Tuesday, March 14, 2006

And The Good News Keeps Rolling On In!!!

Not my good news, but the good news of my Favorite Student Ever, who just contacted me to update me on more news about her grad school applications. I'd heard from her before the break that she'd gotten into a few places (with funding) and now the news is that she's gotten into a few more (with funding). In other words, she's pretty much in a position where she will get to pick and choose amongst most if not all of the schools to which she has applied. I couldn't be happier for her.

Yes, I'm a cynic about the advisability of going to graduate school in my field. Yes, I think that there are a great many things that are fucked up about this profession. But if any student can make this work, Favorite Student Ever can. (And if she can't, she can always work for her family's business, and she's entirely realistic that this may be what ends up happening and is ok with that.) So, we're meeting in the next couple of days to talk about her options. She's astonished at her success, and I suspect that this meeting will be more about getting her to realize that she deserves this success than about anything else - getting her to realize that she deserves to be admitted to these programs. If I can't make her see that at least a little bit I worry about how she'll do. Graduate school can screw with one's self-confidence so much, you know? I just want her to go in strong so that it doesn't chew her up and spit her out (as it does so many students who come from non-elite schools who don't think they "belong" in the fancy programs that admitted them).


negativecapability said...

I was one of these...but I think it was good for me, in the end. I didn't have the attitude that I didn't belong, really, but more of a "why did they admit me if what they really wanted was someone with all this pedigree that I don't have"...if that makes sense. I think this allowed me to see through the BS a lot of times and do better work, though.

Dr. Crazy said...

NC - I think the distinction you make between asking "why did you admit me if I'm not what you wanted" and "I don't belong here because I'm not good enough" is an important one. I was one of these students, too, and I think, like you, I asked the first question, but ultimately I was able to tell myself that if I wasn't good enough - and in fact, probably better than good enough given that I had no pedigree - than I wouldn't have been admitted. On the other hand, I have friends who had the "I don't belong here" problem and they are STILL fucked up from the way grad school affected how they saw themselves, whether they ended up finishing the PHD and in the profession (as some did) or whether they ended up leaving grad school/the profession (as others did).

michelle said...

I went from non-elite undergradd to grad school and have to fight the urge to question their decision making. It can be really tough. I am finishing my first year and still doubting both their choice and mine.
Grad school wasn't exactly what I had imagined and I am very grateful to the professors/advisors that took the time to prepare me for that as much as possible (as well as giving me a realistic idea of the job market).

Still revising the blogroll? I would love to be included.