Cover of "Born Yesterday"
Cover of Born Yesterday

From Chris Blattman’s blog post on Penelope Trunks post on avoiding grad school here.

These arguments seem to better reflect people who get a PhD when they have little chance of getting a faculty position (sorry, humanities) and professional school for the sake of professional school. But sometimes professional school gives you technical skills needed for a job (accounting, tropical medicine, law…) and PhDs are a must for professional researchers. Without those caveats, the advice reads more like a rant.

Besides, who says delaying adulthood is pointless?

Chris Blattman’s Blog: Beware graduate school?.

Both post have their points but I’d like to focus on Chris’s last point( The one I emphasized) which is incidentally Penelope’s first point. The thing is that most people I meet outside of hobby groups/programming user groups/clubs tend to have less time (if at all) to study and learn new stuff. Its like you have to ram something through their throats before they learn it. I think this stems from the fact that studying for a lot of people becomes chore like, not a lot of people study for fun (I remember a friend who actually reads TC7[The Calculus 7th Edition by Leithold] while he eats and he looks like he is having fun), Or another friend who seems to have so much time to create creative stuff that really amaze me both for how time consuming they are and for how much he seems to get done, Or another friend who seems to write academic paper with ease in between teaching full loads and managing an indie rock band. Suffice to say they aren’t the norm.

The norm is half baked blog post(ehem ehem). Dozens of friendster/facebook/multiply comments. Probably 2-4 non-fiction book a year if at all.

If I had to pick one attribute to take out of school with me it is the capability to learn stuff, but the capability is simply potential if not applied. A lot of people who go to school do not go to school to learn or at least to learn how to learn (loved writing this sentence).

That’s why I think getting an MS and delaying adulthood is good for a lot of people.  I remember the remake of Born Yesterday starring Melanie Griffith and her character is a small town gal that is being tutored by a professor so she would no longer embarass her husband. Don Johnson say: Howd you know a mink fur is good? Melani Griffith says because I used to wear rabbit fur. (I watch this film more than 10 years ago forgive me if I’ve forgotten the words , the gist is that the professor was asking how did she know what was good  and she in essence said because I had worse.)

If you watched that scene (personally I found the remake more of a gimmick when compared to the original film, I love old films and used to watch fox classic movies more than hbo) it showed two things. It is a triumph to surpass ourselves (that was the dignity of Melanie’s reply) while we know how well we have done only if we know it in relation to the whole or at least to a bigger sample (what don jonson was doing was somewhat trying to shame melanie into submission whilst her reaction showed she got what he was saying but also declaring that “you may look down on me but What I did was no easy matter”).

That being said 25 is the new 18 (Probably saying this because I’m 25) and if we try to stay healthy we could live as long as our parents and probably be more productive (if we try to stay fit, the world is beginning to be more accommodating to old people). When do we take charge of our lives? it easy to make mistakes early on, but whose mistake do we want to commit our own mistakes or the misconceptions our elders have of this world. Call me naive but my actions prove my resolve. I’d rather make my own mistakes than walk the same old tired paths.  I don’t know , but doing this is hard but this is something I’d probably not change my mind about. Just as Chris Blattman said “who says delaying adulthood is pointless?”

John Mayer‘s Stop This Train from here

no i’m not color blind
i know the world is black and white
i try to keep an open mind
but i just can’t sleep on this tonight

stop this train i want to get off and go home again
i can’t take the speed it’s moving in
i know i can’t
but honestly, won’t someone stop this train

don’t know how else to say it,
i don’t want to see my parents go
one generation’s length away
from fighting life out on my own

stop this train
i want to get off and go home again
i can’t take the speed it’s moving in
i know i can’t
but honestly won’t someone stop this train

so scared of getting older
i’m only good at being young
so i play the numbers game
to find away to say that life has just begun

had a talk with my old man
said “help me understand”
he said “turn sixty-eight”
“you’ll renegotiate”

“don’t stop this train
don’t for a minute change the place you’re in
and don’t think i couldn’t ever understand
i tried my hand
john, honestly we’ll never stop this train”

once in a while, when it’s good
it’ll feel like it should
when you’re all still around
and you’re still safe and sound
and you don’t miss a thing
till you cry when you’re driving away in the dark.

singing stop this train i want to get out and go home again
i can’t take this speed it’s moving in
i know i can’t
cause now i see i’ll never stop this train

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