~~~~a Ph.D student needs your advice/help~~~~(Physics)

Scott A. Oakman (oakma001@maroon.tc.umn.edu)
Fri, 20 Dec 96 11:46:49 -0600

I saw this out on USENET, and thought some of you folks who are practicing
Physicists might have some more practical advice than I could give.



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Subject: ~~~~a Ph.D student needs your advice/help~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Date: 17 Dec 1996 23:52:34 -0500
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hi ya all. I am a student in graduate program in physics here in
the usa. I am having a doubt about pursuing a Ph.D in physics. I want to
do something with my life to do God s work, but I am not sure if getting a
Ph.D in physics is the way to go. It just seems that all the knowledge
about the world that we obtain from studying the physics of nature will be
all useless when the kingdom comes. But no one knows when this will be we
should do our best with our earthly duties. But I am not sure if getting
a Ph.D in Physics is the right choice.
I am good in science since I was in school. I have been doing
really well in all of my classes. I was doing superbly good in sciences
and mathematics. I got a degree in physics from my undergraduate school
and I am trying to get a Ph.D and I am now in a Ph.D program. But taking
classes in physicss is not really making me happy. I know I could do well
in my classes but I am starting to see no point in doing well in classes.
The class material is not fun at all to me. However I would not mind
doing research at the frontier of physics. the money that I have to pay
for graduate school isn t little. I guess I am trying to figure out where
I should put all of my effort into. after getting my Ph.D in physics,
there is no guarantee that there will be a job for me after some grueling
6-7 years in school in addition to 4-5 years in undergarduate school.
After I get my Ph.D. , I have to do what is called postdoc positions.
basically, it is a minimum wage job for people with ph.d basically you
work under some researchers or professors helping them with their project.

I guess I am looking for some kind of guidance or advice or words
of encouragement from others. See for doctors, I could tell myself that
after some grueling years at the medical school, I will be helping other
people. For lawyers, I could tell my self that I will be fighting for
justice. but for a physicist, I don t know what to tell myself.

thanks in advance for your help.

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Scott Oakman Graduate Program in Neuroscience
University of Minnesota MD/PhD Program
"If you attempt to talk to a dying man about sports or business, he is no longer
interested. He now sees other things as more important." --William Law