Grad days

More

Dan Drezner asks which years are more formative:  grad school or undergrad?

There's something else about this essay that gnaws at me, however -- why is graduate school now the formative experience for presidents?  I bet more people know that Clinton went to Yale law school than Georgetown as an undergrad.  That holds double for Obama's matriculation at Harvard law school, which overlooks his time at either Occidental or Columbia. 

Speaking for myself, I undoubtedly learned a lot at my graduate school.  If pressed, however, I suspect that my truly formative years were spent at this place.  I also suspect that this is true of more professionals than not. 

I put it to (well educated) readers, however -- what matters more in your biography, your undergraduate years or your graduate years?

Myself, I vote for grad school.  The second semester of my senior year, David Slavitt, who was by far one of my favorite professors,  asked my creative writing seminar a question that we all should have asked ourselves a lot sooner:  "Why is it that most of you spend all your energies getting as little as possible for your $100,000?"  In grad school, I was less aimless.  Or at least, I wasted a lot less time writing truly dreadful novels.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Technicolor Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In