Samir’s Selection 04/25/2013 (p.m.)
The Impossible Decision: On Whether or Not to Go to Graduate School : JOSHUA ROTHMAN: The New Yorker
“It gives you a habit of intellectual isolation that is… useful, bracing, that gives you strength and originality.”
a whole class of decisions that bring you face to face with the basic unknowability and uncertainty of life…
What makes an experience worthwhile? Is it the quality of the experience as it’s happening, or as it’s remembered? Could the stress and anxiety of grad school fade, leaving only the learning behind? (One hopes that the opposite won’t happen.) Perhaps one might say of graduate school what Aeneas said of his struggles: “A joy it will be one day, perhaps, to remember even this.” Today’s unhappiness might be forgotten later, or judged enriching in other ways…
The value of grad school hinges, to a large extent, on what comes next…
“epistemically transformative” decisions… “without having the experience itself” you “cannot even have an approximate idea as to what it is like to have that experience.” That’s because you won’t just be having the experience; the experience will be changing you. On the other side, you will be a different kind of person…
We make these decisions, I suspect, not because we’re rational, but because we’re curious. We want to know.
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Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.