The Men’s NCAA basketball tournament, better known as March Madness, is about to begin. I thought about writing a thoughtful piece on sports and the university, but, perhaps due to lack of sleep or being on a research trip and working all day (yes I’m trying to rationalize a short post this week), I decided against it (maybe I’ll get my act together for the start of football season). Millions of Americans fill out brackets and enter office/family/friend pools. Personally, I will going to spend probably an hour making picks for several different entries later tonight.
Now when you have a ton of work to do, it may seem unwise to spend time on such frivolous pursuits. I’ll admit there are times when procrastination and wasting time gets me in trouble (see various all-nighters), but I think there are many good reasons for non-academic enjoyments. Frankly, I find graduate school stressful enough. Graduate school is not just another extension of undergrad and it is not a regular job. It is very difficult to leave your work at the office. Some people may be better at compartmentalizing their work, but history is basically always on my mind. I certainly do not want to sound as if I am complaining. I love the academic lifestyle. I mean I voluntarily blog about academic topics, so obviously I would not be leaving much work at the office to begin with.
There is a point to all of this rambling about graduate school and that is enjoy the little things, like filling out NCAA brackets and rooting for upsets. I firmly believe that in order to survive graduate school there needs to be things outside of school and work that occupy yourself.