} Oh dear, another poor soul lured in by the unscrupulous dictators.
} You see, despite what they told you, you don't get out of there. Ever.
} What happens is that for the next two years, you will be some
} professor's virtual slave, teaching his classes, grading homework and
} proctoring exams, while he is out enjoying himself. I say "virtual
} slave" because as he promised, you will get paid. Almost. Boy, I bet
} when you were an undergrad, $700 a month sure seemed like a lot of
} money, didn't it? Well, now that mom and dad don't pay the bills
} anymore, you will find out just how far that much money will go. (hint:
} It won't make it all the way to the grocery store) I suppose you
} always wondered why grad students smell didn't you. Well, now you know
} that it is because they can't afford to shower or wash their clothes.
} Anyway, at the end of two years you will go to your major professor and
} tell him that you want a change. He will say "Sure, why didn't you say
} so earlier? It's about time you started bearing down on your thesis.
} How about if I make you a research assistant?"
} At that time, you will find out that the life of a research assistant
} is no more glamorous that that of a teaching assistant. Now, you will
} be spending about 75 hours a week doing all the little work in research
} that your professor is too lazy to do. All the while, he will be
} publishing papers, putting your name in the 'Acknowledgements' section.
} (if you are lucky) You will also notice in his mailbox one day a check
} from the government for about $50,000 that has been earmarked for your
} grant. When you ask him about this, he will explain how most of the
} money is eaten up by 'administrative details,' and that it isn't his
} fault that you don't see a fifth of that money during the year. He
} will then ask you 'Say, have you started writing your thesis yet?' and
} drive away in his new Jag. You will soon loathe the phrase 'Have you
} started writing your thesis yet?'
} After four more years of this drudgery, he will call you into his
} office and say 'Things seem to be shaping up, I think you are almost
} finished. Have you started writing your thesis yet?' In peoplespeak
} this translates roughly to: 'Damn, I can't believe you are stupid
} enough to have stayed this long, now I really have to start applying
} the thumbscrews to get you to drop out. Now get out of my office.'
} After another two years, you will still be at the 'only a few more
} results to go - have you started writing yet?' stage. This is where
} you will remain forever, because you see, you have decided to forgo the
} real world, with it's things like a real salary, comfortable lodging,
} and food, and instead have signed up for the life of a grad student,
} filled with things like outdated computers and stale Twinkies.
} No, sadly, you never get out of here. So, have you started writing
} The Oracle won't charge you a thing (like you could pay anyway)