Things they don't teach in grad school.
I don't like to wallow, though, so I've picked myself up and I'm working on a new grant application. How industrious of me, eh?
Nah, not really. This really falls under the heading of self-preservation.
In any case, while my Former Hypothetical Roommate as well as my Sainted Girlfriend often complain about my ability to write quickly (Woo-hoo, Blogging!) I do, fairly often, have bouts with the dreaded writer's block. It is, after all, difficult to come up with a delicate, yet assertive, way to beg strangers for money. (Hmmm... come to think of it- I should take a lesson from the experts.) My typical solution when I'm blocked is just to start writing, free-associating, and see what comes out. Often it's coherent, but it can take a while to circle around to useful material. In the meantime, though, I often end up with some fairly amusing stuff. This is one of those times.
And so, without any additional delay, I share with you the most awesome introduction to a grant application ever written:
I am a graduate student in sociology. As such, it is necessary for me to write grant applications and win funding with which to conduct research. Failure to win funding will result in a slow, languishing hell at the senior grad student levels, followed by the inevitable failure to obtain my Ph.D., the cutting of my stipend, and an eventual career at a community college. To avoid this fate, it is necessary that I somehow convince you, in ten measly pages, that I am a goddamned genius. This will prove difficult, as I am not a goddamned genius. I am, in fact, of rather modest intelligence and have come this far only due to my tenacity and my greater than average ability to communicate. So, in lieu of attempting to convince you that I am a genius, I choose a different path- I will attempt to convince you, in ten pages, that I will not stop sending you application materials until such time as you give me the money I require. Some might refer to this approach to grantsmanship as extortion, but I prefer the term, “committed.” My effort will proceed in several parts. First, I will explain the history of my time in graduate school and how I came to arrive here. Second, I will describe in great detail the tremendous hurdles that I currently face including, but not limited to, an advisor whose approach to our relationship can best be described as “benign neglect.” Third, I will describe the numerous ways in which I can express my need for funding to you. Fourth, I will present a credible argument explaining why I have the time and ability to harass you until you concede the necessity of granting me funding. Finally, I will conclude by summing up the existing arguments, and suggesting future directions for my efforts to secure funding including blackmail, racketeering, and graft. I hope that at the conclusion of this proposal you recognize the merits of this project and supply me with the requested funds.
So, whaddya think? Do I have a chance?