I recently saw an old friend for the first time in many years. We had been Ph.D. students at the same time, both studying science, though in different areas. She later dropped out of graduate school, went to Harvard Law School, and is now a senior lawyer for a major environmental organization. At some point, the conversation turned to why she left grad school. To my utter astonishment, she said it was because it made her feel stupid. After a couple of years of feeling stupid every day, she was ready to do something else.

I had thought of her...

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