Grad School

The semester is winding down. I haven’t been writing here, but I have been writing for class. I have some thoughts on grad school as I’ve experienced it.

Grading papers is not like grading math tests. It’s not like grading any kind of examination. There are reasons why you get the grade you get. Unlike examinations, these reasons could be wrong. There is room in graded writing for argument. It could be the case that you wrote a great paper, but it received a poor grade. It could be the case that you write a bad paper, and you receive a good grade. This puts the student in an odd position. Writing a paper can be an exercise in rule following. You learn what the professor likes to see, and you write the way you know will succeed. Many students have gone on to good PHD programs with this strategy. Play the game, get the grade, succeed. This is worrisome, but I suppose this is the way it is any where you go.

Grad school is an exercise in desperation. You are in a perpetual state of hanging on by your fingers. There is never a point where you are sitting comfortably and able to think. You are in a state of anxiety. I’ve realized that this is not a unique position. This is imply how grad school is. If I can find a way to be comfortable in this perpetual state of inconstancy, I can succeed here. Success here is not measured in my GPA, it will be measured by my willingness to pursue philosophy.

More Later

~ by Barky on November 28, 2011.

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