Your Journey Through Academia [1]

[Portions of the paper “I Was a Teenage Grad Student: My Journey Through Academia” originally presented at the 2008 CFH Student Plenary, copyright 2008 Lauran Kerr-Heraly]

At the first class meeting of my doctoral program, I felt fully prepared and confident.  I had read and taken extensive notes on the reading, met a few people, and researched the school.  My professor went around the room, asking students their insights into the text.  One by one they stole all of my original ideas.  By the time he got to me, I had nothing.  All those clever analyses and nuances I had carefully constructed were completely useless.  I stumbled over an answer and realized this was a whole new world.

It was a whole new world with authors of whom I had never heard and theories I did not understand, classic works I had never read and survival tactics I had yet to discover.  My new colleagues, it seemed, had read every history book imaginable and could use the name Foucault as a noun, verb, and adjective.  This was going to challenge my brain and my soul and encourage me to question everything.  And this crazy world of academia would become my home, for better or for worse, and certainly for poorer.

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One Comment on “Your Journey Through Academia [1]”

  1. Phil Says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Lauran. It certainly adds perspective thinking about those early moments of grad school. Look forward to more of your thoughts.


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