I love PHD Comics. It's sort of a must for grad students. Grad school is a crazy time of working really hard but making no progress, slacking off and surfing the internet when no one's looking, hiding from your advisor, and generally feeling overwhelmed and undervalued. We who choose this path are a crazy bunch. We work full time for half-time pay, earning less with a college degree than most people can earn with a high school diploma. And for what? A PhD? The promise of getting the title "Dr." before our names, and, if we're lucky, the ability to be professors, a profession of grant-writing and minimal glory, earning surprisingly little on average compared to people with similarly advanced degrees (e.g. medical doctors).
PHD (Piled Higher and Deeper) Comics finds the humor in the absurdity. With its main characters in varying stages of never-ending graduate programs, as well as an accurate collection of supporting characters (the sugar mama, various flavors of infuriating advisors), we see ourselves and our lives in its comics. Sometimes it encourages me, knowing that what I'm experiencing is something every grad student experiences. Sometimes it depresses me, knowing that the misery is inevitable. But it always makes me laugh.
The comics are all done by Jorge Cham, who did manage to complete his PhD and now tours the country giving lectures on the virtues of procrastination. Sometimes he takes suggestions for strips from grad students who write in from across the country. Lately, though, the comic has been publishing less frequently than normal, because he has been working on a live action movie based on the comics. And now there's a trailer!
See the website for the movie here.
I love it. I'm not really active in, well, any organization at my university, but I hope I can get someone to sponsor a screening on campus. It would be so much fun, as well as a great way to procrastinate.
If you're looking to procrastinate, here are some of my favorite PHD comics:
Bright and early Happens more often than I'll admit
Why? Why? This past Wednesday for me, just about
Dork Barrel Spending
A tranquilizer with graphs in it Best way to fall asleep
We're all doomed
You know you've been grading too long when... My office mate says this has happened to her.
Incoming freshmen So true. I know maybe 6 buildings on campus.
Things to do...
The Economic Meltdown
How Grad School is just like Kindergarten
If TV Science was more like REAL Science