Monday, August 26, 2013

Ten Commandments of Grad School (Also Relevant to Law School)

Here is Professor Claire Potter’s Decalogue, followed by some advice by commentators:

Thou shalt not rack up unnecessary credit card debt. 

 Thou shalt not neglect thy dental or healthcare. 

 Thou shalt find an excellent thrift store. 

 Thou shalt not assume that merit systems are determinative. 

 Thou shalt have an excellent professional back-up plan.

Thou shalt become an excellent colleague. 

 Thou shalt join thy professional organization

Thou shalt not suck up to thy mentors nor have sexual congress with them, nor shalt thou, when a TA, cross the line thyself

Thou shalt not gossip and spread hurtful calumny, nor write vituperative email, nor bcc when
chastising others.

Thou shalt use the word discourse sparingly; likewise neoliberalism, and other theoretical
catchphrases designed to obscure that thou hast not fully thought through thine

  • Great advice! I would add, as a corollary to #1 and #2, Thou
    shalt learn to cook. One reason my teeth survived grad school intact was that I
    cooked most meals from scratch, with little sugar and lots of vegetable fiber,
    and I didn't drink sugary beverages. It was also easier on my budget than
    eating prepared foods, or eating out all the time.

  • During seminars, thou shalt not dominate discussions, interrupt,
    scoff, roll eyes, sigh loudly, appropriate arguments about theoretical texts
    from preface/introduction/secondary sources as one's own (guess what!? We've
    all read those!). And please, thou shalt give up disgusting energy drink
    habit of undergraduate days.
    •  Thou
      shalt not over-caffeinate yourself. "Casey Jones you better watch your
      speed." Espresso, cappuccino, Red Bill or whatever your poison of choice, too much of a good thing is too much.

  • Thou shalt not lord it over thy less bookish fellows in the laboring classes (particularly those who can fix your broken mechanical devices).

You can read more here at the Chronicle of Higher Education


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