I have just finished my first week of real classes at the graduate level. I managed to spend most of the last 2 days with a mildly dazed and tingling feeling going on in my brain. Oh, and I went home exhausted after a only one class and 4 hours of work completely exhausted. No I'm not sick. That's just what happens when my brain feels like it wants to explode.
Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying my classes, new classmates and the ideas I'm being introduced to. In fact I've discovered that a week or so of oh-my-God-my-brain-is-so-full-it's-going-to-start-coming-out-my-ears every few month or so is very good for me. It's just not all that pleasant when you're going through it. (And here I am paying large sums of money to have this happen to me.)
I must admit that I've never been a big fan of higher education just for the sake of higher education; especially when it puts you into debt. But I think that I just may be starting to appreciate education simply for the benefit of learning how to think. I chose my Masters because it will help with my career progression, but I'm beginning to see that I'll be getting a lot more out of the process than some qualifications and a higher pay scale.
Sure you can get a good deal of education out side of the class room. I've learned loads from folks who haven't got a university degree and I think that practical and useable knowledge and skills are just as important as philosophical thinking. However Graduate school brings together a group of people, both students and teachers who want to be challenged, pushed and explore a level of thinking beyond what they currently use.
I'm thinking that my Graduate studies venture will be a good investment.