Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Things they don't teach in grad school.

As some of you may recall I was recently turned down for a grant. This is really not a new experience for me, as I have been turned down for numerous things including, but not limited to: dates, publications, sex, hikes, other grants, colleges, and grad schools. So, you might say I'm an old hand at rejection.

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?


Blogger Jordan Raddick said...

Do you think this approach will work with immigration officers too?

Monday, February 13, 2006 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

Oh Drek, been there.

That's why I vote for anyone burned by reviews to stop themselves from writing acriminious reviews when it's our turn.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 8:22:00 AM  

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