Open Buddha

Open Source Buddhism, Technology, and Geekery
Bay Area, California

That's "Dr. Billings," punk!

I received my final acceptance letter for the Graduate Theological Union today for their PhD program. I am accepted to enroll for Fall 2009. W00t!

How I will do so and not bankrupt myself remains a bit of a mystery but a friend pointed out a year or so ago, when I had put off applying to the program out of fears related to funding, that making decisions based on fear is not really a good way to go about life (my wife has recently said the same thing and she’s now in a multi-year homeopathy program). I decided to embrace the fear, apply, and then work it out to the best of my ability.

I hope to keep working at Mozilla doing QA on Firefox and other projects or contributing in other ways. I’ve spoken to a few others there about it and they’ve been completely supportive. The next conversation will be with my boss and the Engineering VP. Internet Geekery is a core love of mine and I’ve been on the net since ye olde days of the 1980’s and it certainly is more fulfilling than working in the GTU library as a grad student. I hope it works out.

The first two years of the program will be the roughest, from what I can tell, where I do most of the initial prepatory work for my thesis. This is also when I have to master enough of probably two languages (with one expected to be Japanese) to pass a translation examination. I know of at least one nameless individual who stated that it took him/her more than ten tries for one of the languages. I don’t have a good idea of what to expect. I hope to pick the brains of a few GTU graduates when chance allows for it.

As an aside, one suggestion that Dr. Payne at the Institute of Buddhist Studies made at one point is since I have five years of childhood Russian and there was a pre-Revolution body of academic work on Buddhism in Russia, that I might want to consider trying to study this ossified body of knowledge. That seems a bit out there though.

In any case, it is a time of change coming up.

Notice the properly placed comma in the title of post. That’s right, I did make it through graduate school for my MA!