Yes, Ph.D.!

Yesterday I found my school. If you read my previous post "Ph.D.?," then you got a feel of how disenchanted I am with the whole academic enterprise. But then I go online researching Slavoj Zizek (one of the living philosopher/theorists whom I admire the most) and I find that he teaches at the European Graduate School, this recently founded private university hidden in the Saas-Fee valley, among the Swiss Alps. They offer an amazing Ph.D. program in Media and Communication that is everything I ever asked for and more. The application is a simple questionnaire. No letters of recommendation, or GRE scores, or boring writing samples required. They just want to know who I am! They give me freedom to write about stuff I actually care about, they are actually interested in inspiring me, and developing my ability to think for myself. They actually want artists to apply (yes, I can and should say that I am a Brazilian rockstar in my application, that I wrote a child's musical, that I developed social projects, etc.). They discourage traditional boring thesis writing (you can add music to your thesis for instance, or write a novel to go along with it). The classes are taught in English and are always in the Summer in two intensive twenty-something days sessions in June and August, where students have 8-10 hours of class everyday with some of the greatest thinkers alive today (among them Zizek, Badiou, Schlondorff - yes, the director of "Death of a Salesman" - Agamben, Judith Butler, just to mention a few). The rest of the year you have this massive reading list, a bunch of online assignments, and occasional talks with your advisor (and in my case, lots of music, writing and chilling out too). They are actually going to be interested in the theories I came up with in the back of typical boring university classrooms. So my attack plan now is to prepare a killer application and do everything that is in my power to get in. Uhuuuuu! I have a life goal again! It feels nice. Even if I don't get in, the fact that there is a place like this in the world makes me proud of being human again.