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Know Nothings And Status Envy

Know nothings, critics who don’t know what they are talking about.

English: A display of the academic regalia of ...

English: A display of the academic regalia of Harvard University. Top left: Harvard Law School professional doctorate; bottom left: Harvard Divinity School masters degree; right: Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Ph.D. degree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Envy is the the price you have to pay for getting there when someone does not know the price you paid to get there.  As a female Ph.D., especially one from the 70’s,  I got “no respect”.  Automatically a man with a masters or less would assume that if a woman like me could do it then it wasn’t that hard to do.  Automatically they thought that if they went back to school to get their own Ph.D. or professional degree or advanced degree,  it would only take them a couple of years and it was not that big of a deal.  Women who worked under me and with me often thought I should do my own office work rather than depend on them to do it for me.  They did not expect a woman to be in charge.

I went straight through college and graduate school and it took me ten years of full time study and perseverence.  An “C” or even a “B” was not an acceptable grade and could get you “flunked out” of graduate school.  I took tough exams to get into graduate school and to get out of graduate school with my degree.  I had to qualify for scholarships all through my schooling and they were my sole source of support in graduate school.  They also accepted only so many applicants and I had to compete for one of those positions.

Lightner Witmer, the father of modern clinical...

Lightner Witmer, the father of modern clinical psychology. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Naturally I focused on doing well in college so that I would be considered and offered one of these positions.  I was aiming on going into one of the graduate degree programs that was well respected and offered only to people who whose professional goal was to get their doctor’s degree, not a masters.  People who left the program with “just” a masters were considered in other words to have flunked out. Elitist, yes but I wanted to enter a profession and to have the best credentials.  Also I wanted to be a clinical psychologist not an educational or counseling psychologist as positions in those graduate programs were often considered to be consolation prizes for those who couldn’t get picked for a position in a clinical psychology program or did not want to work as hard as they might have to in a tougher program like clinical psychology.  Worse yet, another “back door” into the field was through social work.

I am being a snob but only for the reason of making my point about how hard it was to get in a clinical psychology program and get a Ph.D. in my field.   Where I stand now on the question of what direction my professional life should take is different than it was then.  It was very competitive to have to do that.  I was very competitive.  I survived and after much experience in life and in my field.  I see things from a different perspective.  What other people think is not always the best barometer of who you are doing in life in your chosen field.  Self satisfaction and self knowledge can be a form of protection or shield against the thoughtless opinions of others.

Graduate School Blues

Graduate School Blues (Photo credit: ChiILLeica)

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