Friday, August 01, 2003


Angela, our babysitter, came by with her husband, Richard, for pizza and beer tonight. After four beers, I'm not sure if it's good to blog or not. First drunk blog.

Angela just turned 20, but she's already been married for two years. She's from a small town in Peru, which is where she met Richard. He was down there doing his research for his dissertation. I'm not sure of his age, but he must be in his late 30s.

She brought Richard to our home, because she wanted us to talk some sense into Richard who's futzing about writing a page a day. He needs to finish and take care of his child bride. At 20, she has more sense then him. He wants to write an "important" dissertation. We tried to tell him that the best dissertation is a done dissertation. Write an adequate dissertation, we told him.

I think he wanted to impress us with his knowledge of obscure theorists. He was all, "Let me tell you about the Frankfurt school." And I was all, "Let me tell you about finished." I think he was a little disappointed with our reality check. He looked particularlly appauled when I compared writing the dissertation to making donuts.

He told us about his problems finding supportive faculty, and how stressed out they are about money. We commisserated. We were forced to go on welfare when our son was born. I was so stressed that I came down with shingles. Steve developed stomach problems. I have all sorts of other friends who had similiar difficulties. One friend in literature told me that she wishes that someone ran an intervention on her before she went to school.

And then there is the debt.

We try not to be bitter. There is a lot we gained from the experience. I think. Maybe we're smart now. Maybe we had a chance to read all sorts of books and have lively debate. There are two large degrees in the closet that haven't been framed yet. We met each other in the library. And at least we finished.

There is so much wasted energy and brain power at graduate schools across the country. So much tragedy. So many lives ruined. People are being trained for jobs that don't exist, but don't learn of that fact until 10 years later.

I could tell stories about it, but tonight I won't. It will waste a good beer buzz.

Ta-ta until Monday.

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