Ali in PhDland: White Rabbit

Alice in Wonderland

When I was about 6, my dad bought me a Priory Classics edition of Alice in Wonderland. Buying that with my dad is one of my favorite memories. The book, that I had picker rather randomly, ended up being one of my favorites. I read it over and over again, and I still have it.

In the book, the first character that you encounter from Wonderland is a little white Rabbit. This rabbit is dressed in a waistcoat and holding a pocket watch. But the strangest thing is not the rabbit being dressed that way, or even having a watch. The strangest thing is how the rabbit is in a hurry. This image has never ceased making me laugh. I mean, how can a rabbit be in a hurry? It’s a rabbit! But this white rabbit, or White Rabbit, as he is known through the book, is evidently in a hurry, continuously speaking about how late he is.

In the original edition, and the one I have, the White Rabbit looked like this.

Pencil Sketch of a rabbit in a waistcoat looking at a pocketwatch

White Rabbit Original Illustration

The Grad School

I am very fond of saying that I am chronologically a 2nd year PhD student but functionally a 4th Year student. The reason being that I was admitted to the inaugural batch of the PhD Program in Bioinformatics at the University of Toledo. I had completed my Masters in Bioinformatics, the highest degree in Bioinformatics that they offered. This meant that:

  • I could shave off 30 credits from the 90 credit requirement for the PhD
  • I had already completed the core courses that were required for the PhD as those were shared with the Masters program

The net result of this was that I had an incredibly low course load and was able to dedicate myself fully to research. This meant that I was a part of quite a few collaborations, all needing different things done. At times like this, I do feel like that poor White Rabbit who is always running and always late.

Before you go, here’s a video of the White Rabbit from the 1951 Disney movie. I love the way he says “I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date. No time to say hello, goodbye, I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!”

So long, and thanks for all the fish.