Graduate School

I think I would love to go graduate school. This isn’t a new idea, this has been rolling around in my head for several years. It’s just the timing has never been right. Not that the timing is any better now.

I’m drowning in so much debt from my undergrad that I once had a car dealer study my credit report, shake his head and whistle long and low as he told me, “You’ll be paying this back till you’re dead.” Thanks. So, are you going to sell me a car or not?

I go back and forth on the Biblical basis for student debt. On the one hand, the Scripture, “A good name is better than great riches,” is very clearly applicable to our modern system of debt and credit ratings. But, then Proverbs also says, “Acquire wisdom. Though it costs you everything you have, gain wisdom.” I think I like that interpretation better. Not that any of it matters, either way the deed has long been done.

But there’s something about school that draws me. My senior year of college, a graduate school recruiter came to our campus and tried to sell us on a master’s program called Media, Faith and Culture. I salivated at the idea, and promised vehemently to apply, “as soon I get on my feet.”

Several years later, I called that school to check in on the application requirements. I found that the program, as an admission counselor put it, “came and went as they do.” I was supremely disappointed, and I think I never totally let go of an idea like that for a degree.

But I’d still be happy to settle for some sort of English program, like literature  or creative writing. There’s something beautiful and romantic about sitting  around a campus talking about life and human nature as seen through the eyes of writers long ago. There’s something exquisite about sharing one another’s writing, and letting critique sharpen iron. I say that now, but I’ve never been good at taking critique.

I will be quietly offended for weeks, as I mull over their comments, accepting by slow degree that they are indeed right. Then, I suddenly value their opinion and see the critic as a helpful colleague. Eventually. I’ve learned in recent years, to be very careful in opening myself up for critique.

But, I think I miss the camaraderie of like minded people in relentless pursuit of knowledge. Not that any of it matters right now, because I couldn’t afford it anyway. But, I sure would love to go.


2 thoughts on “Graduate School

  1. This is either really good news or is the type of news that sends your brain reeling and feet running, but in most grad programs, you can get them to fund YOU. A graduate assistantship, esp in English, isn’t too hard to come by. It generally covers tuition and the job itself pays a stipend. Not a lot, but enough that if you have low living expenses you can do it funded by them. And those student loans get deferred (plus adding income-based repayment sends them down more, but you probably do that now).

    1. Wow. I had heard of that in a few cases, but I figured that was an individual thing. I didn’t know it was pretty much across the board. Thanks I’ll definitely look into that!!

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