28 January 2017

Ruminations, continued

I was now a post graduate student.  Yippee.  I opted to get the Masters Degree in one year.   
The year of the Masters Degree was my single hardest year in academia.  The dynamic was much different than undergraduate work for a number of reasons.  First, there was no differentiation between students taking their masters degree or those taking their doctoral degrees.  Sometimes we were taking course with people who had been our teachers a year or two previously. 
Intimidating isn't exactly the word for that situation.  The attitude towards students entering postgraduate work is akin to teaching kids how to swim by tossing them into the deep end of a pool filled with sharks. 
The second issue can be summed up with the phrase "The higher, the fewer."  We entered university as high school students who had shown some promise.  Some had more promise than others.  Here, at the post graduate level, it was all people who had shown the most promise.  I and several of my colleagues developed the Achilles Syndrome, also known as the Imposter Syndrome.  We become convinced that we are imposters, frauds, charlatans.  Despite the fact that we are achieving good marks, we are convinced that everyone knows we don't belong, but they're too polite to say anything about it.  That's how I felt at first. 
As was the case when I first entered university, I was among the last to choose my courses.  The courses I chose were a mishmash, and completely unfocused, but there were a few courses about Renaissance authors that were wide open.  I took them, to round out my schedule, then dove in and swam with the sharks. 


Patience said...

So what was the Masters you were pursuing? Master of Arts? I didn't know you could get a Masters in a year. Most of them seem to be two years.

Bear said...

Master of the Arts in English. It's possible, but you are giving yourself a hard row to hoe.