What do you want to be when you grow up?

Paula Poundstone has this great joke about why adults are always asking kids this question.  It's because they're lookin' for ideas.  Ha!

Coming drastically close to the end of my first step in graduate work I'm again questioning what I want to "do" in academia.

Let's review Matthew's professional life decisions up until now.

At first there was music.  Phase 1 - birth to age 17.

Then is was teaching high school math which lasted about a year, at least until my first day at State.

Enter the middle school teacher phase which lasted for a good amount of time, at least through my time at CFS.

And then I felt called back to academia... to scholarship... to research... to a higher purpose.  (Cue Avenue Q theme song.)

Here's where the fun really began.  First there was Communications.  Then English.  Linguistics??  Nah.

There's always Middle Grades Education... but what about Anthropology?  Sociology?

Now we are in the time of Instructional Technology.  But honestly that time passed awhile ago.  Ship has sailed, what's next.

Which brings me to today.  Top of the list?  Philosophy.  No really, philosophy.  Am I nuts?!


  1. No way! As long as you have a passion for it and you think that through philosophy you can:

    a. Contribute positively to society and help others; and

    b. Make a living

    Then philosophy is a good move.

  2. I feel like you might be idealizing Philosophy. I know your frustrations with the machine of education, but the same things exist within philosophy.

    An epistemologist, for example, will rarely venture into ethics, and if he does... well... the results are rarely pretty. An don't get me started on metaphysics... ;-)

    I love philosophy; a realm of academia completely devoted to thought stirs my imagination. I find, however, that much of the system is still a system...

  3. What gave the impression that I was idealizing philosophy?

  4. Those two questions are both central to my journey :) Thanks for the reminder and positive feedback!

  5. The things that you tell me are problems in education are endemic in Philosophy. Take TPAC for example; the conversation has stopped because those who are willing to take the next steps are either absent, or ignored to some extent.

    Philosophy is similar. Take Dr. Koehl's Implicitly Grounded Beliefs theory from years ago. It broke some boundaries of philosophy, indicating that people can actually have knowledge without knowing it. This gives room for psychic impressions and legitimate foretelling (Sooth Saying, for example).

    The arguments were good and well reasoned, but the paper was not accepted by the community; it was ignored. Innovation could have taken place and philosophy could have moved forward in a new direction, but it didn't.

    I still think that IGB's will become accepted, but just like any other field, a reasonably advanced enough idea is treated as magic and relegated to the annals of obscurity for a while.

    Does that follow?


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