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    From: (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: a nosey question about jms...
    Date: 1/2/2003 4:52:00 PM  

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(3 messages)

>Did you study Clinical Psych with an eye toward going into practice?
>Or, as we used to say in college, did you go in for psychology just to
>find out what was wrong with you?

I knew I didn't want to get a degree in English, because I think if you want to
be a writer, that's the LAST thing you want to do. You should go and play in
other fields, learn outside your discipline. A good writer is a generalist.

When I'd first started going to college (at Kankakee Community College,
Kankakee, Illinois), my first introduction to psychology was the whole Carl
Rodgers/humanistic school of therapy, which attracted me enormously, enough to
make that my major. I'd considered for a time that I could balance out being a
therapist with writing.

But by the time I got through 3 more colleges, ending up at San Diego State,
the psychology field had undergone a change to the
mechanistic/Skinnerian/behavior modification/drug therapy/
let's-run-rats-until-they-drop model, and that had zero interest for me.

So having finished that BA, I was trying to decide what to do next, and I had
enough course work in other areas to go for a second BA in literature,
philosophy and sociology, and chose the last one more or less out of inertia,
since by then I was already making a fairly decent living as a writer.

My advice to anyone currently in college: take full advantage of the resources
that you have there, from the college newspaper or magazine, to the theater
department, the telecommunications department (if you have one) to get all the
experience you can. It ain't about the degree, it ain't about just going to
the classrooms, the lunch rooms, the parking lot and the rest's
about acquiring massive amounts of experience in a secure environment, where
you can experiment and fail safely.


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