Sunday, May 03, 2009

Our son made the grade!

I'm happy to say that, after two grueling years of graduate school, our son has been declared qualified to be a candidate for a Ph.D. in physics. Now, all he has to do is round up a professor and committee to supervise and review his dissertation--no, he hasn't picked a topic yet--complete the Ph.D.-candidacy admission paperwork, and survive roughly another three-four more grueling years of graduate school, full-time, while working part-time for a ridiculously low salary at whatever position the school assigns to him in exchange for free tuition. (Thus far, he's been a teaching assistant and a lab assistant.) This is why he was calling his parents on a Saturday night--who has time for a social life while they're in grad school? His entertainment for last night consisted of talking to us while "writing" his website. "Um, 'writing' as in 'programming?' Yep.

I'm keeping this post on top 'til Monday afternoon. It was originally posted 5/3/09, 1:37 PM.


Blogger rivkayael said...

Mazal tov!

Now on to the trifling business of trying to push the boundaries of science and trying to find an academic job...

--(she who is attempting to survive the last two years of doctoralizing in biochem)

Sun May 03, 02:44:00 PM 2009  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Oy. Good luck.

Suffice it to see that I'm happy that our son will be in school for probably at least three more years, because I'm hoping that the economy will have improved by the time he has to go job-hunting. (When I read this comment to my husband, he said "Yeah," nodding his head vigorously in agreement.)

Sun May 03, 07:28:00 PM 2009  
Blogger Jendeis said...


Sun May 03, 09:29:00 PM 2009  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...


Sun May 03, 09:48:00 PM 2009  
Anonymous Al said...

May I jovially offer your son my condolences on his invitation to spend three years as an underpaid lab monkey suffering through the Physics department's abasement for the privilege of spending two to three more years as an abused lab monkey in the outrageous world of Post-Doc, before he is then invited to make sub-living wages toiling away in academia before being denied tenure because he was seen having lunch with a tenured professor on the wrong side of a department political battle! :) Besides, after earning his PhD, he can always leave academia and make almost as much as someone with just a masters degree! :)

Congratulations on the accomplishment, and good luck with the hard slog through the rest of the process. A couple of friends are moving through the post-doc path, there IS a light at the end of the tunnel!

And remember, eventually the lazy tenured Baby Boomers that have been drawing a paycheck for decades without any more work will die off, and there will be plenty of room for our new generation of emotionally scarred and abused PhDs!

Mon May 04, 02:26:00 PM 2009  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Thanks, Al--I think. :)

Mon May 04, 09:41:00 PM 2009  
Anonymous Miami Al said...

It's really impressive... it requires having not just enough brains and perseverance to get through the program, but enough excess to override the common sense voice screaming GET OUT, GET OUT! :)

Raw testosterone to plow through! :)

Tue May 05, 12:02:00 AM 2009  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Another wiseguy heard from. :)

On the other hand, it's true that the Family Physicist has brains and perseverance. Thanks.

Tue May 05, 12:54:00 AM 2009  
Blogger Tzipporah said...

Yeah, I listened to the voices and got out, but I hear some people actually enjoy staying in academia. Perhaps your son is one of the lucky few! Mazal tov!

Tue May 05, 01:00:00 PM 2009  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

I don't know that our son is exactly *enjoying* grad school, but he seems to prefer staying to leaving. :) Thanks, Tzipporah.

Tue May 05, 06:20:00 PM 2009  
Blogger rivkayael said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Wed May 06, 01:58:00 AM 2009  
Blogger rivkayael said...

Al--come on, testosterone? Its effect seems to be quite negligible in a significant population of people who pass quals and get their PhDs.

(I'm sure your daughter will not need testosterone to get her PhD)

Wed May 06, 12:19:00 PM 2009  
Anonymous Al said...

Rivkayael, sorry, I forget that certain cultural references that I make, common in my circle, aren't common elsewhere.

Ready Philip Greenspun's commentary on Women in Science. Science PhDs spend a LOT of time in school for little economic return, and since much of the work for an academic career (PhD, Post Doc, pre-Tenure work) is poorly paid "dues paying," it's NOT economically rational (the same effort into Med School or Law School has a MUCH higher return, and anyone that could do a Physics PhD could do either of those). There are a bunch of economic realities that make it more likely for men to pursue it (Dr. Greenspun compares it to stealing cars and other male-dominated economically irrational activities)... a combination of male testosterone culture and not facing a biological clock issue from spending 10 years in your prime childbirth years (for women, men have another 10) in the pursuit.

My two freshman college roommates were Physics undergrads, one just finished his PhD (albeit in an interdisciplinary field). A good high school friend of mine just finished her PhD (her husband finished a year earlier)... she's THRILLED to be done with school, loves her research, but it was a long hard slog... and now she's torn between starting a family and her fears of derailing a career that just started, but she doesn't have a HUGE amount of time to start if she wants to be able to have 2 or 3 children with some sort of spacing as a working mom.

It's an impressive academic achievment to receive a PhD, but it's definitely in a culture where one proves their manliness by getting a PhD, even for women there... :)

Thu May 07, 10:26:00 AM 2009  
Anonymous Sleepwalking said...

That was a VERY interesting one! Seriously interesting.

Thu May 03, 07:54:00 AM 2018  
Anonymous Penile Implant Surgery in India said...

Thank you, that was just an awesome post!!!

Tue Aug 21, 03:24:00 AM 2018  
Anonymous Free Wordpress Theme said...

Thanks for the great information on this post.

Mon Jan 07, 03:01:00 AM 2019  

Post a Comment

<< Home

<< List
Jewish Bloggers
Join >>