Was thinking a little bit about graduate school today.
And so I took the tonic that I recommend to anyone doing similar thinking: Tim Burke's bracing post, 'Should You Go to Graduate School?'
Short answer: no.
Long answer: maybe...
The long answer is the rest of the post. Burke is a tenured history professor at Swarthmore; he loves his job, loves academia, and is very, very good at doing the academic thing (from the looks of it). My grad school experience, such as it was, didn't entirely line up with Burke's claims - after all, the people I went to grad school with were by and large not academic types (one of the reasons I felt slightly at odds with many of the people there), and the CMS program at MIT is an idiosyncratic one in a lot of ways. But the idiotic politicking, the pfrancing dilettantism, the halfwitted jargon-slinging...these things are real, nut just bogeymen for anti-intellectual conservative critics to flash whenever they're questioned by smart people (though they're that too).
I love teaching and I love doing research - and I love hashing out ideas with smart people who have nothing else to do. But after all this time, I'm really glad I did the Masters program - and kind of glad as well that I didn't do a PhD program instead. I don't know whether this is a resentful compensation on my part for what I perceive to be my failures in grad school (e.g. I wrote an interesting thesis on which I've capitalized professionally not at all - hey maybe I should read that sometime), but there it is: things could be a lot worse.
And as you can see from the cheesy little graphic in the previous post, NaNoWriMo is coming up, and it's like a Special Olympics for the logorrheic, and that's something to look forward to - oh but tell me why the hell does my weblog editor, ecto, recognize 'logorrheic' but not 'ecto'?