Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Academia: the larval stage

Yes, this sounds familiar:

Graduate school is not about learning. If you learn things, it’s only because you’ve already internalized the habit of learning, only because you make the effort on your own and in concert with fellow graduate students. You learn because that’s what you do now, that’s your life. ... Graduate school is not education. It is socialization. It is about learning to behave, about mastering a rhetorical and discursive etiquette as mind-blowingly arcane as table manners at a state dinner in 19th Century Western Europe.

Graduate school is cotillion for eggheads.

Ahh. The good old days.

More wisdom available on the question "Should I go to graduate school" available here from Easily Distracted. Something to hand out to those eager young things who enquire about having an 'academic career'.

1 comment:

SteveG said...

Graduate school is intended to induce mental illness. One must step completely away from reality to believe that producing 300 pages on the use of transitive verbs in Milton is indeed so important that one should devote several years of starvation and then several more years of quarreling with other inmates at conferences with sufficient vigor to earn tenure. I remember well the day that I had 50 cents to my name and had to decide whether that money would go into a vending machine for my meal for that day or to photocopy an article. Standing in front of the Xerox machine, I realized that I had crossed a threshold and needed to finish the dissertation asap.