Wednesday, April 6, 2011

the relative theory of practicality

I had a hard time falling asleep the other night (a nap at 9:00 pm, no matter how short, will do that to you). Around 1:00 am, as I read the last pages of In Dubious Battle, I started fleshing out an idea I got Sunday night as I was looking at satellite images of Montreal on Google Maps. More on that later.

Earlier today I was perusing different graduate degree programs at ASU. Why is it that anything I have any interest in studying has no application in the real world? Or won't provide any benefit to my current job/career path? Why can't I get a master's degree in French just because I want to? Never mind that the only thing I could do with that is maybe teach; never mind that I'd make considerably less money doing that than if I stuck with what I'm doing now.

I don't regret getting an undergrad degree in accounting, not for a second. Would I regret getting a master's degree in something less practical like American literature or geography? I really doubt it. At this point though, I feel like the only reason I would get a master's degree is because I feel like I shouldn't leave this life without one. Maybe when I feel like having a certain master's degree would benefit my career or life in general, maybe that's when I should tackle it.

So the other night when I couldn't fall asleep I thought about giving away (selling when possible) all my stuff (i.e., records, books, CDs, most of my music gear) and moving to a big city. Or rather, a city with a bike/pedestrian friendly downtown area. Just for the summer. From May to September or October. San Francisco comes to mind. So does Montreal. I'd try to make friends with random people I'd meet while frequenting whatever city's public transportation as well as other atmospheres and venues that don't exist here in Mesa. I'd take an hour or so to run every morning. I might find a job somewhere but I wouldn't work for more than four hours a day. I'd ride my bike or just walk around the city, exploring, really getting to know my surroundings. I'd read a lot, write a lot, and take a lot of photos.

I think about doing all that, and suddenly, a master's degree in French doesn't seem so impractical.


  1. Would you do this for me, because I can't?

  2. Jen, you're right, as a single guy I owe it to all my married friends and family to undertake this.

  3. This is part of why I admire Myke Olsen.

  4. this made me want to move to SF and buy a beach cruiser.

    also, i get angsty and think about master's degrees about 2-3 times a week. never in anything useful or practical. things like religious studies and family & human development (because i got my undergrad in it and will never regret it. but maybe at this level i could just go read books about it to educate myself.)