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Berislav Lopac

Hm, it seems like Steinbeck should have been awarded a Nobel prize for inventing time travel as well...


Hi Bob

I enjoy all your posts, but am commenting for the first time.

Another very interesting Stanford Dropout is Vikram Seth - A famous novelist and poet, at times called "Dickens of the East". He was enrolled at Stanford's Economics PhD program for 11 years, (i.e. from 1975-1986), and still didn't complete the degree.
In fact, he went to China in 1980 for the fieldwork for his dissertation, and ended up learning Mandarin, and translating some of the best poetic works from Mandarin.
Just like Steinbeck he was also immensely benefited by Stanford environment. Along with his coursework, he took courses in poetic studies and creative writing which played an important role in his formation as a poet.


Reading this reminded me of the "leaky pipeline" for women in science, discussed here (amongst many other places):

While it's not really a story about college dropouts, it does cover what dropouts from academia go on to do instead.

The leaky pipeline does seem like something more systemic than a single asshole boss. Is there a collective noun for asshole bosses? :)


The registrar changed its policies several years ago regarding Stanford's "stop-out" policy. Stanford used to keep an open door for its students who wished to leave; now students have to re-apply for admission, a much more cumbersome process than re-enrolling for classes. It's an unfortunate decision since it changes the way people think about leaving the university.


I enjoy all of your posts but this one really spoke to me personally. I enrolled in an MA program at Stanford in 2001, finished all my classes, and then ran into a bunch of obstacles before I could write a thesis. I'm in the process of trying to come back and write one, but in the meantime I've completed a master's in a field that suits me better and am pretty happy with life. Sometimes the parentally-sponsored "OH GOD! I threw away STANFORD!" pangs of guilt get me in the middle of the night, though. So thanks for your post. (I owe you Thai food from the Psych building, or something.)


Additionally, there are times when a university just needs to be fired.

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