Monday, May 05, 2014

The cost of scholarship

It's true, I am merely a doctoral candidate, not a real scholar by the academy's standards, but I have been thinking about this topic for a little while. It's approaching the end of our Spring semester here and classes are beginning to wrap up. I have not been able to do nearly as much research for my dissertation as I would have liked these past 3 months.

It's also the start of Summer, and most people here are thinking, "Oh, great, summer. Time to go to the countryside, get outdoors and enjoy the warmth, take a break from regular work." People around me are thinking it's a great time to relax, and that I should take a holiday.

Meanwhile I am thinking, "How can I discipline myself to maximise time sitting in front of a screen and produce as much quality PhD work in 3-ish months as possible?"

This is what I mean by the cost of scholarship. Academic work is a lot of saying "no". No to other pursuits, no to extended times of fellowship. No to developing certain relationships. No to other things, in order to say "yes" to books and reading and writing. It's not that books and reading and writing aren't enjoyable! I love them. But it comes with a price. A price sometimes we fail to count, and sometimes people fail to appreciate.

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