I’m coming up on final exams, going out of my mind trying to keep up with the workload and all the while saying to myself: Just two more weeks. Just two more weeks.

And as crazy as it sounds, even though being around a bunch 20 years olds all day is not my idea of a good time, I am going to be applying to PhD programs in the fall.

The logic for this is simple: I enjoy my field of study, there’s few of us out here who do it at a collegiate level, and probably most important: at my age, if I don’t do it now, while I’m in “school mode” I won’t do it. Ever.

This is a pretty recent decision on my part, and recently, I have begun sharing my decision with others.  My father responded with the question “What do you not like about real work that you have to hide in school?”

A close friend responded: “Dude, when are you going to get back out in the real world?”

Another friend: “Who needs that much education in their head? You’re obnoxious enough as it is.”

I’m a little thrown by the reactions I have been receiving. Since when did becoming highly-educated become the mental equivalent of being a slacker? How does trying to become an expert in a field automatically equate to one being a boor? Okay, I’ll grant the obnoxious part, but only out of my friend’s jealously of not being able to beat me at Trivial Pursuit.

More importantly: What the hell is it that Americans have against education anyway? We elected a President 8 years ago on the qualification of his beer-buddiness and looked how that turned out. Said same president appointed a director of FEMA whose greatest qualification was being president of an Arabian Horse association, and on that note, may I remind you of a little event called Hurricane Katrina?

And what about college does not reflect the real world? I have conflicting personalities I have to navigate at all times. I work my ass off 60 hours a week reading, writing, and producing projects that are used outside academia. And I still have to prove I’m as capable as a man, if not more. I’m not some 24 year old who decided they didn’t like getting up and going to work at 8 am. I put in 15 years of professional experience and decided I better make change in my life before I died of an ulcer because I hated my job that much. I don’t study in some Ivory Tower. I work in a grubby, dirty, sticky lab with bad flourescent lighting and inconsiderate labmates. I rarely see my husband, I see less of my dog, and I have no life. Sounds like effin work to me.

And to father I respond: Are you freakin kidding me? I do believe you have a 30 year old sibbling of mine living in your basement, who has been down there since his teens by the way, and who is one step away from joining a Star Trek convention.

And to my friend I respond: read a newspaper once in a while, or better yet, a book. That, or stop challenging me at trivia. Some people know cars, other people know geography, I know tons of random and ridiculous facts of useless information. Sue me. My winning the game does not make me obnoxious. Obnoxious would be me calling you a drooling idiot because you didn’t know who wrote The Carpetbaggers. Which was Harold Robbins, but that’s not the point.

So enough bitching. I have to get back to work here. I have a paper due.

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