For my Blog’s Anniversary this yeah, I figured I’d do something fun. Considering it’s also Throwback Thursday. A rage-post, but also assessment of the educational system in America.
I have never once, in my 6+ years of college, found it fun.
No, I’m no where near a Master’s Degree. Sometimes it takes you time to figure out what you want to do with your life. It took me longer than others apparently. Going from Comp-Sci, to Liberal Arts, to Communications, and finally specializing with Public Relations and Advertising. It’s been a crazy ride.
College has been the biggest pain in the ass I’ve ever gone through. It’s cost me enough to buy a house, and I’ll be paying it off 10 years from now or more. Oh, and no one told me a degree in Communications would more than likely not be worth it to pay for.
The worst part? I’m still graded on my performance. I’m paying to go to your establishment so I can learn, and yet it’s entirely possible that I can waste my money, by learning the material but not proving it sufficiently.
That’s the key-word isn’t it? Sufficiently.
I’m supposed to show up to class, finish homework, read chapters of dry and boring textbooks, participate in discussions, and take tests to prove I’ve gotten something out of the course. A course I’m paying the college to let me take and perform work for.
Because I this, I hate the way education is run. Like any other business. Accreditation is the only way you can get a job these days. Formal Learning. But what does it really accomplish?
I understand now, thanks to Integrated Marketing Communications better than ever before, that the real world operates on analytics. Measurement allows insights into how a business and it’s products are growing. The problem with using the model in education, is knowledge, and intelligence is very hard to measure. Also, what happens if you don’t fit the measuring stick? You get left behind, shoehorned into the same mold that others have to fit it.
So much weight is put on grades in school, but you still have no idea how a student will behave and operate once in the field. The world operates differently than a classroom does. You’re expected to know things, but tests are pass-fail. You live or die in the world based on how much work you’re willing to put in.
School in general makes me want to put in NO effort. If I’m paying for something, it should work for me. Yet, I’m paying to be in debt for 10+ years. I’m paying for 4+ years of experience worth 1 or less to a potential employer. I’m paying for an education and what I’m getting is a mental illness.
I’m anxious, I’m depressed. I have, as in “confirmed” ADHD. I have never had anxiety problems, unless the end of the semester came around I was worried I was going to fail. Because people talk about your future, this huge intangible thing, that you’re fucking up by not performing at a level someone else expects you to perform at.
You know what, there are many different ways of measuring performance. I personally, have always been a shitty test-taker, with an inability to plan ahead. It’s still difficult for me to perform those tasks. Yet I’m constantly expected to prove myself. Prove that I can keep track of 15 different assignments that expect pages and pages of writing and reading.
You know what I have? A job. It’s a near-minimum wage service job, but it’s a job dammit. I work 30+ hours a week on top of the 15+ hours I spend IN class, not counting outside work. I have an apartment I have to pay rent on, bills for utilities I need to remain on top of and constantly reassess. I’ve got a car that runs currently thank the Universe, and I know enough about computers to keep myself relatively organized and working on what I need to.
I’m medicated to help my ADHD, and I spent many years developing coping strategies, though I didn’t know I was doing it at the time.
But NONE of that matters to the school, or anyone else. Because School should be my first priority.
Well ya know what? Keeping myself alive is a bigger priority. Keeping my mental health on an even keel is a bigger priority. Showing up for work without becoming an alcoholic or drug abuser to cope with the crushing horrid dread that I am barely living above the poverty line without government assistance is a higher priority.
I’m a damn smart individual. I can think critically. I’ve learned good design for PR and Advertising pieces, I’ve learned how to use databases to find research to make points. I know about the need to be media literate, look at privilege, respect other’s races, genders, and feelings. I know how to look at media and not be influenced by it.
But none of that matters. Homework matters. Test scores matter. Attendance matters. Participation, that part where I prove in person how much I know and how well I can think, doesn’t matter.
I’m sick of this. I want to be done. I don’t want to explain to toxic family members who will berate me for “not keeping up with my duties.”
Man, fuck this.