Wednesday, September 21, 2005

How to quit grad school

I figured a shot of my creamy white bosom (emphasis on the left breast) would be a good pic to start off a seriouser (I deem that a word now) blog than the uje (how would you spell "us" as in the first syllable of usually?). My boobies do look pretty good. I should show this much skin all the time.

Madness just wrote a thought-provoking yet still witty and cute entry on "performance art" and how we can be performers in our lives. This made me think about the recent end to my best performance ever: KMAD, the enthralled biologist, the good girl. How many of our decisions are made because we are expected to make them, to do things a certain way? Okay, some background...

I was a good girl in high school and took the honors/AP courses because I wanted to get into a good college. I got into a college and became a Biology major because I wanted to be a medical doctor. Why? Because that is the sort of profession smart people have and I was always told I am smart. I graduated college and worked in a research lab. At this point, I no longer wanted to be an MD, I wanted to be a college professor. Why? Again, its a smart thing, but now we were talking a more esoteric smarty profession. (A joke amongst PhDs is that MDs are just plumbers where the PhDs are the engineers. Sorry Esther, if you're a plumber, I'm sure you have a nice crack!)

So I worked in research labs for a few years while the prof was getting his PhD and such. I hated it. I thought at first there were other reasons (the boss, the research topic, etc). Then I came to grad school. No fucking around anymore. This was it. I was on the path to the exalted glorified occupations of the mind. You could practically hear the choir singing and see the Jesus-like glow. I had the BEST boss (say anything about Jeff Stuart and I WILL cut you), the BEST co-workers, and the research was incredibly interesting. If you like that kind of thing. And guess what...

I still hated it. But I played like I loved it. I should have received an Oscar/Emmy/Grammy (the Grammy for performance art and for the goody bag). But those things are so rigged anyway.

One day, the prof turned to me and said, "You know you don't have to do this if you don't want to."
Aside from ending the sentence in a preposition, I saw the light and the curtain closed on my performance right then and there. I dropped grad school at the end of that semester and started doing what I like. I write all the time, I learn about crazy environmentally, socially-conscious things to do, and I love life.

The consequences to my delicious delirium?
The gossip mill. Oh the rumors, the implications, the whispers, the talk.
I will list them numerically because I like numbers. Listing things in numbers make me look smart.
1. I quit grad school because I wasn't smart enough to do it.
2. I quit grad school because I had a nervous breakdown.
3. I quit grad school because I have always been crazy!
4. I quit grad school because I am lazy.
5. I quit grad school because the prof told me too.

As there are only 5 pieces of gossip I can recall at the moment, it looks a little silly as a list. But trust me, for a while, I was "Oh, that girl who quit grad school?!"

Also, my fam still sees me as a vagabond kind of person with no occupation. Apparently, the health food store doesn't count because...I don't know. I'm not in an office? Is that the reason? Also, being a student is another way of procrastinating.

Everyone preaches "live in the present" and "do what makes you happy" but the problem is when you stop performing for them and actually do what they directed you to do (i.e. find your personal happiness), you are lost and they are unsettled.

So...what the fuck is that all about? Live and let live. Love and let love.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

JS stinks!!!!!!
And you are crazy...but not in a scary way a FUN way!
You forgot to mention that you bribed me to stay with fuzzy things such as puppies and bunnies and then left me, all alone :(
The old crew needs to get together...soon, when I am not sooo busy!

5:28 PM  
Blogger madness rivera said...

Love the boobie shot -- and all the great things you say about your body. Wish more woman did . . .

And fuck grad school. People seriously gossiped that much about it? That's usually to avoid the gaping holes in their own lives. They hate to see someone brave enough to change a direction that is not working out as intended.

I shut down my own company last december because, well, it was failing. But before I got my current job, I too worked at a health store. Though I loved it a lot, I lasted only 6 months. Had to get back to bringing in moola for the fam.

Do what you like. Life's too short. And if The Prof is cool, you can't ask for much more.

6:56 PM  
Blogger Kristen D said...

anonymous: are you melanoma or b-rand?
Madness you are the coolest

7:29 PM  
Blogger Cookie said...

So now that you have all this free time without grad school, you can try to teach me how to make my blog better and how to get more arrows on it.. there just aren't enough!!

8:42 PM  
Blogger Cookie said...

PS your boobs are really hot.. but you forgot to credit me for that picture.

8:47 PM  
Anonymous larn gina said...

totally unrelated to the post...and i can't find your email address...but the clapping song is on the radio in my lab...we are listening to stations from san diego b/c one of the guys in my lab is moving there to work with K.C. Nickolau...anyways, ttyl

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

It was me....melanoma...miss u

2:04 PM  

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