I am almost done my first semester. By almost done, I should finish the final paper. It’s 80% written, but I’ve gone and found a bunch more sources, so it’s quite possible I’m going to rewrite it.
I’ve taken to describing my next grad degree as an expensive and painful hobby. There’s a challenge in that – I’m so very fortunate to be able to have the time and the money to do this. I also don’t want to diminish my fellow students. This is not their hobby, it’s deadly serious business for them.
Oddly, very few people asked me why I was doing this. It’s not a crazy question – no sane person takes a grad degree for fun. And here I am. I wanted to play with ideas like slinkies. I wanted to stretch. I wanted to spend time where what was asked of me was at the ragged edge of what I thought I could do. And oh, I’ve been there. When I tried to teach myself agent network theory. Each reading as I had to look up words. When my classmates used entire paragraphs to talk about something and I had absolutely no idea what they were talking about. It was a weekly struggle to take my seat and tell myself that I was smart enough, that I could learn enough, that I belonged in that classroom.
My classmates are brilliant. Smart, engaged, passionate. Full of promise and vision and knowledge. Me? I go home and die on my couch. I read and I think and I read and I scratch out what I thought. Then I read their comments and I realize how brilliant they are. I will never be that smart.
It has been fun. It’s been hard fun. I know all the business plastic words. I can use strategy as a verb, noun, and adjective. I know all the jargon. I can invent words with ease. I had no idea what semiotics were. I haven’t read agent network theory in twenty years. I somehow managed to doge ever reading Foucault.
I was never quite where I needed to be. At times during class I needed to be in the office. At times in the office I’d get notifications of lectures I’d like to attend and . . . Well, there was no way. I don’t quite fit.
I played with ideas like slinkies. My goals very slightly exceeded my grasp. I learned new things, things I would have never been exposed to. I filled my brain with new and wonderful ideas.
It’s been worth it.