I am an aspiring mathematician but I am depleted/ malfunctioning (as alluded to in my previous post What do you do to keep mind sharp?). Thus I am not in any position to begin a graduate math degree. Is it a bad idea to join an easier program (outside of math) for the sake of funding, and then transfer when I get to full strength? The only alternative is to get a job (and worry about getting fired) which does not sound like a way to "re-charge" at all...

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    If you're not all in, you're potentially wasting time and resources to do something you may not ever enjoy again. – Compass Jul 18 '15 at 3:39
  • I only skimmed your other post. But I think you need a more mature attitude and rethink whether maths research is what you want to do. If yes, then go out all and get on the best maths PhD program you can, now. Speaking from bitter experience, "my brain fog will clear soon and then I'll be on fire" is deluded thinking. In the PhD->Postdoc->Permanent game, you will only get more brain f*ck. The sooner you learn to be productive regardless, the better! – P.Windridge Jul 18 '15 at 10:19
  • Having said that, I do think you can benefit from some time away from math. But how will doing another PhD program, which you're probably indifferent about, allow you to "recharge"? (Unless you plan to do no work, in which case do you expect good references?) – P.Windridge Jul 18 '15 at 10:28
  • Also, how do you intend to convince the admissions tutors for the "easier" program? Are you a sufficiently competent liar? (not making a moral judgement, it's more of a practical question!). From what I know, all funded PhD programs (science, humanities, whatever) are competitive (admittedly to different degrees). In any case it's tough to compete unless you really want to finish. Are there no programs, which are less competitive than R1 math, but still have a math focus, and interest you? – P.Windridge Jul 18 '15 at 10:37
  • @P.Windridge there is a difference between confusion (brain f*ck and brain fog. Brain fog makes it difficult for you to talk to your family, but you can still do math at a reduced pace/ creativity (a pace that I assume is completely worthless in a competitive environment) – bigmoney Jul 18 '15 at 10:40

If you're not "charged" as the way you put it. Then nothing you're saying would work. If you want to enter a Grad degree but can't focus on it then that's a bad idea because you may just end up failing which, obviously, isn't good.

Going for an easier program would be a waste of money unless it would relate some way to your main field. For example most marketing students have a graphic design certificate because software like InDesign and Photoshop are heavily used in the marketing industry.

If you're worried about getting a job because you may be fired too then you have more problems that just school. It sounds like you're either uninterested in your field of study or that you are facing some depression.

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    "Much lesser minds"? – Memj Jul 18 '15 at 5:09
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    @bigmoney Talking about other people about "lesser minds" and "trivial beings" is highly offensive. – Alexandros Jul 18 '15 at 8:45
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    @bigmoney Are you the ignorant one, the arrogant one or both? – Alexandros Jul 18 '15 at 9:24
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    @bigmoney You're just on here fishing hoping that someone will feel bad for you. I can see why you're afraid of getting fired from a job because no one wants to work with someone like you. You say you're ignorant and arrogant? I say you're a child who needs to feel better about himself. No great mind thinks of other people as "much lesser minds", that's something children say in elementary school. – Memj Jul 18 '15 at 13:17
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    @bigmoney "Great minds" don't act like 8 year olds. What you have is a hyper-inflated ego. – Memj Jul 19 '15 at 16:05

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