Friday night, you could have seen me at the Crocodile in Seattle watching the group Cigarettes After Sex do their thing on stage. Tonight would have been me at Showbox SoDo watching Xilent, but alas, I was scheduled to work today when I had put in for it.
Ah, well, I’ll get it next time.
I’m writing all about Friday night and also ruminating on the tuition payment I’m going into my college for tomorrow. What’s more money thrown at classes I’ll never use in life ever again?
My parents raised me on the idea that in life there are just some things you have to do. So as a writer, I’m required to take a higher level math class, 3 natural science classes (environmental science, chemistry, astronomy). That higher level math class made us use software to plot coordinates and essentially make animations. It also taught me that fractals existed, which is one of the coolest concepts I’ve ever heard. Aside from that? Not a lot useful? Chemistry: fuck that; astronomy: I know enough about it. What use is any of this going to be except in the breakdown of poems I researched the information for anyways? [See: Naturale Continet Liquorem]
I’ve always had problems with the way education has handled me. I think it’s really really fucking counterproductive that in this country, right now, you aren’t allowed to specialize in a route of education if you know what you want to do. You have to be well rounded. On the outset, that’s not an issue and it sounds like a good thing. But what do I want to do? Go to school to be a writer. Take philosophy classes. Do shit I’m interested in. But no, here I am forking over another $800 dollars to an education system that gives little care in regards to actually educating.
It’s about getting that paper. At this point I’m no longer going to Pierce College for personal enrichment or to broaden my horizons. I’m here to get that piece of paper that says “Associate’s” at the end of the quarter. It’s not about being educated anymore. It’s about gritting my teeth and putting my head down until it’s over.
When I go on to university, that’s when my horizons will broaden and I will once again be in it for myself and not because I was told to be in it. Classes I’m interested in. People that want to be there. A reason to stay.
Pierce College no longer has that for me outside of completing an arbitrary objective, wasting three months of time, spending more money (always about money), and generally being bitter about it until it’s done.
How far in are we? 451 words? It seems I should write a paper on my gripes with the American education system, but many people have already beaten me to that punch.
I started to see it when I was in middle school, but it really hit me in my later years of high school. I kept taking art classes from this one teacher because he was fucking awesome and the content was awesome and his teaching style was perfect. Since it was an art class, when we finished a project we graded it ourselves in terms of execution of the idea, intentional movements in that execution, and how we felt we could have done better. I came out of many of his classes with a C average. I loved every second of it.
But I looked around most every period and you could always see those other sides of the spectrum. People who were taking the class for the easy 4.0 and because they had to fill electives. Not out of any love for art. Making art for art’s sake instead of enjoying and diving in to what’s there. They were more or less forced into doing something they otherwise wouldn’t have.
Which is different when you get into college, because in college it’s about $500 a class, per quarter. Since I don’t qualify for financial aid, this has summed up to be around $9,000 sunk into my college career only this far. Not including this next quarter. Being forced to give money and spend time on something you will never care about in order to satisfy a requirement will never be fulfilling.
You give and give and give so much to an organization to be a part of it and get very little in return until you put in all of your resources. Then what? Graduation? Pageantry? Fuck that. What a reward for draining a piece of someone.
I think I’m allowed to keep being bitter about it! Because of this sense of entitlement I have for keeping my own money and spending it on things I want to spend it on. You could argue I don’t have to go to college.
Yeah, and I could also just bottom out where I am right now working part time and scraping on by. That’s not fulfilling either.
This is the rut between fun times and sometimes the fun times need work to get to.
Don’t get me wrong, though, even the ruts can be fun. Cigarettes After Sex, for example.
That’s just reality.