hair.

  89. I know that this article is intended to be comical but I can’t help but see the discouragement directed toward women pursuing higher education. The lesson being that women’s beauty is of more importance than their intellect and… Ken’s her advisor, really?

  90. A shout out for making me laugh out loud. At this moment, I don’t care about oppression, gender bias, whatever…change the name to Delusional Master’s Ken if you so desire…either way, it’s funny! Let go and laugh a bit. Fight the good fight in another forum. For now, I’m passing it along to my graduate classmates. A suggestion, Delusional Master’s Barbie should come with optional butt and hip padding to replicate weight gain…just sayin’. Or.. a glass of wine, a chocolate candy bar…

  91. The sexist comments are silly. Everyone in my program, women and men, looked equally frazzled, tired, stressed, and terrible by six months in. Hardest three years of our lives. And anyone NOT on the edge either has an easier program or someone else to take care of every other aspect of their life. This was not meant to be sexist. But at 31, I FELT tired, puffy, and grey on the inside every day!

  92. I’m not sure you’re all doing it right. My MA and PhD in ancient Greek and Latin literature (to be general) were the best times of my life. No stress, great income from scholarships, sweet work schedule, summers off, 3 weeks off for Christmas, all other holidays off. Reading breaks twice a year. Ridiculous. I had time to do the things I loved, like hiking in the Rockies just about whenever the fancy took me. I also managed to publish an article before finishing the PhD (unrelated to the PhD). I think you all need to reevaluate whether this life is for you. If you find it this hard now, you’ll absolutely HATE being a prof. (not to worry, as there are no jobs anyway!) Sorry, not trying to be snarky or anything, but grad school is a freaking dream life!

  93. EmmaDee, Like I said, a lot of my contemporaries basically went for their graduate degrees just because they had the time and they just wanted to get it over with, I even know someone who went on and did her post grad simply because she was discouraged at not finding full time employment by the end of the summer following her graduation. I couldn’t get out fast enough after finishing my undergrad, and I won’t go higher until there is something I feel passionate enough about. I find there are plenty of people in my industry (environmental engineering) with Masters or are going for them who are no more prepared for the workplace than some more highly motivated employees with fewer credentials.

  94. Ha! Well, some of you *obviously* have a better sense of humor than I do. However, please don’t go around attacking people’s programs or speculate otherwise. My journey has been intellectually rigorous, and I’ve had a three-hour (round trip) commute to school on top of everything, thanks. Specifically to “KV,” you offer a needlessly strong chiding. It’s unfair. What I now understand from this thread is that people are apparently not allowed to express a personal reaction here. Only agreeable, like-minded comments are permitted, yeah? All others must be dismissed as stupid, privileged, and/or downright lame. OK, I get it now. Sheesh! (*Bows out gracefully. Returns to dissertation work.*)

  95. Maybe it is good I delayed grad school until after Viet Nam. My adjusted “give-a-s— center handled grad school with no problem.

  96. This works because it is a form of empathy, a way of validating those of us who have been under the strain of graduate studies and experienced some or all of what is depicted in this cartoon characterization. It is a satire, and should be taken as such. Those of us here who are not offended by the sexist undertones know that sexism and degradation of women is not the point. We understand it to be a humorous way to acknowledge some of the particular feelings and trials we may have experienced at one time or another during the course of our schooling. Acknowledgement of someone’s difficulties is very supportive of their plight, not degrading of their efforts. While I can see where some who do not share the same experiences might on the surface see this as degrading toward women, it is really more like good school buddies commiserating with each other. I, for one, appreciate knowing that my struggles to further my education are shared. I have every confidence that although the going may be difficult, Barbie will eventually graduate and have great pride in her accomplishments, just like the rest of us.

  97. @Elyse, don’t confuse grad school with professional school (I have been to both). Business students are vastly better off financially and career-wise than grad students, because 1) Many have come from lucrative jobs, and nearly all are going into them when they graduate. 2) Their training is much shorter (2 years) and has a defined duration. Grad students, especially PhD’s, can only graduate when their adviser(s) think they’re “ready,” which can be a very squishy concept. 3) Business school has no thesis to write.

    If we look at real grad students, males are just as dowdy and careworn as the females. If you don’t believe me, read “PhD Comics.”

  98. Hysterical! I’m a second year 40 yr old MSW female student working as a school social worker with three kids. It’s a lot to juggle, but I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t think it weren’t worth it. I hadn’t even read it yet and the picture made me laugh so hard that I cried! I needed to laugh.

  99. Thanks for the post. I’m still saving and looking for grad schools for a MFA….I know it will be super hard and lots of hours but I can’t wait to get back to school!!!

  100. Loved it! All this article needs is Barbie’s pal Grad School Ken (which should satisfy the feminist complaints (Elyse)), who also comes with similar “upbeat” phrases and tired outfits. I thought this was a hilarious article that was clearly not meant to be sexist at all. I am in grad school too and I could definitely relate to many of Barbie’s “features” and accessories.

  101. After finishing a 3-year MSW while working full time and forgetting what my husband looked like, I can say the experience was great – and left me old, tired, raggedy and CRANKY! If you were offended by this, give it some time – your rose colored glasses will fall of your face and all you’ll be able to do is laugh at yourself! (BTW, in my current line of work, an MSW doesn’t give you any pay advantage over any other degree, undergrad or otherwise. There are AA holders who are making more than me right now, thanks to the State step system…)

  102. This is a good one, many are true, but I consider my 4-year PhD life was wonderful, had learned a lot, made a lot of friends, had a plenty of fun, relatively peaceful except the fight with dissertation chair and committee. Being a tenure-track junior is no way better than studying PhD except you are wearing better suits, but having NO LIFE.
    A call for tenure-track Barbies.
    LOL. I guess I shouldn’t complain, life is good after all. It may be worth having these dark circles and blood-shot eyes, if you get your dreamed job after Grad School (but not guaranteed).
    junor

  103. To all the Real Job Skippers who just had to post that “this is sexist” and “you shouldn’t be doing this if it is stressing you out so much”. Please sign up and walk a few hundred miles in our shoes. Or STFU. Seriously, if you are over 30 are not in masters or phd program – and potentially holding a job too, then you know nothing about stress. For the record, I held a 70 hr/week high-tech marketing job while working 20-30 hr/week for 22 months to get my eMBA.

  104. Wow- I can’t believe people actually enjoyed this. The fact that she referred to a character who is employed as “real job skipper” who had to work half an hour of overtime shows how detached the writer is from the “real world.” Once the author graduates (positive thoughts) they’ll learn that most people work close to 60 hour weeks, and do not get summer vacations. Of course, I’m assuming they’re actually going to work and not flit about searching for another masters program or associates degree in ceramics. They don’t get many opportunities to “rewrite” things- they get fired. More often than not, “real job skipper” is not living at home with their parents or off of students, but has signed a “real life lease” that doesn’t care if you’re employed or not. I’ve worked full time, been to grad school and could not relate to this at all- except for how I, and others, who were climbing the ladder of their careers couldn’t believe the vapidness of full-time students that don’t “get” how unlike a career, career-student is.

  105. Thanks for this!! It reminds me to laugh at myself whenever I recognize myself there (which in is every other line) and the best thing is to realise there are other talented, smart young(ish) women out there who are feeling exactly as aged, grey and puffy as you do; that it’s not you, it’s the grad school effect!! and ultimately, that despite having distinctly rabid, antisocial internal rages, and out-of-this-world thoughts sometimes, and conversation topics you can’t share with anyone because they a) don’t understand you or b) don’t want to hear it AGAIN… somehow it is all intrinsically satisfying being able to study what you want (even commiserating about it somehow is) :) ))

    I love grad school. (yeah, masochist barbie here. mwahahahahaha ;DDDDD) too many all-nighters this semester.

  106. Really? I feel like all the commentators who think this is derogatory are a little bit too sensitive. Personal opinion, sorry. Life is not always a dichotomy of man vs. woman. But if you look for the dichotomy hard enough, you will find it! Is this blog derogatory, or even meant to be such? Of course not. Could it be construed that way? Certainly, just as the Bible can be construed to defend licentious behavior when used ‘correctly’ as in “the Wife of Bath’s Tale” by Chaucer. (Perhaps a bit of a stretch but the analogy isn’t bad.) The post would be funny, too, if it were Delusional Master’s Ken as the star and Advisor Barbie. And yes, it would retain it’s humor as well if it were Graduate Advisor Kayla–but guess what? There is no Kayla in the Barbie series (that I know of)! Ken is the next most popular character so it makes sense. If you found this post derogatory, I suggest you take issue with Mattel and not the author, herself. And even though you’ve burned all of your Barbies and other sexist toys (I’m sure), I suggest you look for a better solution than trying to prevent all of this blatant* (sarcasm noted) sexist material from being written and spread. Accept that sexist, stereotypical, and biased material in general is out there. And even more so, there are plenty of materials which can certainly be construed as sexist, stereotypical, and biased, when in fact, they are anything but. A better solution may be to simply change your outlook–you will be more positive, can still elicit positive change, and will laugh more, I promise.

    Anyways, I am about to enter graduate school this Spring. I found this hilarious albeit slightly discouraging. However, rarely do you find great reward without great challenges to face first, so bring it on! Miss Renteria, please continue the delightful and humorous writing!

    P.s. I am a male. In my field, females dominate and I expect to compete fiercely with them to keep up. I do expect a wonderfully talented cohort though.

    P.p.s. Show a little respect, people! Arguing is good for the intellect. Criticism is good for the ego and the mind. Belittling is good for…nothing! No matter what side you take, give everyone respect and try to be UNDERSTANDING!

    Rant and obnoxiously long comment-OVER!

  107. Fantastic! I’m almost 37 and in grad school right now. Thanks for the great laugh, I can totally relate! I had that ‘real job’ and all I wanted was to go to grad school. I have no idea how many times I’ve been brought to tears, on the couch in my sweats, because I ran out of index cards at 2am while surrounded by papers, books, and my old MacBook–wishing I had a job & wondering what the hell my now-broke-ass had done! But taking my Lexapro helps keep those fits at bay…

  108. I just started grad school (for my MFA) and this is so not my experience. I am in love. I love everything about it. And maybe that’s the difference between starting grad school at 22 and starting at 39. Or maybe the difference between studying what you love and studying something you think will make you more attractive to employers?

  109. I second the request for law school barbie/ken. But she/he needs to have at least three versions

    1. Gunner Barbie/Ken – her/his right hand will never go down, because she/he has the answer to every question and would like to comment on everything. She/He may also have a permanent scowl, because she/he is ready to start a heated argument over just about anything she/he doesn’t agree with. Even though they are just hypothetical situations. She/He somehow knows more about the law in her first year than every professor, every student and most of the sitting justices on the Supreme Court.

    2. Husband Hunter Barbie – her accessory would be her fancy iphone and laptop. Her laptop toggles back and forth between facebook and forever 21. She isn’t trying to waste law school with something as mundane as taking notes! She is on a mission to look as cute as possible for the next bar review, and then on facebook to figure out who is gonna be there. Husband Hunter Barbies generally travel in packs, so if she gets bored with facebook, she is certainly going to start whispering to her friends, no doubt conspiring about how to meet those guys going to O’Melveney. She would have to have many, many outfits, because she isn’t going to catch her future biglaw husband by looking shabby like the rest of us! She will also settle for Trust Fund Ken. Bets are on as to whether she gets her JD or MRS degree first.

    **this isn’t particularly sexist, if you haven’t seen this girl in law school, you haven’t been in law school**

    3. Trust Fund Ken – His accessories include a BMW his parents paid for, a laptop that is goes between streaming the game, or various YouTube clips of a dog skateboarding, or that one with the honeybadger. Trust Fund Ken does about 10% of the reading 40% of the time, so his most popular line is “what was the question again?” “Was that in the reading?” “Can I pass?” or he is just ominously quiet whenever asked a question. Gunner Barbie/Ken will generally be ready to have a fit because they are raising their hand so hard to answer the softball question the professor lobbed at Trust Fund Ken in an effort to compete with the latest Lakers game. His normal wardrobe is something along the lines of pink shorts, an ironic tee shirt and a trucker hat. Sometimes you look at Trust Fund Ken and you wonder “my goodness, law school is expensive, why are you paying all this money to watch YouTube clips of amatuer wrestling when you could do that for free?” The answer is, Mom and Dad aren’t going to pay Trust Fund Ken to sit around at home doing nothing, but they can feel better about paying for Trust Fund Ken’s lifestyle if they can brag to their friends that he is in law school.

    My sincerest apologies if I’ve offended anyone. Law school of course is mostly full of good people with Type A personalities.

  110. Very funny indeed.The silver hair and bags under the eyes really hit home. The funny thing is I naively thought my workload and stress levels would go down once I finished my doctoral degree. Then I entered the insane world of academia only to realized I hadn’t even begun to pay my dues.

  111. oh god…if you see this article as a sexist comment on women, that’s your own bias/preoccupation coming through. it applies equally to male or female grad students.

    and jen, no, that is not the difference. the clue to the difference may lie in your opening sentence (“i just started….”)

  112. I agree with Elyse. I didn’t find the humor in it because I don’t relate to it. As a Latina having grown up in poverty and having known plenty of girls who were/are DREAMers (undocumented immigrants that should be but aren’t eligible for grant and scholarship money for school)….I considered myself incredibly blessed for every day spent in the classroom. It was hard of course, but you don’t “go insane” and “wither” away like this weird Barbie character; the Latinas with PhDs that I know look NOTHING like this withered Barbie. I find this Barbie de-motivating and just not funny, but maybe its just a cultural thing. ADELANTE and SI SE PUEDE!!!!

  113. This is great! I definitely think there should also be some B.A. student on the verge of a nervous breakdown because my senior year was too much with GRE, applying to grad schools, finishing an honor’s thesis, and running a volunteer event! (Plus my regular classes!) I anticipate that I will be right back in that dark place next year when I begin teaching and have to start my M.A. capstone project! I can’t even think of what it must be like for those pursuing a Ph.D. More power to you! (both men and women of all ages with varying situations!)

    To those commenting that is very degrading and sexist, please take a second and laugh. I have spent many weekends in what my boyfriend (yes, I have a great relationship! and am only 22) calls my “lazy pants” trying to focus on just one thing and not freak out over the million things I have on my to-do list. I am quite sure that I have experienced many a bag under my eyes, disheveled hair whilst living in a pair of comfy jeans and too-big hoodie. This is not degrading because it has happened to any dedicated student, whether female or male at any point among the higher education spectrum. I consider myself a very strong woman, very intelligent (or I wouldn’t be pursuing my M.A.), and reasonably attractive most days. And so are many of the M.A. students I work with!

    Thanks so much for posting this!

  114. My dissertation proposal is due at the end of this week, defend next Thursday…..can totally relate!

  115. There needs to be a Ken doll for the sucker spouse who supports Barbie through grad school only to get ditched a year later. THAT one I would buy. If I were into dolls.

  116. I love this, especially since I should be graduating in May with my Master’s. After 20 years away from school, it is such a lift to realize the craziness is due to the goal and not the age. I learned a very long time ago that you have to laugh at weakness and stress, and this post (and comments) indicates that other women pursuing higher education ‘get it’. We do have weakness and we do have stress, but not because we are women, but because we are human. The fact that we can complain and laugh – in essence express and share our feelings is what makes us strong and resilient so that we can overcome our weaknesses and stress. I find it funny that the very people who criticize this parody are the very ones comparing women to men and finding women lacking. Why should women change to be like men? We should not, but rather embrace all that makes us women – including what some call ‘warts’. Our ability to laugh at ourselves is not what will hold us back, but will propel us to success.

  117. Reblogged this on Koko's Kouch and commented:
    I couldn’t have written anything that sums up the past year of my life better… So comforting to know that I’m not alone in my seemingly perpetual quest towards insanity :/

  118. My daughter is just about to finish Grad school – and I just want to tell you all above (except the haters) you should be proud of yourselves….keep your eye on the prize. GRADUATION BARBIE AND KEN!

  119. would someone like to explain “real job skipper.” By the way, if she is only earning 40k with her bachelors she is doing something terribly wrong. After all, the world needs non-elitists and “worker bees” to keep this party rolling.

  120. Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, cool your shorts Elyse et al. This piece is satirical. If you are going to criticize anything, criticize the higher ed system, not the women that are working very VERY hard to improve their professional standing and the perception of women in the workplace. Your comments are divisive and narrow-minded. You are the type of woman that gives feminism a bad name. Instead of making everything about discrimination, sexism, and self deprecation, why don’t you take a second and see how this type of article may actually empower women through uniting in humor over the struggles that do exist? And if you say get out of grad school if you struggle, you’re an ignorant robot. I felt validated when I read this piece, knowing that my struggles are common, and that there are other women out there like me. You sound like the whiny kid sister that just wants to be a part of the group, and because you aren’t or can’t (probably can’t) you’re going to do everything in your power to ruin it for the rest of us. Yes, this article exaggerates a bit, but what story worth reading isn’t slightly exaggerated? Get over yourself and your self-righteous perspective.

  121. Elyse – I personally find this EMPOWERING because it’s so eerily like my life 20 years ago. Grad school was a shattering experience for me — within a month of starting, I was severely depressed and by the end of the first semester, I was in very bad shape. I don’t care to get into details; but suffice it to say that being suicidal is not at all funny in real life. It would have been empowering back then to realize that I was not alone in my experience; and it would have made my recovery, and the rest of my grad school experience, a lot easier I think. But I was too embarrassed to share my experience with anyone; so my support network was limited. Anti-depressants literally saved my life. I did end up graduating, only one semester delayed, but the whole experience was way more traumatic than it needed to be.

    I get where you’re coming from — I’m a feminist too — but I don’t think you’re getting where the GSB-appreciators are coming from. They are RELATING to this experience; and then you are coming along and tearing them down for relating to it. That really isn’t very encouraging, actually. Perhaps GSB is a little sexist; but that’s only because the whole Barbie franchise is sexist…she’s the focus, Ken isn’t. A parody on Barbie is necessarily going to be sexist; but in graduate school, both males and females have a rough time, as many posters on this thread have attested.

  122. Almost spewed my coffee when I read this…FUNNY! I wish I’d had one of these before my Ph.D. program. SO glad those years and the intense stress is in the past.

  123. I’m a guy and NEVER ONCE while reading this did I think it was specifically focused on women. I saw myself in the writing all the way through (and have no gender identity issues of which I’m aware). Barbie is a well-known doll who, frankly, has dozens of pseudo careers and can do about anything! This was written in that context. If you think there should have been a male grad student, Ken is a poor choice because he only exists because of Barbie (note that guys don’t complain about that fact). GI Joe already has a job and isn’t likely headed to grad school anytime soon. And Wolverine doesn’t need a graduate degree to be one of the X-Men. So… with all due respect to those of you who thought this was sexist… I suggest you try really hard to see this for what it was, a joke with no sexual overtones at all. Otherwise, your careers will be littered with trips in front of hearing committees that routinely find against you and a pile of colleagues who don’t invite you to social events for fear that you might file suit.

  124. Actually – no. I agree w/ Elyse. And anyone who told her to “calm down” is likely so profoundly brainwashed they don’t understand her entirely valid point.

    Even the image on this article is ridiculous. A woman who’s made to sound tired, broke, magically ‘old’ — grey hair? really? So you’re the equivalent of an unappealing woman who’s circa age 60 if you pursue higher education? — and unappealing while pursuing a Master’s Degree while “Ken” is somehow a totally fine Academic Advisor?

    There is truth in virtually everything and I’d encourage readers to consider the truth in what even detractors are saying. This was kind of boring, not really funny.

    Absurd that a woman is somehow painted as unappealing for slugging through the same thing her male counterparts are.

    And no — for the record, I’m a successful, young and vivacious young entrepreneur, haven’t done grad school yet, and am happily considering it. This article just sounds really sad and probably a projected self-concept from the author. Unfortunate, indeed.

  125. Shiggy Diggy’s comment?

    LMAO. Thanks for reinforcing just entirely ass-wipe statements like that, author.

    Absurd.

  126. This has been an extremely challenging week and I needed a good laugh-this hit the spot. Of course I didn’t “agree” with every joke, but did feel understood and that was a relief. As others have mentioned, every graduate program is different as are all graduate students.

    Due to a difficult home life, I left home after my sophomore year of high school. I completed my junior and senior requirements in one year and began solely supporting myself at the age of 17. (Imagine having to get money orders to pay all of your bills because you are not old enough to open a checking account.)

    Because I had only a high school diploma, I had to work multiple jobs just to squeak by. It took several years before I could begin to even think about attending college. When I was finally able to attend it was very, very difficult to balance supporting myself and putting myself through school. But I am glad that I went and would do it again.

    At age 43, I am in my second year of a graduate program. I cannot begin to say how grateful I am for this experience. I know I value and appreciate it so much more than I would have if it had been an easier journey to get here.

    That does not mean that it is easy however, or that I am doing something that I shouldn’t bother doing just because it feels overwhelming sometimes.

    I didn’t appreciate some of the comments that minimized the challenge of graduate studies and those who pursue them. I have had a quarter of a century of “real world” experience and nevertheless find myself relating to many of the jokes in the article, and taking comfort from the fact that even overly-perfect Barbie feels some of the same things I do when she attends graduate school.

    For the record, both of my primary academic mentors are women.

  127. This is why there is so much hate in the world.. Nobody can just sit back and take a joke! I am a graduate student and this gave me a nice little break and some laughter… Until I saw the “Debbie downer” comments.. Anddddd now I’m stressed again. Thanks a lot party poopers!

  128. I thought this article was great. I have 2 master’s degrees and and a pre-doc internship and dissertation a doctoral degree (PsyD). I am fortunate enough to be in a PsyD program that emphasizes exploring different forms of oppression and microaggressions. I found this article to be humourous and passed it along to many of my peers. Yes, there is some sexism in the article, but when you have actually experienced grad school, specifically a doctoral program you will overlook it to find the humour

  129. and also for the record, I am a female and I belong to a cohort of 25 (22 being female). AND humor is a higher functioning defense mechanism. Using humor is a way that I can cope with the stress of grad school. I also feel this article normalizes my experience in my program. I can respect the alternative opinions of others, but this article was enjoyable to me.

  130. I dropped out of a Ph.D program and now am so glad that I did. Yes, this is funny but it underlines a real issue: Grad School is done all wrong. My advisor alternated between being a bitch and a victim. She played her race and gender like a violin at Carnegie Hall to avoid legitimate criticism of her intrinsic shittyness as a human being…Grad School shouldn’t be like this….Why is it?

  131. INTLENTREPRENEUR, it’s clear to all of us that you’re young. You don’t have to be in your 60′s to start getting gray hair. I’m sure you’ll see your first ones soon though. In any case, perhaps you missed the point. The gray hair in this case is not about age, it’s about the stress associated with graduate work, as are the other adjectives you worry so much about. ALL of us feel that way in grad school at one time or other. That’s why so many of us related to this so easily, male or female.

  132. Finished my Ph.D. 16 years ago, see things haven’t changed. I still have occasional nightmares about “not being done, or they come and take it away because I didn’t take a class.”

  133. Oh, geez… I laughed and cried all at once. I’m 30, single, no roomies, and I finished my MA in English in 2009. I had high hopes that I’d find an entry-level-but-still-full-time teaching position at a community college, but here I am, four years later, and I’m still an adjunct, my hours being cut back with each year due to enrollment increases petering out. Not to mention, my health is getting worse–naturally, considering I’ve had a headache, literally, every day for the past two years. And while I do enjoy teaching, I’m reaching a burnout point with it and its special brand of stress (I do wish I could grade students’ work by tests rather than writing sometimes–it’d take only a fraction of the time it takes me to grade papers!). So what have I done to try to make things better for myself?

    I’ve gone back to school. Yup. Now I’m working on a BFA in graphic design and illustration (yes, I know–but I can’t help but think that the combination of strong writing skills AND strong design skills will open a few more doors, and I’d still be doing something I love.). I’m doing this while teaching, so for example, this semester, I’m teaching three classes, taking two art classes, and, as of Monday, taking a six-week course on teaching online in hopes of getting more classes (and have most or all of them be online so I can mange my time better) so I can pay my own tuition since I don’t qualify for financial aid or scholarships anymore. Oh–and I do freelance writing, editing, and artwork, too. I’ll be working on this degree for at least eight years total, unless something changes in my life situation and I can go back and attend school full-time.

    I did try applying for jobs in other lines of work over the summer when I freaking didn’t get any classes to teach (argh! mortgage! bills! utilities! panic attacks!), and pretty much the responses I got were all along the lines of being overqualified and being too specialized in my area of study and job experience.

    tl:dr version: Been there, now back there, going crazy, no end in sight, love the subject, hate the stress and uncertainty.

  134. It’s funny people! I am a woman, I went to grad school, I survived and I can still laugh at this. Why does everything have to become a sexist attack? Stop taking everything so seriously. Life is short.

  135. You don’t need to go to school or use your brain. Just be pretty and marry a rich guy and be his indentured servant in exchange of finances to maintenance of your pretty. The false premise of this “joke” is that doing hard work to get advanced education is not worth the supposed toll it takes on your looks and that it is too hard for women to deal with. How is that funny? A. evolve your standards about your worth as a human woman and B. suck it up…no, getting an advanced degree should NOT be easy for anyone. People who see humor in this post have an attitude of undeserved entitlement without doing the work to earn achievement. A typical attitude of Millennials. You posted this on the internet so don’t be surprised by negative comments by those that don’t share your point of view.

  136. Rats—spewed my Diet Dr Pepper all over the last clean copy of my dissertation reading this… Spot on perfect and hilarious!

  137. Oh man…can’t believe I came across this. My defence is next week. Thanks for the laugh—I really needed it.

  138. I am knee-deep in my last chapter with a defense date of 12/4…this made me laugh out loud (not too many things make me laugh at this point!) I need the Masochist PhD Barbie for Christmas!

  139. I am offended on a moral, cultural, and psychological level at this article and am filing a class action lawsuit. The generalized portrayal of law school doesn’t fit my exact life experiences!!!

    For the record, I am a sultry, sassy, vivacious, effervescent, intelligent, future president/CEO, and Sailor Scout in training who has not attended grad school, so I know all about grad school.

    • Laughing increases oxygen intake, stimulates heart, lungs and muscles; releases endorphins; and stimulates circulation.

      Maybe we all just need to join in and laugh it off…

  140. Love it.. As a successful business owner while simultaneously finishing my PhD… you get an amen from me on the unneccessary pain of pursuing academia.

  141. Sorry, but this smacks of ageism. This is unfortunate, especially coming from graduate students, who learn about the importance of not discriminating against various populations. Those populations include older people. In fact, many students today are older and may have gray hair, etc. already. Should we all look like the original Barbie? Too many messages here that are unhealthy imo. Dislike.

  142. I just finished my masters at age 57 and have been looking for a job in my field for six months. Personally, I need a “I Busted My Ass to Get an M.A. and Now No One Will Hire Me Because I’m Too Old” BARBIE. She comes complete with a huge skill set, an excellent resume, and a stack of glowing letters of recommendation. Don’t leave her alone with “Hiring Manager” SKIPPER, half Barbie’s age with only a bachelors degree, who has just asked Barbie a thinly-veiled question about her age because she will eventually have a full blown melt-down and tear Skipper’s hair out. :-)

  143. Hmmm. I wonder if she’s pursuing higher education because Ken somehow failed to live up to expectations…. ;-)

  144. I’m in grad school, and I am a male. *I* connect with this. To me, this is much more a satire of life in grad school (and yes, MBA does not count) than it is satire on women’s attempts to “make it” in higher education. Just because gender is present somewhere doesn’t mean it’s the point, and critique needs to be done in context of the whole. You can essentially whatever you want into anything if you are single-minded and trigger happy. I’d think that all the female (and male!) graduate students who identify with this would be cause for someone to perhaps rethink their initial position and not just start lambasting people. Perhaps there is more going on here than what you saw through your initial perspective. THIS is called critical thinking.

    For example, if Ken has it so well, how come he’s presented as a cold, mean man with a permanent frown? If the adviser had been female, would that really make much difference?

    Additionally, Barbie’s female friend laments NOT going to grad school, and this character is also satirized. If you see a “point” or a “message” in this, you probably aren’t looking very deep. It seems clear that fun is being poked at all figures involved here, and not in a very gendered way.

    Also, I’d like to point out that all the people talking about Barbie’s “physical undesirableness” are, themselves, hypocrites, because they are comparing this Barbie to an idealized and sexist notion of what makes a woman “desirable.” I ave grey hair–lots of grey hair–and I am twenty-five. I also have circles under my eyes. Does that make me undesirable? But implying that it would if I were a woman isn’t sexist?? Isn’t that interesting. Good general advice: think more, opine yes. The two tend to preclude one another.

    Also, for all you “Lean In”ers. What a joke and a mockery made of feminism. Further reading: http://thefeministwire.com/2013/10/17973/

  145. This is amazing. For some of us struggling through the last push of the semester, any laughter or smile is so needed. Thank you! :)

  146. Elyse, you wrote “How come Barbie can’t hack it but Ken is a grad school advisor?”

    The answer might be sexism, as you so quickly pounce upon, but in a direction you are apparently unaware (and therefore, as people who like these things would say, validating it).

    “Ken” is not a grad student, but is an Oppressive Man (TM) instead. How males in that world become advisers is unclear, aside from it stemming from their possession of a penis. Clearly, too, men exist only fulfill a role of oppression and to counter grad students’ lives.

    Yet, how do these men become advisers (e.g. possess PhDs) without graduate school? Why, it is of course because, and only because, they have a penis! Ken doesn’t have to work, struggle, be unfunded, and have the same basic oppressive system imposed upon him as Barbie does–after all, this would insinuate that Ken has feelings and emotions, and this is not something that we can have!

    This is the logical progression of thought as it is typically laid out by people who conduct this kind of thought-experiment. So, for all the men out there who are in (or who have been through) grad school: you’re a bunch of pansies who just couldn’t show your penis and get a PhD directly, and are therefore inherently defective. Oh, and if you complain or have any feelings on the matter, this must point to something defective within you, rather than with the larger system.

    Elyse, thanks for pointing these things out. That’s great and a real encouragement to all males who might want to go into graduate school.

  147. It is unfortunate but true that women themselves perpetuate the feminine “ideal” that is projected in the media. Why should we be surprised than men buy into it, when we do it ourselves? What’s wrong with gray hair and wrinkles? Maybe if more women put their foot down and said beauty is not just about lookiing young and perfect, things might change. I find this post not only offensive but ignorant.

  148. People (Elyse and her following) for the love of God chillack! Can’t we just lighten up and just see the humorist side of things! Maybe it’s your own insecurities that’s driving the major stick up your butt!! LOL now that’s funny!!

  149. Soooooo funny! I’m a final year phd student with TONS still to do and this was a great laugh. Thanks. I’m definitely sharing this post… even my guy friends who are grad students will relate.

  150. Hilarious. Can completely relate. And having half an MA under my belt am currently writing the proposal for my doctorate. Just completely and totally hilarious. Loved it.

  151. Grad school was easy, felt like summer camp. My real jobs have been harder and required way longer hours, both before and after grad school. I don’t think this is sexist, just reinforces all the whiny grad students (male and female) I have known who were lazy and thought they had it so hard while they were supported by others working their asses off to support the student in the relationship.

  152. I never cease to be amazed at how self-pity masquerades as humor. We should be promoting education, not denigrating it as a futile, compulsive, self-punishing activity. Barbie continues to make us superficial even in the guise of “reality.”

  153. OMG. This is one of the best blog posts I have ever read. I totally had a Palm Pilot during my first Master’s program. And I still wear 5 year old GAP shirts because I’m not making 1/15th what I would be making had I gotten a job directly after my Bachelor’s degree.

  154. Omg, I just started on my master thesis, this was a fairly accurate description of me and my real job friend :) this made my day

  155. Ha. I think some missed the point of things like 1) “grad advisor Ken” (a male, of course), 2) we have the metacognitive ability to know that we won’t regret it, but that 3) we know that that grass is always greener, and 4) we don’t quit. we don’t ever quit. 4) that’s why write things on which you can leave your dubious comments. that’s our reality TV.

  156. Wow! Lol.. Too funny. There should be a MIA (missing in action), Barbie, because you’re rarely seen by anyone due so much studying and internships.. :)

  157. There should also be a MIA (missing in action), Barbie, because you’re rarely seen by family & friends, due so much studying and internships. ;)

  158. This was funny. Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to complete my Bachelor’s degree, but even I can relate to the sleepless nights when I wondered if I put the wrong accept/ except in my final draft on my paper that’s due for 1st period. (I went to a school that had a curfew, so I had to be in my room with lights out by 10pm.) I even had a guy that I was seeing point out the wrinkles that were starting to appear when I was in my early 20s. I can only imagine how bad it would have been for me if I had finished my Bachelor’s and then went for a Master’s. I have my hands full enough with 2 toddlers and another due in a few weeks to worry about a degree right now. I’ll let my husband follow his dream of getting a full-time job in Conservation before I worry about myself. (He went to war when I went to college.)

  159. I really don’t think you’re being fair to those of us with “real jobs.” Someone who complains about 30 minutes of overtime does not have a “real job.”

  160. Don’t forget Grad Student’s Partner Barbie/Ken. I think it would be best to have a whole line, you know like American Girl, where you can customize the look with your hair color and stuff so the little kiddies can relate to the doll better. There could be stores where the kids could have birthday parties with bologna sandwiches and they could pick out a new set of used shoes or something.

  161. Love this, just one problem…Skipper isn’t Barbie’s friend; she’s her little sister. Barbie is the oldest of five girls: Barbie, Skipper, Stacie, Kelly and Chrissie. She also has a brother Todd, Stacie’s twin. (Occasionally Stacie is known as Tutti, and Chrissie is known as Chelsea. Chrissie is known as Shelley in Europe.)

  162. Very appropriate for me today! Just posted my revised conceptual framework for the millionth time. “It’s getting there” is getting old!

  163. It wasn’t meant to be the “real life world,” for goodness sake! It’s a PARODY! All you highly degreed folks ought to know what a PARODY is. I only have a B.A., but I have three “PHT’s”, and my husband was that frazzled graduate student, doctoral student, and law school student (and believe me, I shared every frazzle). I didn’t have any problem plugging him in as the student in my imagination, and me with only my lowly B.A. (If I were not straight, I think I would be in love with Gwynne!)

  164. I am about to finish my B.S. in psychology and am already geared up for the masters program. This post helped me to see that it is natural to feel this way and that this too shall pass. Thank you for the confidence boost! Perspective is after all everything ! Have a positive day all!

  165. Exactly why I ditched Grad school two years ago.. I am 51 years old now. I teach high school. I don’t need a Masters to do my job, and I sure as hell don’t need Grad school stress AND menopause!
    I guess you can call me Skipper. lol!

  166. omg, this is soooo funny…I just received my master’s at age 56, FINALLY after SEVEN years (home, work, 4 kids, needy husband, 96 yr old mom…volunteering, starting up a non-profit org…!!). I thought those exact sentiments over and over…not to mention heard/dreaded those lines by my advisor…hahaha! What’s really funny is that I started at 48 in a 2 year program saying, oh lord I have to hurry up and finish, I’ll be 50 when I’m done…hahaha, the joke was on me! thx for a great laugh

  167. Don’t forget, Barbie should gain about 60 pounds by the time she’s finished grad school! Listen, this is funny and is sympathizing with what people in grad school go through – not discouraging people from doing it in the first place. If you read this and are discouraged, then maybe grad school isn’t for you.

  168. It’s been 20 years since I got my masters. Same thing: fulltime job, two kids etc. And I still relate to this. Pretty funny! If you are offended by this humour, then you need to take yourself a little less seriously! Sometimes the only way to get through stuff is with a little black humour!

  169. I’m starting grad school in January….my husband laughed and laughed and laughed when I showed him this blog post…then he cried and cried and cried. Fun for the whole family! :)

  170. My husband’s in grad school pursuing his MLIS. He found the article hilarious and shared it with me. These days he’s identifying with Grad School Barbie far more than Ken. All of his poor brain has been fried since that summer school class he took.

  171. Am I the only one who doesn’t think this is like, totez the most hilarious thing ever written? The reasons why I dislike this have absolutely nothing to do supposed gender roles/stereotypes/grad school… the author’s ideas simply aren’t original, and the writing certainly isn’t what I’d expect from a grad student. This post is a marginal step up from what I’d expect to read in a Buzzfeed article entitled “Thirty Reasons Why Grad School Is Stealing Your Soul” or something equally lame. This whole reeks of self-important/self-deprecating satire, and actually sounds as though it was written as a project for a satire class by a freshman or sophomore undergrad who is irrevocably expecting an A+ (and who will actually receive a well-deserved, sub-par B-).

    I love good satire as much as the next person, but this writing is so painfully forced and is chock-full of cliche, in-your-face, idiotic jokes. I though maybe reading it again would help, but it was even less humorous the second time. Womp womp.

    I also love how everyone can’t help but try and one-up the last comment by complaining about “throwing two kids into the mix.” Massive eye roll.

  172. “Anatomically correct” Barbie should be hunched over from all those years sitting in front of the computer. Her right hand should be cramped into a shape that perfectly fits a computer mouse. Her purse should contain nothing but highlighters and flash drives. If her kids start to argue, she should respond automatically with, “What empirical evidence do you have to back that up?”

  173. Higher education IS a mostly selfish pursuit. The word “selfish” gets an unfairly negative rap. Womane are more conflicted than men about the sacrifices necessary.
    With that said, this girl with a job would like to point out that the article is full of spelling and grammatical errors. Perhaps higher education does not always translate to higher marketable skills? Just sayin.

  174. Jeez folks, just smile, laugh, enjoy, don’t be haters. It’s parody, someone having a good time. If you were drinking with your school pals, you’d say all this and more.

  175. Oh my goodness, this is hilarious, and exactly how I feel right now! I even look as bad as her during my last year and internship. hahaha. thx.

  176. I was awarded my PhD last month after 7 years of Masters level study and then the research/writing phase. I found this hilarious and never really read a sexist attitude in here. I’ve heard men complain just as much, actually. I’m a 60 year old female and posted the link to this on my Facebook page for all who waited (im)patiently for me to finish!

  177. Elyse is the real job skipper!

    1st year grad student here! Multiple subject credential and ma in literacy and language arts. I am a hot mess m-f.

  178. I got pregnant with my first child three days after starting grad school. SURPRISE!!! I delivered my second child three days after graduating from grad school. (Oh, and I had C-sections both times. Yeah, I know. Crazy.) Six days later, I went back to school for one more class for my ordination requirements. So, here’s what I have to say to all of you who are downing the Tums and repeating those undergrad all-nighters and wondering when life will slow down and get back to normal…

    ~You can do it. Remember that one step, one day, one breath at a time rule.
    ~Remember why you’re doing it. SOMETHING took you to the doors of that school in the first place. SOMETHING is driving you to push through all difficulties, frustrations, and those mountains of books and papers.
    ~Enjoy it. Oh, my gosh, years later, when you look back, you’ll remember how wonderful it was. Yes, you’ll remember every agonizing moment, but you’ll also remember the great moments. So, stop and enjoy them while you can.
    ~Know that it’s all worth it. Every single minute of it. It’s so very worth it.
    ~Know that you’re worth it. Every dollar spent, every hour spent, every hair pulled out. You’re worth it, because you’re doing it for the good of your brain. And, hopefully, to make a better world.

  179. Hahahaa. I did a PhD in English in 5 years. Had a baby in Year 3. I slept 3 hours a night on a good night. No child care (can’t afford THAT!!) I paid friends to watch her while I was teaching. Take care of baby from 5am to 8pm; study for exams/write dissertation (312 pages by the end YAY) from 8pm to 3am. Grade student essays/prep for teaching in that time as well. I shut down the uni library at least 3 nights a week. Nearly got killed in a car accident because I was hallucinating on the road one night. At home I worked in an unheated attic because it was the only space I had. I didn’t take a vacation in SEVEN YEARS. One year I ended up writing on Christmas Day. No holidays. Now of course I don’t have a job because there aren’t any academic jobs in English. I adjuncted for years and made 11 dollars an hour with no benefits. Now I homeschool my kids. Being post-ac is much healthier for me. I would never trade my years in grad school because I loved it for so many reasons, but I’m glad to be out of academia. It’s like fleeing an abusive relationship. I never tell ANYONE I have a doctorate unless they point-blank ask, and thankfully that rarely happens. (It happened once after I made a comment about the Little Ice Age during a historic house tour. Go figure.) Maybe my ability to work harder than everyone else and accomplish near-impossible things under shitty conditions will translate into a non-academic job one day. Don’t go to grad school. Enlarge your mind/be passionate about a subject on your own, while earning a living and putting $$ away for retirement. Read. Join a freaking book club. If you MUST go to grad school, DO NOT SPEND A DIME ON IT. Only go if you can be funded! (I was completely, 100% funded for both MA and PhD. Thank God. No debt.) Now, if only that Barbie came with carpal tunnel syndrome and a bitter, tarnished idealism.

  180. I agree with Sazz–only go if you can be funded! And if you love it, of course. Take care of yourself the whole time, no matter what. Your brain needs the sleep.

    Barbie’s Thesis Committee–hilarious! :)

  181. I am currently in dissertation HELL. My advisor is taking his sweet time on getting back to me – 2 weeks to be exact. Yet, I follow ALL deadlines. I hate him and I hate this B.S. process. I am poor. Not sure how I am going to eat until I get my next loan disbursement AND people think I am privileged AND successful. The truth is I photograph well so people think I am happy. FML.

    Thx for letting me rant.

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