Life's big questions

A few days ago, the graduate advisor in my department asked me one of those big "what do you want to do with your life?" sorts of questions. Usually when people asks me this I have a vague answer, kind of an Icelandic "oh we'll see what happens". But with Professor Sandberg, I thought I ought provide a bit more thorough of an answer, since he'll be directly involved with whether or not I have a position at Berkeley in the future.

He also asked it in the right way I guess, because he said "Are you still planning on going into the museum field?" Somewhat to my surprise, I had a very cogent nd complete answer to this question.

For a bit of background, he had written a book on museums, and his interest in museums was one of the reasons I had joined the department at Cal. So normally I have played up my interest in museums to him. But not this time.

Instead I found myself saying that actually, my negative experience with museums recently, and my positive experience working on my dissertation, had rather changed my mind about the whole thing. That I couldn't see myself working in a museum anymore. That I didn't like how commercial it was, that I did not have the skill set for that sort of capitalist enterprise, and the the most I could see myself doing was museum consulting.

On the more positive side, I told him I was feeling much more like a scholar and researcher now that my dissertation was coming together. That I wanted to build on that, look into post docs and other opportunities where I could expand the thesis I have developed with Thordar saga hredu. That I really did feel I had a career ahead of me in that, and a lifetime of contributions I could make to the field.

It is always a bit shocking when someone asks you to make a choice like that, and always a relief when you find you have kept an open enough mind to have actually changed your mind.

Comments

SM said…
Ég hef stundum lesið bloggið þitt þó við þekkjumst ekkert. Ég er svona svo kallaður "lurker".

En sláðu til! Gerðu það sem þú sjálf vilt.
Ef akademían er það sem þú vilt, þá ættirðu að reyna það. Það er erfið braut en ekki ómöguleg. Aðalatriðið er að þú gerir það sem þú sjálf vilt gera.

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