Frustrated by my near-complete lack of success with job-hunting, I have turned my attention to the longer term. Specifically: grad school.
I’m going back. Probably for September of 2014–hopefully no later–but I’ve decided that that’s what I want to do. My summertime experience in Strasbourg has rekindled my love of academia as well as my sense of self-esteem (both of which were in short supply during my Master’s). A year ago, I thought that I was finished, but now I’m fairly certain that this is what I want to do with my life.
I have, however, also decided that I’m finished with pure physics. I’m currently trying to publish my Master’s research as a scientific paper, and it has reminded me of just how thoroughly I disliked working on it. So I’m going to spin-off into something else.
My initial plan, based on a series of brilliant lectures by one of my professors at ISU, was an interdisciplinary PhD in History of Science and Literature, where I would examine how cutting edge developments in 20th century physics filtered into popular fiction. But when I was researching potential supervisors, I came upon the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and the University of Toronto, and it suddenly occurred to me: philosophy of science (particularly philosophy of physics) sounds really cool and I think I could do it very well*. Now, I have less idea what I would actually do for a thesis, but I know that I enjoy constructing logical arguments and picking them apart, so I feel like I could enjoy this quite a bit. I’m not really sure which one to pick, to be honest!
Now of course, either of these selections would probably involve me being sent back to undergrad for a few semesters to strengthen my knowledge of the essentials, but that is, to my surprise, something that I am perfectly willing to do. For all that I whined about “spinning my wheels” during my Master’s Program, I’m perfectly willing to stay in one place for a while if I know that it’s towards a larger goal–or rather, one that I can actually feel enthusiasm about.
*I’ve been doing some, occasionally, on this very blog for years.