The first day of the first class that all ten of them had together found them jumpy. They didn’t know each other yet. They had just been assigned a desk in the bullpen. It was a graduate class in management. The Professor walked in and in a booming voice said, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
She never forgot that quote and it came to signify their entire academic experience. They looked at each other and knew that the roller coaster of their graduate experience had begun. They all knew, from the outset, that getting a doctoral degree was difficult. Beyond difficult. It was a lifetime commitment. Some of them had families. Some didn’t have children yet, but were married. Some single. All determined to join the elusive Club. The Professorship.
They didn’t know yet that, by the end of their two years of classwork, and endless years of writing their dissertations, that the commitment to join the Club would take a heavy toll on their lives, families, and relationships. Only a few more than half of them would even succeed. For those that did, it would make their lives. It would define their lives. The Professorship would become more important to them and they would become more important to each other than anything else in their lives.