No really…I’m over grad school

As I sit here at the computer buried in a pile of books…

I’m an educator so I guess I shouldn’t feel this way, but I’m really over grad school. Well, that’s not exactly true. Most of grad school was wonderful. As a matter of fact my classes were all interesting, challenging, and helped me grow in unexpected ways. So I partially take that statement back.

More accurately, I’m over writing this thesis. And I guess I shouldn’t say that either, since I still have this impending master’s degree dangling over my head and I just have to get through it. But admittedly I’m frustrated and tired of school at this point. I’ve been at it for 2 ½ years now (while working full-time, raising children, marriage, life, etc.). And I just want grad school to be over. I don’t know if this is typical in the research and thesis phase, but I feel burned out for sure.

I just can’t get into this academic writing. I’m excited about the readings and research. I’m excited about “my findings”. See there’s an example, “my findings”, who talks like that? Academia talks like that. I really am the anti-academic I guess. I love all the learning and the research, but working through theories, others’ ideas, and writing about those ideas in that “academic speak” is just not moving me—at all.

I love my advisors, but I remember one of them suggested that my research is compelling enough to move forward with a PhD. Umm, no thanks. I have several good friends who are working on their PhD, and I have to tell you, it doesn’t look fun at all. I guess it’s not supposed to be “fun” technically; it’s just something you have to do (or want to do).

On one hand, some disciplines (another word academia loves) really require a PhD. to be considered official, legitimate, or respected in that particular field. And I understand and respect that. Kudos to all of you out there plucking away at those terminal degrees, I have a ton of respect for what you’re doing. And after all that academic hazing, the rewards are endless right: a prestigious prefix to your name, respect from your scholarly peers, and hopefully a well-paying job or a tenure track position at a college or university. That sounds o.k. But as for me, no thank you. As soon as I finish writing my thesis, my plans are to leave the student side of academia (and its politics) right where I found it, alone.

A good friend of mine (who happens to be finishing her PhD.) once told me, “The best thesis, is a finished thesis.” Amen.

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Categories: Education

2 Comments on “No really…I’m over grad school”

  1. steve shapiro
    March 10, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

    I feel you Dionne. Academic writing can be like a straight jacket. Susan is finishing up her masters thesis right now and is, like you, looking forward to being done!

    • March 10, 2011 at 4:42 pm #

      I’m sorry someone else is feeling my pain. Tell her hang in there! I’m going to take my friend’s advice, “the best thesis is the finished thesis!”

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