Hahahahaha! At least that's what I did when someone asked me the other day how I was planning on spending Memorial Day. "But don't you have the day off?" I was asked, "After all you're still in school!" Ummm... yeah, I am. But I don't get holidays.
I'm sure that I'm preaching to the choir here, but I'm tired of being told that I'm in school and should be getting X day off, not working so hard (after all, it's not a job), and that I can do Y because my schedule is so flexible. (So, that's a horribly structured sentence... maybe I'll ask Mrs. E about it in English class. Grrr.) In the past week I've been told that I have life easy because I don't have to take classes (this by my undergrad), that I can put off doing stuff for Major European Conference and drive to babysit my friend's child (this by the mother of my good friend), and that Advisor is mean because I have to go to school today (this by my mother).
No matter how many times that I explain that graduate school is a full-time job and that I get paid for doing research, people latch onto the last part of the phrase: "school". I understand that most people have not been exposed to "graduate school" and do not understand that this is a very different education from high school or undergrad. However, I have explained this many, many times and get frustrated by the lack of comprehension.
So for the last time... Yes, I am in school, but no I do not take classes. My entire education/degree is based upon the research that I do in the lab. No, research does not always occur between the hours of 9am and 5pm. Think of my research as a puppy. I have to feed it, give it fresh water, and play with it everyday. Otherwise it'll pee on the carpet, poop in my bed, and chew on my shoes. Metaphorically, without my spending at least 6 days/week on it, it will do the same. Also, I am an employee that means that I do not get "Teacher Workdays" or other holidays. I work weekends and holidays. I do this so that way I will eventually be able to graduate. I do not get Winter Break and Advisor does not give me fun word-searches or crosswords to do in the preceeding days. Nor does he give me shaving cream to clean my desk. I'm expected to do work and make arrangements for my research on any days that I take off. Now, my schedule is somewhat flexible. However, it's flexible in the sense that I can choose whatever 50+ hours I want to work during the week. So, please stop asking me to (1) rearrange my schedule at a moment's notice to accommodate your wishes, (2) calling me during the day and expecting me to talk for an hour, and (3) reminding me that I'm in school and should be able to do X, Y, and/or Z. I can't do any of those things, despite the fact that I'm still in school.
Labels: Grad School, Life