Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,

higher level education

school started.

horrible trend of the semester: both my professors on the first day went over the end time, but then stopped to ask, "does anyone have a class after this?" after a second nobody raised a hand, so they charged on. Last night we went 15 minutes over, which doesn't sound like much but trust me, I have to work really hard to get my attention span up to the 75 minutes for class, 90 is really impossible. but I'm officially in upper level classes now... the 800 level ones, that undergrads aren't allowed to sign up for, so the professors think that 1) we should all be geniuses soaking in knowledge like sponges for the purposes of future research and 2) we have no other lives... full time grad students rarely take more than 12 credits, it's not like undergrad where you really will have back to back classes.

unfortunately, after my first class I have to go to WORK. Yes, work, or "industry" as it's usually called in academia. and at this school I'm at I don't think that's really looked at nicely. at the engineering technology school where I got my undergrad, it was well known that practicality was the goal. If you already had a job, it was looked at like a "great, you can use that!" sort of thing. in engineering school I feel like it's more of a "whatever it takes to pay the bills" and professors regularly emphasize that they want to teach future PhDs who will publish incredible papers at international conferences, not industry clones who will put the name of the MBA bosses on patent applications. so I'm sort of afraid to tell the guy I have to go back to work. well, plus he'd probably ask me to sit closer to the door so as not to distract the class if I leave "early".

or maybe he'd be totally cool with it, I don't know, there's a chance that all this resentment between academia and industry is in my head; I have this sort of distant pedestal love for the academic world. it's just beautiful. the college of engineering is beautiful, it's a beautiful thing to think about, all the learning. it's the fortress at isengard before the orcs are invited in.

people write about heaven and being close to God, about how heaven is a place where you're loved, where you're healed, where you have what you want. I think heaven is a place of understanding. that's what I look forward to the most about it, honestly, not reconnecting with the recently deceased, not cloudy white robes. I am in love with the idea of a place where I am finally capable of understanding everything that comes to me, and all the answers are finally there, where I'm sure I've done the right thing, where the universe makes every bit of sense. Being loved is great, but we have previews of that here, we can guess what it'll feel like, and there are times right here where we know we are so loved we don't need anything else. But true understanding is not something that I think we ever have a taste of. In school, the second you understand something you're wondering what else you can use it for, or where it'll take you. In life, you're always wondering if you're doing the right thing... am I making a difference? am I fighting for truly good people? am I missing an opportunity somewhere else to make things better? I think heaven is a place that could calm all those questions that I always, always have in my head.
Tags: graduate school
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