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Wednesday 13 October 2004

why i went to grad school

I went to grad school in order to learn to write new kinds of music, to be part of a music community, to have access to the resources of an academic institution, to spend some time away from CA hoping I could solve my (personal) problems by getting some distance.

I feel really happy. All these terrible things happened in the last 2.5 years, but there's a sense of inevitability that I have about them. And the "if it doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger" thing . . . I can see how many of the good thigns that are happeneing now would not have happened without the bad events happening first.

So, given that my grad school goals are working out so fabulously well so far (ask me about this again the week that my thesis is due), I'm wondering what I should do afterwards. More school? It would help me get an academic job (god help me). An academic job is good because it means a steady pay check, health insurance, access to the resources of an academic institution (I'm talking equipment, concert hall, library, etc) and the chance to warp young minds. There is also the possibility of doing exchange programs. I could go to Germany next fall. Then I could apply for a Dutch thing after that. Bouncing around Europe is cool because it enables travel, would expose me to other ideas about music and is just generally cool. It's a bit more uncertain and bohemian. If I spend two years in euopre and then three years in a doctoral program, I'll be 34 when I start looking to be a professor or a lecturer. If I want to have a kid, well, that would be a good time to have one, I guess. Timing, desire to be a bohemian all at odds. My mom started trying to have kids at 36, had a lot of health issues related to that and was 38 when I was born and 40 when my brother was born. That's kinda too old.

I'm thinking about this stuff now because I want to have a plan. I don't want to think "i should have done more bohemian stuff when I had the chance" or "gosh, I wanted a kid, but now it's too late." I mean, I know you can adopt forever, but there's other age issues that I definitely saw in my childhood. Also, when people say "where do you see yourself in five years?" I can say, "well, hopefully, I'll be finishing up my DMA/PhD and applying for professorships."

Of course, nothing ever goes according to plan, but it's nice to have one.

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