As a medical writer for a continuing medical education provider, part of my job involves writing grant applications and proposals to seek new sources of funding. Some of the proposals are small and some are big. Some of the proposals follow traditional models and some require more innovative thinking. Some of the proposals have long turnaround times and some have looming deadlines. As a matter of fact, I am currently working on one of those big, nasty, non-traditional proposals right now, and its deadline is looming ever closer like a hungry vulture circling over a wounded kitten.
Oh, yes. Just try to get to sleep tonight with that image stuck in your mind.
Interestingly, my recent work developing experimental designs for healthcare education studies has reminded me of my graduate school days. Thankfully, it reminds me of the good years of grad school – the years of exciting scientific discovery and learning – not the bad years of having my soul sucked away by experimental failure, impossibly high expectations, lack of direction, and a general erosion of self worth. It was kind of like a prolonged dementor attack without the giggles.
Yes, grad school was a mixed bag for me. In fact, it was in my last year of grad school that I wrote a quiz titled, “How close are you to finishing your thesis?” I think there were 5 questions to the quiz, but unfortunately only 4 of the 5 questions remain.
For all of you grad students out there, take heart. It will all soon be over, and it will get better. Of course, then you will have to find a REAL job. But that is your problem.
HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO FINISHING YOUR THESIS?
- What is daylight?
- God smiling on the earth
- That period of time between sunrise and sunset
- Something to do with “saving” and “time”
- A vicious lie
- Your friends think you are:
- A lot of fun to be around.
- A little stressed.
- In major need of a vacation.
- What are “friends”?
- Which of the following is the most stressful?
- Writing your thesis
- Cooking dinner
- Tending to a bleeding ankle while alien space invaders are firing on your encampment and your mother is standing over you discussing health insurance
- Can’t tell the difference
- When someone asks you, “So, how’s the writing going?” you answer:
- “Thank you. It’s going well.”
- “What writing?”
- “Leave me alone.”
- “I will kill you, and they will never find the body.”