A Grad Student's Wife

Being the wife of a Grad Student is complicated. The road is long and very unpredictable.
Fellow grad students expect you, as the wife of an intelligent grad student, to care about their subject with the same amount of passion and increased use of difficult vocabulary words that they have.  I care about their topics but the increased use of large words makes it hard to fully understand what they are saying. Sometimes, due to my lack of vocabulary, I feel like they could be talking in a different language. At that point, I use the smile and nod technique. I try to stray the conversation away from academics and large words and start talking about a good recipe that I newly tried or how taking pictures is such an expression of art. I even once told a great story that I had recently read out of Glamour Magazine. Everyone seemed to do the smile and nod thing to me. I am not your typical Graduate Student’s Wife and I find most of the topics that they discuss to be rather hard to understand and quite frankly, boring.

When you are a wife of a grad student you host dinners, go to dinners, BBQ’s, and other social gatherings. You have to act really engaged when your husband starts talking about his research and you have to be ready at any moment to read, edit, and critique (fine line of criticizing his intellectual mind to analyzing a couple words) 30 pages of lots and lots of scholarly words. Why is it that when people write an intellectual scholarly paper they have to use so many big adjectives. Most academic papers are filled with a paragraph of thought mixed in with so many gigantic adjectives that you miss what the whole paper is even about.  Sometimes that is how I feel about hubby’s papers. But I realize this must mean that his paper must be extremely academically written (is that even a correct sentence?).

I admit, there are times when I daydream about what will be on Grey’s Anatomy or what I will be making for dinner at times of academic conversations between the hubby and I. However, I truly do love my hubby’s work and research. He is superb at what he does and I could not be a prouder wife. And somehow we make our differences in the intellectual area work really well.

The hubby has made it to the last semester of course work. Which means that this is the last semester that he has to take any classes. The next however many years will consist of teaching, researching, and writing his dissertation. This semester is supposed to be a little more relaxing then that past 5. And by relaxing I mean he now will have time to read lots and lots of books.  Again, I am so extremely proud of my HUBBY and all his determination and hard work. Cheers to him…

Cheers to the last semester of course work, and cheers to me and to all the wives of a graduate student - for dealing with the many up’s and down’s of higher education.

 This picture was taken when we first arrived to New Jersey 2 1/2 years ago. 


Stephanie the PW said...

This post spoke to my heart!!! Yep, I'm convinced that we are sort of the same person! haha :) I'm glad you found my old blog, A Grad Student's Wife - thanks for all of the wonderful comments. There are lots of wives out there just like us, it's very surprising. Good luck with the couple of phases of this big process!

kitty Cat said...

I feel the same way! As the wife of a 2nd year biology grad student on the East Coast (all our family is in the midwest), I feel the same struggles and differences while trying to socialize with the PhD crowd. It really helps to know there are others in the same boat and that I'm not alone!

Sabrina said...

I came across your blog today and I felt a sense of relief after reading it. My husband is a PhD student and is in the comprehensive exam and research phase. We moved from the US to Taiwan 8 months ago so he good further his research and career. At times, although I do find his work fascinating, I really do struggle. I can't tell just you how much I appreciate your honesty. I'd love to talk to you more about it. Thanks so much! :) Sabrina

The Brooks Family said...

Sabrina, I started writing you an email but you didn't leave your email address. Send me an email with your info. I would love to chat.