Fun_People Archive
12 May
Dry Reading (was: Lite Reading)

Date: Thu, 12 May 94 14:08:59 PDT
To: Fun_People
Subject: Dry Reading (was: Lite Reading)

[What's next?  Ice Reading?  -psl]

Forwarded-by: lanih@info.Berkeley.EDU (J. Lani Herrmann)
Forwarded-by: cpreston@info.Berkeley.EDU (Cecilia Preston)
From: Achenbar, Jim, "Why?"  Sky, May 1994, p. 152.  Delta Airlines.
	[lite typos adjusted -- lh] 
	[dry typos adjusted, too -- psl]

Thought you might be interested in this bit from an article in the Delta
Airlines magazine.

Q. Why does it take someone seven years, on average, to get a Ph.D.?

A. Why rush to become unemployed?  Seriously, that's part of it: being a
doctoral candidate isn't such a bad life compared with being an unemployed
Wordsworth scholar.

But still, we've always been amazed at how many years graduate students will
spend in the bowels of some university library or in some fluorescent-lighted
laboratory, waiting for that ultimate degree.  The president of the Council
of Graduate Schools reports that the average period of time between a
bachelor's degree and a doctorate is 10.5 years, of which about seven years
is spent actually registered in a graduate program.

Ideally, a doctorate would take four years -- two years of classes, then
two years of research culminating in a dissertation. But there are obstacles
involved, namely money.  Most doctoral candidates have to struggle to find
support and many have full-time jobs that take them away from their
dissertations.  In the field of education, it takes, on average, 18.4 years
to get a doctorate--because, in the meantime, most people spend years
teaching bratty students how to read and write.

One other thing about getting a doctorate: you have to do something
original, something big.  You can't just mouth off or refute some
presumption or knock down a straw man.  In other words, you have to discover
a sixth sense or find a planet that no one's ever noticed between Earth and
Mars or prove that Shakespeare and Jim Varney - the guy who stars in those
"Ernest" movies - are the same person.

[=] © 1994 Peter Langston []