There are definitely a lot of downsides to college (no money, no sleep, racking up massive debt, listening to the rugby team party, etc.) but there are also some things I really miss. One of those is the ability to wander through the stacks of a college library. Curious to learn Egyptian hieroglyphics? No problem. Six books on that. Looking for a twenty volume history of the Church, the complete Loeb Library, four translations of Lucretius? All available for checkout. Wandering through the stacks always seemed to emphasize how much was out there to learn -- not that I followed up on all that opportunity, but at least it was there.
Lately what I have been missing is the ability to get hold of academic journal articles without paying for them. I discovered Google Academic Search and have been browsing abstracts of articles on religion demographics. But then, just as I've found something that looks really interesting (Fertility rates are lower among non-Hispanic white Catholics than among non-Hispanic white Protestants, but only if you count non-practicing members of both sects: non practicing Catholics marry later and have fewer children than non practicing Protestants) I run up against the "Pay USD26.00 to read whole article" notice, and there it all stops.
Sigh... Maybe grad school one of these days...
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