Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Trust me, I'm a doctor

I have a Ph.D. Which is impressive, I guess. But I think that the process of going through graduate school sort of removes the mystery and glamour from having a Ph.D. Spending five to six years surrounded by Ph.D.’s and Ph.D. candidates drives home the fact that having a Ph.D. does not in any way guarantee having common sense.

At my graduation, the dean said that we would all finally be able to say those five words in the title. And, as doctors, we could now insist on being referred to as “Dr. So-and-So,” assuming we wanted to be pretentious jerks. I do not, but some members of my family make it a point to call me “Dr.,” like in the program at my brother’s wedding last summer. And of course, I like it.

Because even though I often forget that having Ph.D. is considered a big deal, I take comfort in the fact that my family is proud of me. My mom kept a copy of my thesis on the piano for about six months, and I had thought that the rest of my family was just as impressed. Fortunately, my pixie-like niece is around to keep me from getting a swelled head. She came over to visit me the other day, and had a question for me.

“Mo, how come you’re a doctor if you don’t do anything?”

If I only knew, Pixie Niece.

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