Post Academic

Can We Ban the Connection Between Grad Students and Coffee Jockeys? Please?

Posted in Surviving Grad School by Caroline Roberts on April 7, 2010
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Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox ExtensionIn a recent Gawker post on how more students from other countries are entering American graduate programs, commenters immediately linked grad students to coffee jockeys. Grad school clichés follow:

“One of the tiny, tiny comforts of being a science grad student as opposed to liberal arts is that you know after it’s all said and done and you got a little more stipend than the others you can at least get a post doc…maybe. And what will the English grad students do? Coffee shop most probably.”

“Hey look at me, I’ve got a pony-tail and made $3000 last year.”

“When I went to grad school, I remember that students returning to their countries had some pretty effin cool gigs lined up whereas those staying in the U.S. were scrambling for the last few teaching jobs/starbucks barista positions.”

“I’ll have a grande caramel CPA, thanks. Hold the core classes.”*

Fair enough that grad students don’t get jobs easily, nor do they tend to get lucrative jobs, but I don’t know anyone who worked in a coffee shop. Most of the people I knew in grad school tutored or taught SAT classes. Where did the coffee shop idea come up? And what’s so bad about a coffee shop?**