Academia's Geographic Diasporic Mechanism

I found out early on that higher education had a built-in geographic diasporic mechanism when my older sister went off to college in California, then my other older sister went off to graduate school in DC. I eventually followed them (though in different directions) in pursuit of far-off degrees, repeatedly moving away from friends and family in search of institutional affiliations of one kind or another.

This time of year is the hardest, in many ways, as colleagues and graduate students start announcing that they'll be moving on. Even though the goal, as some see it, of graduate education is to move on at some point, it's still a bummer to see great people go.

I got good news today, though: two of my good buds and colleagues here at UIUC have decided to stay around despite glorious job offers, and given the power of the geographic diasporic mechanism, I'm both surprised and happy. Of course, other cool and interesting people will inevitably head out, finding new places to do the work of academia. And while I think this is okay, sometimes I wish we could figure out a way for rootlessness to be less definitive of academic culture.

1 comment:

  1. People move out in time. But isn't it more important if friends kept in touch while they moved out and progress as their lives and careers progress?