Thursday, October 27, 2005


So here is my second diary-style post in the seven months I've been doing TFP. Even David Byrne wrote about more than buildings and food. I think it's important to let you know why I'm not busting out the fat posts lately. The reasons are many. In short order I have a few things to do:
  • My linguistics seminar, now in its eighth week, is going to be led by the most junior person in the course next week: ME. Furthermore, it's a special session where we plan to review everything we've read and done up to this point. Silverstein. Ochs. Irvine. Briggs. This is just another of UC Berkeley's carefully crafted interviews for grad school. The course is led by the chair, one of the top minds in the field. I fuck up, I'm out of there. Teach says he wants each of us to prepare for 'at least three hours' before the seminar. Dude, I'm lucky if I have ONE hour to myself a day.
  • One day later, NSF, Wenner-Grenn, and NIH grant proposals are due. Now, I've done mock grants before but imagine if you can the gut-wrenching process of writing the personal statements alone. Tell them what they want to hear, but not so much so that you aren't telling the truth. Science it up or down depending on who you're applying to. Secure multiple transcripts and GRE scores. You know, with all that money you have.
  • Applications for PhD programs are due one afther the other over the next two months. I have one almost done. At sixty bucks a pop, plus 15 bucks to ETS for your scores, plus 10 to 20 for transcripts, plus all the money you lost not working during those grueling hours ofpreparation and it costs a lot just to want to go to grad school.
  • My publication. One year ago, I conducted field work in the Tahitian archipelago that could lead to a pretty good publication. I've translated it back to English and transcribed it but that's as far as I've gotten. This, the feather in the cap of any grad school applicant, still eludes me as a goal.
  • Oh, yeah. My thesis. Guess I should work on that. Any anthropologists/linguists out there that want to read it, give me a shout.
  • Relationships. Getting in to grad school is about massaging those relationships. You've got to forge them all over and then not let them fall away. Send cards. Smile at their brilliance. These people will be your coworkers for the next 35 years so you'd better get used to their quirks.
  • Lucky me, I go to a shitty school where the maximum reward per year is $500.00 . So, I also get to work full-time to support myself through all this.

Thus ends the whining. For all these reasons, I don't get to to to my cousin's cabin this weekend and whoop it up with my boys. Too bad, I had fireworks and firearms to contribute.


Blogger drbiggles said...

You're too busy.
Although, after school you'll be full of all kinds of lofty smart ideas that'll get you loads of cold hard cash.
Until then? Get back to work!
I'm going home to make spaghetti and chase the chillins around.


2:47 PM  

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