Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives

I'm writing this from the Kenyon bookstore, where they've installed a cripped free wi-fi service – web browsing, yes, but POP/DHCP email access, no. Grump.

Every time I return to Ohio it's like a great weight is lifted from my shoulders. Yes, I have hundreds of emails piling up each day, all of which come cascading into my inbox in a digital avalanche, but it's worth it. This is recentering – lying in my old, undersized bed in my parents' house and listening to the peace and quiet of the countryside, sitting in the Kenyon bookstore and thumbing through literary magazines, returning to old haunts and old habits like a favorite old jacket. I feel like I venture out into The Outside World, learn and fight and befriend and struggle, then return to the home fort to share my findings and winnings older, stronger, broader, and hopefully better. This is still home in a way that Boston will never be. I love London and Seattle and Paris and San Francisco and all the other crazy places I've been, and they're all places I'd love to return to someday for a handful of months at a time, but if home is where the heart is, my heart is definitely here.

I wonder about the value of a PhD from a program in the first year of the PhD's existence. I wonder about the value of a PhD from the Media Lab. I wonder about what programming languages and artistic styles and business techniques I need to learn in order to come back and be a professor here. I don't know, nor do I know exactly how to find out at this point. Still, being back here is progress in and of itself, and getting a clearer idea of what I'm aiming for in the long run is absolutely invaluable.

Of couse, I knew this before – now it's just reaffirming previous theories. Anyway. Still valuable.


I just started reading this recently, and it has been nice to see what you've been up to.

A few days ago a read your musings on what you should be doing after graduation ("to PhD, or not to PhD, that is the question" ;) ) I debated about commenting then, but didn't.

Today I read this entry and realized I had to comment, because I am so exactly in the same place right now. The PhD program I am really tempted to start here after I finish my MS will also be a brand new program.

It has going for it that in a large way it is an overlap between one of the best Ecology programs in the country and one of the best Landscape Architecture programs in the country. But, on the other hand, it's a new program, and most likely I'd be advised by new faculty. How much is that worth professionally, when it hasn't stood the test of time, and is it worth it personally to be the guinea pig?

Anyway, we should talk some time and compare notes. It's uncanny how similar our situations sound right now.


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