The End of Grad School
("The End of Grad School" is based on "The Sound of
Silence" by Paul Simon. Alternate lyrics by Steve Wolfman. Thanks
to the CSE Band, especially Ken Yasuhara, for scansion assistance and
word choice suggestions.)
Hello caffeine my old friend
I've come to wire myself again
I should be back home in my bed sleeping
Instead I'm trying to write this thesis thing
But the chapters get jumbled in my head
Feels like lead
This is the end of grad school
Late last night I worked alone
That's when I heard the telephone
Headhunters spoke with tongues of honey
Weaving fever dreams of money
And the sound of ka-ching is rare for a PhC
We work for free
That was the end of grad school
Fools," said I, "you do not know
Research like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Tenure track will soon defeat you."
With those words, to lecture I am bound
Abandoning the sounds of grad school
And then some students knock on wood
Pray for three letters and a hood
A decade older than the new first-years
Sixty credit cards in deep arrears
Someday they'll think: "If I'll end up at Google,
I might as well go today.
I need the pay,
To make an end to grad school."
The Ph.C., or Philosophical Candidacy, is the utterly
meaningless degree one receives upon qualifying for the Ph.D. program,
as with a successful thesis proposal or generals examination.
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