They Teach You in Graduate School

That's right chillun, not (heaven forbid!) that I'm suggesting you give up the ghost and get a job or anything drastic like that. In fact, one of the biggest lies they'll ever try to foist on you, in grad school and everywhere else, is: school, and every other activity you engage in, is one big preparation for joining the work force; you're not living unless you're fully employed.

Nothing could be further from the truth. As should be completely obvious to anybody who ever has worked a lick in their life, you're actually not living as long as you're doing anything you don't want to do, though this is a little more complicated than it seems, 'cause one of the main side-effects of our global "fulfillment = productivity of goods & services" conditioning is that none of us ever take any time to think about what it is we'd really like to be doing. Indeed, incredibly, you will meet more and more people as you stumble through the fog of the world who ARE SO TERRIFIED of facing their own desires that they would actually RATHER have somebody else tell them what to do! You will have an immediate advantage over these poor deluded boobs if you take a few moments right now and ask yourself, "what would I really like to be doing?" You will probably find that the more you ask yourself this question, the more unexpected, nay, incomprehensible, your answers become, and also the closer they are to what you are actually doing, till one day the doing, the asking and the answer may all merge. But that is something you have to find out for yourself—no one, not even me, can predict it.

As far as education being a preparation for work, this, also, would appear to be absurd on the face of it; but let me make it plain. THERE IS ONLY ONE THING THAT YOU ARE PREPARING FOR IN LIFE, AND THAT IS TO LOVE ANOTHER HUMAN BEING. Even loving another human being is preparation for loving another human being. There. You knew that, didn't you?

There are, of course, certain activities which are not preparations as much as defenses against the art of love; these include things like washing dishes, governing countries, and writing know-it-all articles for limited circulation literary magazines. But nobody, no matter how grown-up, can avoid it forever.

Well, that's it for this installment; I'll be back next issue with some more specific debunking. In the meantime, feel free to write to me care of this magazine, and remember, there are no grades in this course, but there's nobody in this world qualified to "grade" anybody else anyway, so it doesn't make a turd worth of difference.


Professor Hoodoo