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Ignorance can be Bliss

Posted by on November 23, 2010

In the midst of all of my projects (one of which I should be working on now), I have started my Ph.D. application.  Since then, it seems as if my dream of obtaining a Ph.D. has managed to fall apart.

I emailed one of my previous professors (who also happens to be the Director of Admissions for said program) to ask for a letter of recommendation.  He tells me he would be happy to write me one; just not for our program.  Instead, he claims I would be better suited for a school like UCLA.  Now, that’s all fine and dandy, except my husband is here.  Obviously, I don’t have ambitions of moving to California anytime soon.

Then, he continues to tell me that what I am looking to do isn’t really focused on at my school.  Unfortunately, the school’s website tells a prospective student otherwise.  Needless to say, he tells me I would have to play another angle if I want to get in.  Okay, fine, I can live up to a challenge.

So, I figure I’ll talk with a current student and get the real story.  She’s actually studying what I would like to do.  After chatting for a bit, I come to find out that nearly 1/3 of this Ph.D. program drops out each year.  Now, I know a lot of people start a Ph.D. and don’t finish, but 33% seems pretty steep.  Not to mention she claims that nearly everyone will make you feel like you don’t belong there.  Great.  Sounds wonderful.

The Monday after Thanksgiving I’m going to talk to one of my current professors to see what she thinks.  Seeing as she’d most likely end up being my advisor, I’ve got a feeling that what she tells me will have a lot of weight.  If she won’t be able/willing to take on another graduate student, then I can pretty much write off getting a Ph.D. at my school.  I could look into a couple of other schools in the area, but they’re not as highly ranked, so my shots of getting a decent job once I was done would be slimmer.  Not to mention, they don’t pay as nice as WU.

Perhaps this is life’s way of telling me that I need to go in another direction.  Or, perhaps this is life’s way of telling me that nothing you want ever comes easy…  Jury’s still out on this one.

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