A crash course on graduate school by the professionals - Metro US

A crash course on graduate school by the professionals

At 73 and 81, Claremont Graduate University professors David E. Drew and Paul Gray have a lot of pent-up wisdom to offer. While both have authored scores of books in their fields of study — Gray on information sciences and Drew on math and science education — there’s no doubt that “What They Didn’t Teach You in Graduate School” is the most direct, practical, lighthearted thing either has ever penned.

Initially based on informal memos intended for their own students, “What They Didn’t Teach You” contains 299 snippets of career advice on everything from the wrong adjectives to use in a research paper to navigating the tenure track. “We’re two authors that have been in the business a long time, and have reflected on it, and we’re simply trying to share our best insights,” says Drew, who is still teaching with no plans for retirement. “When I was going through school, I worked at all kinds of jobs to earn money — from a paper mill, to operating a lathe, to being a bartender. In very few of those jobs is there an intrinsic pleasure to the work, but in being a professor there is.”

Laced with irreverent cartoons by Matthew Henry Hall, the 2.0 edition is nearly twice as thick as the 2008 model, with new insights on for-profit colleges and the reduction of tenured-track positions.

“I think there’s a need for a book like this in most fields,” says Drew. “In graduate study, people learn the theories, the models and literature — but they’re typically not told how the job actually works.”

Pro tip

David E. Drew’s advice: “Every paper can be published somewhere. Your first papers will be rejected. Don’t worry about this. View the reviewer’s complete misunderstanding of your brilliance as cheap editorial help.”

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