Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Grad school: cattle pens or open-range

Russ Chamberlayne responds to John Herd Thompson's comparison of American and Canadian graduate school methods as either feeding pens or open range:
I got an MA in American studies ("American Civilization," don't you know) at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. in the '70s, and it was very much what Prof. Thompson called a Canadian-style experience. The Am Civ department was quite small, and [...]

I had no mind for the academic courses I had to take, and a grinding writer's block all through the generation of a thesis. Fending for myself was (and is) very much my style, and for better or for worse, the department let me do that. Managed to avoid winter kill, though, and the only wolf I encountered, a nasty thesis advisor I had initially, gave way to a benignly neglectful prof who waited out my completion of the program.

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