This post, ala Mama Kat, is supposed to be the top ten reasons i am done with school. But here’s the thing. I’m not glad.
I miss school.
I KNOW, right?
Although, let me clarify–i miss COLLEGE, not high school. I have never missed high school. NEVER. In fact,you can take high school and give it a scabby disease, and make it homeless and let dogs pee on it. That’s how much i miss high school.
But college, i miss.
One of my college professors, a one William Herbreschtsmeier, 99% of the time the BANE of my existence, once talked about this–and of course at the time i thought he was talking out of his ass–an activity of which i often accused him. But he would wax romantically about academic cameraderie, of the exchange of ideas, of shared scholarship and all around general communal THINKING. Of course i was spending my time TA-ing his classes and figuring out a way to get him to give me an friggin A–since we had to PETITION him for our grades. That’s right–we had to sit across from his desk while he sat there all pompous and tell him why we thought we deserved an A. He was also the master of uncomfortable silences. God–I’m getting stomach pains just thinking about it!
I should also admit here that this was Humboldt State–not Harvard or Columbia. This was the school of “its all good, bro”. That isn’t to say we weren’t intellectual. We just weren’t East coast pompous about it. I mean, our school was famous for building a sewage treatment facility. (still–an awesome thing–using natural wetlands as part of the process, creating not only a human necessity, but preserving vital wetland coast. It’s brilliant! I used to go there to watch otters play–and it didn’t stink if that’s what your’e thinking. BRILLIANT)
But, funny thing. HE. WAS. RIGHT. (i’m sure he’d like a recording of me saying that) and it PAINS me to admit that.
I miss sitting about with my classmates, discussing the mason translation of The Epic of Gilgamesh compared to Sandars, or what Confucious was REALLY saying, or whether the Force is a legitimate religion. (we were religious studies majors–one step down from philosophy majors on the “usefulness of our degree” scale, but more fun at parties and not QUITE so pompous)
And i miss classes. I love class. I love learning things. Hell, i went to a sewing class this last weekend, and it’s just whet my appetite for more. I once thought this love of learning would translate into a career in teaching, but that’s not entirely true. Now, i loved getting up in front of a classroom and pontificating and discussing and using the socratic method to help expand my student’s limited world view. I did NOT however like the constant flow of useless paperwork (me = not a big fan of homework other than reading, which my students would NEVER do), the office politics, and the bullshit that has become public school teaching. Trust me, if i could go back and teach small classes with half the paperwork and in a culture that respected READING and ACADEMICS–and not just getting an A, i’d do it in a heartbeat.
I’m not gonna turn this into an anti-public-school diatribe. They are doing the best they can with what they have. But the model is broken. We can no longer teach this mass of students with a 1920’s model. It’s time to adapt.
So if you see me at a coffee shop, scribbling furiously in my journal, chewing thoughtfully on my pen, highlighting the book i’m reading or chugging my cappuccino in record time, then come join me. I’m just looking for someone with whom to discuss the Upanishads or Beowulf. You know, just a little light reading.