It was possible to explore the ‘great tradition’ of the English novel and believe that in doing so you were addressing questions of fundamental value — questions which were of vital relevance to the lives of men and women wasted in fruitless labour in the factories of industrial capitalism. But it was also conceivable that you were destructively cutting yourself off from such men and women, who might be a little slow to recognize how a poetic enjambement enacted a movement of physical balancing.

…I’m worried I will leave grad school and no longer be able to speak English. I know this woman in grad school, a friend of a friend, and just listening to her talk is scary. The semiotic dialetics of intertextual modernity. Which makes no sense at all. Sometimes I feel that they live in a parallel universe of academia speaking acadamese instead of English and they don’t really know what’s happening in the real world.

I’ll bite: Hard science TA’s and RA’s often repair equipment; it’s part of our science. If you want a silver spoon, don’t go to grad school. Science is all about dangerous chemicals, semi-safe experimental equipment, and 4am drives down gravel roads in old vans with a nice steep drop on one side. Guardrail? Ho ho ho. Fixing the computers is just the tip of the iceberg. Plus, where else could you get on-the-job experience with a PDP-8?