Growing Up Toronto

Life, growing up, going after your dreams…

I Can Almost Taste It… August 24, 2010

Filed under: Graduate School Musings — E.Z. @ 2:51 AM

So, here I am again a few days before my FINAL (yes…final) paper is due! It’s been really difficult for me to actually begin the writing process, and I feel like I am being tortured. I think I have a severe case of senioritis…see wikipedia entry for more info. Honestly, writing this paper actually makes my brain hurt.

Anyway, I officially told the department of my decision to withdraw from the PhD program. Mama was not too happy, but I assured her I know what I am doing! Once I get this final paper done, I should have the MA degree conferred by November! Wee!

My passion for the film/ tv industry is stronger than ever. I can’t wait to finish this final paper so that I can focus on screen writing/ producing and of course, last but not least, acting. This blog will also become more film/ tv oriented as I move forward. I should be taking on a new project in the next few weeks! First I need a job to support myself…hopefully, I will nab a waitressing job on Friday. Oh.. I should mention…I’m starting a bartending course this weekend! Exciting!

I promise to keep you updated, virtual world. I’ll post some fun stuff once I get through this final research paper (ugh) and hopefully find gainful employment!!!!


There is light at the end of the tunnel! July 9, 2010

Filed under: Graduate School Musings,Life — E.Z. @ 5:10 PM

So, it is now July 9th, 2010 (a day before one of my papers is due- which I have as of yet, barely started), but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! This is the second last course I have to complete before the MA portion of my PhD is finished.

Even though I fully intend on stopping after the MA coursework is done, in an ironic twist of fate I have been offered a ridiculously competitive doctoral scholarship to continue on with my studies. Now, any grad student would have jumped for joy at the sight of this offer, but all I could think was…”Why me?!!”.

The scholarship supplies a very “nice” amount of funding for a period of three years. I come from a very humble (euphemism for ‘poor’)  upbringing, and leaving behind any amount of guaranteed money (especially this amount) in exchange for guaranteed financial uncertainty is definitely labeled as thoughtless and frivolous. Some grad students have even suggested that I should stick around just for the cash, but I can’t do it.

I am so scared of what life outside of the extremely structured academic ladder will look like, but my excitement far outweighs the dark thoughts. I know it will be tough (I’ll probably have to waitress for a while before I end up where I want) but I am so willing to do this in exchange for the freedom to become who I want to be.

I’ll be applying to practical programs in the coming fall, and I really do look forward to this year off (even though I know there will be difficult days where I will feel like kicking myself in the butt for retreating from the “comfortable” and familiar torture that most grad students come to know all too well).

I have started taking an acting class, and I’m really enjoying it. I think I’m good at it, and others seem to think so as well. I will be looking at finding an agent in the coming months (a process I’m all too familiar with). It feels good to be acting again (something I’ve had to leave behind since the tail end of undergrad).

I’ll be applying to a postgraduate television and film writing and production program (that’s a mouthful!). I’m interested in every aspect of the entertainment industry, and I am currently working on several screenplays. My partner and I should be filming our first feature in the early autumn. That should be an adventure.

Anyway, if anyone in cyberspace is in a similar position – giving up cushy funding in exchange for uncertainty – hit me back! Write something.



The Glimmer Of The Ivory Tower April 15, 2010

Filed under: Graduate School Musings — E.Z. @ 2:36 AM

Wow, it has certainly been a while. I have not posted since the inception of this until-now-naked blog. History certainly has a way of repeating itself. Here I am, once again, posting an entry on my blog instead of working on one of my final papers.

A word to the yet naive, starry-eyed undergrads: grad school is not some sort of purgatory! I most definitely had my reservations before entering the Ivory Tower, and I really should have done a little (okay…A LOT of) soul searching before accepting the offer.

Graduate school is simply not the place for you if you want to delay adulthood, are confused about your future and your prospects, or simply want to extend undergrad. This is a career, albeit a strange and unusual career, but it really is first and foremost, a job. The level of dedication that you are expected to have to your discipline really does not compare to the level of commitment you had toward your major during your days of undergrad.

If you are not prepared, grad school will chew you up, and spit you out. You will constantly question your worth, and wonder how the heck you managed to weasel yourself into the program in the first place. You must live and breathe your discipline. This is not to say that you cannot have hobbies, but, you must truly have an unrequited love for your discipline if you have any hopes of being successful (in the long run).

I realize now that graduate school is simply not the place for me. I am not interested in doing anymore armchair theorizing (I am a grad student in the humanities). I know that for some, acquiring esoteric knowledge is a satisfying pursuit, but it is not for me (I chose a very esoteric branch of an already intimidating discipline). I plan on telling my department that I no longer wish to pursue the PhD and instead wish to finish at the MA level. At my university, and in my particular department, to get an MA, you are required to complete 8 courses, and I should be done those by the end of the summer.

I must tell you that I cannot wait! I dream of being free from papers, and research that I find has no tangible or practical value. I simply cannot wait to find out who I am without the confines of the school system. I cannot wait to be free from countless hours of grading undergraduate papers (no offense undergrads).

I am so grateful for the opportunities that I have been given, but I really cannot wait to be finished. My university has supplied me with amazing funding, and I was lucky enough to score several scholarships- but my passion for what I am doing is simply nonexistent.

I plan on taking the year off and spending it developing my real passion: acting and writing! I will also be applying to law school in November, and perhaps to a postgraduate public relations program – so the future is still a complete mystery to me. All I know is that I relish working and interacting with people, advocating for them, representing them etc. I know that law, PR and acting would allow me to attain these goals.

Anybody else reconsidering graduate school? Feel free to post!