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Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Will it ever happen?
In the midst of Fulbright craziness, and coursework, and thesis stuff, and trying to figure out what the hell to do next year, I (for some stupid reason), have taken up looking at the SEM job-postings. Did anyone else ever do this in Grad School?
While it makes me happy to look at the postings and think, God that would be a fun job, about almost every single listing that I read, I have trouble convincing myself that it will ever happen. I can't imagine actually having a job, and a house, and a family, and a dog/cat......all of which I desperately want. I also can't ever actually imagine getting to the level of scholarship/performance that I want to. I know I'm getting better. I can do things now that I couldn't even dream of doing three years ago, but then you go in and you can't sing a freaking bass part.
I think grad school is rife with frustration and questioning. That's part of what makes it so hard, and it's also why you look at a lot of your professors and think, "Dear God, when do they pass out the super powers? Are they in the doctoral hood?"
I've also had the uncomfortable feeling of sitting down in front of my computer and thinking.....I don't know ANYTHING.
Or as the Russians would put it:
Yanis nayu, nichivoh, nicagdah.
I know nothing, nowhere, nohow.

Wow, long babble session, all basically to say--I want it (house/job/family/dog), but I'm beginning to wonder if it'll ever happen. Off to work on more school stuff.

Peace, Love, and Tunes,

posted by Mac Tíre at 12:43 PM ¤ Permalink ¤


  • At 2:29 PM, Blogger Terminal Degree

    There are NO superpowers. They aren't in the hood, or in the chalk dust, or in the photocopy machine, or in the bad coffee, either.

    A graduate degree is, in many ways, proof merely that someone has the tenacity to stick it out. :) And that's what you're in the middle of proving. And it's damned hard work some days, especially when your undergrad college buddies are buying homes, starting families, and taking exotic vacations, all because they chose to go into fields with immediate payback. I had to work very hard not to resent the hell out of those folks back in my (broke, single, beater car, renting, no pets allowed) grad school days.

    And I wondered the same things about my future that you're asking now.

    Hang in there.

  • At 4:18 PM, Blogger CJS

    Well, with much respect and big ups to my friend TD, I'd put another spin on it:

    We all have super-powers. Grad school, old-school, is a testament to an absolutely titanic investment and commitment of dedication, concentration, and guts. It takes massive stamina, great courage, and a good (and well support-networked) psychological profile to get through graduate school.

    It's mother-f***ing hard and most people couldn't do (which is fine, there's no reason that "most people" should do it). We spend years--broke, scared, stressed, and mistreated--in order to be able to spend large chunks of future years doing what we love. For those people who stick it out, it's the right choice--and by sticking it out, they demonstrate their fitness for the job.

    St Julian of Norwich said "all the way to God is God." I'd say--and meaning no blasphemy--"all the way to the job is the job." It's mother-f***ing hard.

    But it's goddamned well worth it, too. We are some of the people who hold the world together. And we are some of the people the worlds into which young people enter. I would not be where I am (with, yes, a house and a family and a job and tenure and even a crotchety elderly cat) if I had not stuck with it, through--in my case--literal decades of abuse.

    But, even more, I would not be where I am, if my Great Teachers had not stuck it out in their jobs before me, and, by therefore being where they were when I needed them, saved me.

    Being in graduate school is the hardest thing I've ever done (emotionally) other than live through a loved one's protracted terminal illness. But it is also one of the most important and, I believe, constructive things I've ever done, as well.

    It won't always be this hard. I promise. You will get where you want to go.