When I did start my Real Grad Program a number of years later, it was in an extension/night program and the classes were taught in rooms borrowed or rented from the local high school in or around Linthicum. This was my first experience visiting what can only be described as a Public High School for Stupid People. My high school was not exactly an intellectual hotbed, but it was private, it did have an Honors English curriculum and a healthy whack of smart rich students trying to get into the Seven Sisters or a pre-med program. If you want a surreal experience, try sitting at an old wooden desk in a classroom where the students...HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS...apparently had an assignment to write and illustrate a one-page essay on who their heroes were, and they did things like draw pictures of guitars on notebook paper and write a badly speeled, poorly grammar'd paragraph on how great and inspiring "Neal Young" (sic) was...and you're sitting under these essays which the teacher has pasted up on the walls. Again if this was a fourth or even a sixth-grade class, fine, but...HIGH SCHOOL...and you're sitting in the midst of this taking notes on Schrodinger wave theory while a football team and a marching band practice under your window, and some cows graze a field or two over. I frequently questioned my entire existence at that point. It got a little better after a couple of years when the whole program picked up and moved down the highway to NASA Goddard, but I will never forget the hopelessness and horror and angst and general anxiety I felt sitting in those no-hoper classrooms after a long day at my less-than-enjoyable (at that point) job.
So forgive me if I don't seem as excited about people going to grad school as is polite. It's just another Tequila Sunrise to me, though after a lot of hard work and weaseling, it all came out OK in the end.