Friday, February 23, 2007

It's Time to Blog (Procrastinate)

School started inncocently enough, with a touch of campus, a pinch of hope, and one pepperwheel turn's worth of optimism. That has all fallen by the wayside, as mid-October is greeting me with midterms, papers, and assignment. Luckily for me, the internet exists, so I am free to waste time in any fahion I deem appropriate. Luckily for the NY Mets, winning 12-5 in St. Louis means that they will have a rededicated viewer tonight, who swore, by the way, that he might take a year off from fandom should this series go awry. But enough about my promises--we're here to bitch about scholastics.
Time was, back when movies cost a nickel and prostitutes less, school was more of a formality than a requirement. Only the rich, priveleged, and gifted would go; everyone else picked a vocation, started a family, and was generally unconcerned with comparative politics, organic chemistry, and macroeconomics. But along came the roaring twenties, what with Dorothea Dix, the progressives, the shakers, and babe ruth, and the post-industrialized academic climate was never the same. Like law school is for many today, college became a convenient and sophisticated way to waste time. It rose as a staple along the east and west coasts, converged inward, and met itself somewhere in Nebraska, where it established a storied college football team and rows and rows and rows of educated corn.
Pause for a second and picture the scene: millions of people, reeling from the industrial revolution and the great depression, are instructed to disobey their intuition and, instead of working a job, are enrolled in institutions of higher learning. Some take this literally and fill out applications for UC Santa Barbara, SUNY Albany, the University of Miami, and the University of Colorado. Others take their education and biochemical homeostasis slightly more seriously, and patronize the Ivies, inadvertently condemning the east coast to perpetual generations of geeks, losers, virgins, outcasts, actuaries, political theorists, malcontents, and people with very thick glasses. Furthermore, a rash of financial pragmatism hits schools with less-sterling academic reputations, and college athletics is born.
Decades later, the job market, for all its usefulness, is now telling us that we need a graduate degree to keep afloat. To that I offer two arguments: 1, if I was the smartest person ever, would I need grad school to get a good job? I don't mean just "smart." I mean literally THE smartest person EVER, IQ-calculated-in-scientific-notation, business-card-embossed-with-the-sinews-of-lesser-intellectuals, manifesto-published-in-the-Times smart---like really, really fucking smart. You get the picture. Would I really need a grad degree? If not, then this disproves the finality of the law that necessitates grad school. And, if I would need grad school, then this scenario debunks the myth that graduate education is a well-conceived medium.
2: school wasn't a prerequisite for a successful life 100 years ago, was less important than fighting for one's country in the 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, 90's, and today, and graduate school is superflous beyond explanation. In fact, it can be argued that the sole constructive outcome of a college education is the ability to look back in wonderment and ask oneself, 'why did i do that?'
the answer, inevitably, will be drugs and ass, so i guess it's tolerable after all. but don't think i haven't thought about it.

stay unimaginative essay about a mother with a disease who has to cope with stigma,
MC fall semester

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