RePost: Straight Talk About Grad School

Ah, it's like a 12-step program that I'm all too familiar with:

Timothy Burke on Beyond the Five Paragraph Essay

Burke wrote a great essay, Should I go to Grad School? In a word, no. He writes:

Graduate school is not about learning. If you learn things, it’s only because you’ve already internalized the habit of learning, only because you make the effort on your own and in concert with fellow graduate students. You learn because that’s what you do now, that’s your life. Don’t go into it expecting to extend the kinds of heathily collaborative relationships you’ve had to date with your teachers and don’t go into it expecting to extend the kinds of educational nurturing you’ve had to date. Graduate school is not education. It is socialization. It is about learning to behave, about mastering a rhetorical and discursive etiquette as mind-blowingly arcane as table manners at a state dinner in 19th Century Western Europe. Graduate school is cotillion for eggheads. For all these reasons, graduate school is not something you want to experiment with. Think heroin–this is your brain, this is your brain on graduate school. Think Al Pacino in “Godfather 3″–just when you think you are out, you will l be sucked back in again. Academia, especially in the humanities and the social sciences, is a total culture. It colonizes most aspects of your life. You are never not an academic–the little mental tape recorder is on all the time, or it had better be if you want to be good at this life. Anything is grist for my mill as a teacher and a scholar, and that is as it should be. Graduate school is, if anything, even more totalizing than this. It gets into your pores.