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Why I didn’t go to grad school the second time. | Ordinary Times
""And then I experienced a moment of clarity. Within my head I heard a dialog with two distinct voices:

“What are you going to do after you finish your Ph.D? Do you want to teach?” said the calm voice.

“Maybe. I don’t know,” said the angry voice.

“Well what do you know you want to do after you get your doctorate?”

“After I get my doctorate I want to build a big boat.”

“Will getting your doctorate help you on your way to building your boat?”

“It might. If I get my Ph.D I might be able to sell more DVDs or a book and get more money.”

“Do you need to get more money to build your boat?”

“No.”

“Is there some reason you can’t start building your boat right now?”

“No.”

“Then why do you want to get a Ph.D?”

“Because I want to show them.”

“Show them what? What do you want to show them?”

“I want to show them that I’m right and they’re wrong.”

And just like that, I stopped think about going back to school and started thinking about what I needed to do to build my boat.

And then I built Mon Tiki.



Who are them? Who knows. My parents? Teachers? The bloggers who would delete my trenchant comments instead of responding to them? All of them? Does it matter? Probably not.

I don’t know what the good reasons are for going to grad school, but I’m pretty sure “to show them” isn’t one of them; not for me at least, not where I am in my life. There are more interesting and important things for me to do.

That doesn’t mean I’m completely over it.

My USCG Master Captain’s license and Mon Tiki’s CIO are only meaningful certifications I’ve ever received, and I’ve got to tell you, after a lifetime of being an uncredentialled outsider, it’s nice to be on the inside of something, to have a stamp from Authority that says “QUALIFIED”, and I still think it would be nice to get my creative work similarly endorsed.

In fact, just a few weeks ago I applied for an internship with a Brand Name media company. The pay was ridiculously low, less even than what I paid my unskilled laborers on Mon Tiki. But I wasn’t doing it for the money (which is not to say we couldn’t use the money. Building Mon Tiki has left us drained.) But more than the money, I thought it would be nice to have my writing appear under the aegis of a Brand Name media company. I thought would be nice, just for once, to be a part of an organization. I thought it would be nice, just for once, to not have to explain Who I Am as a preamble to what I think.

So just like when I thought I needed to wrap my films in a Ph.D, I asked some important people I know to sign on as references. And they did and wished me good luck. Affirmation!

And unlike the Ph.D thing, I didn’t bail. I went after the job full tilt, all in, do or die. Interview and everything.

And you know what happened?

They didn’t hire me.

They said that the spirit of the internship was educational, and that giving a 47 year-old man with an established career (albeit in another field) would be taking away from a younger person who could really use the break.

Whether that was a dodge because I wasn’t the best candidate, or their were concerns about my age, or it was the simple truth I don’t know. I have no reason to think it wasn’t, but whatever. That’s not the point.

The point, if I have one, is that if you’re considering going to grad school, or your considering writing for free, or your considering taking an internship at a Brand Name media company, or your considering building a big boat, you probably have more agency than you realize. You will probably do okay if your priorities doing what you want to do, if you can actually manage to figure out what that is. This might not be easy, but I think it’s easier than the other options."
education  davidryan  via:kio  learning  doing  glvo  edg  srg  gradschool  unschooling  deschooling  autodidacts  credentials  academia  making  2013  selfeducation 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Resolutions: - Paris, France — A Hi Moment
"Cassie Marketos

• Stay off the internet.

• Find something to do and pursue it, whatever the underlying cause might be.

• Figure it out for the winter.

• Be in an amazing place where people can come visit you. (High priority.)

• Forget about New Year’s Eve things. That is all bullshit.

• Don’t let ___________ get you down.

• Don’t think too much about things you cannot change.

• Resist your audience, their approval will mislead you.

• Write often. Keep it both private and illegible.

• Find a goodbye song.

• Get in damn shape, finally.

• Drink cappuccinos. It’s your new thing.

• Get motivated early in the AM.

• Sleep on trains.

• If you don’t love that book, forgive yourself and get another one.

• Don’t be a goddamn idiot."
resolutions  lists  cassiemarketos  audience  living  internet  books  reading  writing  approval  2014  via:kio 
january 2014 by robertogreco
the lonely city - Olivia Laing
"I'm now starting work on my third book, The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone. It will be published by Canongate in the UK and Picador in the US.

You can be lonely anywhere, but there is a particular flavour to the loneliness that comes from living in a city, surrounded by millions of strangers. And while The Lonely City will be a roving cultural history of urban loneliness, it will be centred on the ultimate city: Manhattan, that tiny, teeming island of gneiss and concrete and glass.

Like my previous two books, this will be a hybrid work of non-fiction, bringing together elements of cultural history, biography, travelogue and memoir. It’s a story about what it feels like to be lonely in a city, and about the complex connections that exist between loneliness, sexuality and art.

Among the residents of the lonely city, I'll be looking at Hopper and Hitchcock, Andy Warhol and Henry Darger, at David Wojnarowicz, Michael Jackson and Klaus Nomi. I'll be thinking about communication and sexuality, about apocalyptic cities, Aids and the art of the machine age.

The Lonely City is not just a map, but a celebration of the state of loneliness. It’s a voyage out to a strange and sometimes lovely island, adrift from the larger continent of human experience, but visited by many – millions, say – of souls."
via:kio  books  loneliness  cities  urban  urbanism  strangers  olivialaing  experience  human  humans  michaeljackson  klausnomi  davidwojnarowicz  henrydarger  andywarhol  alfredhitchcock  edwardhopper  alone 
may 2013 by robertogreco
A Different Road To Work, Bypassing College Dreams : NPR
"euro style apprenticeships" Siemens pays high school kids to come work for them instead, journeyman's certificate, job at end. mentor.

"I was planning on getting a degree in international relations, but with financial aid and how difficult it is to pay for college and everything," she says. "So when Siemens came along and gave me the offer, it was too good of an opportunity to just let it go.

With college costs rising and student debt mounting, a group of college-prep kids in Charlotte are opting for an alternative route: European-style apprenticeships.

Siemens hired her and five other apprentices last year. These days, Espinal works on the factory floor.

"Running a machine, learning about programs, how to set up a machine for a program, also learning how to use tools and learning how to read blueprints," she says.

Espinal learns all this with the help of her personal mentor, Danny Hawkins. He likes to call her Dora the Explorer. You can see the resemblance.

"It's a great way for these young people to learn that there is a demand for skilled workers," Hawkins says. "Siemens has a very large workforce that's fixing to retire, and there's nobody to replace them."

When Espinal finishes her four-year training program, she'll graduate with an associate's degree, a journeyman's certificate in machining and a guaranteed job that includes a starting salary of around $44,000 a year.
don't_go_back_to_school  via:kio  apprenticeships  learning  education  unschooling  deschooling  alternative 
july 2012 by robertogreco

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