Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The (other) eternal question....([もう一つの]永遠の質問。。。)

Once again, dear readers, I come to you from the wilds of my own life, which is rather apt considering the fact that this is the first post I am making as a college graduate.

That's right, oh beloved readers of mine. What you are reading is being produced by someone in possession of a BA degree. With Distinction in my Senior Exercise, even.

...though really all that means is that you are now reading the ramblings of someone who is officially educated as opposed to someone who is only literally educated. What a difference a single document makes.


Today's question, as I'm sure you are all eager to know, again pertains directly to my future, though this time in a much more long-reaching sense:

Monbusho or Work Force?

That is, Japanese Government Scholarship for full funding to play around in Japanese academia, possibly coming out with a Master's/Doctorate in Japanese Language and Literature, or actual experience and income that may or may not assist me in finding that elusive career I so desire?

The Monbukagakusho, or MEXT Scholarship, is... well, pretty much what I just said. You go through hell to get it, but after you do, the Japanese government pretty much pays for your post-graduate education for as long as you can manage to pass their tests and stay within their system. You get to select three top choices for your desired location of schooling, but the guys paying your bill have the ultimate say in the matter. Your placement also hinges, of course, on whether or not your chosen school wants you. Oh, sure, you think you're special, but do you think 京大 is going to be impressed by that 3.7 GPA? Think again, sucker.

A pretty sweet deal if you're into the academia realm, which I... may or may not be.

You see, I like the idea of academia. I'm constantly coming up with ideas for papers, I wrote a 119 page + 182 page thesis, and I work well under mind-numbing pressure.

The problem is, it's quite possible that I only enjoy academia in a controlled setting. Say, when there's a specific deadline after which my work ends. Thesis turned in? Good, now you can sleep/eat/be merry.

However, in the realm of academia, it's more along the lines of: Wow, you finished that book? Good. Now write another one or we won't give you tenure and you'll be out on the streets at 42 desperate for any job, even one from the University of Arkansas.

(... no offense to any Arkansas students/alums out there, of course.)

In other words, I don't want to make a career out of academia. It's more something I'd like to dabble in.

Thus, can I afford to spend one and a half, possibly two or more years of my life dabbling?

Yes, I am young. Yes, I have my whole future ahead of me.

But dagnabit, I am as type A as it is possible to be, and I don't like being wishy-washy when it comes to anything, especially things as important as my life.

I suppose it boils down to whether video game companies want work experience or school experience, and that I simply do not know. It could vary based on person, company, or time of day, and I really would have no way of finding out until I chose one path and wound up flat on my back in a ditch ten years from now, wondering what happened.

So, once again, a plea to you, my wonderful readers.

Thoughts, comments, advice, or even experience would all be much appreciated. Even second-hand, I am willing to listen and add it to the pot of wisdom from which I will draw my decision before the deadline for the scholarship in June. E-mail, comment, or messenger pigeon, I am open to anything.

This is Edo, signing off wondering whether or not graduation has this sort of impact on everyone.

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