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Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School
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Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  311 ratings  ·  62 reviews
This is a book for dedicated academics who consider spending years masochistically overworked and underappreciated as a laudable goal. They lead the lives of the impoverished, grade the exams of whiny undergrads, and spend lonely nights in the library or laboratory pursuing a transcendent truth that only six or seven people will ever care about. These suffering, unshaven s ...more
ebook, 176 pages
Published April 13th 2010 by Three Rivers Press (first published January 1st 2010)
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Full disclosure: I know Adam. Fuller disclosure: he is the funniest person I know.

That said, this book was as funny as I expected, AND MORE. As someone who got a Master's and quickly got the eff out of grad school, I related to a lot of the commentary in the book. It made me appreciate more fully my decision to leave. ;)

If you have, at any time, been in or considered going to grad school, I highly recommend this entertaining read. It may be the most entertaining thing you read for a while!
Alan Chen
I was laughing almost literally from cover to cover. Considering that I rarely laugh or even smile, that is a monumental achievement. The author, a former PhD student, knows his stuff, knows what you're going through, and knows how to use that knowledge to make gallows humor instead of inducing (more) depression. The chuckles start from the beginning, with a 140 page book being led off by a Foreword, a Preface, a Prologue, AND an introduction.

First of all, I want to make it clear that this book,
Jan 04, 2013 Nutkin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any university student
Recommended to Nutkin by: Holly Labadie
Shelves: humour, self-help, own
I received this book from another friend who escaped her own grad school hell and knew I could use a pick-me-up; was she ever right!

The author takes you through different points, from thinking about going to grad school, dealing with undergrads and finally trying to get out of grad school. I think he could've put more into the writing one's thesis or dissertation section since most of us have to spend so much time on it, but overall, this book was hilarious and allowed me to really laugh at all
Erica Song
Jul 10, 2014 Erica Song rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like humour/satire and are not easily offended.
Disclosure: You will not stop laughing.
Disclosure: My abs were burning.

Being a fiction person, I originally wasn't going to read this book, but boy, I am so glad I did!
I've never actually liked most non-fiction books, so when my English class for Autumn 2014 assigned me summer homework to read a non-fiction book, I was pretty stooped. So I read through an article that recommended some books and I chose to read this one because the cover made me laugh. And it sounded important.

Oh my god. Adam Rub
Atila Iamarino
Ri bastante sozinho, como não ria lendo um livro há tempos. Rápido de ler, e muito bem humorado. Tem ótimas sacadas sobre a pós-graduação, que descrevem muito bem o que se encontra, na linha PhD Comics. Poucas e valiosas dicas realmente relevantes para quem está na pós, mas perfeito para saber o que o aguarda.
Some of it was not really my type of humor, maybe. A few things made me chuckle (rants about seminars and undergrads), but otherwise it seemed a little over the top. Or maybe I'm in a good program. Or maybe I just don't hate everything quite that much yet. I have no idea.
Liz Gillingham
Two stars seems lame, but really, it was sort of funny, not super funny. One insight I believe I gleaned: it's possible that teaching undergrads could be worse than teaching high school. I will keep this in mind.
Geoffrey Benn
“Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School,” by stand-up comedian and molecular biology Ph.D. Adam Ruben is a delightful send-up of the grad school experience. While some of the material will be familiar territory for readers of PhD Comics (i.e. tips for scoring free food), much of book covers fresh ground, using text, diagrams, and often hilarious fact boxes (did you know you can tell the number of years a person has been in grad school by counting the rings under their eyes?) ...more
howl of minerva
You'll laugh, you'll cry, it won't change anything because it's much, much too late.
This was the most hilarious book I've ever read! I'm not yet a grad student, but this book served as a slap in the face (a funny slap, though) to make me aware of the potential difficulties that await me as I pursue my MA. Wonderfully illustrated (who likes books without illustrations?), witty, and very deep and thought-provoking (nah, not really). I would recommend it to all recent graduates!
Dark, dark humour, yet it indeed WAS humour, concerning most of the things you end up experiencing or thinking about in grad school. And I only started last year! :D I loved to read this book and to laugh aloud while reading. Maybe I'll have another perspective on things for a while again. Best 'self-help' I've read in a long while.
Hilarious and sadly true, this book makes light of the plight of a graduate student. Relatable to graduate students in any field, it is a lighthearted and fun book to read when you need a break from the dense, dry nature of academic work.
I found a great deal of the book to be extremely funny and quite accurate, but unfortunately the rather off-color humor and coarse language in the rest of the book prevent me from loving it completely.
Most humor books are lost on me, especially those written by stand-up comedians who think that their delivered lines will work just as well in the written medium without any translation. Not so with this book. Although I've already finished grad school, and it was only a part-time program at that, I could totally appreciate the rigors the author describes. His sarcastic, dry, and pessimistic world view was perfectly in line with the trials of higher education. How can you not appreciate a book t ...more
“Graduate school would seem exactly like purgatory if it weren’t so much like hell”. Adam Ruben satirizes the process of earning the highest degree in the land with biting wit and laugh out-loud one liners. Obviously funnier to those of us who have actually gone through graduate school, or at least knows someone who did, this concise book nails every negative element right on the head. In the process of making us laugh at what we do to ourselves, Ruben exposes some of the real problems with the ...more
Bea Griffin
Too funny and well worth the read. Although it does make me question my life choices... Oh well!
Quick read to distract from the actual reading I should be doing as a graduate student.
good distractraction from grad school
Upon winning this book from Goodreads, I expected a book about college secrets or something to that degree to help me prepare for the daunting time I'll have to attend college myself. Boy, was I wrong! Surviving You Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School is actually really funny. Thanks to this book, I got a few laughs along with a few tricks to pull in case I'm ever stumped on a difficult AP question. Thanks for the book, Goodreads!
Being a grad school survivor myself, I loved the first quarter or so, it made me laugh out loud several times, but unfortunately the book doesn't quite have enough going for it to keep you laughing till the end - this despite being very short (I finished the ebook in about 1.5 hours). It's a good enough laugh for anyone who has an advanced degree, but it could have been a lot better.
Giulia Fiora
Didn't give me much advice until the end really: "Take Control." But this book had me laughing, which I really needed as I start my journey back. Maybe one day, as I'm further into my graduate school experience, I will pick up this book again and see how accurate it was. I did appreciate the map of the school and the descriptions to go along with it. Hilarious!!
Meaghan E
How do I describe this hilarious book? GENIUS. And very, very true. Thank you, Adam Ruben, for humourizing what is actually a bit pathetic - our lives as grad students. For all of you in grad school, read this book. I promise, you'll laugh. Hell, do what I did and read it out loud with a fellow grad student or cohort. It gets even better with alcohol.
I'm giving this book 5 stars because the author is a friend. Otherwise I would be hard pressed to know how to rate it.

Here's an analogy: The Simpsons is funny right? Now what if it was a documentary, would you still think it was funny? I doubt it. It would just be sad and depressing. Anyway, that's this book.
Andre O. bueno
What an amazing book! Super funny and correct at the same time :) He exaggerates in his examples, but he doesn't make them up, they are all true :)

I really enjoyed reading this book.

Ah, and yes, I did this "Stupid, stupid decision to go to Grad School", but I like it very much :) It's not so bad as he tells in the book ^^
A very humorous take on what to expect in grad school. While laughing I actually found the book to be helpful because it opened my eyes to things I was completely unaware of like the thesis ordeal. After reading this book I still want to attend grad school, but at least now I kinda know more about what to expect.
Eh. I think going to grad school for a career type degree is different than going for an academic type degree, which is more of what this guy was talking about. I guess it was funny. I read it as an e-book, but kind of forgot about it. Sorry, Ruben.
I wish this book hadn't reminded me of my anxiety issues with grad school.

Leaving that aside, it gave some pretty good advice and managed to make grad school sound humorous (and desperate). Obviously, what's within won't be applicable to everyone. Still, I think some experiences are sadly universal.
This is a great book for anyone who's been in grad school! Hilarious illustrations and commentary about the idiosyncrasies of this... interesting... part of your life. Admittedly geared towards more research-oriented graduate programs than to professional ones, although most of it will still apply.
I read this book the month before I started grad school. It was HILARIOUS. At least one out-loud laugh on every page, and oh, so accurate. Highly recommended for anyone going to grad school, thinking about grad school, or who has suffered through grad school, no matter what discipline!
Very funny and a quick read.
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