Grad School Humor


What do you do when you get bored or worn out in between public defense and private (final) defense? Well, look up for the latest comics, of course!

[Credits to JORGE CHAM]

This is one of my favorites (it represents exactly what I / we typically do when I / we lose self-esteem, thinking “Will I / we ever survive this PhD?” :-/ )


Elsewhere on this blog, I’ve put some fun stuff I found on The Official PHD Comics Group in Facebook, but here are more that jibe with the cartoon above:

Reasons why getting your PhD is like “Lost”:

– You’re broke, hungry, stranded and stuck in one giant mystery

– The view never changes

– Sometimes your life depends on finding a constant

– Somehow you end up working for the guy you hate the most

– There is a crazy woman who has been here for 16 years

– If you’re in the lab long enough, taller ghost walt materializes out of nowhere and says “you’ve got work to do”

– Every problem that you solve brings up 10 new problems

– When (if) you leave, all you want to do is go back

– You’re pretty sure you’re in hell

– In both, survivors try to stay alive 😛

😉  😉  😉

Here’s another cool one:


More comics at

😉  😉  😉

Soon after I entered The Official PHD Comics Group in Facebook, a guy friended me.  He called himself “PhD Depression” (up till now I couldn’t quite make out his real identity).  But he’s so SMART! He put up his page to actually give us plenty TIPS!  I reproduce here an excerpt of his blog which has become a favorite of mine:


When starting this blog a few months ago, my goal was to alternate posts between those that document my struggle with PhD Depression and those that provide tips for surviving the PhD program.

I didn’t think it was useful to focus entirely on the negative and wanted to suggest some things that were helping me pull myself out of my all time low, which caused me to start this blog back in July.

I’ve collected the first 10 here for anyone who’s interested in getting an overview of what I said… As usual I’d love to hear feedback if this is useful or worthless or missing something that works for you.

Without further ado…

1. Write down your negative thoughts – Identify what it is that is really bothering you. It doesn’t have to just be a “dear diary” entry, I listed a few different ways to vent…

2. Workout – Get those natural endorphins going and remember that a healthy mind starts with a healthy body. If you suffer from workout motivation problems and/or time limitations like I do, I provided some tips for getting yourself to the gym…

3. Get Social – If you’re like most PhD students, your social life is probably suffering for a number of reasons. I give suggestions on little ways to improve your social life for a happier, more productive you:


Communicate electronically. Whomever thinks that e-communication is the downfall of society hasn’t been a stressed, overworked PhD student – for whom it can be a lifeline. Of course meeting in person or even talking on the phone is better than just keeping an electronic relationship with someone, but it is a great way to keep a lot of people up-to-date on your life and/or communicate quickly. Start a blog so everyone knows what’s going on, follow the blogs of others, tweet someone a quick hello, text a mass “Happy New Years” – these are not the actions that make a relationship deep or everlasting, but keeping up even small amounts of communication can keep you sane.

(To continue reading, click here:



😉  😉  😉




Is your JOY heteroskedastic? or homoskedastic?

*The homoskedasticity assumption states that “the variance of the unobservable error, u, conditional on the explanatory variables, is constant.”

Var (u | x1 , … , xk) = σ2

In the equation

wage = β0 + β1 educ + β2 exper + β3 tenure + u ,

homoskedasticity requires that the variance of the unobserved error u does not depend on the levels of education, experience, or tenure.

Homoskedasticity fails whenever the variance of the unobservables changes across different segments of the population, where the segments are determined by the different values of the explanatory variables.

For example, in a savings equation, heteroskedasticity is present if the variance of the unobserved factors affecting savings is not constant, e.g., increases with income.

Is your JOY heteroskedastic? or homoskedastic?

Joy equation

In the JOY equation above, our Model predicts that your level of Cheerfulness is a function of: wealth (the amount of money you have in your pocket), grace (which presumably is a function of how much you pray and your closeness to Jesus Christ and His mercy towards you), ambience (a.k.a. the environment or your surroundings), and struggle (the amount of fight [lucha], interior and exterior, you put in.  [What do you think are the magnitude and direction (+ or ) of β1, β2, β3, and β4?]

The error term, u, is supposed to capture all the other factors that explain ‘Joy’ that we may have failed to account for in our Model.  We can never really tell what we may have missed out on, unless we go on a Sherlock Holmes trek toward capturing what those true factors are in the population….

Let’s just hypothesize, for now, that one such factor is “doing an insanity-causing PhD [coursework or DISSERTATION]”.  Let’s set aside for the moment what the beta-coefficient of such a variable would be (although I surmise it’s a resounding NEGATIVE…).  Heteroskedasticity would be present if the variance in such an unobserved factor were to be non-constant, that is, it does not remain the same, i.e., σ2.

In layman’s terms: the “insanity-causing PhD” makes my life go haywire, and my relationship with it goes on a rollercoaster ride! 😦  ¿Entiendes? So, I therefore conclude … that my JOY is … heteroskedastic!!! Boo-hoo! T.T

Cosa facciamo? ¿Qué hacer? Hmm, I know! I’ve found another ‘hidden explanatory factor’ for our ‘Joy equation’ above: MUSIC!!! Let’s sing! ¡Vamos a cantar! Do you know the song “I Will Sing Forever”?  Here goes:

(If you have Finale Notepad, & you can’t find the score on the Internet, I can send you the Music Sheet (.mus file). Drop me an email…)


I will sing forever of Your love, O Lord;

I will celebrate the wonder of Your name;

For the word that You speak

is a song of forgiveness

and a song of gentle mercy and of peace.

Let us wake at the morning and be filled with Your love

and sing songs of praise all our days,

For Your love is as high as the heavens above us

and Your faithfulness as certain as the dawn.

I will sing forever of Your love, O Lord;

for You are my refuge and my strength

You fill the world with Your life-giving Spirit

that speaks Your word,

Your word of mercy and of peace.

And I will sing forever of Your love, O Lord

Yes, I will sing forever of Your love, O Lord!

🙂  🙂  🙂

I saw this just now, on “PhD Comics” group in FB,

in answer to the Forum question “You know you’re a PhD student when…”

“…you realize that you must use non-parametric test because the Ph.D life is not normally distributed”.  Hahaha!



🙂  🙂  🙂