Leaving Well Enough Alone: Why I will forgo the Ph.D program

Hey everyone! It’s been a minute since I posted, just wanted to let you all know I’m still around. Offline life has been keeping me quite busy. I’ve got something that’s been on my mind for a while that I would like to share with everyone. As some of you may know, I have a background in the study of politics and history. You can deduce from the topics I have explored on here (besides the music reviews) that it’s where my head is at. As a result of this thorough going interest, many people have been asking what I intend to do next. Some have asked me if I plan to further my education, and some add that I would be a shoe-in for a Ph.D program. After mulling it over, and vacillating back and forth on the issue, I have decided not to enroll myself in a doctoral program. This may surprise some of you, because given my interests, it’s sort of what has been “expected” for me to do. However, I have definite reasons why I feel this is the best decision to make.

First off, and most importantly, another multi-year degree program would take much of my time away from parenthood. My daughter turns one in January. A young child needs a lot of attention, and I don’t know if I can give that if I am in school for another 5-6 years. These are formative years, and I don’t want to miss out on them.

Second, there is a certain effect that education has on a person that is a bad side effect of regimentation. I am concerned about being stifled in terms of creativity. Lately, because of my writings outside of academia, I feel like I have been getting back in that creative space. I am grateful for the academic background that I have, but the time has come for me to apply what I have learned. I really don’t know if additional years in academic solitude would help me reach a new level of understanding. For better or worse, I have never been the type of person that starts something and doesn’t finish it. This is part of the reason I do not want to start a doctoral program. Besides, these degree programs at times can make you feel like you have everything to learn, but nothing to teach.

Third, to keep it all the way real, I don’t want to put myself any deeper in debt than absolutely necessary. I owe some change from grad school, and don’t see any point in piling it higher and deeper. (See what I just did there?) At the moment, there are so many disincentives in going through the doctoral program right now that it’s not even funny.

Now that I have let you know what I won’t do, I also want to bring y’all in on what I am doing. Just because I won’t be enrolled in a doctoral program in no way means I will be content with what I have accomplished thus far.  If you want to know my answer to the “what now” well, you’re looking at it. I will continue blogging, using the knowledge that I have obtained to tackle more issues. Starting this blog was one of the best things I did in the past two years, because its like I have experienced a great re-awakening. So yes, you will see more book reviews, social commentary, political analysis, and all other good stuff that you come on here for. But, that’s not all. I intend on getting some of my ideas together, (some short stories,some articles) and publishing my first book. In August, I started Upstart Publishing and intend to push forward with that. I will look into getting some of my poetry published as well. Right now, I am putting together a team, and reaching out to interested people. I have already found my editor, but I will need people with different skills who want to assist me on this endeavor. If you want to be down, let me know something.

Ultimately, this is about taking it to the next level. It’s been a long apprenticeship, and now comes the show and prove. It’s time for me to get off the academic treadmill. #Nocareerstudent Thank you all for engaging me in convos on here and renewing my interest in writing for a wider audience . I know some of you will like what I have planned for 2011. Thanks for riding with me on this. I know where I’ve been,  now I’m ready to go wherever my pen may take me. Peace.

Marc W. Polite

In Transition from Scholar to Aspiring Author

P.S. – I am not disparaging those in the doctoral program at all, but I ain’t trying to end up like this guy: *Note watch on Youtube, the embed don’t work



  1. Marc,Marc,Marc!

    I am super-duper proud of you stepping into your dreams and living each and everyone outloud! Its obvious you’ve weighed what is BEST for YOU. Expectations and what others think you should do is great,but doesn’t mean its part of your divine trip. In you extending yourself, you are helping others by inspiring them(even if you don’t realize it!). I am sure you will be extraordinarily successful,therefore and again providing a wonderful foundation for your baby girl and family. I will be watching and always wishing you the very best…

    Keep Pushin On!

  2. Thank you so much Shura. Being this open is not something typical for me. I usually function in a way that goes against “showing my whole hand” so to speak. But now, I figure that I will have to change my approach if I truly want to do something new. If my attempts inspire even one person, then it’s not in vain.

    Thank you for the reassurance and supportive commentary.

  3. Marc, this is AWESOME! I share your sentiments, exactly. I will be starting my grad program next fall and that is it. I will be done. I’ve already taken time away from my 7 year old son who always thinks Mommy is doing homework when she is sitting at the computer.

    I applaud your decision. You’ve seemed to have thought it through and have very valid points supporting your decision. As a person who’s been in 5 colleges over 8 years- enough is enough. When does life begin? LOL! Life begins right now! Carpe Diem!
    I will continue to support you. I appreciate your honesty with us, your audience. Be blessed!

  4. Hi Marc,
    Thanks so much for sharing your revelations about forgoing the PHd Program. As a subscriber to your blog, I agree that you have so very much to share as a writer right now… with or without the extra letters behind your name, or years of additional academic rigor and debt. I pray you onward to continued success. Please know that I always appreciate your commentary, even though I don’t always comment. 🙂 Keep rockin’
    Shawna Marie

  5. Thank you Aisha. I just really want to break this cycle. Like you said, when does life begin? Thank you so much. I thought about it for a good while.

  6. Thanks Shawna! I put this out there after thinking about it for a while. Thank you for subscribing, and your encouraging words towards my endeavors.

  7. Marc,
    I hear what you are saying about this. Especially when it comes to spending time with the offspring because that is my agenda as well. I agree with you on almost every point except that if you don’t go for your doctorate you can’t correct jerky people.
    “I’m sorry but I just can’t allow your daughter to use the bathroom Mr. Polite…”

    “That’s DOCTOR Polite madam. And I hope you have fun cleaning her poop off of your white carpet.”

    You see, making people call you Doctor is both respectful to you and can be a disarming disrespect to them. To hell with academia, its the only reason I ever wanted a Ph.D. Then again, it is a pretty penny to pay to make others feel like lesser human beings…especially when being handsome is enough.

    In all seriousness I really appreciate your stance on this Pilin’ it Higher and Deeper situation and when it becomes time for me to consider my own I will have your voice (prose) in the back of my head saying : Don’t be a fool, fool!


  8. LMAO! That is hilarious.Being an arrogant doctor would be worth the cost of admission. Hmm. LOL! But yeah, I am glad you see where I am coming from. I wanted to put my thought process out there as part of me grappling with this issue of to Ph.D or not to Ph.D Thank you for your contribution Brandon.

  9. LOL, love all comments! Well said Marc, by all means be there for your beautiful child. Judging from the accolades you’ve received for blogging, you’ve made the correct choice, rock on!


  10. Thank you so much Jenise! I feel as though I have made the right choice for me as well. I can’t do this blogging thing, be there for the lil one AND a Ph.D program. I have to be realistic. Thanks for all your support!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.