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23 Conversation Topics For Graduate Student Parties

23 Conversation Topics For Graduate Student Parties

  1. The relative quality and authenticity of the hummus sold at Trader Joe’s.
  2. The sociopolitical implications of commodity fetishism as demonstrated by the shopping habits of Lauren Conrad and Heidi Montag of MTV’s The Hills.
  3. Whether it is more accurate to call XYZ professor a Del Marxist or a Corona Del Marxist.
  4. Any topic that gives a wide berth to the ballerina outfit worn by the son of the two mommies who are hosting the party.
  5. Whether or not it is intellectually responsible to consider Mike Myers funny.
  6. The parking lot at Trader Joe’s and how insanely overcrowded it is.
  7. Who you are thinking of having on your dissertation committee.
  8. Why you voted yes on Prop 8. (Not because you are homophobic–in fact, in spite of the fact that you are gay–but because you reject the popularization of marriage among homosexuals because it promotes the supremacy of heteronormativity.)
  9. Why you are a member of the Green Party and how you are proud that you voted for Nader in 2000 (“Because there’s never a good time to introduce a third party candidate.”)
  10. Jealousy over who your friend has on their dissertation committee.
  11. Veiled questions regarding the distribution of fellowship funds.
  12. Veiled jealousy regarding the distribution of fellowship funds.
  13. Whether or not there is any more Two-Buck Chuck and, if not, is somebody going to get some?
  14. Whether the term “normative time” is yet another oppressive hegemonic ideal that inscribes us, and thereby concurrently demands our rejection of it.
  15. Anything that gives wide berth to the fact that Trader Joe’s employees are non-union, and that the chain is owned by a large German grocery store chain.
  16. Anything that allows one to use the term jouissance repetitively and without embarrassment, even (especially?) if they’re not really sure they understand what it means.
  17. The outrageousness of housing prices and why they justify taking out student loans that will take you well into your 40s to pay off. Or, possibly never, provided you actually get an academic job.
  18. Seriously, what’s the ETA on the Two-Buck Chuck?
  19. Thoughts on joining the Ptwitty Nation.
  20. The joys of working in an environment completely unaffected by the workings of the outside economy.
  21. Why Trader Joe’s uses the term “torte” to refer to both a cake product and a multi-layered dip that is eaten with pita chips.
  22. How funny it would be to make up an adaptation of Richard III set in your own English Department, with the resident ambitious professor cast in the title role.
  23. Whether it is still cool to drink absinthe now that it is more easily acquired without fellowship-funded trips to Europe.

Got a list to share? Here’s what to do:

  1. Write a “list” post on your blog.
  2. Copy this code, and paste in the text of your post:
  3. Either comment or email me at anna at abdpbt dot com to let me know you’re participating, and I’ll link you up below.

Check out these list lovers:

  1. ABDPBT Personal Finance
  2. Ginny Marie at Lemon Drop Pie
  3. Elizabeth at Half Baked, Twice as Good
  4. Ginger at Ramble Ramble
  5. Eliz at Tink’s Mom Dot Com
  6. Emily at I Did It For Me

Comments (21)

  1. Mar 16, 2009

    Seriously, I plan on going to Trader Joe’s today after my daughter’s dentist appointment. Never have I read so much about TJ’s in one blog post! I think I’ll get both kinds of torte….

    I have a list up this morning.

    Ginny Marie´s last blog post..3 Time Saving Tips

  2. Mar 16, 2009

    LMAO, what a funny post – and yet so true.

  3. Mar 16, 2009

    I have a list up – but it’s so not as funny as this one!

    Elizabeth´s last blog post..In a nutshell (somewhat)

  4. Mar 16, 2009

    Hilarious! Although it would look a lot different for the science/engineering crowd I ran with in grad school. Much nerdier. Much.

    Becca´s last blog post..And now he can SEE!

  5. Mar 16, 2009

    24. The inability of first and second years to pick up their print jobs from the shared printer, thereby putting everyone else’s free printing in jeopardy for next year.
    25. The true awfulness of the academic job market. Whether it is better to be on the job market right now or wait for another year.
    26. How much of your dissertation you should have in hand before you go on the job market.
    27. Which member of your committee will be poached by an Ivy League school next.
    28. If you are a defender of Woody Allen (his films are brilliant!) or a critic (he’s a pedophile and rapist!).
    29. The crowded conditions of the express bus from campus to Uptown. Don’t you think they should add another bus at rush hour?
    30. When we’re finally going to deal with the mess that is Pakistan. They have no border protection and they have the bomb. There’s rioting in the streets. What are we going to do?!

    NGS´s last blog post..45 x 365 #121

  6. Mar 16, 2009

    It’s funny ’cause it’s true. Especially 8 and 11. Love it.

    Becky´s last blog post..I Should’ve Liveblogged That Children’s Party

  7. Mar 16, 2009

    Why am I not surprised by the abundance of Trader Joe’s on this list?? Though I would think two buck chuck would have slipped in a few more times.

    I’m all listed up.

    Ginger´s last blog post..Happiness is a new place to live

  8. Mar 16, 2009

    throw in a few equations and discussions of lab testing and i have so been tyo this party.

    jenni´s last blog post..Miles: Three Months

  9. Mar 16, 2009

    With regard to #2… Once said partygoer has the audacity to mention The Hills in the company of academics, scoffing and appalled sneers will occur and a new conversation will sweep the room… one that involves the academic irresponsibility of TV viewing and IQ regression as proportionate to hours logged watching MTV.

    Been there.

    Freakin’ snobs and hypocrites. And then they go home and turn on porn.
    (not that there’s anything wrong with that)

    LY /PauvrePlume´s last blog post..Your plastic bags would look cooler as garland.

  10. Mar 16, 2009

    I’m gonna be giggling all day over “Corona Del Marxist.”

    J.´s last blog post..5 Things I’ll Miss About SoCal

  11. Mar 16, 2009

    Yeah, J, I’m craving a Corona del Marxist now.
    My brother was one of those absinthe-drinking hipsters for a while there. I’m sure he’s moved on to something equally obnoxious.
    Got a list up.

    eliz´s last blog post..10 Articles of Heinousness Witnessed at the Mall

  12. AKD
    Mar 16, 2009

    One is a torte (the cake), the other is a torta (the dip). Finally my TJMA comes in handy.

  13. Mar 16, 2009

    @AKD, yes, but it’s funnier if they are both called tortes. Poetic license. 🙂

  14. Mar 16, 2009

    P.S. Two-Buck Chuck is now Three-Buck Chuck. Is that just my TJ’s or has the price changed in CA as well?

    Ginny Marie´s last blog post..3 Time Saving Tips

  15. Mar 17, 2009

    Note to self: Do not mention to ABDPBT friends that I not only watch The Hills, but also The City.

    I am crushed to learn that Trader Joe’s is not, in fact, owned by a surfer dude named Joe who lives in, like, Redondo Beach or something.

    Kerry´s last blog post..Meet the Candidate Who Sent a Condom

  16. Mar 17, 2009

    @Kerry I watch The Hills, too. I’m still on Season 3, though.

  17. Mar 17, 2009

    @Anna and Kerry: Aww… my comment was vague and lame and now I think you think (awkward) that *I* am one of those sneering academics that disses MTV! NO NO NO! I’m the other one! The one that perhaps stupidly brings up The Hills at academic “parties” (assuming I actually feel social enough to attend, which almost never happens) and then gets ostracized because of it! THEY are the hypocrites!

    My Mondays would not be Mondays without L.C. and Whit and Stupid Speidi.
    Just like my Wednesdays would not be Wednesdays without Tyra and Mr. and Ms. Jay.


    LY /PauvrePlume´s last blog post..I have a stalker. Her name is Dr. Gina.

  18. Mar 17, 2009

    @LY, no I know you watch it! And I know exactly who you are talking about . . . the ones who are overly invested in the high/low culture divide. Obviously, I am not one of those people!

  19. Mar 18, 2009

    Oh, LY, I knew you watched it too. We’re cool.

    Smile with your eyes! 🙂

  20. Mar 21, 2009

    thanks for reminding me why I only went to Graduate School for Anti-intellectual Douchebags (law school).

    this reminds me of the old onion article about the grad student spending hours analyzing the takeout menu from the local mexican restaurant.

    jdg´s last blog post..

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