Amoeba’s Lorica: The Postdoc

notes (random)Sung to the tune of “The Boxer”, by (and with apologies to) Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel.

I’ve just been a college student
But my story’s oft mistold,
I have blown my credit rating
On the thumbnail of illusions they call promises.
All lies and jest,
Still we all hear what we want to hear
And disregard the rest

I came to the university
As no more than a child,
In the gentle care of TAs
Who knew little more than I knew but they said they did.
Playing pool, then at midnight going to the lab
Which others said was lame,
Seeking for the answers that would make my name.

Lie la lie …

Asking less than living wages
I’d come looking for a job
But I’d get no offers;
Just a pile of volunteering opportunities.
They all declared, they’d have room and bed and food for me
But I’d have to pay the fare
To get there

Lie la lie …

Then I’m sitting with a doctorate
Though I could have driven truck
And stayed home,
Where the debt and ‘now what?’ questions would not be grieving me,
Grieving me, hmm.

In the quad there stands a postdoc
Two-year contracts are his bane,
And he carries the reminders
Of every grant that failed
Of every resume rejected
‘Til he cries out in his rage
“I am leaving, I am leaving!”
But the postdoc yet remains
To find another lab …

Lie la lie …

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