by Julie Vick
Are you deep in the middle of writing your dissertation and feel you are far removed from normal life? Or might you be an undergrad wondering what graduate school is really like (or at least want to appreciate the funny side of academic endeavors)? If so, take a break and have a laugh with Piled Higher and Deeper, a comic strip written about life in the trenches of graduate student-hood. Jorge Cham, the author of Piled Higher and Deeper got his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University, and was a full-time Instructor and researcher at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) from 2003-2005. His strips have been collected into three published books and a fourth is due out soon. Jorge spoke at Penn last year to an overflowing room of more than 200 people.
If you’re a first-time reader, there’s a page to check where you can find out about the characters and link to the most popular strips.
Not only are the comics themselves great to read but so is the fan mail:
“Oh God, it hurts! It’s all so true, and so evil! I can’t tell whether I should be laughing or crying in sympathy” -Chemistry grad from Caltech
“Your comic strip rocks. I’ve decided not to go to grad school.” -Elect. Eng. undergrad from Yale U.
“Everybody in my lab loves your work. The songs help soothe the hurt when my experiments fail and I think about the next 6 yrs here” -Microbiology grad from NYU
Give yourself the gift of laughter and spend a little time with PHD!