My friend JT emailed this link to me, out­lin­ing var­i­ous Advanced Sys­tems of Advanced Degrees. I thought I’d share this one here for your enjoyment:

Ter­mi­nal Grad­u­ate Paral­y­sis (TGP)
Indi­ca­tions: This chron­ic, debil­i­tat­ing, and some­times fatal con­di­tion rep­re­sents the most seri­ous and wide­spread of the many behav­ioral dis­or­ders fac­ing the grad­u­ate-stu­dent pop­u­la­tion. Symp­toms often appear in the fourth year of grad­u­ate study, though this can vary from dis­ci­pline to discipline.

Ear­ly signs are typ­i­cal­ly mild and there­fore eas­i­ly over­looked or ignored. These often include a sub­tle shift in media-con­sump­tion habits, from Nation­al Pub­lic Radio to South Park, and from pro­fes­sion­al jour­nals to extreme-makeover tele­vi­sion. More seri­ous symp­toms include com­pul­sive reti­tling of the dis­ser­ta­tion; a patho­log­i­cal over­in­vest­ment of time in TA-ing; a ten­den­cy to mis­place rou­tine­ly or oth­er­wise lose or oblit­er­ate thou­sands of hours of work as a result of alleged com­put­er fail­ures (clin­i­cians inves­ti­gat­ing these mishaps fre­quent­ly find sus­pi­cious­ly muti­lat­ed hard dri­ves). Advanced symp­toms include sub­stan­tial­ly impaired per­for­mance on all cog­ni­tive tasks; hyper­anx­i­ety and night sweats; bib­lio­pho­bia; com­ma-shift­ing mania; and a marked advis­er-avoid­ance response. At its most extreme, suf­fer­ers dis­play a deer-in-the-head­lights appear­ance; epis­te­mo­log­i­cal apha­sia (the con­vic­tion that one no longer knows any­thing); mor­bid feel­ings of lack of self-worth often accom­pa­nied by para­noiac delu­sions of vic­tim­iza­tion; a deep­en­ing of syn­tac­tic tor­pid­i­ty (the loss of the abil­i­ty to write clear­ly, sim­ply, and, ulti­mate­ly, at all); a resur­gence of teenage acne; even renewed thumb-suck­ing and bed-wet­ting. Fail­ure to File (F2F) rep­re­sents a par­tic­u­lar­ly heart­break­ing, and dim­ly under­stood, form of TGP, in which the suf­fer­er mys­te­ri­ous­ly dis­ap­pears on the eve of fil­ing the com­plet­ed dis­ser­ta­tion, or oth­er­wise inex­plic­a­bly decides to “tight­en” the argument.

4 thoughts on “TGP

  1. Rob — from the web­site: “Treat­ment: In its advanced stages, TGP is con­sid­ered untreat­able. For ear­ly-stage suf­fer­ers, long walks in open farm­land accom­pa­nied by a com­plete ter­mi­na­tion of parental finan­cial sup­port has proved effec­tive. Appli­ca­tion to law school has also been known to offer relief.”

  2. I am so glad I have a name to put to the ail­ment! I have seen sev­er­al walk­ing the halls with many of these symp­toms. Poor suckers.

  3. well we have farm­lands and moun­tains with didi­cat­ed hik­ing trails! Any time you need a treatment!!

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