On going issues in the education world. Join the conversation please!
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Do you remember the things you went through for your terminal degree?
I am sharing an article I read today that seemed to capture
a lot of the feelings we go through during this process.
“The Six Stages of Graduate Education”
“Application Year: “This graduate program will be great.
I’ll get to study the things I enjoyed as an undergraduate, and they’re going
to pay me enough to get by in an exciting new city. And when it’s all done,
I’ll become a professor and get to write books and teach classes at a research
university or maybe a liberal-arts college. I won’t be rich, but I’ll be
comfortable, and I’ll be doing useful work without having to sell out.””
“Years 1-2: “This is really hard. Everybody speaks in
‘theory’ all the time, and they all seem to know so much more than I do. And
I’m taking on all kinds of extra work as a research assistant so I can pay my
rent. How can I possibly read 2,000 pages a week, keep up with my research
projects, and learn a second foreign language? I’m going to fail my qualifying
exams. I feel like an imposter. Maybe I should leave.””
“Year 3: “OK, maybe I can do this. I did pass my
exams, and I won an essay prize and published a few things. Teaching sections
for two different courses is hard, but I’m learning a lot, and I have plenty of
time ahead of me. I’m enjoying reading books, gathering research materials, and
thinking about my project, and I can make real progress on writing the
dissertation in the summer.””