Jun 18, 2014 · Sounds like you work in a place where people take themselves/their work waaaaay too seriously. For anecdata – of the people in my year group for my PhD, most of them were dating/married to people in a variety of non-academic professions. I don’t think anyone was dating within the …Estimated Reading Time: 8 mins
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If it helps to think about it this way, universities have no pity. Honestly, I see a lot of people on the mouse wheel of working-all-the-time, and the trouble is they never stop to -think-, and then waste their time and money doing stupid experiments that lead nowhere. This is all starting to make me think: at some point I got it into my head that in order to brave the wilds of Sciencing While Female, I was going to have to excise everything soft and feminine from my personality, and surround myself with only things and people that would drive me to further academic success. Just as a side note. Out loud? Wait until you submit your dissertation. The greatest threat to getting an academic job is not a baby. I recently completed a doctoral degree! To paraphrase someone out there who despite my efforts in Google Scholar remains a mystery: an expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until he knows everything about nothing. And the thing is, I had a very supportive grad school environment where the profs treated us like actual people, and the fellow students were mostly really cool and not all about themselves. And if you are thinking long-term, you need someone who could potentially move when you get that dream appointment someday. What would the other accountants think?!? Your boyfriend and relationship sound great and like they work for you and make you happy. You associate only with people who are on the show. Hooray for Starcraft dates! It was very stressful for them. My partner is a self-admitted workaholic in a field that will certainly require a PHD and no life for many years. My mother has a degree and my father has only a high school education. Neither of those things are givens. Like this: Like Loading So much of what you said — the Stockholm Syndrome, the prestige — is too true. I did what I did because I was trying and failing and trying and failing and trying and sort of succeeding and trying and what even WAS that result? I chose not to go for my Ph. Try not to let three letters dominate your experience of life. While the questionnaire does ask about your educational and professional achievements, the majority of the questions are used to assess your personality type and that of your ideal match. They spend date nights writing new theorems; I spend date nights playing Starcraft. My husband and I kicked ass all over Azeroth for a couple years and still have in-jokes and fond memories from it. Most of the users are intellectuals and academics aged between 35 and LW, I can very much relate to your situation. Seriously though: thanks to you and the Captain and the community for this massive outpouring of support. All of the things Captain brought up are reasons why I decided to cut off my academic career at my MA. I agree with this entirely. Naturally, that would breed justifiable resentment. Nothing weird or humiliating going on here at all. First, in an imaginary world in which all things are equal, the Captain is totally right. Stomp hard. Captain, I love you. I still believe, naively, that everybody, deep in their hearts, wish the better for their fellow humans. He pointblank refused to do things that would have helped him get a promotion and he needed the income! I think this makes it a lot easier for people to get upset when their students leave, because they still have naive hope that everything works out for good people. But they got lucky with a lot of planning. Good luck, LW. When I was in grad school, I was warned by my adviser not to choose my future husband in Germany over an academic career in the U. My dad is a university professor and for most of my childhood my mother was a part time bookkeeper. There may be anecdata to follow, but basically I think that the judgy people are dead wrong and you should trust your happiness over their judgyness. We get to have lives, LW! My beloved Favorite is not an academic, but his job does have limited geographic flexibility, so this is a hurdle we will have to leap together one day soon. And I hope your equipment rarely malfunctions and your advisor is swimming in grant money. And not having to worry about whether you can pay the bills is valuable on a lot of levels. My dad ended up commuting hours and they went days without seeing each other until my mom finished residency in the big city and could move into the small city where my dad had gotten his job. There are just so many ways to look at success. Because I do really want to continue to do research!
I have been dating an awesome guy for a little over a year now. He is extremely intelligent and genuinely interested in my research work, and I like hearing wild stories from the club he works at. And besides, we have a lot of shared interests, like programming, caving, and gaming, where we are at similar levels of accomplishment and feel like we can challenge each other. When I first met Boyfriend, my out-of-town friends told me I needed to be aiming higher. They spend date nights writing new theorems; I spend date nights playing Starcraft. I already have a lot of anxiety about my career. Is it going to turn me into a lesser scientist? Am I wasting time? Are my priorities all out of whack? Do you or your readers have experience dating with education discrepancies? Are my fears as unfounded as I hope? What can I say if people get all judgy about his choice of career? I really debated whether to publish your letter. You asked for anecdata, so here is some. I have a terminal degree, my boyfriend has some college but not a degree. It affects my career not at all and us socially not at all. My mom has an advanced degree, my dad has a certificate from a technical college. It affected them not at all. I can think of zero relationships among my peers where having a degree vs. There can be a lot of expense, discontent, jealousy, immigration issues, loss of career momentum, and other giant, real hassles in dual-career relationships. Your judgy out-of-town friends need to, pardon my French, fuck the hell off on this topic. Out loud? What the hell is wrong with you? Your peers, at these nightmare hellscape parties where apparently people can only trumpet their stellar accomplishments, would probably describe themselves as very informed , logical , and open-minded people. Why then are they so ignorant about and dismissive of any life path that is not the exact same as theirs? But, while there are certainly supportive mentors and institutions, you have to realize that for the most part the world of elite scholarship does not care about your happiness. It does not care about your health. It cares about your usefulness and your results. It cares about your productivity. It cares about finding the smallest amount of money and support that you will settle for. Sometimes it will give you asshole old man advice about how you should live your life and conform to its expectations. You need someone who loves you, for you, who roots for your success, who supports you emotionally when the going gets tough, who excites and challenges you, who would care about you even if you failed at science. And if you are thinking long-term, you need someone who could potentially move when you get that dream appointment someday. They could thrive in their careers partly because they had wives, who maybe worked outside the home at some job, but who poured a ton time and energy into supporting them while they did their intense manly intellectual work. At all. The ones who bought me dinner and groceries when my financial aid took 14 weeks of a week semester to come through. The ones who helped out on all my film sets, lent me their houses and cars as locations. The ones who had parties where I could talk about NOT grad school. Sometimes what you need from your day is not to discuss the finer points of research methods or the three-act-structure one more time, but to talk with people who have completely different stuff going on than you do. Or to get good and righteously gloriously thoroughly laid. Grad school is not there for you on this. Prestige is especially dangerous to the ambitious. If you want to make ambitious people waste their time on errands, the way to do it is to bait the hook with prestige. It might be a good rule simply to avoid any prestigious task. In your defense, the orthodoxy that graduate school is the One True Way To Demonstrate Worth is being indoctrinated quite deliberately within the subculture you are in. Graduate school can operate a lot like a reality dating show, in that it thrives on Stockholm Syndrome, and you actually have to fight to keep your own sense of what is important amid the absurdity. Reality dating shows isolate their contestants, moving them away from everyone they love and imprisoning them in a big house with only other contestants. Everyone has the same goal and the same focus, and there is no down-time or escape — you must always be thinking about the Bachelor or the Rock or the Flavor of the Love and how to win them over. No pets, no books, no distractions. You associate only with people who are on the show. I think it would happen way more if the contestants lived at home with their dogs or cats and saw their actual real-life friends once in a while. Imagine living like that for years the average window to complete a PhD depending on your field and institution. In the article I linked up thread by Sarah Kendzior, she writes about the decision to have a baby during grad school:. The greatest threat to getting an academic job is not a baby.
He was upfront about not having finished college, and may have been a little on edge about it—it sounded like this may have been a dealbreaker on other first dates. I can be flexible because he can be flexible. It makes me angry that on top of having to deal with sexism in the workplace, I have to deal with it in my dating life. Please also do what you can to find friends from all ages and walks of life who also want to talk about Starcraft or stuff you are interested in at their non-competitive, actually fun parties. I should have done everything better, righter, and more according to the golden image in my head of what a Good Person looks like. My other example is my brother and his girlfriend. If this is completely planted in your head by others and exacerbated by your jerk brain, I would definitely stay the course with the partner who makes you happy! I know a few women who hurt their academic careers by having a baby. I learned this lesson the hard way years ago, because, caught up in the bubble of academia, I assumed it was obvious, and went without saying, that moves were par for the course. Do I regret that? He, too, worked at a startup and another, and another…. It helps to know of other people in your position — the commenters here have given some great examples. I legit clapped out loud after reading this. You know what? The Captain is right—having someone who loves you, who has your back, and who supports your happiness is worth more than having someone with the right letters behind his name. Out of my cohort I think one person is still with the department — everyone else left without finishing their PhD, which should give you an idea of how wildly dysfunctional it is. He tries to be socially aware, but is sometimes still naive about structural oppression in his own life and our shared one. So should you have a baby in graduate school? As it is, he was able to follow my career to a small city in another state without jeapordizing his own. In fact, there are things about the education mismatch that have made things easier for us. I should have not had bad mental health. I would have been a much happier person much sooner if I had realized that the world of elite scholarship does not care about my happiness. I was working 20 hours a day and my boyfriend was stay-at-home and I still never got to see him. I still believe, naively, that everybody, deep in their hearts, wish the better for their fellow humans. It is an awesome bonding experience. To more tech-savvy users, it might appear a bit basic, but it still does exactly what it says on the tin. Naturally, that would breed justifiable resentment. I think so long as you can understand, support, and respect each other here which it sounds like yes! But, it sounds like this is not a problem for you, LW, which is excellent! And not having to worry about whether you can pay the bills is valuable on a lot of levels. Meanwhile, his brother barely graduated from high school and is married to a college professor with a PhD. The same goes for both the Classic and Committed membership packages. When I asked what he does out of curiosity, not judginess , she sheepishly said he was blue-collar. I once worked for someone with a Ph. These are pretty much unrelated to whether or not your partner has a PhD, but they are definitely still gendered, with a couple of issues seeming to occur much more frequently and intensely for female academics who date men than for male academics who date women:. What can I say if people get all judgy about his choice of career? In my friend group we have a lot of independent women who most of the time are the ones earning more money. Seriously, if you can have an academic life AND a life outside it? It means they can hear that the system is broken, but they have never actually experienced it. This happened twice in my very small lab, and countless other times in our building. I am typing from the 7th circle of grad student hell, where the coffee is decaf and the bagels are stale and there are only horrible evolutionary psych papers to read. I have a friend in a similar situation, and one of the most difficult things to deal with is the constant stream of low-level comments made by people you care about. I had professors who married other people with Ph. But guess who, in this current job market, is the one bringing in the money that pays for our rent and our groceries and food for our dog? My only charitable interpretation of academics taking issue with a partner who has no degree, is that academia is such a tiny little world where you mostly interact only with other academics. I should have focused harder on my freelance writing career while I was in school and had funding. Hooray for Starcraft dates! I did what I did because I was trying and failing and trying and failing and trying and sort of succeeding and trying and what even WAS that result? Thanks for answering this CA, and thanks for all the great replies everyone. Wow, the Captain hit the nail on the head. Email Required Name Required Website. Partner: Nuh uh! It affects my career not at all and us socially not at all.
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