My name is Matthew and I am on the internet a lot.
A while back a friend of mine made reference to the genre of commercial indie music that sounds as if it was written for children. He pegged its emergence to the Postal Service a decade ago and was referring, if I remember right, to “Somebody That I Used To Know.” I liked the Postal Service way back when [a little less so now], and was fine with the Gotye song the first 675K times that I heard it [a little less so now], but WOW is there a lot of dreadful children’s music on the radio right now, especially if you click on over to the Hot AC stations. There’s Mary Lambert’s “Secrets,” which sounds like someone held a seance to conjure up the spirit of Meredith Brooks; there’s that “Girls Chase Boys Chase Girls” song that came out eight years too late for whatever iPod commercial it was intended for; and there’s also that one “Cool Kids” song that manages to convey maybe eight to ten percent of the angst that John Mayer felt when he wanted to run through the halls of his high school and scream at the top of his lungs.
Do better, everybody.
It’s become something of a semi-annual tradition for me to seriously, “seriously,” contemplate grad school. And every year I give up after a few days, or a few weeks, generally for one of three reasons. First, I tend to have these thoughts at the wrong time—in the spring, for instance, when it’s too late to apply for the following fall semester. Another reason is money. Ten years after completing my undergrad I’m still paying it off, at least when I can, which is not the case some months. The thought of more debt terrifies me. But the third thing, the one I can’t really get over, is my complete inability to have one specific interest. I majored in Anthropology for my B.A., but decided a few years ago that I wouldn’t pay for any more school unless I came out with a practical skill, like photography or video (as opposed to the PhD programs in Cultural Studies that had previously intrigued me, say.) Part of me still wants to make ethnographic documentaries, which I think was my life plan circa 2002, but part of me wants to write novels, or work in a museum, or do humanities programming. I mean part of me is just fine right now, producing literary events and publishing a niche art magazine. But, you know, those are side things and not main things.
It’s fall right now, which is actually the right time to be considering specific grad programs. And, while the money thing sure is daunting, it’s not really any more financially daunting than day-to-day living. I am a pretty broke person right now! So I’m worried and also not worried about the idea of up and moving across the country, of living like a professional adult except without much income for a few years, or, hell, of even filling out applications and taking the GRE. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen? Rejections? As a freelancer/professional job hunter I’m pretty used to rejection. Just this weekend, for instance, I was offered an interview by a recruiter hiring for a position completely unrelated to my skillset, to the point where I had to google the acronym in the job title. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t all so dreadful, etc.
So, anyway, now that I’m 33 I’m once again contemplating grad school options. Wish me luck?
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