Yep, that’s the way this scam works.
Every downturn in the economy causes several things. Maybe even more than several. But the one that annoys me because it shows that not even people who are paid to write and get printed on actual physical paper have anything even approaching an institutional or professional memory:
The fact that every frakking newspaper on the planet comes out with the same faux-callow retread: OMG, Post-Secondary Schools Are Like Totally Ripping Off the Unemployed.
It’s what they’re for.
Far too many of them anyway, and if you doubt that, you can take a quick browse through Barbara Ehrenreich’s Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream.
Which doesn’t make my decision to apply to grad school any smarter or dumber than before, for lo, I am a terrible snob, and I wouldn’t go to some podunk Potemkin College. There are only three schools in the world who seem to be offering the opportunity I’m looking for: one in the UK whose name I can’t remember, Stanford, and Simon Fraser University, which happens to have the new school of Communication, Arts and Technology just about a ten minute walk from my apartment.
And of these, SFU is the greatest, because it’s the most wide-open, the most affordable, and smack-dab in the middle of a community to which I am connected up the proverbial wazoo. I’m not connected to them literally up the wazoo because I don’t like them that way, okay? Okay.
I’ve been told that Stanford has a program for deserving people from out of the country with whom they want to work, and I’d like to think I’m one of those people, they just don’t know it yet. And the UK would be nice, and I’m pretty sure I could use BoJo’s webguru as a reference, and I can easily get an EU passport, what with having been born in France and so on. And god knows, I haven’t got enough paperwork in my life, so here goes a round of rooting through online prospecticusses and presumably interviewing, because when you’re the scholarship applicant, they’re not gonna take a shot in the dark: they want to look in your actual eyes and see if the retinas match with anyone on the Ten Most Wanted list.
Especially if you’ve indicated a preference for distance learning, a desire to collect professors’ home addresses, and you’ve listed a cabin in Montana as your address.
As if that weren’t enough, I’ve also taken on a major role with the Social Media Club of Vancouver, and I’m applying for more paid blogging gigs, as well as upping my post frequency on True/Slant.
Which is basically all my posts tagged WorkLife Balance are ALSO tagged Speculative Comedic Fiction.
Next up, figuring out how to apprentice myself to this guy. I spent a significant part of last year trying to convince local hotels this would be a good idea in advance of the Olympics, to no avail. Obviously, the man has mad hotel-persuasion skillz.
Promises: hmmm, isn’t that the name of a rehab center?
Umm…I don’t want to discourage you. Far from it, because graduate school can be very educational (I learned to drink there…). But I suggest you do some more research before you make the leap…Lemming-like.
But I don’t WANT a graduate degree in the humanities: I want a graduate degree at the intersection of sociology and technology. I want to study whether social media can be used to decrease anti-social behavior.
And as I’ve said before on the blog, I want to do it for concrete, career-based reasons, which is also why it must be done SOON, before there are many people in the field.
Splitting hairs, I think. If you’re not studying genetics or nanotechnology, you’re in the humanities “boat” (floating out to sea without a paddle…). Sounds like an interesting project, but the theory (media studies, psychology, contemporary social theory) doesn’t distinguish it from “looking at humans, as humans”.
Not sure how social media, which isolate and alienate people while giving them the “illusion” of sociability, improve problems with anti-social behavior, but I could be totally wrong. I often am.
Anyway, lots of luck with the project. Whatever its value/validity, learning new stuff is always positive. In unpredictable, tangential and unexpected ways, even.