Sunday, February 10, 2008

Thoughts on Schools

It has been many weeks since I last wrote, as I am sure you are aware. I was doing so well at posting at regular intervals too, but alas, 'twas not to be (incidentally my Hebrew teacher here at Yarnton says 'twas and 'tis in regular conversation. It is not for him, as for me, an affection, and so all the cooler). I started a post several weeks ago, but was forced to leave, and I rarely finish a post if I am forced to leave it while writing. It is likely a weakness of mine, but one which I feel no especial desire to overcome. My lack of posting in the last few weeks has largely been because I have been busy with school and work and because my wife has of late often been on the Internet, checking up with schools and haunting the forums at the Chronicle of Higher Education in an attempt to get a better feel for what the world is like for Graduate Students. My wife dislikes having her future up in the air, so in order to counteract feelings of having no control of her future, she will spend time on the Internet learning as much as she can about all possible futures.

I have been myself thinking about Graduate School, of course, although I lack my wife's free time to spend on the topic, since, when coupled with my new job--which isn't very difficult, but which takes place during prime library study hours--my course load is much more advanced than it was last term. Add to that the fact that I have been sick for about two weeks (a disease which I am still recovering from), and it all adds up to my being very busy. However, I have been thinking about the two acceptances I have received, although neither of them are formal offers yet (a fact which drives my wife crazy, since there is no word about money--it turns out my wife is obsessed about money. Seriously, her theme song for the past two weeks has been "Money" by the Beatles). I know where I am leaning, but of course financial aid packages will play a huge part of the decision making process in my family. As Sam Spade said in the film version of The Maltese Falcon when discussing his pay before turning the girl in, "But a lot of money would have been at least one more item on your side of the scales." It may be that one school or the other has the better program. But in the end, we'll probably end up at the place that provides the best funding package. Crass of me? Perhaps. But as Twain once observed, I have found that ideals have little meaning on an empty stomach. Probably overstated, but the meaning is clear enough.

When I sat down to write this post, I had no clear idea about which to write. I had vague ideas of discussing some interesting rhetorical devices in the Psalms, but rejected those, largely because they need a knowledge of Hebrew, or at least the ability to look at the Hebrew. I thought about throwing out some ideas I have had for Book of Mormon papers, or even discussing my opinions on education and how it ought to go. I have a number of ideas, independent of home-schooling or not, which I think would greatly aid how children are taught, but which are somewhat controversial. I try to avoid controversy as much as possible, at least in this forum where it is so easy to offend, and so I have refrained. I also thought about posting about some ideas which I have had in regards to my fantasy fiction writing or to my role-playing, such as a list of my favorite role-playing characters, but regarded that as not being of general interest. And so, here you are, with a post on a few thoughts about getting into graduate school. Even that is cautious, because I do not wish to commit myself to one program or another at this early date. Perhaps, when I have chosen my school, I will post a joyful statement about how great it is that I am going to this program and working with that professor. Perhaps. But for now, I regret you must be content with this only.