Graduate Panel

Today I went to a Math Club meeting that featured two graduate students and two professors who formed a panel to talk about graduate school life and application process. I’ve been getting stronger and stronger feelings that perhaps I do not want to go to graduate school in Mathematics. I’m ready for Mathematics graduate school, and I would definitely be good at it, but that doesn’t mean that that’s what I should do with my one and only life. I love to teach, and part of me asks why I should wait so long to do what I really want to do, and why I should restrict my love of learning to one particular specialization of one particular subject.

Armed with this apprehension, I was especially struck by what one of the graduate students said. She took two years in the “real world” before she decided that she wanted to be in graduate school. She said that anyone who doesn’t feel strongly about going to graduate school in Mathematics should think hard about whether it is the right time to go to graduate school in Mathematics. In other words, if you aren’t absolutely positive, then it’s probably not the right time.

On the flip side, I have been feeling better and better about math education grad school, and the nice incentives that some programs offer.


5 thoughts on “Graduate Panel

  1. Consider yourself lucky you didnt have to do two years hard time in the “real world”. One who atains mastery in any specialised subject, attains the ability for mastery in all. Take it all the way

  2. I am glad you are feeling so strongly about something! I feel the ebbs and flows of convictions for grad school every day… and while I am sure, I understand your feelings.

  3. having some experience in getting sidetracked, I would offer a couple of thoughts.

    1) you have that scarce talent of absorbing the complex, then simplifying it for those less able to comprehend. this is a good thing, a valuable skill, and certainly applicable in all professions, and most certainly in teaching.

    2) as your goals and desires clarify, sometimes other options appear, options that may prove more worthwhile to your own life. you can, for example, follow your interest in teaching, keeping in mind that you can go to graduate school night classes in a few years.

    3) going to grad school now will open many doors for you as far as career opportunities, in busines or in teaching.

    Every path taken leaves many paths untaken. I hope the path you choose at thee very least opens up worlds that inspire you.



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