PhD and dropout are two words, antagonistic in meaning, but which inspire the same eye- popping, jaw- dropping effect on the hearer. However there is a fundamental difference. One is out of admiration and the other is out of shock and disbelief. Now imagine if these two words are said in the same breath. Picture this!
“I am a PhD Dropout!”
Boom! Dish! Bang! Thud!
I am just giving a voice to the various expressions which I have recorded on the faces of astounded shell shocked people when they hear that I am a foreign returned PhD Dropout! As if their very breath has been sucked out of their lungs or a bomb has just exploded! They are like, “Really? Actually! What? How could you?”
But thankfully for me they never utter their horrendous reactions and out of feigned politeness quickly bring forth a sympathetic smile on their face and wonder what to say while some other well meaning folks encourage me to find a PhD position in India, telling me that India is now competing globally with Europe and US and there is no harm in pursuing, in fact it is even prestigious to do a doctorate here. And then there are some who genuinely want to know why I took such a foolish decision but are too polite to ask me.
Secretly I have begun to relish the ability of being able to arouse a wide array of emotions ranging from shock, disbelief, curiosity (most people display a mix of curiosity and disbelief) and sometimes even awe (or so I would like to believe) just by my being a PhD Dropout. Earlier I used to tell the truth about my career destroying decision: that I realized three years into my doctorate that I was not meant to a super intelligent geeky whizkid indulging in path breaking earth shattering research! Slowly it dawned upon me that nobody believed even an iota when I said that I did not like it and it is not my passion.
And I guess they have a reason to disbelieve me – I mean I knew what to drop out of but for almost two years I had not even the slightest idea about what to drop into! In other words I did not know what to do with my life. Of course this did not turn me into a people hating recluse whose only mission was to find out her mission in life, since I began to enjoy dropping my PhD Dropout bombshell on people, for I began to see for real how society labels ‘Losers’ and how they are treated! And trust me they are not treated so bad 😛
Coming onto my wonderful family. They have been very supportive of my decision, just that they deeply lament that their daughter has gone crazy and mourn the almost-in-reach-now-lost-forever prestige, power and moolah that having a Dr in front of my name would have given me ..er..sorry them! Now they can’t say that I have made them proud though they still love me!
Oh but I hope you are not getting the feeling that I consider myself a ‘Loser’! In my eyes I am… well I will save that for another post! and also if you are interested about what I finally decided to drop into 😛 But just to give you a hint of what I feel consider this:
Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Brad Pitt,Larry Page..I have them for company 😛 Thanks to them I already feel like a celebrity and the best thing is that I can now enter the dropout hall of shame..oops fame!
It is kinda fancy now to be a dropout 😛