A Dropout's Tale

A Dropout's Tale 1

Tim Cook for The Chronicle Review

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Tim Cook for The Chronicle Review

In May of 2010, I dropped out of graduate school. On a stormy spring morning, I left a Separation From the University form in my departmental administrator's mailbox, said goodbye to the University of Notre Dame one last time, and drove my battered Ford Focus westward on I-90, Seattle-bound.

I had no job prospects and not much of an idea what I was going to do when I got there. But for the last eight years, I had had an abundance of certainty: where I