Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Back to School

I spent four years prostrate to the higher mind,
Got my paper, and I was free.
-- Indigo Girls

Villanova Cathedral

I always thought that line of the song a bit sad. You invest all that effort and time in higher education, and your prize, your end goal, is the piece of paper you receive at the end, not all the things you were supposed to have learned along the way. I get it – this society rewards credentials, sometimes regardless of the associated knowledge, experience and expertise gained – I just don’t like it. Universities certainly get it. There are accelerated degrees, FastForward courses, all designed to get that piece of paper in your hand with the least time and most palatable expense. I took an accelerated course once. Loved the content, hated the schedule. It was literary foie gras.

ANYWAY, I’m back to school for another semester. I resisted for a long time for different reasons, but changed my mind a few years ago. At part-time, I still have a few YEARS to go, but I find I do not really mind. In fact, I like it very much. My peers are a mixture of young, bored expectation, and older nervous and/or intense expectation. We all bring our own perspectives, opinions and desires. I am always quite entertained.

My professors remind me that it takes a unique individual to teach. Who goes into that (at least in the beginning) without the best of intentions? I find their personalities varied, quirky, strong and passionate (maybe I am lucky in this), and as fascinating as their content. This semester I am studying Revolutionary and Federal America, which in lesser hands could be dismal. Luckily, one of my favorite professors (because he relates things that agitate me) teaches. Also, I am tackling Basic Drawing. That would be "tackling", since I have not attended an art class in … well, a while. To say that my art professor is quirky is like saying that Robin Williams is high-strung. I hope she is also patience as my geometric shapes and blind sketches of a cow skull are not impressive.

More to come …


Spartacus Jones said...

Give 'em hell, Coyote. :)
And bravo for you!

I'm trying to pick the lock on the door to Cornell Law, myself. We'll see.....

Meanwhile, may I recommend: The Politically incorrect guide to the constitution, by Kevin Gutzman?


CoyoteFe said...

Thank you, Spartacus - I will!

Law School? Should we be giving you any more ammunition??

Seriously, I hope everything aligns for you. I have a friend who attended Cornell (Theater, so a bit different). She loved every minute.

I will seek your recommendation, as soon as I finish my O Henry assignment (it seems I am taking THREE classes this semester!).

"The views expressed here are mine and do not reflect the official opinion of my employer or the organization through which the Internet was accessed."

rebecca said...

which reminds me, i meant to register for a couple of courses and have been "procrastinating" doing so. i, too, are on the "part time track" in no particular hurry. i take courses for the pure, unadulterated, friggin' enjoyment of it all! for me, learning is constant and i love it - whether in a classroom setting or not. the profs? i've had some weird ones and some fun ones and some really, really boring ones! those boring ones will make you want to jump out of a window though...i never seem to last with them. first session over i'm over at registrar's dropping the course! seee ya!

good luck on your courses ....

CoyoteFe said...

Thank you, Rebecca! I agree with you on education within and beyond the classroon. I do get a kick out of the interactive dynamic within the class with a professor who really subscribes to class participation.