By Kenneth Justice
~ If you haven’t noticed I’ve taken some time off this past summer from blogging. Partly due to an insane pace that I was on via my travels and vocation, and partly because of a couple side projects I’ve been putting together. I happy to announce that one of the side projects is complete.
When I first went to college years ago I focused on the discipline of psychology and racked up the necessary degrees and diploma’s to become a counselor in the field of chemical addictions (alcohol and drug dependency). Unfortunately, after working for a couple years in a local county jail and a rehabilitation clinic I soon learned that I had major problems with the current infrastructure and philosophy towards treating addicts. I came to the realization that in order for me to stay in the field of psychology I would have to compromise my own personal beliefs regarding currently held theories.
I took a sabbatical from counseling (actually, I’ve never gone back so I guess this has become a permanent sabbatical) in order to explore other avenues, and it also gave me the opportunity to begin blogging. Fortunately, my daily vocation has been going well and financially all of my bills are paid and then some.
After my departure from psychology I felt a major void in my life; what was I going to do now? With the popularity of my blog and people’s interest in my philosophical thoughts I began thinking about a new direction. I was amazed at how many people came out to hang with me as I traveled from city to city and from one coffee house to the next and by mid-June I had pretty much made up my mind as to the direction I was going to take.
Last month I applied to a graduate program at a major University (one whose name all my readers would know), I wrote an entrance essay, submitted my college transcript from previous degrees, and kept my fingers crossed. Two weeks ago I received my acceptance letter and at the start of this Autumn I will begin a Master’s degree in Philosophy which I hope to finish by the end of next year (2015) with my next goal of earning a PhD in Philosophy to follow.
Philosophy and Liberal Arts are dying subjects in the Western World. Most high schools across the United States don’t even teach philosophy anymore, and many colleges and Universities have dropped their philosophy programs and classical studies.
Colleges and Universities (even many of the good ones) have often become nothing more than diploma mills; they are places people go to get a piece of paper that they hope will get them a better job that makes more money than their current income.
The Western World in general has changed dramatically from where we were forty years ago. Public discourse, intelligent debate, and engaging dialogue were a visceral component of Western Culture in past decades. Yet in our current society we’ve watered down our minds with our fast food culture of 30 second sound-bites, silly celebrity news, and our obsession with meaningless athletic conversations.
Had I stayed in the field of psychology I would already be working on my PhD and would be close to finishing, but because I’m switching to Philosophy it sets me back a couple years. At the age of 36 though, I still feel young enough and have put a goal of graduating with my PhD in four years.
Hopefully this won’t detract from my blogging at all. Perhaps I might need to take a day off here or there, but my goal will to continue offering my readers the daily ruminations of nonsense that run through my head.
And I’m sure my early morning cup of coffee will still be ever at my table,
Categories: Culture & Society