Inspiration Engine 11 – PhD, Stories and Maps

This is a weekly post I do to highlight blogs or bloggers who have inspired me in some way during this week – another car on my imagination train!

As you may or may not know, to make the most of my interest in relationships,to stimulate the research corners of my brain and to give legitimacy to my findings, I have been trying to get into a PhD program for the past two years. I have been turned down from 18 programs in total, both in social work and in social psychology, and I’m bummed.

This week, then I wanted to focus on reasons to be happy that I wasn’t accepted, and I found this blog, 100 Reasons NOT to get a PhD.  These reasons in particular resonated with me:

  1. The number of tenure track teaching positions has decreased significantly.  Now, a lot of classes are being taught by adjunct professors, something I remember from my Master’s program.  Fortunately, all you need to be an adjunct is a Master’s degree and experience! (At least in social work.)  I’ve got that.
  2. If you are teaching, you’re kind of limited in where you can live.
  3. This is partly because you get pigeon-holed into your specific research area.  I have a lot of research interests, though they all focus on poverty and social forces that reinforce it. Fortunately, I’m still doing research right now, with a co-writer with a PhD.  I’m hoping her legitimacy will cover both of us as we try to get publication.


 Does anyone else have experience with this? Either applying, rejected, dropped out, completed?

In this year’s Renaissance Faire in Wentzville, Missouri, I am volunteering with the Scottish guild as a storyteller, and while I am committing some stories and fables to memory, I imagine I will have to make some up on the fly.  I found a story writing post for teachers to use with their students to help them create stories, and I plan to take advantage of the suggestions.

For those storytellers among you readers, do you have any tips for me?  Particularly about making them up?


Even though I’m not going to get my PhD, I still yearn for a career shift – I burned out years ago.  I still like working with the homeless, and I like addiction. Moreover, I’m good at it. But I need something different, and I’m looking outside of social work.  I’m considering pursuing training and work using GIS to map big data, and this post on learning GIS is helpful.

Are there any GIS users among my readers? Do you have any insight or advice for someone considering it?


What posts or blogs inspired you this week?


3 thoughts on “Inspiration Engine 11 – PhD, Stories and Maps

  1. Hi Sahara, i could relate with pretty much all of the reasons the blog stated. I too have been toying with the idea of doing a PhD for few years now. I have finally decided on a thesis and went ahead with it. But yeah you can’t stop but think every now and then .. Is it really worth it! Good luck and great blog by the way.

  2. Capsule – If I may ask, what is your thesis on? Since you decided to go ahead with the PhD, how do you like it? I was looking around your blog (which is fantastic, by the by) and, am I correct in thinking your from Scotland? How are Scottish PhD programs designed? Thank you for popping by and commenting.

  3. So I am not stalking your page I promise, I am just catching up and trying to get social 🙂 I love finding people I can connect with and although my blog is more an outlet for me to be rowdy and humorous (an outlet I need!) I toyed with the notion of going PhD status after this round of school is over as well but I think I am leaning on the side of not doing it, at least for now. It’s so much more tacked on to my already enormous student loans and I would have to be sure I would actually excel to a higher job for that cost and brain expenditure. I think you are on the right track though, doing your research about it and maybe the no acceptance is a sign right now to take a step back and have another look because maybe it is not the path you need to go down?

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