Hilarious But True · You Know You're a Political Scientist When...

You Know You’re a Political Scientist When… (MPSA Edition)

  1. You always forget how pretty the ceilings are in the Palmer House, but you NEVER forget how slow the elevators are.
  2. The discussions on Poli Sci Rumors about the best hookers in Chicago no longer shock or surprise you.
  3. Your entire trip to Chicago is filled with back-to-back cocktail hours with grad school friends, co-authors, former coworkers, current coworkers, and other “networking” opportunities.   “Dry Second Half of April” is the Political Scientist version of “Dry January.”
  4. More than half of your events in #3 involve a woman and a man having drinks unsupervised. Mike Pence would not approve.
  5. And you’re officially a political scientist when you’ve graduated from starstruck grad student to confident scholar at the bar. Now you’re the one the grad students ask for career advice (while hitting on you).
Hilarious But True · You Know You're a Political Scientist When...

On Political Science Rumors

Oh, Political Science Rumors.

I heard about you in grad school. You were whispered about by the other grad students- no one wants to be overheard talking about you- and I had to find you ASAP. A place where people in my exact position, my exact place in life, engage in gossip about jobs, journals, and senior scholars? Whoever gave birth to you was a genius.

And in our first days together, I was so in love. I compulsively checked in with you every morning, to see if a job I’d applied for was mentioned. You are where I find out about Michael LaCour, where I learned that supposedly Yale isn’t that good (it really isn’t), where I consoled myself after interviews gone bad. Even after I began my full time tenure track job, I still hit you up, because you can be a really good time!

But, as in all toxic relationships, the cracks that I had always known about but tried to pretend didn’t exist grew too large to ignore. You tend to spend a lot of time on Nazi talk. You are also extremely sexist, which is a big problem for me. A lot of your more terrible discussions end up deleted by the mods, but then your other friends complain about how aggressive and mean the mods are. It’s like the third most popular thing to post about (dear God, leave the poor mods alone- they’re doing this for FREE).

So even though I know you’re terrible, I just can’t close the door on you. If I have the time to sift through all your garbage, I can sometimes find a really useful thread I can totally relate to, because the exact same issue has occurred to me. I want to leave you for good, but then I remember the good times we used to have and I grow nostalgic. (This happens a lot after I’ve been drinking wine and grading papers, and want to know I’m not alone.) What if you’ve changed for the better? What if you teach me something new? I can’t miss that!


You Know You're a Political Scientist When...

You Know You’re a Political Scientist When… (part 4)

10. you see the hashtag “#SAS” and wonder why statistical software people keep talking about cruise ships (… oh wait, that’s Semester At Sea, got it)

11. an acquaintance says, “So what would actually happen if we get rid of NAFTA?” and you just can’t bring yourself to answer.

12. during the Student Conduct appeal you had to sit through, you find yourself referring to the full appeals panel as the “en banc session.”

13. you are having to rewrite all of your lectures this semester (scratch this section on judicial independence, oh and that section on presidential campaigning, and this lecture on states as unitary rational actors).

You Know You're a Political Scientist When...

You Know You’re a Political Scientist When… (President Trump’s First Week Style)

  1. You’re keeping a running tally of the American and international institutions that have been undermined, insulted, or simply shut down since Trump was sworn in (current count: at least 9).
  2. You compare the inaugural speech (#America, baby) to previous speeches and, using that prior, estimate executive orders that will be issued in the first 100 days.
  3. You think about how, in the current geopolitical climate, an inaugural parade with the president in open air is just asking for an assassination attempt- and what that might mean for the rule of law in the United States (probably not good things).
  4. You see all your colleagues at the Women’s March downtown (except the public choice guy).
  5. When you write about any or all of these observations on social media, some idiot pisses you off- not because he disagrees with you, but because he called what you do political “science.”
  6. You’re as scared about social science research funding as Trump is of that bald eagle (and actually having to run the country).


You Know You're a Political Scientist When...

You Know You’re a Political Scientist When… (Star Wars Style)*

  1. You try to predict the actions of an inter-species supra-planetary organization using game theory and the United Nations as a proxy.
  2. You laugh at the idea of a Senate accomplishing anything, especially the protection of basic civil liberties like the ability to dissent.me-i-promise-i-wont-get-all-political-3-drinks-3802214

3. You understand that taking out a head of state (the emperor) usually causes a power vacuum, allowing organized extremists (the First Order) to flourish (so you totally knew how Episode 7 was going to turn out).


* We understand this makes us nerds… hot ones.

You Know You're a Political Scientist When...

You Know You Teach Intro Methods When…

  1. Your teaching evaluations take a huge nosedive in the semesters you have to teach it to undergrads.
  2. You get really excited explaining WHY the correlation coefficient formula works. Sometimes you demonstrate it enthusiastically on a cocktail napkin, and your fellow scholars treat you like a high schooler who thinks she’s discovered U2.
  3. You’re constantly on the lookout for journal articles with simple methods so you can use them in class. Does no one use regular old OLS anymore? (if y’all know any, give us a shout in the comments!)
  4. Grad students in the department come to you with their multinomial logits, and you’re the first faculty member to notice they’re still coding country as an ordinal variable.
  5. You have the formula for chi square memorized but you’ve forgotten what MLE stands for.
  6. You still somehow feel you’re better at methods than all those “fancy advanced methods” people anyway.
You Know You're a Political Scientist When...

You Know You’re a Political Scientist When… (part 3)

7. you think saying “your causal arrow is going the wrong way” is an appropriate response in all situations, including at the Parent/Teacher Conference.

8. pillow talk includes discussion of cross sectional time series data.

9. you Google “does waterboarding work” and “how to make a bomb ISIS.” For your CLASS.  To teach your STUDENTS.  We swear, NSA, we aren’t waterboarding our failed majors!