There’s a little fable from Kafka, appropriately called “A Little Fable,” that speaks to why this was very stupid:By the way, aren't we all Kafka's mouse, running toward certain death, with the only other option being a premature death?
"Alas," said the mouse, "the world gets smaller every day. At first it was so wide that I ran along and was happy to see walls appearing to my right and left, but these high walls converged so quickly that I’m already in the last room, and there in the corner is the trap into which I must run."The mouse wasn’t going in the wrong direction so much as it was walking cat food the entire time. A graduate career is just like this, only worse, because “A Little Fable” lasts three sentences and is made up, while graduate school lasts at least six years and will ruin your life in a very real way. But, as in the fable, this ruin is predestined, and completely unrelated to how “right” you do things.
"But you’ve only got to run the other way," said the cat, and ate it.
April 6, 2013
This is scarcely news. This is something everyone I knew already knew 30 years ago, but this Slate article is very well written, with some nice references to Kafka, the subject of Rebecca Schuman's thesis. So good luck to Schuman in the life an independent writer.