I think grad school is making me crazy

Posted by gminks in grad school | Tagged , | 8 Comments

I thought I’d just share my new theory on why I feel like I am going crazy. Those folks closer to me may have other more valid theories, but this is my blog so I get to talk about my ideas!

I’m learning so much in my program. I’m learning about things like instructional theories, learning theories, how to tie learning to performance, how to tie learning to business requirements, and ways to measure all these things.

I’m learning that my technical skills are important as learning moves to a web 2.0 platform. I’m learning my experience as a community organizer is very transferable to building online communities. I’ve learned my background in information studies helps tie all these things together.

I should be happy right?

Well, now my eyes have been opened to all the possibilities. Participating in courses like CCK08 helped accelerate my thinking on the real possibilities of change that are available now. At the same time the realities of being part of a large organization and my responsibilities are more clear to me now too.

So I have this big feeling of — what am I doing? Are the things I am learning just “book learning” (yes I was told today I am book smart, and that may not really translate  the “real world”. sigh).  And the economy isn’t helping. I feel I’m going to be stuck doing the same thing forever with all these cool ideas in my head that will never get implemented.

I feel like for everything I have learned, I know even less now than when I started a year ago.

I’m hoping this is just normal winter blues. Or that this is the way I am supposed to feel half-way through my program.

Anyone got any advice for me?

8 Responses to I think grad school is making me crazy

  1. Steve Todd says:

    The more you learn the more you realize “how much you don’t know”. I think that’s normal.

    Impacting your company with your great ideas takes time! Pick the most realistic one and work hard on it. Use your influence to make it happen (because you do have quite a bit of influence IMHO).

    Oh, and make sure to goof off a ton.



  2. Steve I don’t know how you did it but you’re amazing. Trust me, you’re going to look back in 20 years and decide that you did the impossible – that you juggled so many deadlines and online/real world responsibilities and actually created a good life for yourself as well. We have potential and we have limitations and with each year we get more experience in how to flow with both sides of the coin. I can’t believe all those people I went to university with are now at the pinnacle of their game and hold the senior positions in everything. Lucky for you most of them also have a semi-retirement date in mind.

  3. Jane Bozarth says:

    I’m with you. I just (as in, 5 weeks ago) finished my doctorate in training and development and for much of the 9 years of that experience felt the very way you describe. There’s so much to learn, and so much to be be done! I was able to cope with it in a couple of ways. One was by focusing on a few things that really caught my fancy, and that I felt were reasonably within my control — something I could get done even if I had to do it by myself (like effective design for e-learning). I also realized, as did you, that I was learning just too much to ever get done, and addressed that by getting very involved in trainer development efforts — my organization now offers a stellar training skills certification course meant to help develop those who are NOT, and maybe never will be, in grad school. It also helps that I am involved in a good community of trainers who were interested in what I was learning and gave me a place to share it in ways that were related to my and their work.

    Does this help at all?
    Chin up and keep breathing! The end result will be worth it.

  4. HueiHsien says:

    I agree with Steve’s first sentence. That’s my motivation that I keep improving and learning.
    I was also just graduated from the graduate school from UGA. I really appreciate for what I have learned, including instructional design theories and technical skills, because they are the foundation for my advanced learning in the future. The company that I work for also faces the situation that they are trying to transfer training from instructor-led courses into blended learning. However, I could see that they are in the slow progress. I am not sure if I could have the influence on them, but I always try my best to leverage on my skills and knowledge to make good suggestions and complete the tasks.

  5. gminks says:

    So you guys are saying I am not crazy, but I am normal? Thanks! 🙂 Nice to see others are in the same boat as I am in. HueiHsien where do you work?

  6. Charlie Brooks says:

    You’re not crazy. It’s simply that graduate school is starting to “take.” You reach a point where your realize that even give all you’ve learned (and hope to learn) you will still not exhaust all the possibilities there are for learning. Fearsome and exhilarating!

    As for those who say someone is “book smart,” but their ideas won’t work in the “real world”: mostly these folks are neither “book smart” nor live in a world where change is possible. Remember Robert Kennedy: I see things as they may be, and I ask: “Why not?”

  7. gminks says:

    🙂 Thank you Charlie

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