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Do I really want to make a career out of being in academia?  Grad school, a post-doc, tenure-track faculty positions — not only does the whole process seem overwhelmingly competitive and anxiety-racked, but the very notion of academia seems a little contrived.  I think one of the reasons I became a grad student was because I could and many others couldn’t; my good grades and undergraduate research background afforded me an opportunity only a minority of students receive.  Anything selective must be good right?

Not that I’m feeling overly negative about grad school; it’s just interesting sometimes to step back and really think about the important decisions you make in life.  [It's especially appealing when you've been sitting in a hospital bed for the past five days].

So … in the welcome event that I have a successful doctoral thesis, will I pursue a professorship, in part because so few grad students get that chance?  Hopefully, I’ll at least be a little less cynical by then :)

In any case, cue the quote I read the other day that triggered my pretentious introspections:

“If you’re totally obsessed with Shakespeare and James Joyce and go to the ends of the earth researching them, we call you an English professor,” Thompson said. “This guy has chosen his body of art to consume, it just so happens he can’t make a living off of it. The only fundamental difference is he doesn’t have tenure.”

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