So today I find myself in a world where machall’s style seems to keep getting better, and Penny-Arcade uses a punchline I could’ve sworn has been doing the irc standup circuit for the past thousand years or so. A world where a new movie starring Hilary Duff and Ashton Kutcher hits the cinemas every other week, but no one knows who Jeffrey Wright and Djimon Hounsou are. But more to the point, one where I’m beginning to question whether higher education has any relevance whatsoever in the forms it takes in western culture.
Right now, I have more assignments due than God. Of course, that’s probably part to do with the fact that God doesn’t have assignments, but that’s beside the point. Also beside the point is that I ponder these things instead of doing the assignments themselves. Closer to where the actual point is, is that I’m not getting anything out of these assignments. My understandings aren’t growing, my breadth of knowledge is not expanding, I’m not being blindsighted by revelations about how best to use the skills I’ve got to make the world a better place, and when I think of it, with a single exception, neither do I gain anything from the lectures I attend that I couldn’t have read in a book (a book, I might add, that I have to read anyhow since it’s part of the course texts), not to mention that it’s all simply common sense regardless. But after thinking about it, I have learned things this year, but not from classes or texts or assignments, but from just discussing things with other folks outside of the lectures over some blend of coffee or other that is probably slowly eroding my insides. The only exception to my not learning in tutorials and lectures is one class where all we actually do (and I mean all) is talk about things, and about thinking, something akin to philosophy 101 for teachers. Everything else I’ve actually learnt, I’ve learned by doing or by seeing done.
So why on earth would I cop a few thousand dollars on the chin to sit in these classes for the term of a year. And it comes down to a qualification. A preposterous piece of paper on which it’s written that some institution or other declares that I have sat through the learning process of some certain subset of knowledge that they believe makes me competent at something. What a ridiculous idea. We’re at a point where some people judge each other by the ability to be droned at to a certain degree and regurgitate said drivel on command? Surely this is madness. You can’t measure wisdom like you measure flour, it’s not something you can mark in notches on a belt.
It’s always reassuring to know that you’re losing faith in the educational system that you’re leading yourself to go working in…
the things that pass for knowledge
I can’t understand