There are so many different kinds of grad school programs, it makes giving grad school survival advice a tricky thing. So Adam Ruben takes a tongue-in-cheek approach that’s light on the actual, practical advice, and heavy on the humor. The result is a very funny, entertaining read and a light-hearted gift choice for the new college grad headed for grad school.
September 10, 2015
Then there was Adam Ruben. One of Mortified DC’s producers, it seems teenage Adam fancied himself a young Charles Bukowski, writing poems with opening lines like “To have sex with a mountain” and “Up and left, and up and right, and right and wrong.” He even wrote a poem made up entirely of punctuation marks, claiming in earnest that it was “about fish.”
July 23, 2015
But despite this extensive resume, Ruben isn’t Comedy Central-famous, which makes the series of stories about his worst stand-up gigs feel more authentic than romanticized.
July 13, 2015
I was interviewed for an article about everyone’s favorite topic, preparedness for grad school.
Ruben was endearing and enjoyable to watch through it all. He had just the right mix of funny quips and stories from his past years as a comedian to engage the audience throughout.
July 11, 2015
As a performer, Ruben is very likable. Unlike some comics that hammer you to death in delivery, Ruben just tells his stories and the laughs come very naturally. Overall Adam Ruben and I Feel Funny: True Misadventures in Stand-Up Comedy is thoroughly enjoyable and definitely worth checking out as part of your Fringe going experience.
[Ruben's] essential earnestness and humility exude through his one-man show, I Feel Funny: True Misadventures in Stand-Up Comedy.
July 9, 2015
Co-interview with storyteller Cara Foran about our upcoming shows in the 2015 Capital Fringe Festival.
July 3, 2015
July 2, 2015
Article about scientists with nonscientific hobbies, including a boxer-physicist, a biker-chemist, a skydiver-biologist, and me.
June 5, 2015
May 26, 2015
“I had a student once who gave me a recommendation letter to write at 3:30 p.m. after class ended and she said it was due at 5 p.m,” says Ruben, adding that he agreed to do it, but had to rush.
May 14, 2015
April 16, 2015
Interview with Story League founder Scott Shrake on the differences between stand-up comedy and comedic storytelling.
March 16, 2015
January 21, 2015
Interview is on page 9.
November 11, 2014
TheArtCareerProject.com discusses how to become a stand-up comedian.
September 16, 2014
Brief preview of my keynote at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
August 6, 2014
Writer, storyteller, comedian and…molecular biologist? Yes, you read that correctly. Adam Ruben doesn’t discriminate when it comes to professions, and he’s proven that science and comedy can be symbiotic.
August 1, 2014
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center’s official newsletter. See page 9.
July 14, 2014
March 26, 2014
Interview with BYT for storytelling tips as part of their Comedy Guide for Spring/Summer 2014.
February 5, 2014
I was interviewed for an article about bad grad school workplace situations.
January 30, 2014
Article about the 10-year anniversary of my stand-up comedy class at Johns Hopkins.
January 17, 2014
Story League’s podcast features my story, “Vermontster Under the Bed,” about harrowing experience at a bed-and-breakfast. (Click on the episode called “Nightmares.”)
December 26, 2013
December 21, 2013
August 28, 2013
“As it is right now, scientific advances are communicated by scientific journals, which are really only read by the scientists. Those are sometimes picked up by mainstream reporters, and in that whisper-down the-lane translation process a lot of things get misinterpreted. A lot of times the most frivolous but interesting parts get played up, and you lose what it’s actually worth.”
July 22, 2013
I was interviewed as part of a panel on geek-on-geek bullying in conjunction with ComiCon.
July 5, 2013
June 20, 2013
I think I always knew I’d someday get my Ph.D., because it just seemed like the thing you do if you like school—you stay in it until you’ve earned the highest possible degree in your field.
June 10, 2013
For reasons that are still not entirely clear to me, I was quoted as a biochemistry expert in an article about seitan.
April 23, 2013
“Free food tastes better than food you buy.” And other advice.
January 29, 2013
The University of Tennessee-Knoxville previews my February 2013 performance.
January 16, 2013
Video interview on Katie Davis‘s “Brain Burps about Books” video podcast.
January 2, 2013
My book, Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School, is referenced in #5 (“To suffer”).
December 28, 2012
For the second straight year, three of the year’s most popular articles were in Adam Ruben’s “Experimental Error” series.
December 1, 2012
A video inspired by a SCRABBLE® story from Washington, D.C., SCRABBLE® club member Adam Ruben won the first contest sponsored by a D.C. storytelling organization called SpeakeasyDC involving the quick production of a movie based on a story. (See pp. 40-41)
November 15, 2012
Ruben, a stand-up comedian and a molecular biologist, told a story about trying to find the right Christmas presents for his hard-to-please ex-girlfriends. The story begins with humor but turns poignant when Ruben realizes the right woman is one who doesn’t care what the present is, as long as it’s meaningful.
November 9, 2012
This quirky middle school science demonstration gone wrong is hilarious, has a great message, and is a lot of fun. Kids in the audience were laughing just as hard as adults. Don’t miss it!
November 7, 2012
Adam Ruben, a scientist with Sanaria of Rockville, demonstrates to Forest Oak Middle Schools students how a balloon dipped in liquid nitrogen becomes small and wrinkled because of the cooling, then quickly expands again as it warms up.
November 1, 2012
HuffPo names “Dr. Science’s Science Time Science-va-ganza!” one of the top 5 picks for 11/1/12.
October 12, 2012
October 4, 2012
Over the next month, as preparation for our first storytelling workshop, “Spotlight on You” on October 13th, we will be featuring the four Better Said Than Done storytelling teachers. And now, introducing, Adam Ruben!
July 29, 2012
It is hard to explain adequately, but this is one of the funniest shows I have seen all year – and the word got out because the final performances all sold out early. There is a theme to “Dr. Science” about how science is always about asking new questions. The theme I took out of the show was that when you have three talented comic actors on stage, literally anything can happen.
July 28, 2012
July 26, 2012
Apparently reading my book, Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School, is #15.
July 21, 2012
The worst thing about Dr. Science’s Science Time Science-va-ganza! is that it’s only an hour long.
July 19, 2012
Dr. Science’s Science Time Science-va-ganza! Is One of Maryland Theatre Guide‘s Top 5 Shows of the Week
Last year, Adam Ruben made me laugh out loud during his one man show called Please Don’t Beat Me Up: Stories and Artifacts from Adolescence at the Capital Fringe. This year he is back with his usual geeky humor!
July 15, 2012
Dr. Science’s Science Time Science-va-ganza may well be the funniest production I have ever experienced at CapFringe.
July 12, 2012
Remember how awesome Mr. Wizard was? Well, the dudes behind this show are taking that inspiration and turning it up to 11. Brace yourselves. Lots of dry ice is involved.
Huffington Post Names Dr. Science’s Science Time Science-va-ganza! One of Its Top 10 Fringe Festival Picks
Story tellers Adam Ruben and Chuck Na produce and star in this parody of science demonstrations. Baking soda volcanoes, dry ice and everything that made science class fun entertains until something goes wrong.
July 9, 2012
I became a scientist partially because I was lied to. And you all know the liar I’m talking about–the guy in the lab coat who comes to your class in third grade, dips a rose in liquid nitrogen, and smashes it with a hammer. “THAT’s science?” the kids say. “I love science!”
July 2, 2012
July 1, 2012
Central and Western Maine’s news source previews my one-man show, coming to the Islesboro Community Center on 7/6/12 and Celebration Barn in South Paris on 7/7/12.
June 14, 2012
Interview on William Powell’s Inside Acting Blog Talk Radio program.
June 1, 2012
Newsletter of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) reviews my keynote address at the 15th annual NIEHS Biomedical Career Fair. See page 6.
May 25, 2012
In this interview for the AAAS podcast, I discuss my latest “Experimental Error” column in Science.
May 4, 2012
SpeakeasyDC’s podcast features my story, “Man of Letters,” about an ill-gotten victory in a Scrabble tournament.
February 24, 2012
Adam’s reading was by far the most hilarious. He grew an odd pre-teen obsession with his guinea pig, who was then featured in all of his art projects, videos for school and fun, and research papers for class.
February 7, 2012
Ruben was able to tap into the universal experiences of graduate students to garner laughs from an audience all too familiar with being “exhausted, overworked, under-appreciated, and buried in shit.”
December 31, 2011
Please Don’t Beat Me Up: Stories and Artifacts from Adolescence was nominated for Favorite Solo Performance!
December 30, 2011
Three of our four most popular were in Adam Ruben’s “Experimental Error” series.
November 1, 2011
Page 7: Adam Ruben, a molecular biologist and comedian who graduated from Concord in 1997, was doing a stand-up show called “Please Don’t Beat Me Up!” in Wilmington when he was contacted by Concord to come back to his old school to speak to the 9th grade class.
October 26, 2011
I never went to Grad School, but I can appreciate the humor in this book. It is very funny and I laughed out loud several times.
Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School is a hilarious look at the downs and downs of being a terminal student. About 6 people in the world have any idea what you’re researching, and only 2 of them care.
October 12, 2011
Adam J. Ruben, a comedian, writer and scientist, has been called a nerd for most of his life. Does he fit the bill? Probably.
September 27, 2011
Adam Ruben, Ph.D. has the perfect antidote for the stressed doctoral candidate—humor. Ruben, the author of “Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School,” travels to various graduate schools and conferences talking to grad students about their experiences.
September 25, 2011
Starts at 16:20.
August 24, 2011
The 2011 Fringe Wilmington Festival runs Sept. 21-25, and we’re chatting with some of the artists, starting with Adam Ruben and his one-man show.
August 16, 2011
I had the pleasure of attending Adam’s one-man show, Please Don’t Beat Me Up, at the Capital Fringe Festival in July. Hilarious, insightful, and even sometimes poignant, Adam’s stand-up involves reclaiming awkward childhood and teen moments by turning them into comedy. Likewise, Adam’s book, Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School, is unequivocally one of the funniest books I’ve ever read.
August 5, 2011
July 22, 2011
July 21, 2011
This play is so polished, funny, and truthful that I could easily see Adam Ruben performing this off-Broadway or live on HBO! Or maybe there is a spot for him on Saturday Night Live!? Lorne Michaels, are you listening?
July 18, 2011
In his one-man show Please Don’t Beat Me Up: Stories and Artifacts from Adolescence, “comedian, writer, scientist” Adam Ruben is finally getting the laughs he strived for as a child. With tales of pre-teen bed-wetting, third-grade love affairs, and emo-esque diary entries, this self-proclaimed nerd paints a pathetically detailed picture of “dorkdom.”
July 10, 2011
The young Ruben’s verbal precociousness and detailed strategy for How to Get That Girl are really endearing. He also has the complex mathematical chart he used to calculate his odds of edging out two rivals. You don’t see that every day.
July 8, 2011
Witty, smart (he’s a molecular biologist) and friendly, he doesn’t hide the man he has grown up to be or how that man derived from the awkward boy he was. While many one-man shows feature portrayals of multiple caricatures, Ruben is unique in his introspective, almost cathartic focus. It feels honest as he ridicules his kid self. Ruben tries to connect to the audience as if he’s holding a one-on-one conversation with them, a one-way swap of old, hilarious stories. And the approach works.
It’s easy to laugh with and empathize with Ruben. If you ever feared the four-person relay at field day, made an earnest list of what you need to assemble a robot (a VCR, one flashlight, four screws), extensively deliberated over a crush and read into fate assigned you the roles of hydrogen and oxygen atoms, respectively in science class, you’ll find laughs here. Most people will be able to see parts of themselves, recalling embarrassing moments of childhood through his eyes.
July 1, 2011
A preview of my one-man show in the 2011 Capital Fringe Festival.
June 29, 2011
Adam Ruben – molecular biologist, stand up comedian, and author of Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision To Go To Grad School – speaks with Gather the Jews about getting into comedy and his upcoming one-man show at the Capital Fringe Festival.
Including “exclusive video content”:
April 1, 2011
Adam Ruben earned his undergraduate degree in molecular biology at Princeton University, before receiving his Ph.D in molecular biology at Johns Hopkins University.
February 23, 2011
January 31, 2011
If there are any grad students reading the procrastinative thread…GET BACK TO WORK. Don’t watch this video.
January 20, 2011
He has a humorous way of providing tips and prospective in the book, but if you’re not sure if he really has a lock on the grad school experience, check out this promotional rap he created.
January 19, 2011
I don’t think this counts for the manners or memes categories, but I’d highly recommend the “Grad Student Rap” as a must-see video, at least for anyone who is irresistibly and unfortunately drawn to higher education.
January 18, 2011
I found this book Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School over at a blog post on why not to go to graduate school (via Instapundit). I had to laugh at the great title and went over to Amazon to check out the book and found it to be pretty straight forward on the downsides of a graduate school education.
January 17, 2011
Reasons 42 and 43.
December 23, 2010
As my General Exam looms on the distressingly not-so-distant horizon, this book seemed perfect for me based on the title alone. I learned on the news tonight that the average salary for an RN is $66,000 a year. What WAS I thinking?
October 18, 2010
1400 WSTC 1350 WNLK, Fairfield County, CT. Interview starts at 27:05 and ends at 33:06.
October 16, 2010
September 22, 2010
I asked Adam Ruben, a Ph.D.-holding molecular biologist and author of Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to go to Grad School, whether grad school was a good idea if the alternative was waitressing. “I know people who have gotten graduate degrees and then end up waitressing,” he told me, only this time with 5-figures of loans. “Even the degree doesn’t save you all the time.”
August 9, 2010
I haven’t read it, but based on the nasty, funny, extremely non-PC table of contents, I’d like to.
August 6, 2010
August 5, 2010
There’s a certain amount of humility that comes with being 30 years old and a graduate student. The stipend is paltry, the housing less than prime. And the prestige? Well, it’s hard to impress most folks on an income of less than $25,000.
July 15, 2010
After finishing his PhD in molecular biology, Adam Ruben wrote a book titled, Surviving Your Stupid Stupid Decision to go to Grad School. His goal in writing the book is to warn students considering applying for their MA or PhD, as well as to be a form of a support for those who have already embarked on what he implies is a long, incredibly challenging and frustrating, journey.
July 14, 2010
Proving once again that CTYers excel in bringing together seemingly disparate interests, Adam Ruben combines his experience as a science graduate student and his passion for standup comedy in his first book, Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School.
July 8, 2010
If you are thinking about going to grad school, this book is an excellent read: it covers a lot of things you should consider if you are going to spend the next year or couple of years doing graduate work.
June 23, 2010
Now that summer is here, it’s a great time for a little grad school friendly reading and Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision To Go To Grad School by Adam Ruben (PhD!) is an entertaining look at the world of higher education. Best of all, it’s easy to read in small chunks so your chances of finishing it before your dissertation are good.
June 2, 2010
Adam Ruben ’01, a molecular biology major who developed a standup comedy act while earning his Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins, was back on campus May 6 to promote his new book, Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School.
June 1, 2010
Read the book “Surviving Your STUPID STUPID Decision to go to Grad School” by Adam Ruben. lols will ensue.
May 2, 2010
Chapter titles like “Stop? Drop? Enroll?” and “Let My Pupil Go” characterize this Ph.D.-turned-standup-comedian’s cleverly caustic account of graduate school.
April 23, 2010
Today’s questions focus on what happens after the program, specifically on how Ruben got his book published and on why he decided not to become a professor after earning his degree.
April 22, 2010
Adam Ruben earned a PhD in molecular biology from Johns Hopkins University while enjoying a side career as a stand-up comic. The outcome of his career is not just his dissertation, but also the book “Surviving Your Stupid Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School.” Adam took the time to answer our many questions. Read on for advice on the proper care and feeding of advisors, including how to handle professors when they are in a party mood.
April 8, 2010
While most doctoral programs have some sort of orientation, the focus on such matters as required courses, time to degree and dissertation goals may diminish opportunities to consider really important matters — such as how to wander into a colloquium at which food is served, timing your entrance so you don’t need to listen to the talk.
July 13, 2009
An affable biologist double-dips his chips for TV science.
January 26, 2009
Popular Intersession course teaches students the art of stand-up.
July 1, 2006
Ruben is a fifth-year biology graduate student who, for the last two years, has taught an Intersession course titled The Stand-Up Comic in Society. Think of it as sort of a thinking person’s stand-up comedy boot camp.
February 1, 2006
Adam Ruben, a fifth-year graduate biology student and a stand-up comedian, teaches the intersession course, The Stand-Up Comic in Society.
December 3, 2004
If you’d like to read an article that does for the Baltimore comedy scene what HBO’s The Wire does for the Charm City in general, take a peek at this profile of Johns Hopkins student and part-time stand-up comic Adam Ruben!
Grad student and funnyman Adam Ruben is out to do biology by day, comedy by night.
April 28, 2004
Kaufmann’s Tavern is serving up an amusing entree these days – comedy.