"Close Your Eyes and Count to Ten," from Grouplove’s Never Trust a Happy Song.
My buddy Reid and I playing some hardcore badminton!
I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.
Q:Hi, man. I'm James. I'm only 17 but i'm seriously considering majoring in Philosophy at some point (I want to start by obtaining a masters in mathematics first). I've read much of Alvin Goldman's book "Social Epistemology" and loved it (you quoted him once). Really i just was wondering what it's like to be a grad student (and how it was to be an undergrad student) majoring in philosophy. I'd be super greatful if you could tell me what the experience has been like.
Hi James, thanks for the question. First off, glad to hear you’re already thinking ahead, and that you’re planning to go math, and then philosophy in doctoral studies potentially. Mathematicians are some of the most rigorous philosophers I know, and are under-represented amongst philosophers today in my opinion. With regard to the grad school experience as compared to undergrad, the difference is really what you make of it. Sure, there are tons of differences in terms of responsibilities (such as TA-ing and keeping abreast of scholarly developments in your field) and added perks (having your own office, being able to travel to untold places on the school’s dime, etc.), but if we’re strictly focused on the experiential aspect of the two, then one must cultivate a grad student mindset to take the most advantage out of being one. That means, for one thing, that you mustn’t rely on your intuitive smarts to sit quietly through a seminar, as you might in undergrad. This deprives you of the sort of penultimate character of dialogue—that of there always being one more question you could ask—that is so crucial to keeping your mind open to new ideas and concepts that will be essential in writing good, interesting papers (and not just good reports of philosophy articles). For another, grad school is inherently about knowledge acquisition, and not being a good communicator prevents you from efficient direction of research, which will be especially important when it comes to writing your dissertation. You said you read Goldman’s book on social epistemology—grad school exemplifies many of the ideas he presents there, such as our dependence on each other for increasing knowledge. Have fun in college!