March 04, 2004
Congratulations to me.
Some uncharacteristic bragging. It was one year ago today that a dear friend was visiting me in Massachusetts. It was bitterly cold, and I was a bit in the dumps about receiving my first rejection from PhD programs in American Pragmatism on February 26, 2003. I received a letter from my university in the mail when we got to my apartment, and I hid it under my shirt. Whatever was in the envelope was not very thick, and I remembered from my Master's Degree applications that thin envelopes were indeed bad news. I locked myself in the bathroom, saying that all the beer we drank around Boston that day was getting to me -- in case it was another rejection. I didn't want my friend to know if it was more bad news. It indeed was not. It was news that my school was offerring me their top doctoral fellowship to go and begin work on my PhD in philosophy. It meant that my charmed life maintained its course and that things were still serendipitously working out for me in a manner which I have yet to live up to. It meant that all of the stress and worry from the previous months amounted to nothing and that the dark days from February 26th to March 4th were going to be a strange memory. My friend and I continued our Fat Tuesday festivities (though neither of us are Christians) after we called my undergraduate advisor who told me that my future was now in place. Now, I am half-way through my second semester of PhD work, narrowing down the dissertation topic and learning about the trade of academic philosophy. I don't have a ton of money, but I have enough to be comfortable and to have the leisure to study and think. I have my Moleskines and Library of America books and French presses, and I get more work done than I have since my second year of college. I couldn't ask for anything more.