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The Black Sheep Interviews: A Lowly UNT Grad Student


Ever thought about what it’s like to pursue a master’s degree at UNT? The Black Sheep sat down with graduate student and vintage troll doll collector Brian Pickles to find out.


The Black Sheep: What would you say to a young Eagle who wants to pursue their passion through a master’s degree?  

Brian Pickles: You can’t have passion anymore. If you have passion that means you love something, and if you love something you’re gonna have to destroy it. All that feeling and passion wakes up your soul, and you can’t have that in graduate school…so you have to kill it.


TBS: Personally, I like to cut myself and pour sriracha sauce on the wound to mentally prepare myself for a challenge. How can students prepare for the challenge of a masters program?

BP: Are you familiar genital piercing? I like to take a ten-penny nail and a 24 ounce hammer and just make it look like a bowl of cottage cheese down there.


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TBS:  How is the application process?

BP: Mine was unique in that it was more like a headfirst slide through a stain glass window across a bed of hot coals, so not bad, Although after the application you have to pass the GRE.


TBS: What is the GRE?

BP: The Graduate Readiness Extermination — I mean Examination. It’s where you barf up the accumulated knowledge of your childhood onto a piece of paper. I did horrible on the math section. I heard there are second graders in third world countries that got higher math scores than I did.


TBS: But UNT still accepted you?

BP: Mediocrity is the norm these days.


TBS: At what point in the application process does the cage fight with Denton’s feral cat population come in?

BP: That’s actually how you’re assigned a master professor — the professor that’s gonna guide you through the program. They shove you into a boarded up house wearing nothing but tighty whities and extra virgin olive oil. From there it’s kind of a Hunger Games situation between you and the cats.


TBSHow does graduate school differ from Girl Scouts?

BP: There’s no camping trips, but there are Do-si-dis and Thin Mints.


TBS:  Why don’t you describe the process of becoming a Teaching Assistant.

BP: It begins with an aptitude for poverty. And then they take advantage of your lust for knowledge and your aptitude for poverty by saying “we’ll give you a little bit of money if you teach some classes…we’ll even pay some of your tuition, just a tiny bit.” And you have to agree to it cuz you’re so poor you can’t afford to rent a U-Haul and leave.


TBSIs there a rehabilitation program at the end to re-introduce you to civil society? Or do they just release you out into the wild?

BP: Some people find religion, some people take Prozac, others go to jail for various crimes. For me, it’s alcoholism.


TBSWhat’s it like being around undergrads.

BP: As a grad student you’re disconnected from everything, it’s kind of like being in a mental institution. But you’re not the psychiatrist and you’re not one of the patients, you’re like an orderly. Everybody hates you and you have control over nothing.


TBSWhere do UNT grad students typically go drinking?

BP: Grad students are not supposed to imbibe alcohol. The only thing we’re allowed to drink is certain flavors of kool aid, I’m assuming one day we’re gonna get the Jonestown flavor.


TBSWhat are your plans after graduation?

BP: I’m thinking if  I can’t find the best job on the planet that immediately erases the mountain of debt that I will be dragging behind my ass for the rest of my life, I’ll probably just go into crab fishing. It’s the best because you could possibly die, and there’s crabs!


Hope this interview leaves you ready and anxious to dive right into grad school, UNT undergrads! It’s definitely a viable option after graduating. DEFINITELY. 

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