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Author Topic: Unsupportive friends; Moral obligation?  (Read 3382 times)

tsilva25

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Unsupportive friends; Moral obligation?
« on: January 15, 2005, 06:07:50 PM »
Hi all,

As a non-trad applicant (30yo), I'm noticing that several of my friends are treating my application to law school in a totally unexpected manner: general disapproval and scorn.  It may be because of my background and my current profession (classical musician/teacher) but I'm getting accused a lot of 'selling out' and 'becoming one of them' and so forth. 

Furthermore, as I am a doctoral student at the moment, one of my friends even went so far as to suggest that I had a moral obligation to withdraw from the doctoral program for the remainder of the academic year since I was obviously "wasting the university's money" and "preventing someone from receiving funding because I'm biding time."

I suppose my opinion is that people enter school for many reasons, and their interest and commitment also wanes; i.e., not everyone who is enrolled is equally motivated or dedicated, therefore simply because I'm switching disciplines doesn't mean that I should automatically cut all ties with my former discipline and start life anew.

Has anyone else had a similar dilemma or similar reactions?  I'd love to get some feedback here!

tsilva25
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dr_draino

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Re: Unsupportive friends; Moral obligation?
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2005, 06:21:15 PM »
Wierd...not at all like that.  My dissertation advisor's first response was "why the HELL would you do that?!?".  After I explained he simply said "Hey, if that's what you wanna do, just lemme know what you need me to do to help you acheive it".

Your friend is crazy over teh wirthdrawl part.  Gotta-do-whatcha-gotta-do to keep yourself happy.

twarga

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Re: Unsupportive friends; Moral obligation?
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2005, 06:34:31 PM »
Two of my sisters (who love me dearly) just don't get it (there are 4 of us, aged 40-34).  They are content with their lives and can't understand why I'm such a malcontent.  One is a stay at home mom (which I was for a few years) and the other is a paralegal (which I am now) and they behave as though this law school thing is pretty selfish (since I have two kids, husband, mortgage, etc.).  I do have one sister (the 40 y.o.) who is ultra-supportive and says she wished she had the guts to do what I'm doing (since she, too, is a paralegal and knows that paralegals are the true "power of attorney"   ;) ).

cutcut

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Re: Unsupportive friends; Moral obligation?
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2005, 08:57:35 AM »
My dissertation advisor is encouraging me to take a leave of absence from my job, rather than just quitting, in case I hate law school and want to come back. He still wrote me a great recommendation, though.

For the most part, I have been surprised at how supportive people have been. No one has given me any crap about it. Maybe they're just used to my intellectual wandering by now.

In any case, @#!* 'em. Do your own thing. You're not doing this for them anyway.
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twarga

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Re: Unsupportive friends; Moral obligation?
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2005, 10:41:06 AM »
Hey Geezer... I saw the world, too... but on the government's dime.  Not a bad way to do it, either.   ;)

And I'm not just doing this for me.  I'm doing this for my daughters, too.  They are so excited about this whole thing.  I went back to college when they were just toddlers, so they are used to mommy being a student.  When I got back from Widener (with the news that I was in and had a full scholarship), I brought them each a Widener binder from the book store.  They were so excited, they were jumping around the living room!  I hope I inspire them to keep improving themselves throughout their lives.

As far as my two unsupportive sisters... maybe it's just sour grapes.  So what?  I love them anyway.   :-* 

goodadvice (account resigned)

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Re: Unsupportive friends; Moral obligation?
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2005, 10:53:42 AM »
Hi all,

As a non-trad applicant (30yo), I'm noticing that several of my friends are treating my application to law school in a totally unexpected manner: general disapproval and scorn.  It may be because of my background and my current profession (classical musician/teacher) but I'm getting accused a lot of 'selling out' and 'becoming one of them' and so forth. 

Furthermore, as I am a doctoral student at the moment, one of my friends even went so far as to suggest that I had a moral obligation to withdraw from the doctoral program for the remainder of the academic year since I was obviously "wasting the university's money" and "preventing someone from receiving funding because I'm biding time."

I suppose my opinion is that people enter school for many reasons, and their interest and commitment also wanes; i.e., not everyone who is enrolled is equally motivated or dedicated, therefore simply because I'm switching disciplines doesn't mean that I should automatically cut all ties with my former discipline and start life anew.

Has anyone else had a similar dilemma or similar reactions?  I'd love to get some feedback here!

tsilva25

Good questions silva.

1. First of all, it is in NO WAY immoral to become a lawyer. Law is one of the most moral, if not the most moral, callings. If any of those music people were wronged by someone, you would see how quickly they run and ask for the assistance of a lawyer. Please make sure to put your friends in their place next time they dare to criticize the morality of law.

2. On the morality of withdrawing from the music program. Hmmm. The might have a point. Or they might not. Do you plan on ultimately finishing your PhD in music? And if so, will staying in the program for another semester give you progress towards that goal? If these things are true, then you have every right to stay in. Again, make sure to put them in their place if they run their mouth off.
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polis

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Re: Unsupportive friends; Moral obligation?
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2005, 05:36:08 PM »
I'm a doctoral student treading water on a fellowship too.  Don't think twice about keeping it while you decide about law school.  Humanities grad school is a rough life and you need to do what you need to do to survive.  Also don't listen to your colleagues trying to make you feel guilty about going into law.  I love the academy and think there are tons and tons of brilliant and interesting people there, but when it comes to jobs and life outside of academics these otherwise smart and open-minded people turn into such dopes. Remember academics isn't charity work, people go into it to lead a certain lifestyle and do work they enjoy.  So anytime you get the we're such marytrs speech, just roll your eyes and pay it no mind.
 

wanderingalaskan

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Re: Unsupportive friends; Moral obligation?
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2005, 06:00:51 PM »
Hi all,

As a non-trad applicant (30yo), I'm noticing that several of my friends are treating my application to law school in a totally unexpected manner: general disapproval and scorn.  It may be because of my background and my current profession (classical musician/teacher) but I'm getting accused a lot of 'selling out' and 'becoming one of them' and so forth. 

Furthermore, as I am a doctoral student at the moment, one of my friends even went so far as to suggest that I had a moral obligation to withdraw from the doctoral program for the remainder of the academic year since I was obviously "wasting the university's money" and "preventing someone from receiving funding because I'm biding time."

I suppose my opinion is that people enter school for many reasons, and their interest and commitment also wanes; i.e., not everyone who is enrolled is equally motivated or dedicated, therefore simply because I'm switching disciplines doesn't mean that I should automatically cut all ties with my former discipline and start life anew.

Has anyone else had a similar dilemma or similar reactions?  I'd love to get some feedback here!

tsilva25
Don't look back; it takes a lot of courage to make a change such as this.  Many remain where they are, despite being unhappy.
I, too, am leaving the humanities (currently finishing my thesis in English Literature).  While my thesis advisor is disappointed that I am not going to get my PhD, she has been completely supportive of my decision.  There is no reason to cut your ties, because you never know with complete certainty what the future may bring.  Perhaps after practicing as an attorney you will return to music . . .

kaest4

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Re: Unsupportive friends; Moral obligation?
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2005, 07:11:07 PM »
I have some friends that tell me that I will be too old when I get down with LS- and if I go part time, well to make a long story short, I have started to limit my time with them, Its my choice- when they went on and on about how they think people that go to college and LS think they are better then everyone else, I  saw the writing   on the wall- I need to take care of me and what I want and surround myself with postive people. It will be hard to say goodbye- but if they were really friends they would be there for me. And drop all the putdowns.


twarga

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Re: Unsupportive friends; Moral obligation?
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2005, 07:48:21 PM »
You'll undoubtedly make new friends in ls anyway, and I be they'll be supportive.   ;D