Grad School Diary: Intellectual Starvation

Because it is past time I moved out and into a cell of my own, I found myself doing a little research on what careers are available for a graduate degree in English. Usually one would consider their job prospects before doing a program but I did the program for the fun of it. Hence the reward is the act in of itself. But I started to wonder, knowing what I know now, will I make the same choice if I could go back in time? At first I thought, yes I will. Then I thought about it a little more and the answer is heck yes I will! Graduate school is one of the best things I have invested money and time into and I have learned more than I could have imagined. It was never my plan to get a master's degree in literature. I flirted, briefly, with the idea in college and gave it up owing to my feelings on research papers: not fun. Even when I got accepted into the program and through the fog of surprise I could feel my ego swimming in pride, I still hesitated because research papers are not my strength. And yet the eleven or so classes I have taken over the past three years have not only introduced me to some great minds and interesting new ways of looking at literary works but have also taught me some priceless life lessons. Perhaps I will not find a good job after graduate school but that is not the point. That has never been the point. The point has always been to broaden my mind. And one would say what is the point of broadening one's mind only to starve? And my answer is that there are different kinds of starvation and physical starvation is often the least of one's worries. The sort one ought to concern oneself about is the starvation that afflicts the mind. This sort of deprivation is quite. It can harm one for years without one being conscious of it. It has a way of driving away happiness or distorting it to be that which is habitual or familiar.  A starved intellect is stunted in its ability to observe itself and the world it inhabits, for it works mechanically in a hamster wheel of its own making. Graduate school is not for everyone and I wouldn't advice one to go for it if it is not one's thing, but learning is necessary for a fulfilling life. And since every day proves itself to be a new lesson, it is hard to believe that there is such a thing as too much learning.



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