Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"Prolonging childhood"

Today, in Penelope Trunk's Blog she drops this bomb on me
Going to grad school burdens you with an amount of debt that severely limits your career choices. And it’s a way to prolong childhood by continuing to have someone tell you what to learn and reward you for doing it.
I'd already read her earlier post Don't Try to dodge the recession with grad school which elaborates on this idea. I've been thinking that I'm different because I have the new GI Bill I can use and I've already been in the workforce and learned lessons and so the admonishment that grad school prolongs childhood referred to everyone but me. But it's totally true, where she writes that school will "tell you what to learn and reward you for doing it." As much as I want to transition away from this command structure life in the Navy, I must admit I'm very comfortable with structure, with predictable rigidity, with being told what to learn. Perhaps, however, entering into a 3-year program after escaping a 4-year contract isn't the wisest course. I'm passionately interested, though, in the course of study in UT's Community and Regional Planning program and very much want to participate in the transition of our communities and transportation systems away from an auto-centric to a people-centric model. And since the GI Bill would subsidize nearly the entire program plus housing, the financial impact is very low. It may all be moot as I'm still on the waiting list and may not be accepted. But I may not even need to be accepted in to this program to get the education I want or to affect the transformation of my community. In fact, going to school very well may delay the latter. The school makes their final decision in May and I don't get out of the Navy til June, so I can continue to ponder this decision a little while longer.