“No [one] who worships education has got the best out of education…. Without a gentle contempt for education no [one]‘s education is complete.” ~G.K. Chesterton
I appreciate this quote not simply because I think highly of Chesterton. I believe it speaks to the tension we feel as grad students. We all have days when we curse our books and papers and impossible deadlines. We may disagree wholeheartedly with half the theories, arguments, and approaches of our colleagues and professors. We may struggle against the entire notion of organized academics.
But perhaps that’s not all bad. A “gentle contempt” toward the process of graduate education can keep us alive, on our toes, and constantly moving. If we’re loving every second, then maybe we’re not developing a necessary critical framework for our own lives, work, and experiences. Getting the most out of our academic journey requires us to engage the tension.