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A Novelist in Business School: Zeno’s Paradox and Graduation

A Novelist in Business School: Zeno’s Paradox and Graduation

“A Novelist In Business School” is a series about putting my literary arts brain through formal management training.

Zeno’s Paradox (more specifically, Zeno’s Dichotomy Paradox)states that to cover any distance, you must first cover half that distance, then half of the remaining distance, then half of that distance… and so forth, the end result being that you can’t ever actually arrive anywhere.

Of course this is silly. We’ve all set to to get somewhere and arrived there. But right now it feels like Zeno might have been right. Even though objectively the time between me and graduation must be reduced every day by exactly one day, subjectively it doesn’t feel that way at all.

At halfway through my program I remember thinking “I’m halfway through! That was hard but it’s over now! I can do another half!”

Now I’m halfway through my last class. Objectively I have five weeks left. Subjectively I will never ever be done with school ever. The five weeks ahead of me feel just as long as an entire year felt eleven months ago.

Grad School

Grad School

So, the first hard part is done: I got admitted to grad school at Utah State University. I’m an Aggie! I don’t even know what an Aggie is! But now I am one! Yesss! The emails came, and it was all exciting and everything. I sent in my response1 and was feeling pretty cool. It’s something new! I’m on my way!

And then they send the “here’s what you need to do before you come to school” list. It’s long. And suddenly I’m not so sure that I’m actually ready for this.

But that’s the thing: Life is like that. Things look hardest before you actually do them. Once you actually start doing them, they hard for a while, then they get easier as you get more capable, and then you know what you’re doing, and life is good. It’s the transition from “not doing” to “doing” that is hard to get past.

When I was 16, I would lie in bed and imagine I was laying in bed as a college student, or as a missionary, or as a husband, or a father. I would imagine what my bed would be like, what I would be thinking about, what would keep me awake, what would help me sleep.

Now I’ve been all those things. I’ve slept in the Philippines, Alaska, Utah, Kentucky, and other places, as a missionary, a college student, a husband, a father. And I learned this secret: When you are something, it doesn’t seem “different” or odd; why would it? I’ve been a husband for almost eight years, and it’s how life is: wonderful. I’ve been a father for four; it’s not something new any more. It’s life, and my life is very good. So the lesson is that life gets good once you get used to it.

Yeah, probably not finding it’s way onto a bumper sticker any time soon.

Speaking of finding things, I have yet to find a “tone” for this site. My tone for CANS is easy: Snarky and pro-Apple. C[2]N isn’t that hard either: professional programmer. But here I’m supposed to be me in a medium where (as my Dad puts it) “I can talk to nobody and anybody can listen”. It’s hard to know what to say to the Internet, and more to the point, how to say it. Expect some experiments in writing for the next little while.

And thanks again for dropping by!

  1. along the lines of “Yes, I would like to attend grad school at USU” []