I think I’m done with Physics now.
The process of my Master’s Degree has left me feeling disenchanted. For the last several years, I have felt like a cog in a vast machine–and not a particularly necessary cog either. Beyond this, though, I have been wrestling with the question of whether or not a career in Physics was what I actually wanted pretty much from the moment that I declared my major six-and-a-half years ago onwards. I’m no longer sure precisely why I chose it in the first place; at the time, I told myself that it was because I wanted to learn how the Universe worked, and that is certainly at least partially true; indeed, my frustration at being reduced from the Universe down to dumb hole ringing modes is a major source of my disenchantment. Another part of it was a desire to accomplish something infamously difficult, just to prove that I could; this is something I now feel that I have done to my satisfaction. But perhaps the greatest motivating factor of all (and understand that I’m actually having difficulty writing the sentence) was some pitiful desire to make my father proud of me. If there’s one thing that I have learned from graduate school, though, it is the simple fact that my life cannot be lived on other people’s terms. Thus we see that my three main motivating factors either no longer apply or were never valid in the first place; clearly, it is time to move on.
So what I’m considering now is a more multi-disciplinary approach: one which will allow (and in fact compel) me to look at the world through multiple different filters at once (scientific, analytical, historical and artistic), one varied enough that even my mind, flighty though it is, will never grow bored, and one, more importantly, about which I am actually truly and deeply passionate.
My thought is this: History of Science; more particularly, I want to study how cutting edge scientific findings have been presented in fiction over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
As far as I’m concerned, I don’t think that I really stand to lose anything from pursuing such a research path. People always scoff dismissively at the job prospects of people in the academic Humanities, but frankly, it’s not like I’m much more likely to become a professor of Theoretical Physics; at least this way, I’ll be doing something for which I can still muster-up some passion. And if it doesn’t work out, well then, career wise, I’ll only be left in the exact same place that I am right now.
Of course, my great ambition is to be an author, but doesn’t this sound like it could be complimentary to that goal?