Monday, August 31, 2009

Returning to School is nice in theory…..

Ive had the discussion with multiple people about returning to school. One of my friend is leaving in a few months to attend grad school in South Africa. My roommate is exploring the idea of grad school in England and I have seriously thought about returning for a PhD for exactly two days straight at one point. At the end of the two days I realized it was soo much work to even think about going back.

I have been asked multiple times by different people if I would ever go to law school. The reason I got my LLM is because studying all the law and basics did not appeal to me. I just wanted to study the part that did, Human Rights law, thus the LLM not JD.

But what it takes to go back to school is not simple feet. First there is the GRE’s – assuming you attend a University in the US. There is the long and arduous process of selecting the school or schools you will apply to. What programs do they offer, are the classes interesting, will they pay you to attend, where is the location of the school? Then there is the applying. Academic letters of reference or recommendation are required. I haven’t talked to any of my undergraduate professors since I graduated and none of my Graduate school professors since the day I handed in my master’s thesis. Requesting some kind of remember me and write a letter saying how academically amazing I am sounds a little awkward. This is all assuming you have already chosen your mode of study as well. What department, program, school you will devote the next few, if not several years to. Better be pretty dang interesting too because that’s all you are going to read, write and speak about for quite some time.

If you look into PhD programs in England, which I have on a small scale, many of them also require the applicants to not just know what Thesis topic they want to work on but have it outlined and researched even to an extent. I don’t know what I want to study let alone devote a part of me to. Plus this will largely define your career pursuits and options upon exit so make it a good one.

If you know what you want to study, where you want to go and get into the institution of your choose….then there are the expenses. Not just tuition but living expenses as well. Will it be part and or full time devotion to this edification? Will the University pay you to study/teach basic classes or will you take out half a lifetime of loans to cover the cost of your higher education?

Assuming all this wasn’t such a hassle I would re-enter the doors of academia. Id spend a summer reading and deciding what to study and research. I would love googling all the different places I would consider studying: Geneva, Switzerland, London England (again), Bath, England, Chicago, Illinois, New York, New York, Washington D.C. and exotic locations I cant even imagine. Then Id go and learn and see what my future would turn into with new opportunities, experiences and knowledge.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The summer of George….only for me.

In the critically acclaimed show Seinfield, George has a summer where he does not work. George devotes his summer to edification, or some form of it, travel, and general enjoyment. How wonderful would it be to have a summer devoted to one’s own pursuits and passions. Perhaps it would be a little better spent that George Kastanza’s. But what would I do in this summer assuming money and time, other than the limit of the summer months, were no issue? Reading great books, traveling around the country, and going to all the different cultural events my city has to offer- of which there are many and a great variety. One thing that has crossed my mind on and off over the past few months is the idea of returning to school. But for what- and that is when I throw the thought back out. How wonderful it would be to devote a summer to travel and reading to further explore the idea of what to study more in depth. The opportunity to read what the academics read, to narrow down an issue, phenomenon, development or movement of which I would devote several years and PhD in study of. That would be my summer of George dream.