Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Graduate School vs. Law School


I have started school.

There are three material things that I see as being different
from grad school than law school.

In law school, I had to read material that was abstract
and philosophical, and rarely dealt with race, class or gender.

Now I get to read material that is abstract, philosophical,
and that deals with race, class and gender.

I wake up reading. I go to sleep reading. In law school, it took me
a year to engage with the material this way. This is a problem,
seeing that your first year grades in law school play a huge
role in your employment options after you graduate.

The second thing is that I have started school with the
understanding that it is my job to build community. To that
extent I have met with folks, to get institutional history so
that I can understand the lay of the land, who to stay away
from, who I must be in contact with, where the axis of power lies, etc.

The third material difference is being around men and women
who do not automatically presume that others are heterosexual.

I was kind of taken by surprise when talking to a colleague, who was
giving me the lowdown on a professor whom she suspects is homophobic
who said, "I don't know if you are LGBTQ identified but, this professor..."

I thought to myself, wow, that was cool and really progressive of her
to not only think but to say that.

I read all the time. In fact, had I not taken a train to see Birkhold
I never would have realized that I needed to (re)learn how to read
anywhere at anytime.

Last week, I had been telling myself, if I sit down to read, I need at least two
or three hours. FAGET THAT! Give me 1 hour and I am knocking out
at least one twenty page article with reading notes. ALL TIME IS VALUABLE.

Right now, I have estimated that I have 22 hours a week of reading.

Yup. 22. No joke, eh.

The school work isn't the hardest part of this. It's hard
but it's manageable. So long as you eat,
sleep, don't party and
not have some tragic 'ish happen in an intimate

Oh, and a willingness to sit down and engage with the material. No
internet. No phone. No tv. Just you and the paper.

The most challenging part is engaging with humans, managing relationships,
keeping track of deadlines and simply just showing up on time.

Have you started school?

How is it going?

Any questions for me?


Jeremy R. Levine said...

"Now I get to read material that is abstract, philosophical, and that deals with race, class and gender." Aint that the truth.

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Nexgrl said...

I understand what you're going through. While in graduate school, I went to school, to work,to the library, and home. When discussing where I went to graduate school, people are amazed that I lived in Atlanta and never went to a club or traveled anywhere along the east coast. I then go on to explain that it was about obtaining a degree, that's it, that's all.

neo said...

I'm just glad this phase is over. Working on my thesis involves me going from work to lab continuously throughout the week and then work on actual material throughout weekends.

Sara said...

I just found this blog this morning, but I like it! As a fellow first-year grad student in history, I'm amazed you even have time to blog at all. Keep it up! :)

Janine said...

I'm a recent grad who has no intention of becoming a practicing attorney but am considering applying to law school. I'd love to hear what you have to say about the pros and cons of L-school and why you decided to opt out.

Model Minority said...

Hi Janine,

Thank for stopping by. I am here to help.

Here are some questions I have for all folks considering L school.
1. Why do you want to go?
2. Have you chosen schools that have demonstrated that they can graduate students like you?
3.If you are not going to a state school, and your you or your family isn't paying for it directly, have you thought about the debt burden to income ratio?

Send me the answers, via email, along w/ any questions that you may have.


DrPrettySmileDDS said...

I am in a graduate biomedical science program and it is NO I am taking gross anatomy and it is taking up all my time...but its going to be worse in dental school, so I better get used to it. I would love to get a Masters in African-American Literature later on in life. Have a great school year! I love your blog, by the way :) Are you still starting the online book club?

Model Minority said...

Hello DPS,

Thank you for your kind words.

I get traffic from your facebook page all the time.
Now I know who you are, sorta.**raises hand to chin.

Uhhm. The Book Club. I doubt it. I can barely blog and given the 22 hours of reading lols. BUT. Its all good. I like the material.

Gross Anatomy? Sounds fancy.
When the blog relaunches I will have a book section, perhaps that is where we can have a book club.

I also have an outline for a book site, where will I find the time tho?

arieswym said...

What are you studying in grad school? From this website and twitter, I enjoy and learn from the book and article recommendations that you share.

I was also wondering how connected are your undergraduate and graduate studies and how have you used your undergrad studies to assist/shape (or not) your graduate studies.

M.Dot. said...

Thank you for asking.

I am pursuing a Ph.D in Women Studies.
I am looking at women and work, teens and sexuality and building
local sustainable communities.

I am glad you like the links. I try and make sure to include them, because I think it makes for a better read. I will be teaching next year, God willing, so I hope to use the blog posts as a part of my curriculum.

I went to Eugene Lang for Undergrad.
In retrospect, they are connected in that both are interdisciplinary.
Lang is a place that let me be myself.
A mentor of mine is a Dean @ NYU and I remember her saying that I need to find a place where I could bring as much of myself as possible.

I didn't realize it at the time, but Lang really allowed me to do that. I was privileged in being able to have such a student centered education in New York City. Thats really unheard of. Ironically me and a classmate spent time WISHING we went to NYU/Barnard. In reality, I KNOW for certain that I was where I needed to be.

Are you considering school?
If so what?

arieswym said...

Wow...a student centered education in undergrad, completely different from my undergrad experience as an engineering student at Rutgers. I fought to include more of myself in my studies and in the development of my curriculum as I went through undergrad but it was a struggle.

I am in the process of applying for masters programs in international relations, which is what my interests have evolved toward.

Model Minority said...

Hey Love,

Rutgers is awesome. A HBCU in the North East on the Low. I wish I applied their for history, but I never really gained any traction in dialoging with the department when I was in research mode, so I didn't put it on the list.
Their L School graduates more Negros than many official, HBCU's, which awesome.

Why international relations?
What are the questions that you are seeking to explore as a student?
How have your interests evolve?. With an engineers mind we could totally use you to do many things. Big {TEEF} Smile.

Robert said...

My first time readn this blog. Not sure if this is just one person or several. But at any rate, I enjoyed your thoughts a lot. Especially this post, it reminded me to be mindful of my studies and to livicated to my art.Right on.
-Robert Trujillo (from Oakland as well)

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