Ok, that is slightly overdramatic, but hello! I’m a poet, lest you forget. No, I am not blogging from Rikers Island or anything like that…. No, it’s much, much worse.
Yes, friends, the time has come when yours truly, the eternal student, spends her nights learning lots of mostly boring, useless information. I must confess, I use this time mostly to doodle in my notebook and write. So, maybe it’s not a waste of time after all…? Maybe it’s actually a productive time for me? Yes, that’s a good way to spin it!! If only it were true.
At times I like being the eternal student. My goal is to see how much information I can actually store in my head. I like thinking, and I like learning… so one would think that college would be my favorite spot on Earth. Sadly, though, too much of college these days is not actually about learning, it’s more about just getting by. It’s about the points, the grades, the endgame. Why does it have to be like that? Can’t we just chill out, sit back, and learn? Can we go all Aristotle and just sit around philosophizing? If college were built for us to actually learn, it would be a lot more enjoyable. Instead, just like everything else, it is just something that is there, to be plowed through in order to get to the next moment. I wonder if anyone stopped to think, however, what exactly the next moment is. A lifetime of work, most likely in a field other than what your degree is in? A total erasure of memory of anything you may have learned in the last 4 (or in my case, um… 100) years?
When I began college, I thought of it as this enchanting place that would stimulate your mind and send you out there, searching for answers to life’s biggest questions (I know, so silly and romantic, right?). I couldn’t have been more wrong. In reality, it’s just a place where people roam through classes, spitting out mostly regurgitated, uninspired thoughts that they think will impress the professor. The majority of the people seem to have the same thoughts, and some have no thoughts at all. There are lots of requirements and tests, and papers to be written in strict formats. There are really expensive books to buy, which, more than likely, you will never read. Instead of a world to enlighten your thinking, college has just become another place to “get through” and then say goodbye to.
What should we learn in school? It’s a good question, one I’m not sure that I have an answer for (although I totally should after all the years I have spent there, no?). Maybe we shouldn’t learn to memorize, but to think. Maybe we need to go deeper, to get into the ideas, sort them out, see what they are really all about.