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Grad School! The Musical:
Two Excerpts
by Kari Maaren

At Coffee House in the fall of 2008, I sang two songs from the crazy grad-school-themed musical I'd been writing that year. People expressed interest in seeing the lyrics, and one asked for a link on the WoB page. If you want to see more GS!TM lyrics, scroll down my "Rants" pages (the link is above)...but here are the two I performed.

(Underneath them is something utterly random: a doodle I did for my class. That's Harry Potter on the right; on the left is Sam Vimes from Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels. We were discussing the mild Pratchett/Rowling feud that ensued when Rowling implied she had never thought of herself as a fantasist and Pratchett wondered what the hell she didthink of herself as, then.)



It's getting close to midnight.
I should go to bed.
But I just sit here wishing
I could turn back time instead

So I could have more room to
Give my work a run.
I guess it's problematic that
I haven't yet begun.

The hours seem so short, though
My committee claims they're long.
And yet they pass so quickly!
My committee must be wrong.

I need more time to do this.
I'm really drowning here.
The chapter's due tomorrow;
I have only had a year.

I'm not sure what it's for.
Is why I'm always poor.
I go to bed at two a.m. and rise up with the sun.
I haven't got a social life; I'm still on chapter one.
I feel I'm always working, but I never get things done.
I think I'll try some more

I turn on my computer
And claim I'm working, yet
I just glance at my thesis,
Then surf the Internet.

I have a list of sites that
I like to check. But when
They take an hour to get through,
I check them all again.

I spend a while on Facebook.
I have to walk my dog.
I think I'll teach myself to draw,
And then update my blog.

And so before I know it,
The day's completely through.
I'd write my thesis chapter,
But I have too much to do.

My brain is in high gear.
And I don't need to steer.
Yes, I've learned how to knit and how to imitate a bird.
I've watched the whole of Heroes, though I think the plot's absurd.
But I can go entire months and never write a word.
And I'll admit it's mere

I wonder why I'd rather
Read facts about Jack Bauer
Than close up all my windows
And do real work for an hour.

At least now I know Klingon,
Plus how to make a sword
And catapults. I'm terribly
Productive when I'm bored.

Just thinking of my thesis
Can cause me to lose heart.
I know I need to finish;
I know I need to start.

"I'll do it all tomorrow,"
Is what I always say.
And now it is tomorrow, and
The chapter's due today.

Calculated and precise.
Too bad that there's a price.
I have a hundred thousand ways to painfully prolong
The process of my Ph.D.; I've even mastered Pong.
And now, instead of working, I have gone and made this song.
If you want my advice,
Shun procrastination.

"Dear Advisor"


Dear Advisor:
How I hate you!
I can't stand you;
You should know.
You're not even
Second-rate. You
Are the worst advisor
I've ever seen, and so

I despise you
Very deeply,
And I do it
The whole year through.
You're an asshole,
And I wish that
I had never
Chosen you.

Dear Advisor:
Where's my thesis?
You have had it
For a year.
You are nearly
As rich as Croesus,
While I'm barely eking
Out a living here.

I shall never
Meet my deadlines.
I am drowning
In my debt.
Meanwhile, you claim
You will read my
Thesis really soon!
Yeah, I bet.

You ignore me and abuse me
And pretend I don't exist,
And you tell me that my work
Is very weak.
I would like to see Chuck Norris send
You flying with his fist;
If I did, my future wouldn't
Seem as bleak
As it does now...

Dear Advisor:
I abhor you,
And I know you
Can't stand me.
I would not do
A favour for you,
And I can't wait till I'm
Away from you and free.

Call me sullen
And ungrateful.
Claim I'll never
Get a job.
But I'll tell the
Whole world you're evil.
How I hate you!
Sincerely, Bob.