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Is a PhD right for me? 47.2.4

jani

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I have been looking at these threads for years but this is the first time I've felt the need to post something. I am applying to eight PhD programs right now. Getting in will be tough for me; I was a terrible student for the first half of my undergrad. But I know I need a career/place change. I have been working in non-profit for nearly ten years. I asked if a PhD was the right move for me and received 47.2.4 changing to 8.

I think I understand the "Exhaustion" aspect--I have been working full time and teaching at the college level. If I pursue a PhD--it would be that and nothing else. Which means a few years of doing without. I am not relishing that. But it would also mean picking one path--no more juggling. That would be lovely.

I am not certain what to make of the changing lines: 2. Confined, one tends to drink. Officials come from all sides. Advantageous. Take advantage of making offerings else suffer exposure to dangers. No harm in this. and 4. Ambling along, one seems to be confined as if a metal chariot. Regret, but things are completed.

All this changes to 8 which seemed to me to be encouragement to ask the i Ching whether I was up to the task of being a PhD candidate and ultimately a college professor.

So I did. And I received 56.2.4. It sounds like the academy will be limiting for me. Which makes sense, but I think any "career" is slightly limiting, requiring one to assimilate with one's colleagues and environment to some extent. No matter where I get accepted (if I get accepted) I would have to move. I am REALLY looking forward to that. I desperately need a change of scenery.

Frankly, I still cannot figure out what the "answer" is. I think this is all way to personal for me right now (can't see the forest for the trees kind of situation). So, what do you all think? Any advice?

Thanks in advance,
Jani
 

rosada

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I think the reading is focusing on your need for acceptance into a PhD. program (8.Union)

47.2 Says you really do need a change.
47.4 Says you want work that is more fulfilling.

Altogether I think you are being guided to consider that while you do need a change, the PhD. program might not be your most direct path. It sounds like it just causes you to delay getting into doing the work you'd really like to be doing.
 

ginnie

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Seeking a new group

Go for your Ph.D.?: A lot of effort for nothing. You will find yourself being impeded by something you thought was going to carry you forward, just as you interpreted the lines yourself in presenting the question.

You wish a solution to problems you are experiencing from the people you are living with or some other closely knit group with which you are tightly connected.

I share Rosada's view that there must be a more direct route to a simpler solution.
 
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willowfox

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I asked if a PhD was the right move for me and received 47.2.4 changing to 8.

This says that you are fed up with what you have been doing, you are looking to escape from the seemingly meaningless pursuits that you have been following and wish to find something better and more satisfying like doing a Ph.D but it ain't going to be that easy to start even. All sorts of things have interfered with your plans but if you can push them all aside then it is possible to go after a Ph.D.

Hex 8 is about joining a group of like minded people but you must ask yourself honestly, do you really have what it takes to get a Ph.D, the ability to study diligently, never giving up and never getting bored with it. If you honestly think that it is beyond you then stop now.

Hex 8 also suggests that you ask again whether you have the capability to pass or not?
 
M

meng

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Hi Jani,

If I received these answers to those questions, I'd have to reexamine my reasons for desiring to attain a PhD.

But let me caution you here. It's been my experience that Yi doesn't seem particularly concerned with some of the things that concern me. And so, if it was my wish to achieve something that was either under or over Yi's radar, I'd go ahead and do what I wanted to do, regardless of my Yi readings. I don't think working for a PhD is something which Yi "has an opinion" about. Your reasons and motives would, I believe, be more within Yi's radar scope. Based on this, your reasons don't look very convincing. In fact, you don't believe them yourself. You're just searching for answers right now. Your 56 changes to 18, which means you're working on improving your situation.

Bruce
 

willowfox

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Just noticed that you had asked a second question.


"whether I was up to the task of being a PhD candidate and ultimately a college professor?" received 56.2.4 > 18

If you enroll on the Ph.D course then you can certainly expect help and support in your studies but the line goes on to suggest that you may well be out of your depth in pursuing this goal and you will be well aware of that fact because you will constantly be having to reassure yourself that it was the right thing to do but you will not be happy at all.
 

jani

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Thank you!

Even after I posted my question, a few ideas started to occur to me. For me, the PhD has always been the path to my ultimate goal: to teach in an American Studies program overseas. I don't really need a PhD to move to Europe, it's just always seemed like the safest way to accomplish that goal.

I think there are several very valid points here. Barbra--you're right. The PhD is going to be expensive and I'm already in quite a bit of debt from my Master's. And although I love my very close knit family this has also been a plan to put some distance between myself and them. I suppose if I get in somewhere, I'll likely consider heading in that direction. If I don't it will be back to the drawing board. I had a dream last night that I was a human rights lawyer working in a third world country protecting the citizens from their autocratic government. I occasionally have prophetic dreams. We'll see about this one.

Funny thing, Willowfox--you hit the nail right on the head. It seems like most in the academy are filled with self-doubt and what some psychologists refer to as "fraud syndrome"--that everyone is going to find out that you're not smart/hardworking/talented at all. And yet, we all keep performing. It could be an exhausting way to spend the rest of one's life.

Again, thank you. This is so important for me (and the people whose lives I will be impacting through this decision!) and you all have given me great food for thought.
 

KarenS

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Hi Jani:

It sounds like you already have the food for thought you need, but being a pH.D. that coaches Ph.D. students who are "all but dissertation", I thought I might have another perspective for you. Not that it will change what you've already heard, but maybe just interesting...

Your first question: "I asked if a PhD was the right move for me and received 47.2.4 changing to 8. "

What this brings up for me is that the issue for you is about "finding the right group" (using Sarah Dening's version). And this suggests to me that what you want to consider is whether you feel a good fit to a academic worldview -- because you're going to be immersed in it for years!

Part of your answer to that question sounds to me like 47 (Being Restricted) impying that you may find the academic sphere of a doctoral program too limiting, even oppressive. Yet the lines suggest to me that you could tolerate this and get through it IF you can remain connected to a larger purpose and meaning that will let you keep moving forward through the discomfort and boredom (and we all have that, trust me!)

As to whether you have what it takes: ""whether I was up to the task of being a PhD candidate and ultimately a college professor?" received 56.2.4 > 18"...

I hear two questions in here: (1) to participate in the Ph.D. process and get the degree and (2) to stay in academia as a professor. Perhaps you want to separate those? ;-) Dening calls 56 "Traveler in a Strange Land" -- and makes me thing perhaps you will feel some discomfort in phd-program-land ;-) But the lines suggest that you can do this, albeit slowly and carefully and IF you can stay connected to yourself and jump the hoops over an extended period of time, you may find yourself in a place of correcting what has been unsatisfactory for you.

Having said that, a personal note -- yes, the academic world is full of self-doubt. If you want to understand what this is about, I suggest reading Mindsets by Carol Dweck. She describes 2 motivational mindsets that we tend to use - one a "fixed" mindset that we have certain talents, gifts, and abilities that are part of us and don't really change; the other is a "growth" mindset that we can change almost anything about ourselves with enough work. The academic world (first grade on up!) is full of fixed mindset thinking -- you have to "smart", if you have to work too hard, you aren't as "smart" as those who don't have to, if things come easy, you "belong", if not, you don't. The trick as I see it in pursuing a Ph.D., especially given the readings you got, is stay connected to a growth mindset of why you want to do this, what are things you want to learn by doing it, how can you stay connected to those intentions, how can you prevent getting sucked into the fixed mindset, etc. etc.

Happy to hold forth more if that's helpful....:bows:
 

jani

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Update

Thanks again everyone for all of your helpful feedback. As it turns out, life seems to have other plans for me. I didn't get accepted into any of the programs I applied to. I am really okay with that; I was leaving it up to fate to a certain extent.

Sooo, onto the next thing. Thanks again!
-Jani
 

ginnie

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You were going on the assumption that you would get into at least one school! 47.4 says: "Shame, but not for long." You have had people helping you . . .

You must be feeling extremely disappointed that after all your work and education that your applications were not accepted. It's the pits!
 

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