Sunday, May 9, 2010

[School] Never too late to go back to -- or stay in -- school...

A couple days ago, I was at the new cafe they opened up on the Northside of campus and, well, I was there to visit my professor. And, he seemed to be speaking with a couple people at that moment I got in and I wanted to get a copy of my paper out of my backpack. So, I put down my backpack on this one table and there was a lady that was sitting there. I just asked if anyone was sitting there and she said no. So, I took to opening my first North Face backpack -- there's a factory outlet in Berkeley, but the lady said, "you know people usually introduce themselves or say something when they sit next to some one they don't know." I wasn't sure if she was a professor or not.

Joe: "Oh no. Sorry. I'm just here to visit a professor. Are you a professor too?
Some Professor?: "No, I'm an anthropology student, trying to finish up my dissertation. Kinda frustrated at the moment."
Joe: "Really? Anthropology?" [At this point, I must've had a flashback to Anthropology 3AC, a course I dropped deciding as I thought it was, well, decidedly boring after two days -- as a double major, there's very few courses in which I can directly choose the electives]. What's your dissertation on?"
Anthro Student: "... How private property/land rights came to be after the collapse of communism. In particular, I'm writing on what happened in the Soviet Union."
Joe: "Oh really? [I didn't remember the intro to anthro course talking about communism] That might be very useful for China [I believe has a psuedo-land rights system in the rural areas with more rights to landownership in the cities] and North Korea one day... "
Anthro Student: "Well, in fact, I believe China [I think she thought I was Chinese] has implemented a landowning system in the rural areas."
Joe: "Hmm..Really, I had heard that there was a lot of dissatisifaction among the rural populace at the communist party at local levels?"
Anthro Student: "Well, there's a system in the cities where its more like owning a condiminium. And, they switched from a collective system to one with more individual rights."
Joe: "Hmm.. Sounds like that's setting up for an eventual collapse of the communist system... Well, I'm Joe by the way... What's your name?"
Anthro Student: [Traces of ADD present itself when I tend to forget names a second after I hear it]: "[Insert name]"
Joe: "Well it was nice to meet you [Insert name]. But, I gotta speak to my professor. Good luck with your presentation."

But, anyways, what I gained from this conversation was that:
#1. Anthropology didn't sound so boring as I first thought.
#2. As this lady must've been ten years my senior or more (or not), but that she was still in school.

I guess it's never too late to do what you think want to do provided, well, it's something you'd like to do.   It's been a topic that's been on my mind a lot recently. With that said, I'm not sure how many more years I'm going to be in school [very broke] in some fashion or not.

Disclaimer: I came across a study that people in highly theoretical fields reach their intellectual prime in their mid to late twenties except for empirical economists, where it said the accrual of age brings additional knowledge and insight.

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