Going To Grad School Despite the Odds

— Tyler John (@tyler_m_john) September 23, 2022
I thought that getting a PhD would be fun either way, so why not do it?
— Gordon Pennycook (@GordPennycook) September 23, 2022
— Adam Patterson (@adame_bovary) September 23, 2022
“When you, as an undergrad, were told, repeatedly, that the odds of securing a good job in academia were long but you decided to roll the dice anyway, how did you rationalize the decision? What did you tell yourself? Be honest.”
— Ramón Alvarado (@ramonalvaradoq) September 23, 2022
Almost all of the men in my extended family (& most of the men I knew, frankly) worked in labor jobs. Many away from home as often as not (oil industry).
I was not told that in undergrad. Just the opposite. I was told in grad school. Went to a meeting with maybe 100 post-grads (across faculties). The person leading it said “one or two of you will get jobs, max.” Like everyone else, I thought “it’s going to be me.”

I’ll start: The short answer is that I was young and I didn’t expect to care about (still) being broke in my 30s. A slightly longer answer is that I also thought that the top marks I had received from the top dept I happened to attend (because it was down the road from where I grew up & cheap) meant that I would buck the odds. Side note, profs: this is part of why grade inflation is bad.The longer answer touches on issues involving class, punk, anarchism, idealism, immaturity, luck, break ups, and so on. But that’s a story better told in person over a round of ferraris. Your turn.
1. Love philosophy
2. Never thought I’d get a job anyway
3. Would like health insurance for a while
4. Would like steady pay for a while
5. Love to teach
— Evan Malone (@EvanCMalone) September 23, 2022