For tomorrow, I have hundreds of pages to read on regionalism and provinces in Canada. I also have a paper to finish and a slideshow to complete for the Massey coffeehouse. Upcoming, I have two presentations: one on climate change for my environmental politics course, and another on citizen engagement and civil society for my Canadian politics seminar. I have reading to do to prepare for tutoring on Sunday, sixty undergraduate international relations papers to grade, a divestment campaign to plan for Toronto 350.org, books to finish and review, piles of unanswered electronic and physical correspondence, and (at least theoretically) doctoral research to work on, along with two term papers.
I left the civil service largely because my time was used so badly there, with government attention rarely being devoted to matters of importance. School does still involve some trivial busy work – along with tasks that are necessary only for financial sustenance rather than intellectual advancement. Still, the ratio between time spent working on matters of importance and time spent on meaningless nonsense is a lot better as a PhD student than as a civil servant.
That said, I can’t say I am totally sure that a PhD program is an intelligent way to use five years of one’s life. The social interaction at Massey College has definitely been the best part of the doctorate so far. The continued opportunity to get to know Massey people is probably the strongest factor motivating me to continue with the degree at this point.