the wrong side of the bed

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

when i was just a little girl i asked my mother

earlier i emailed my mother the following:

don't get freaked out, but i hate grad school today. but what would i do if i left? the only thing i like are toys...

her response was:

I’m not freaked out by the notion. I think if you like toys you should work in a toy store and then be a manager or figure it out later. You don’t have to do anything earth shaking right this moment. If you have friends there, get a job there. It will come to you. All you have to be in this life is a good blade of grass and a happy one.

so, what should i do? what should i do? if you read angela's comment on my previous post, i think she is with my mother.

what do you think i should do? is working at a toy store for minimum wage with no benefits really going to cut it?

could someone please step up and live my life for me?

while you are at it, could you send my pop his father's day present? it is already wrapped.
2:48 PM


figure out if what you'd end up doing after grad school is worth the energy you're putting towards it. if it is, stick with it. if it's not, i say go ahead and make the big change. i just read this yesterday: "it's not about having a long life, it's about having a good life". get out there and surround yourself with toys and candy if it makes the good life for you. you can find a way to make ends meet, i think. you might have to be a little inventive, but it's still possible. better to have fun and pursue new ways to make a living than have a stressful sucky time being miserable making a dying.
Blogger Henry, at 3:41 PM  
I think if you spent the whole period when you are supposed to be studying for the prelim pondering whether you should drop out of grad school, it's going to make the process of studying for the prelim about twenty times more painful than it would otherwise be. My advice would be to either decide that you are going to wait on making any decisions about applying to toy stores until after the prelim, or, if you must, resolve that you are going to spend three days thinking about whether to go ahead with the prelim, make a decision, and, if the decision is to stay, not think about dropping out until afterward.
Blogger jeremy, at 4:12 PM  
Well, Dorotha, you are probably making less than minimum wage now, so retail might even seem like a wage increase.

I know you know this- but I dropped out of school after 2 and a half years after freaking out and realizing that I loved what I was majoring in, but didn't want to do it as a career. That was seriously a frightening thing to do- to totally stop and change course. I took over a year off had no clue what I wanted to do, but I worked retail, and it was a good time to wait it out and think about possibilities. If something (grad school/academia) is truly making you nothing but miserable, then even though a part of you might love it, it might not be the thing for you.

and Jeremy has great advice- this time before the prelim is really about hitting bottom for, well, maybe everyone. So, waiting until this is done to make any major changes would probably be really good.
Blogger knit wit, at 4:27 PM  
Yeah, Jeremy has a good point. It sounds to me like the best plan of action is to table any kind of doubts you have about grad school and keep on the road, so to speak. The truth is, Dorotha, you hae a lot to offer no matter what you want to do, so I would take some solace in the fact that even after you get this rigorous and apparently horrible thing done (prelims-- I actually left before I took mine, so I can only imagine), you can pretty much go wherever you want with what you have.

In other words, maybe knowing that you have options no matter what might make you relax a little when it comes to the task at hand.

So just forge on, and then make the decision to be a toygirl on your own terms...

if I had more money, I would hire you to make me laugh and hit me. You are so good at both.
Blogger the jeff, at 8:30 PM  
You should make the tough decision to change course.

Why take the prelim? Isn't it likely that if you take it and pass, the inertia of having made one step (the prelim) will lead you on to the next (another prelim/dissertation/whatever) even if you are not sure that is what you want to do?

If your doubts about grad school are really prelim based then, by all means, press on. If, on the other hand, your graduate studies aren't taking you where you want to go in life, why not cut your losses and try something else? You can always come back. I believe you can be gone up to 5 years without reapplication.

It seems that other folks believe you are just avoiding the prelim but it seems to me that you've been doubting the program for a lot longer than you've had a prelim on your plate. DARE TO LIVE!
Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:24 PM  
Did somebody just tell Dorotha to "DARE TO LIVE"? Dorotha Harried?
Blogger jeremy, at 9:55 PM  
This is difficult. Either decision will take courage. But I always stand by the idea that no career decision has to be permanent. When I went through similar prelim-related bullshit, I asked myself if I would want to stay in school if there were no prelims. I decided that I would, so I did. Maybe that same question would help you. And even if, in a couple years, you realize you made a decision you don't like, you can still quit school/come back to school. Anyway, hope that helps.
Blogger A+, at 10:29 PM  
I also agree with Jeremy's second comment. I wonder if "anonymous" is Tony Robbins.
Blogger the jeff, at 1:12 AM  
1. thanks for all of the advice, everybody. it is nice to know that so many people care about what is happening to me. i think that the best course of action is to continue studying for the prelim. i just have a hard time b/c i find focusing on my readings a challenge. but, like ang and henry said, i should think about what is happening beyond the prelim and decide if that is what i want to do. clearly no one wants to take a prelim. well... there are probably a couple of tools around here who find it an invigorating challenge or something...

2. i'd really like that job in which i get to punch jeff. i think that sounds extra fun!

3. all of this time, instead of daring to live, i have been daring to be stupid!
Blogger dorotha, at 8:48 AM  
Meantime, buy some toys and scatter them around on the floor and on table top. Train little wind-up robots to march around with salt shakers.
Why is everything so 'either/or'?
Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:09 PM  
wow! the last anonymous commenter really hit on a fundamental part of my personality! i almost think it was my mother who posted it. yes, i do tend to think of everything as "either/or." i tend to want everything to be black and white. i classify things as awesome or creepy. i know, i know, things don't really break down this way.

anyway, buying more toys sounds FREAKING AWESOME and i would do it, except i need to save $$ for eats. i'm thinking of making some hand puppets today, and i've already got all the materials i need. perhaps this will fulfill my toy craving...
Blogger dorotha, at 10:34 AM  

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