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Grad School Fool

by niteowl


The lab is loaded up
 with gadgets all around
yet somehow what you need
will never be found 
 
The colors look so pretty
but what do they mean? 
And how is it all so dirty 
when all you do is clean?
 
Chorus
Go to grad school
and you're just a fool.
Are you doing science
or are you just a tool?
 
Nobody knows what they're talking about 
Advisor says they all just do and don't think
"If you're published in Nature, then you're just a dumb lout"
Everyday my confidence starts to shrink 
 
I stare at my model script hoping it will run
But MATLAB says "Matrix appears badly scaled".
Trying to debug it just isn't much fun. 
I keep editing but it always fails 
 
Go to grad school
and you feel like a fool.
Are you doing science
or are you just a tool? 
 
This mess will be a paper somehow, someday
You don't get to defend any other way
I might get out in 5 to 10, I think
but till then I guess I'll have another drink
 
Go to grad school
and you feel like a fool.
Are you doing science
or are you just a tool?


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Sun Aug 09, 2015 10:56 am
Mysticalxx says...



Haha, funny poem! You used the type of humour called DISCREET yet WITTY. :) I like it very much. I skimmed through your other works too, which were really deep (which is good) and I was looking for something lighthearted. And I found it! Yay. :)

Keep it up!

Mysticalxx




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Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:36 pm
Charlie II wrote a review...



Hey niteowl!

The feel of this reminded me a lot of PhD Comics which I'm sure you'll appreciate. That is, if you don't already know about it.

I think the strongest parts of your poem are when you put in specific gags. The badly scaled matrix is a great example of science-geek humour because it does actually appear to be an error message in MatLab (though not one that I've ever come across). It's also clear that it's not a good thing so non-science readers will be able to appreciate it. I'm not sure I get why getting a Nature publication makes you a dumb lout though!

Be careful not to let the rhymes control the poem. Sure you'll have to adjust your phrasing to fit the rhyme-scheme -- but try and retain the idea or the message because that's the core. I think your "bewildered grad-student" tone is appealing and funny. The rhyme of "school" and "fool" really makes me happy -- they are nice almost-opposite words to link together.

Your rhyme scheme is pretty good and although there are a few lapses it's okay because it generates the right feel. If we were going to be really picky then I might point out that the syllable counts of each line aren't consistent. This is something that you can use to reinforce the funny feel of the poem.

If we look at the chorus, and you read it aloud, then I think you'll find that the 6 syllables of each of the last two lines work well together because they're regular. I like 6s and 8s but if you experiment with the counts then you might find you can get it to sound more regular and rhythmic.

Other than that, this is pretty cool. :) I do hope "the mess" eventually becomes a paper for you! It sounds like you deserve it (if this is all personal experience). Happy writing!




niteowl says...


Thanks for reviewing! I admit I'm not the best at rhyming. The "matrix appears badly scaled" is a shortened version of one I've been getting lately that says "WARNING: Matrix appears singular or badly scaled." And the Nature thing...my advisor is critical of everyone, but especially those who get published in Nature or Science. He thinks they're too general, don't have enough data, the editors don't understand the field, etc. Thanks again!



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Tue May 28, 2013 4:26 am
Lava says...



Oh MATLAB. Bane of my existence. >.<

LOVED this! :D




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Mon May 27, 2013 11:57 pm
speakerskat wrote a review...



Hello there Kat here to review for ya ;)

First can I just say this was LAUGH OUT LOUD FUNNY! And so true XD though....Have I been to grad school..? Anyhow...

Your rhyming was a little messed up because in some stanza's you had A/A/B/A or A/A/B/B etc. so I would consider moving some lines around to make that line up a little better although I don't think it really detaches from your lyrics. You had very nice meter however you might want to delets just a couple extra words here and ther to make it flow a little smoother. Overall I really enjoyed this piece and look foward to reading more from you!

~Speakerskat




niteowl says...


Thanks! I don't think you've been to grad school...it's what scientists do after they graduate college/university. I could work on the rhyming though.




Treat all disasters as if they were trivialities but never treat a triviality as if it were a disaster.
— Quentin Crisp