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View Diary: Teachers' Lounge: You want to go to grad school? (24 comments)

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  •  I got a scholarship to art school as an undergrad. (9+ / 0-)

    I left after a year, then transferred to another of the places that had accepted me the previous year, this time to study languages and lit.  Got my degree, then worked as a secretary.  Applied for and got a Fulbright to do research; spent a year in Mexico.  During that year I realized I wanted to go to grad school.

    If I had just gone straight to grad school out of college, I don't think I'd have been successful.  I needed to make a mistake or two and learn something about myself before realizing what kind of career made sense for me.  

    For sure, grad school is not a continuation of the undergraduate experience.  But even though it's a necessary step toward professionalization or in training for a certain career path, there's no guarantee that you'll get a good job in your chosen career even with the graduate degree.  There is so much personal, social, intellectual, imaginative, etc. strength required to shape oneself and forge a direction for oneself-- classes don't necessarily give you that, if at all.  

    When I write letters of recommendation for my students who want to go on to graduate school, I know that some of them probably should not be going at this point in their lives.  Right out of the B.A.  And it is difficult for me in most cases, as I recommend them on the basis of the one or two classes they've taken with me, to know anything about whether they've got "the right stuff" for a post-graduate forging.  I don't know what's in store for them in terms of the luck of the draw in the job market.  I pray for them, because I know that my letters are only a very small part of whatever it is that will end up being the direction they take.

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 12:29:31 PM PST

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