Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Dorothy Syndrome

Somewhere on the Top 10 Signs It's Time to Graduate there must be: You return to school from a trip to Kansas and spend days dreaming you could go back.

I never really understood Dorothy's insistence on getting back to Kansas. Oz was cool; she got to explore, meet talking animals, animated scarecrows and tin statues, and experience magic. Sure, often that magic was started by the wicked witch and aimed against her, but that should just add to the adventure. I blamed this on the late-19th-century opinion of the good girl and a female's place in the world.

Now I find myself drawn to Kansas for the same reason she was, or a very similar one:
my sister, brother-in-law, and brand-new nephew. And grad school is no Oz to distract me. There is no magic or sense of adventure, just a list of chores to be completed before the new semester starts, the continuing drudgery of Dissertation Experiment 3, and a great deal of will required to show up to work every day. It's hard even to get excited by the prospect of applying for jobs, because the jobs seem scarce and it's just more work to cram into a busy semester.

I'm still not certain I would ditch Oz in favor of my family, but I'd certainly ditch grad school for them. Which provides a great deal of motivation to get through

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