“Though intellectually stimulating, working on fundamental theories can often feel like a thankless task. Results which don’t align with common experience and intuition we’re sceptical of and eager to dismiss, and those that do seem apparent and consistently underwhelm.” — Me, 2005
Rather than be one facet of my existence, being in grad school now seems to be what defines me. I don’t really have a problem with this per se, but sporadic comparisons between life as it stands and life as I envisioned it being by now usually cause some distress. This recently came to the fore yet again, when I was forced to answer a variant of the question every senior grad student dreads to hear—”When are you finishing up here?”
Like everything else in this unnecessarily-hurried part of the world, my landlords were beginning breathing down my neck concerning my leasing decision for 2006–2007. As in, the year after next!
In all honesty, I don’t know what I’m going to do a few minutes later. And besides, for all I know, I could get hit by a truck by 2007. But anyway, I mulled over it since they wanted an answer. A short while ago, I reached a decision, signed my lease (yes, it’s freaking insane), and had a very long (and somewhat awkward) conversation with my parents about my decision to spend another year in grad school here.
And by “another year”, I don’t mean to make it sound like I’m messing with the initial master plan. The grand total at the moment seems five years, as it was initially. It’s just, at some point, it looked like I could be out in four. It’s still entirely possible, but then I thought, what then?
I really like what I do here, and have a ton of ideas as to what else I plan to do. I have little planned on what to do next, besides I’ve assumed it’s going downhill from here since it can’t be better. So what’s the point? What’s the rush? Why not spend a little more time and do a good job, as opposed to a job that’s good enough?
And oh, in these time-scales, the hotness-meter ought to be in the 27,000–30,000 bracket by finishing time!
I quickly jotted down a road-map of what I’d intended to do and planned to learn in the remaining time, and got it OKed by the higher ups. I will con this place out of a couple of master’s degrees and a doctoral degree in more than one field yet.