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Why a PhD, Why Not & How To Know: Everyday Magic, Day 102

Updated: Sep 27, 2023


When my students and former students ask me what I think of them getting a PhD, I try to tell them everything, including some of what I went through as a poet in, at the time, a critical-theory-focused department which, coupled with failing my comps unanimously and completely (everything was so connected in literature that it was hard for me to make declarative statements), led me to quit my program for a year. But then I also tell them: I went back and finished.


At the time, all I knew was that I was supposed to do this, and I would find out why later. Turns out that instinct was true. With doctorate in hand, I was able to teach at Haskell Indian Nations University, one of the great educational and cultural experiences of my life. I also had the credentials to get hired at Goddard cialis for sale cheap College in 1996, which I found, despite my belief that such a wonderland of social change and meaningful education could exist, my academic home. Of course, all academic institutions are pretty crazy, but that’s another story. I was also able to found Transformative Language Arts, an emerging academic field as well as a profession, edit a book on it, and start an annual conference.


Having a Ph.D. is, otherwise, not that useful, and for the most part, I don’t even put those letters after my name hardly ever because they tend to either alienate people, piss them off, or in the case of my fellow Lawrencians (highest percentage of PhDs and Kwik Shops in the U.S. — I know there’s a connection there), bore them.


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