Every so often hours of procrastination on Buzzfeed pay off. Today I found this gem. It’s a heartfelt, honest article written by an adjust professor, who also happens to work at a grocery store. Grocery stores, apparently, gives medical and dental benefits, better working hours, higher salary, and a better job security than small colleges and universities that employ adjuncts. There is a beautiful paragraph in this article that says:
Sometimes I think I did everything wrong. I should have stayed in public relations. We should have stayed in New York. Or maybe we should have moved to Los Angeles before we had kids and became entrenched in the TV industry there. I should have gotten my MFA in my twenties, not my thirties. I should have begun writing seriously earlier. I should have gotten better grades in high school. I should have written novels instead of short stories, or tried writing for TV instead of either. I should have been more aggressive about many, many things. I should never have fallen in love with teaching. There are a lot of should-haves. At some point, though, there come the what-are-you-going-to-do-about-its.
As I begin the third year of my second graduate degree, I ask myself similar questions. Should’ve I done everything differently? Stayed at my previous jobs, where I was a respected and sought after translator/interpreter and private tutor? Maybe I should have stayed at that job at the export company… Maybe I should have gotten my degree in PR or advertizing.
As many graduate students in North America I constantly have to prove the worthiness of my educational choices. To my friends the are you still in school? ones and what is the practical point of your degree? ones. To grant agencies, who have the power to change the quality of my life. To my peer and superiors, who are here to judge and evaluate. Never before was I so deeply affected by the ideology that education is a commodity and that a pursuit of education is an investment. If you are a poor investor, the return is you working at a grocery store.