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Wednesday, 9 July 2008
(No offense intended towards the students from the Humanities department. I just found this really funny because, well, we DID discuss it once. Rather heatedly over yong tau foo in Can B)
I have been a fan of phdcomics (read PhD comics) for the longest time. I first chanced upon it while web surfing in my hall a few years back and spent a grand total of 3 days, back to back, reading strip 1 to strip 890. Yes, I am a geek and I am proud of it.
So anyway, I've been following the strip since then because it revolves around the characters at a grad school (presumably Standford, because more than one strip featured the famous Standford clock tower), the work they do, the lives they lead, and interestingly, an analysis of what it means to be a grad student.
Now I for one am not a grad student yet, but I totally relate to the characters and the storyline. Specifically, the re-occurring theme of procrastination and the value of ones work.
Yes, all of us have at one time stared at our term papers and readings, wishing them away into some alternate universe. Or perhaps, even skipping a couple of lectures and tutorials to slack away in the hidden depths of NTU (or on the busy streets of Orchard Road). Procrastination is part and parcel of university life. No uni life is complete without procrastination (but shh, do not let them know that we told you that).
All of us too, have screamed bloody murder when we feel that the value of our work is inversely related to the grade that we have been bestowed upon by our professors. We get dejected, we argue, sulk, cry and drown our sorrows on the beer that Al Fresco carries after 6pm (and shh again, we did not tell you that). Still, we press on when the next term paper swings by, ever so idealistic that we WILL get that A+ (alas, only to realise that it was not to be - again).
Well, phdcomics has taken a spin on the two things we students engage in - procrastinating and fretting over the value of our work - and turned it into something that we all can laugh at, and in turn, laugh at ourselves.
To Jorge Cham and all grad students out there, three cheers to the power of procrastination and the Anova test (do I hear second and third years screaming? brings back memories no?)