October 25, 2004

The Other IT

Can't but feel sympathetic for those poor souls who don't finish grad school. So I'm all for the happy-happy advice that the Salon columnist provided to the flunk-ee in question, especially since she was a casualty of Caltech grad school. She's a wonderful mother, and the columnist advised her to use her empathy and intellect to educate and help other people, which are awesome things one can do even without some fancy-schmancy PhD. On the other hand, I got a little bit of a kick out of this:

When I was in high school, my teachers assured me that my career in science was clear and I was bright and would do great things. I applied and got into MIT. There are very smart people at MIT and I'm not a MacArthur fellow by any stretch, so I worked really hard and again, although less enthusiastically, I got recommendations to go into science graduate school. I went on to Caltech grad school. And there I floundered. I had finally whittled down my competition to the 0.05 percent of the smartest people on the planet. I tried really, really hard, but I started getting 17 percent on exams, D's in classes and I failed my qualifying exams. Such a good student, and I failed out of school.

Well, everyone knows that Caltech undergrads are much smarter than the grad turkeys. So by the Transitivity of Anecdotal Evidence, Caltech undergrads must be much smarter than MIT undergrads. So there.

Posted by mikewang on 10:04 AM