Re: Degrees vs. smarts

Kathryn Aegis (
Mon, 04 Oct 1999 08:30:24

I've been meaning to send a 'hello' to Amara Graps, so 'hi'!

Amara writes:
>I would guess that the other list members that
>hold degrees would care similarly about the hard struggle and effort
>in gaining their degrees.

You bet. The effort of doing so got the best of me two years ago. My own advisor sat me down and asked a hard question--why are you here? I made the decision not to reenter graduate school until I could prove to myself a true commitment to one particular field. At the same time, that will not stop me from writing serious articles and books. Those will lead in the future to a more solid basis to acquire a graduate degree, if needed. Right now, I am lending my support to my sweetie as he goes through the pain and sweat of acquiring a highly technical master's.

>If a person truly loves their work, and are committed to it, it
>shows in every aspect of their life. Degrees, papers, products,
>talks, paintings, music compositions, etc. are natural by-products of
>this passion.

Yes. I see the concern, however, over the societal bias that individuals who have a graduate degree are viewed as more capable, smarter, etc. In the upper classes of American society, an advanced degree is viewed as a societal credential, and people do not ask 'did you get a graduate degree' but 'what is your graduate degree in'?

>How many people really love their work? How many people
>jump out of bed in the morning and say, "Oh boy, another day that I
>can do my job!" I would guess that not a significant proportion of
>the population feel that way.

> -- who will be "Dr." Graps in 1.5 years, after working for
> almost 20 years in the astronomy business

And, already, you seem to have produced a body of work comparable to most persons who already have the Dr.!

Kathryn Aegis