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Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Drama: The Ph.D: Keeping Score

Written by  Sherri Mandell

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Drama: The Ph.D: Keeping Score

Note to the visitor: The italic subtext shows what the characters REALLY think, their inner dialogue.


Julie: All of a sudden you have to have a PhD. Isn't a master's degree enough?
I'm afraid you're going to move ahead of me intellectually and professionally.

Andre: Not if you want to do what I want to do.

Julie: You're never home now. You're either at work or at school. I never see you.
I'm afraid you won't have time for me.

Andre: That's why I want to do the degree. Then I can get all of school finished in one blow. And later, I can get a job where I won't be gone all of the time.
I want to be respected in my field.

Julie: And how are we going to live?
How am I going to live without you while you're so busy?

Andre: They'll give me a stipend. It'll be tight for a while. But after I finish, my salary will double.

Julie: I don't believe this. I don't want to support you through school. This isn't how we said it was going to be.
I want a choice in this.

Andre: They'll pay me. Not as much as I'm making now. But you know how much I want to research Alzheimer's. I can't pass up this opportunity.

Julie: You didn't even tell me you were applying.

Andre: I didn't think that I could get into Hopkins. I didn't want to upset you for no reason.
I didn't want to rock the boat. I didn't want to confront you.

Julie: I don't like you keeping things from me

Andre: Honey, this is an incredible opportunity. For both of us.
You need to be supportive.

Julie: I don't understand how you can think that this is going to be good for us. I have to move, leave my job and leave my sister. This is terrible for me. I'm going to be in strange place. What am I going to do there?
I'm worried that I'm going to feel all alone.

Andre: Same thing that you do here. You can always find a job as a nursery school teacher.
Your work isn't as important as mine.

Julie: I love my job. I don't want to leave it.

Andre: I know your job makes you happy. But there are more jobs for you.
You need to think about me.

Julie: You think that I should be ready to give up everything for you. Well, it's not that easy.
I don't want to sacrifice because that means I'm not as important as you.

Andre: If you loved me, if you trusted me, it would be.

Julie: Talk about twisting things. I'm supposed to change my entire life around. Follow you across the country. And you, what do you give up?
If I'm going to give something up, I want you also to give something up.

Andre: I'd like to stay here too. But it doesn't make sense now. It's not reasonable.
I don't want to listen to you anymore.

Julie: Just because I'm not going to get a PhD doesn't mean that I'm not reasonable. I am reasonable. And a reasonable thing to do would be to stay here in the house we bought and fixed up and made beautiful together. And it would be reasonable for me to keep teaching at Children's World and it would be reasonable to stay here where I have friends. That's what's reasonable.

Andre: Don't make me into a bad guy. I can't just give this up. Don't you understand?
I'm making this decision with you or without you.

Julie: No, I don't. I think you're being selfish.

Andre: If you don't want to come, stay home. Keep your job and your sister. But me, I'm going.
Don't try to hold me back.

Julie: I thought a marriage was about dialogue, about compromise. You're being a dictator. You're not giving me any say and I resent it. I resent it a lot.
You don't care about my needs at all.

Andre: There's nothing I can do about that.
I don't want to listen to you anymore.

Julie: Right. Nothing. (Sarcastically.) So go get your PhD. Then you'll be an expert -- an expert in Alzheimer's -- but you know nothing about love or marriage or life.
Just because you'll be more educated than me doesn't mean that you're really smarter because you have no emotional intelligence. At least I care about you.

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Last modified on Monday, 23 May 2011 05:44
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Sherri Mandell

Sherri Mandell

Sherri Mandell has a Master's degree in Creative Writing and has taught writing at the University of Maryland and Penn State University. She is the author of the book Writers of the Holocaust. She has written articles for the Washington Post. She is married with four children

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