Autumn is finally starting to set in. I wore jeans today for the first time in probably 6 months. Tomorrow, if it's cool enough I may trade in my much loved sandals for some tennis shoes, and I definitely need to start thinking about purchasing some boots for the coming winter. I'm working on knitting a nice warm scarf and I've started to air out some of my winter clothes.
It may seem dumb, but these are the thoughts that comfort me right now, since my mind has been weighing heavily on some big issues for the last couple of weeks. I'm trying to figure something out about myself and determine where I should start heading. I feel like I've been dragging my feet for years, always putting off the things that will define me as an adult. I've become used to living that way, and so I don't know how to change it. I don't feel as if I've accomplished much in my life and I don't know if I have enough experience or intelligence to move on to the next level. I really don't know what to do right now.
I'm thinking of applying to PhD programs in the Humanities, because that's I what I love to do. Because I love researching and writing and teaching. In my search for programs I came across this article and this follow-up article which list out all the reasons why getting a PhD in the Humanities is a BAD IDEA. The author, Thomas H. Benton argues that graduate school is simply an expensive road to nowhere. I am also discouraged because of a job interview I had last week in which I met with the head of the department of Humanities at the local community college. He started off the interview by basically asking me if I realized that there is no future for me in academe. I was thrown by this, to the point where I wonder if a) I am actually cut out for this sort of thing and b) if it will even be worth the pain. There's no job for me in academe so shouldn't I stop wasting my money on a useless education and just find a job already?
I also found this article which reminded me of why I would choose to take the next step towards a PhD. Also, in Benton's article he makes an interesting point that the people who go to graduate school should go not expecting a job as a professor at the end of it, and make more demands on the program for more marketable skills outside academe.
I know I want to teach. I know I love learning and writing and researching, exploring problems and issues in art and culture, discussing with people the things we value and why we value them. But I also know that I need money and that I can't justify myself getting into any more debt until what I have now is a bit more under control.
And so now I am torn. I'll be defending my thesis on November 6, and then I'm done. I'll have a Master's degree. I can either be done forever and look for a job that will pay the bills, or I apply to go to more school.
I hate not knowing what I should be doing in my life. I hope something works out.