Ignoring Good Advice

His voice was calm, but I could tell by his furrowed brow that what he truly wanted to say was, “Graduate school is a slow and unrelenting descent into hell. Save yourself while you still can.” | I felt the earth move under my feet. Grad school had been my last great hope. For most of my life, I tried to hide the fact that I liked to learn because it cut down on the amount of after-school beatings from my less enthusiastic classmates. Even in college, where students pay to learn, I discovered to my dismay that many of my peers cared more about beer bongs and frat parties than Shakespeare and Yeats. But despite my disappointment, I remained optimistic because I was holding out for grad school — the nerd Utopia — a place where thoughtful people gathered to discuss ideas that really mattered. —Jane BastIgnoring Good Advice (Chronicle)

The author compares learning the truth about grad school to learning the truth about Santa Claus. I personally didn’t find grad school all that terrible, especially compared to my experience as a buttoned-down scholarly nerd at party-friendly U.Va. And, in response to the article’s last point, grad students at the University of Toronto did very little teaching; it was difficult getting experience in front of a classroom.