Our August Summer Session is all about different forms of education, pedagogy, and the nexus of art and school. Today we direct our readers to a crowdsourced how-to guide on preparing for grad school while poor. Originally started as a public GoogleDoc by PhD Karra Shimabukuro based on her own experiences, the guide became so popular and gained so many contributors that she eventually moved the document to its own Wiki. For many, graduate school can be an enormous financial burden, but it can also be a critically important part of an artistic practice—we here at Daily Serving hope that this guide can help make pursuing an MFA or PhD more accessible.

art school owl

Art School Owl meme, via Tumblr.

From the homepage of the How to Prep for Grad School if You’re Poor Wiki, founder Karra Shimabukuro has this to say about the project:

I have blogged and tweeted a lot during my PhD experience about the ways my (self-identified) socio-economic, and cultural status has affected me and my experience in a thousand different ways. From not understanding social norms, to not getting jokes or references, to feeling like I was constantly playing catch-up, these issues have impacted my PhD studies and my professionalization. So one day on Twitter (during #ScholarSunday) I commented about how this affected those of us who were poor, and started a Google Doc/conversation about what would happen if we started a primer for other students like us. What would this primer look like?

In just three days the document exploded (you can see the original document here). It consistently had 100 people in it, crashing Google Docs for most of the third day. It went up to over 62 pages. Despite using bookmarks and headings it was becoming unwieldy. Robbie Fordyce @r4dyc had the idea to transition the information to a wiki. So here we are. My hope is that this space will serve as a more stable, and easily navigated resource for students (MAs, MFAs, and PhDs) who are attending grad school and are poor or working class.

Click here to go to the full guide.