|This article deals with edjumacation. Avert your eyes!.|
The Ph.D. is widely recognized by doctors and those with academic training as the most prestigious degree among doctors in all of academia. The awarding of a Ph.D. comes after eight or more years of intense study and independent research, and is intended to convey that the recipient is an intellectual on par with a medical doctor . However, a Ph.D. recipient should never be confused with an actual physician. Hence the abbreviation Ph.D. stems from the Latin Phake Doctor.
The first Ph.D.s in the United States were given as a symbol of authority by Harvard, who rejected the British Monarchy's right to tell them they couldn't have authority to grant Ph.D.s. These first Harvard graduates went on to appear in a number of 'Hooked on Phonics' commercials. There was some criticism that the faculty, perhaps, might be wasting their time with below-average children. Their ultimate decision went something along the lines of, "We're Harvard, so piss off."
It was not until much later that new systems of education were introduced, including the Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree, and kindergarten, the latter of which entirely replaced the need for a Ph.D. program. As time progressed, more universities opened and the number of degrees issued annually increased exponentially. By the year 1996, Bachelor's degrees were so commonplace that employers equated their value with that of toilet paper. The Ph.D. was introduced to indicate higher-level training.
The fact that Ph.D. recipients are actually more useless than Bachelor's has, thus far, gone unnoticed.
In special cases Ph.D.s will be given to honorary recipients for making a small but not insignificant contributions to the world, like solving world hunger, alleviating a genocide, writing a great book, adopting a small foreign child, holding up a picture of a foreign child, buying a foreign child, selling one at a reasonable price, using the profits to buy Jello, or giving that same Jello to other children who come asking what happened to Timmy. In general, these honorary Ph.D.s offered to celebrities do not carry the same weight as the real ones given to people no one has heard of.
As well as being the wrong abbreviation for Doctor Of Philosophy, PhD is also the award given to an outstanding Paedophile whom has shown tremendous courage above and beyond the call of duty and against all the odds (or cots, depending on which way you look at it) and who has boned more children than you can shake a dick at.
There are particular members of society who, since childhood, dreamed of making fantastical and grandiose contributions to society. Instead of daydreaming about growing up and prancing about living the high life, wearing designer clothing, going to the hottest parties, looking gor-juss and mingling with the A-list of Hollywood without display of either talent, hard work or personal application, intelligence, involvement in a profession or any discernibly positive contribution to humanity (a la Paris Hilton), chances are that these children made life plans that hinged upon receiving inordinate praise from others for superior displays of intellect. These children usually had hyper-ambitious parents who harboured similar desires for their children, but unfortunately were bereft of anything remotely resembling a CLUE. Mummy always wanted to go to university but wasn't able to -her daddy was an alcoholic and her mummy was borderline, so she had to leave school when she was 15 and work work work and give her daddy all of her money which he then pissed up the wall. Mummy couldnt go back to university because she got knocked up with you, but you're female, and you kinda look like her, so you must be the miniature version of her and the vessel through which she can live out her pathetic half-buried dreams so yes you will go to university! You will do Arts like she wanted to because she lovedhistoryandenglishdidievertellyouthatandyouaregoingtogot ouniandthenontopostgradstudyandmaybeyouwillgetascholarshiptooxfordandtheniwillseeyougetyour degreenandthinkthatideservethedegreetooandnotheniwillnotfeelsopatheticandthenicanabandonthedream ofgoingtounisoyesyouWILLgotouniyouDONThaveachoicebecauseyoureBETTERthaneveryoneelseandyouhavetoAIMHIGH andnoartsisntgoodenoughonitsownyoushoulddoLAWbecausethenIcansaymydaughterisaLAWYERandboywontthatfeelgood!
Unfortunately, after nearly two decades of such emotional fuckwittage being crammed down these children's throats, they become indoctrinated them into believing that the world would fall at their feet if they went to this far off mystical magical-fairy land and received a piece of rosewatered, calligraphed piece of paper. Thus, these children work very hard throughout their entire adolescence, doing extraordinarily well at school and accruing valuable life skills by enduring the manifestations of their classmates' passive-agressive hatred. However, Mummies and Daddies love these children above all else, and when Mummy goes to her church committee and talks to the mother of the boy who was just caught by the police for downloading child pornography - boy, doesn't she feel smug!
So chances are, instead of actually 'discovering' who they were or what they were capable of in any meaningful sense, these children live a standard 'tick the box' approach to life, simply navigating their way through life experiences (such going to university) and gaining accoutrements along the way (such as scholarships) simply because society dictated that they HAD to do these things in order to be recognised as successful. Remarkably, these sorts of children manage to sit through three to four years of higher education in which they are trained to think critically about the world in which they live, the politics that govern the world and the machinations of human nature, but are incapable of applying any of these critical thinking skills to their OWN lives. Unfortunately, if they did, they might have at least taken some sort of sojourn in the real world ... maybe travelled before they graduated, taken a full-time job in a relevant industry, moved out of Mummy and Daddy's chequebook and discovered how difficult it is to be self-supporting, and most importantly, realised that that generalist degree from an elite institution that you were nearly KILLING yourself to get isn't worth spit to most people in the great, big, scary external expanse called "THE REAL WORLD".
Sadly, and oftentimes far too late, these children inevitably come to the heartbreaking conclusion several months after graduation that the graduate recruiter at KPMG won't give a tinkers cuss that they got a HD in 'Postwar Australian Cinema: Ned Kelly to Mad Max' ...
But then.... Panic! What to do now? What else is there? What else WAS there? These overgrown children are simply brains in bodies, the natural elite, the movers and shakers of tomorrow (or so they were told). Where are the good jobs, the opportunities, the chances to move up the corporate ladder, the money, the kudos, the recognition, the chance to bypass the bottom rungs in life? Why won't the manager at Sportsgirl respond to the application that they put in three months ago?
These children reflect a little bit on this predicament, usually whilst sitting at home on their spotty behinds, eating garguantuan tubs of Haagen Daas whilst watching Oprah on the rotting couch in their parents basement, silently sobbing themselves to sleep at night, protecting their fragile egos from the possibility that perhaps that piece of paper doesn't mean that they are immediately entitled to be treated as superior beings. So they ponder, "Why did that academic tell me that honours would give me an 'edge' in the employment market? More inexplicably, why was I dumb enough to believe him? Has everyone who espoused the value of education been lying to me all along?" And funnily enough, those critical thinking skills they learnt at University FINALLY kick in. Especially when you accidentally bump into the class clown of your high school graduating year, who is now turning over $100,000 per year as a bug tester at Microsoft. Fucking bastard.
But ah ... eventually the real world becomes a bit too much for these suckers, and they run back to the poisonous teat of the mother that has always sustained them and like Lady Macbeth, continually threatened to bash their brains out ... ACADEMIA. Post-graduate studies ahoy! "This time," (they tell themselves) "I'm not going to make the same mistake ... I'm going to study something vocational, and be of real use to someone when I graduate! THIS will give me the edge in the job market that I was after!" And thus, the Ph.D. student is borne.
Everyone gets excited for the Ph.D. student (particularly hyperambitious Mummy and Daddy, whose psychopathic ambitions haven't exactly abated over the years) ... but ... on the other hand ... no-one really has the heart to tell them that a 20,000 word dissertation on Patrick White's use of bark imagery isn't exactly going...to...cut...it...either. So what to do after this debacle blows up in your face again?
Hmm... not quite sure. However, that retail assistant's job at the Co-op Bookshop looks rather appealing. Think about it - you'll be surrounded by books, and you technically wont leave Uni. And the best bit of all? At the start of every semester you'll be surrounded with fresh faced 17-18 year olds, purchasing their semester textbooks on their first step on what is sure to be a tortuous process of heartache, self-abrogation and shattered dreams. You know? People who used to be just like you! How endearing!
Best of luck to all doing a PhD - Remember: we normal "not-so-smart" people who didn't sneer at studying a 'vocation' in the real world will always be here to laugh at you when you wind up as a high school humanities teacher instead of getting that associate professorship that you were after. Ha-ha!