So last week I took my big test and I wanted to share something with you. I received (and am very greatful for) a liberal arts education. I was taught a wide variety of subjects for a very long period of time and I’ve found that it only helps in the long run with creative problem solving. Rather than being somewhat restricted to a specialty and perhaps a hobby I have actually had a solid educational introduction (and sometimes more than just an introduction) to a variety of disciplines and fields. Whenever people complain about a science credit I tell them I wrote a really great monologue based on the life cycle of a rock on land. The point is that all education is valuable.
It is for this reason I was laughing while taking one of the parts of my big exam for my PhD. A question involving the possible applications of linguistic theory to a canonized genre was able to be answered from a very unexpected source. Since I have a child I found myself reading lots of children’s books (over and over again) in addition to the things that I needed review for my own exams. However, my child’s book provided an excellent example of a particular concept I was trying to explain in a limited time frame: so I quoted it. Then I laughed. I didn’t laugh because I was trying to be subversive or unprofessional or “pull one over” on my professors but because that extra reading I did during the summer (the thing I thought was a waste of time) turned out to save a real valuable amount of time during a difficult and time compressed test. While I haven’t learned if I passed the exam yet I laughed because a children’s book was contributing directly to my PhD. Knowledge comes from all sorts of places.