Okay. I have to say, I usually turn bad movies off almost immediately. I mean, I’m not able to define bad acting, but I sure do know it when I see it. And, these two movies are full of bad acting. I’m not kidding. We’re talking D rated acting.

But, there was something really compelling about the story, I’m not really able to put my finger on it. Whatever it was, I ended up watching both movies all the way through, and I’ve come away from the experience wanting to know what happens with all the characters.

And, that’s pretty rare!

So, settle in for quite a story. Or, better yet, I think you should just watch the movies for yourself. If nothing else, they are HILARIOUSLY bad!

You can also read all of my movie reviews here.

Let’s get started….

PhD – Piled Higher and Deeper Movie 1

Before we go any further, here is the first movie in full. I couldn’t find it on Youtube unfortunately, but it is available from the creator’s website. Click on the image below, watch it, then come back and finish reading.

I’m not really certain what to make of this movie. It’s ridiculous. Hilarious. Ridiculously hilarious. But, for some reason, I can’t stop watching. I really think they should have switched the two main female cast members. Dr. Crystal Dilworth played the role of the roommate who was out to not only save the world and support the latest cause, but was doing her thesis on why so many PhD students drop out each year instead of finishing. The actress is now working in a hybrid role, doing tv shows and interviewing people about science. The main female role was played by Alexandria Lockwood, who I was not particularly fond of. Neither of these two are really actresses. They are scientists and both have PhD’s.

For one thing, this movie definitely confirmed for me, despite its slapstick type of humor and intentional sarcasm, it was the best decision I ever made to drop out of grad school after my second semester. If I would have continued on, I would probably have gotten my Master’s Degree in History from a low-rent online college, and today I would probably be working either at one of the other-low rent online colleges for pennies, or working as an adjunct at a community college somewhere.

I probably make more now, working part time, than I would if I had finished my degree. And I would be all the more miserable for it, too. I would be in debt (especially if I had gone on to get my PhD or ThD). That’s if I would have made it out at all!

Higher education is, as far as I’m concerned, an out-right scam. Maybe a handful of people luck out and land one of those jobs where they make a decent amount of money, live in a nice neighborhood, and get to enjoy life teaching or researching. But, the reality (for just about everything on earth) seems much more sleazy.

In academia, there’s always a hustle, always an angle, always a bunch of dead bodies strewn about in the wake of a few lucky ones. Even if I had been able to get a job at a college teaching online or at a local community college, wouldn’t I then be part of the system that seeks to strip money from the poor and the uniformed.

How many articles are written over the last several years of people who sunk 20-30-40 thousand dollars into a degree to find out, just before graduating, that it is not accredited by the right agency and is next to worthless. Even the Master’s degree I was going for, despite being at a regionally accredited college, was, in reality, worthless. My job prospects at the time allowed me, with a Master’s degree, to teach at any community college or four year college in History. Fast forward to today, all those jobs I qualified for back then, now require a PhD and tons of teaching experience.

It’s all a racket, and I’m glad I bailed when I did.

PhD – Piled Higher and Deeper Movie 2

Here is the second movie. If you liked the first one at all, or got hooked on the story line of the characters, you need to watch this, just to see how it ends if for no other reason.

Spoiler Alert. If you haven’t watched the second move yet, don’t read this, because I’m going to talk about the ending.

What a crazy movie. Crazy stupid. Ridiculous. Horrible script. Even worse acting. Horrible story. But, I still found myself rooting for Winston, first to get the better of his advisor, then second, to get the girl. And, he did. But, how in the world would they be able to stay together if, after Cecilia graduates and goes of to her great job in academia, and Winston has to stay behind and finish his 7 years of hell?

Did Alison end up with the beautiful scientist guy? Did Mike ever land his corporate job where he can work tirelessly on excel spreadsheets?

Will There Be a Third?

So, now that I’ve finished both movies (and hopefully you have, too), I have to wonder if there will be a third movie on the way? I doubt it, since Higher and Deeper 1 came out in 2011, and Part 2 in 2015. At least the second movie was completely funded by a Kickstarter campaign for less than $200k. So, it’s possible, right?


But, if you want more of the story, you can find it at the comic strip’s main site: PhD Comics. I just read that Dr. Crystal Dilworth’s character get’s married in the comicstrip.


Please consider supporting my writing, my unschooled studies, and my hermitic lifestyle by purchasing one or more of my books. I’m not supported by academia or have a lucrative corporate job – I’m just a mystical modern-day hermit trying to live out the life I believe God has called me to. So, any support you choose to provide is GREATLY appreciated.

Excerpt from Ashen Monk Mountain:

There was an old elm tree near the end of the lawn, with a circular picnic table and several short benches.

“This looks like a lovely spot,” Mr. Eckey said, taking a seat.

He set his briefcase on the picnic table and flipped the latches, opening the lid.

Christopher took a seat opposite him and removed his hood, folding his arms in front of him.

“I have a tablet and a pen here somewhere,” Mr. Eckey said. “I had it when I left, that is. Not sure if I can find it in this disorganized briefcase of mine…”

He chuckled at himself.

“So – ”

Christopher ran a hand over his short cropped scalp.

“I’m confused about all this. I’m not sure I understand why exactly you wanted to meet with me.”

Mr. Eckey nodded.

“How long have you been a novitiate here?”

“Going on seven months now.”


He glanced up at Christopher as he fetched his notebook and ink pen.

“How are you liking it at Saint Joseph’s?”

“It has been – ”

Christopher thought about the question for a moment.

“ – wonderful.”

“I would assume it much different than – ”

Mr. Eckey flipped the first page over, scanned handwritten notes he had on the second page.

“I received some background from the Precept’s office, as well as from Abbot Greenly. You grew up in – North Platte, Nebraska? Is that correct?”

Christopher nodded.

“I’m native of the Boston area myself,” Mr. Eckey said. “Tell me a little about how you came to the decision.”

“The decision?”

Mr. Eckey smiled.

“To become a monk. It must have been quite a journey from Nebraska.”

Christopher shrugged.

“Not really. I guess. I just – ”

Unwanted images flashed through his mind.

Mr. Eckey took a deep breath before speaking again.

“Mr. Ward, I don’t actually know a whole lot about this request, to be perfectly honest. As you know, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Apostolic Life – that’s quite a mouthful, isn’t it – we are entrusted with monitoring abnormal behavior among those called to the consecrated vocation.”

He tapped his pen on the tablet.

“Tell me, what do you like about Saint Joseph’s exactly?”

“It’s the – well – I feel at home here. Like I belong. I very much enjoy the silence.”

“Yes, I know the Trappists to be quite ardent in their devotion.”

Christopher nodded in agreement as Mr. Eckey took a few notes.

“I enjoy the early mornings, the worship, the offices. The undivided devotion.”

“To God?” Mr. Eckey asked.

“Yes,” Christopher said. “Exactly.”

The stranger focused on his notes for several seconds, silently mouthing the words he wrote.

“Tell me, how does your life now differ from your previous one?”


Mr. Eckey stopped writing.

“Your military career.”

“Oh,” Christopher said, looking down. “I guess – I – I don’t know. There are lots of differences. I’m not – sure I – what is this inquiry about exactly?”

Mr. Eckey put his pen down.

“Mr. Ward,” he said. “The Vatican apparently has interest in your particular gifts and abilities for a – call it – a special appointment. I guess that’s the best way to put it.”

He shifted his weight on the hard bench.

“Normally, the Congregation does not get involved in appointments or a particular monk’s vocational choices. But, sometimes, when the need arises, special arrangements can be made.”

“Are you talking about another monastery?”

“Actually – ”

Mr. Eckey picked his pen back up.

“It’s an entirely different Order.”

Christopher leaned forward as a gust of wind billowed the long sleeves of his tunic.

“I don’t really understand,” he said. “Are you saying the Vatican wants me to move to a different monastery – to a different Order? But…I…”

Mr. Eckey waited a moment.

“Tell me, Mr. Ward, about your military training.”

“What about it?”

“Your experiences. You were a special operator, is that correct?”

Christopher shot him a quizzical look.

“How do you know that?”

“You were part of the 7th SFG? Assigned to operations in Afghanistan for the majority of your enlistment, surrendering your commission as a Captain. Is that correct? What did you like or dislike about your military career? Why was it you left?”

Christopher looked out over the cornfields in the distance.

“Sir,” he said, wringing his hands together. “I don’t really understand why you’re asking these kinds of questions. To be honest, they’re making me a little uncomfortable. I think I – ”

“Please, Brother Christopher,” Mr. Eckey said, putting up a hand. “I don’t mean to pry. As I said, this is a peculiar and rather sensitive situation, not at all normal procedure. So, I do apologize for my rather tactless approach. Let me explain a little, if I can – ”

Christopher tried to relax.

He struggled to repress the memories rising in the back of his mind, the bloody and gruesome images of dead bodies, a horrible, yet all too familiar wave of fear and dread washing over him.

A wave of putrid death enveloped and permeated everything.

He took a deep breath, tried to ignore it.

Mr. Eckey put down his pen again.

“There is a remote monastery in British Colombia. It is of a separate Order, not Cistercian, but similar. It’s rather distinctive, as I am led to believe.”

“What is the Order?” Christopher asked.

Mr. Eckey shook his head.

“You would not be familiar with it,” he said. “There is actually only one monastery in the Order. But it has had a long, and quite fascinating history, to say the least. And, somewhat of a fantastic service.”

“So, why me, then?” Christopher asked. “I’m a novitiate. I don’t have much to offer. I’m not sure what you are asking of me.”

“The Vatican is asking a favor of you, Brother Ward. They are requesting that you take a leave of absence from Saint Joseph’s and visit this other monastery for a time.”

“I’m – I don’t – ”

Christopher stammered.

“I’m honored that the Vatican has called on me,” he said. “I really do feel settled here, though. I would not wish to – ”

Mr. Eckey interrupted.

“Consider it simply a sabbatical of sorts. Without strings attached. We are interested solely in God’s working here in this matter.”

“Are you wanting me to relocate?” Christopher asked.

Mr. Eckey smiled.

“How about we say the Vatican is open and interested in the Father’s call on your life. We simply wish to – test the waters – see if this would or would not be a good fit.”

“So, if I go, and it is not a good fit?”

“Your place here at Saint Joseph’s would be available to you at any time you see fit. Like I said, no strings attached.”

“I would not feel comfortable going without Abbot Greenly’s blessing,” Christopher said.

“You have it,” Mr. Eckey said, his smile widening.

Christopher said nothing.

“Think of it as a vacation. Though, if I’m hearing you correctly, you really are in no need of one. But, then again…. ”

The man shrugged.

“May I – ”

Christopher pondered his words.

“Is it possible to consider this awhile before I decide?”

“Certainly,” Mr. Eckey said. “Because of the situation, though, we would need you to go sooner than later. Is there anything upcoming that you are thinking about in particular?”

Christopher shook his head.

“No,” he said. “I would just like to sit with this for a day or two. Pray about it. How long would the visit be?”

“As long as you need to decide,” Mr. Eckey said. “Preferably a month to start. Longer is encouraged. Like I said, it is a unique situation, so tradition does not really lend itself easily. But, I would ask – ”

He put his notepad and pen back in his briefcase and closed the lid.

“Because of the sensitive nature, the Vatican has requested that you do not discuss this with anyone except me. Not the other monks here, your family, not even Abbot Greenly.”

“But, how – ”

Mr. Eckey put up a hand.

“I’m heading back to discuss the situation with Abbot Greenly before I leave the grounds. He will certainly not have an objection. Not that I can imagine, anyway.”

He fished out a business card from the inside pocket of his blazer.

“Here is my contact information,” he said, handing him the card. “You can reach me on my cell phone any time. Whenever you decide, one way or the other. There is a great need, though, so I do hope you will consider at least visiting.”

Christopher took the card, looked at it, then looked up at Mr. Eckey.

“What kind of need, exactly?”

The man just smiled.

“All in due time,” he said. “Just let us know as soon as you are able.”

Christopher looked back at the card.

“I will.”

“Thank you, Brother Ward, for your time. I do think I can find my way back to the abbot’s office from here.”

He briefly looked around the grounds.

“I do envy you a little,” he said. “What a majestic space you monks have created here. It’s like a slice of Eden. Really.”

He got up, shook Christopher’s hand, then left him there alone, as the stranger retraced his steps to the abbot’s office.

Christopher took a deep breath, then sighed.

The wave of putrid death still lingered as another wind gust blew across the fields, dredging up memories he would have altogether wished could have remained buried, soaking him again in the blood of the past.

He stayed there for a long time, just watching as the endless sea of cornfields waved in the winds.

Buy my book Ashen Monk Mountain to find out what this cryptic and mysterious appointment is the Vatican is asking Christopher to take on. An unheard of monastery, hidden deep in the Canadian Rockies? A secret mission and call? What in the world could be going on?

Click here and grab your copy today! Whatever you do, don’t let this fantastically epic story get away!

But, trust me when I say, you’re not going to believe the truth even when you discover it for yourself. Find out what secrets lay hidden underfoot at Ashen Monk Mountain!

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