The Bologna Blog

a blog about all of the "bologna" in our minds that lead to writing.

Higher Education? For Who?

with 4 comments

So, this is a blog by writers for writers, correct? I mean, I know it’s just a collaborative experiment for those who haven’t experienced blogging before, but why not use the medium we’ve been given to say something real… something unrelated to class assignments and reading responses?

Yes Doug, I used the word “medium” in context… it is a fantastic word is it not? Maybe it’s not so fantastic. Maybe it’s boring even. Regardless, it is a word and as writers (or shall we say, aspiring writers), words are our weapon of choice.

But what will we do with our weapons when we graduate college? What exactly does this college degree give us as writers other than “experiences” and “knowledge” to take with our mound of debt into the bleak world of struggling to adapt to the times?

I’m going to be honest. I haven’t learned a damn thing this semester that I didn’t already know, couldn’t have learned on my own, or plan to take note for future use. My notebooks are filled with pages of useless nonsense that I use to wordle away my boredom.

For the record, I think “wordle” is an excellent word to equate to doodling with words. So I’m stealing it from the person who created that website.

I took three classes on top of my full-time job and the only thing I’ve learned since September is to never take three writing intensive classes in the same semester ever again. I have no time to do anything but school work. I have no time to read anything outside of assigned readings that do not provide any inspiration to write upon. It’s detrimental to the development of an aspiring writer.

Work, school, homework, sleep, repeat.

I’m becoming a drone.

I think that I could possibly learn more from a yearlong road trip across the country and take more experiences from it than I will over the course of attaining a degree, in writing. I could buy an RV for the price of this degree and sell it back at the end to recoup some of the money invested into my career. What college offers that option?

All we do in these classes is read and write. Read and write. Do we really need to spend thousands of dollars doing that when we could read on our own and write on our own? I don’t think we do, but society begs to differ. I think we would benefit much more from attending workshops with experienced professionals.

I’ve heard more people tell me over the last month that nobody can teach you how to write and it’s becoming painfully obvious that a writing degree is a waste of money.

Are we wasting valuable time and keystrokes?

Who’s to say? All I know is, 1.) I’m asking a lot of questions and 2.) as standalone Writing Arts majors, we may be doomed to a life of struggle and catching up.

Maybe I’m just bitter today and overly frustrated, but this has been overwhelming my motivation for weeks. I’m just past halfway through my first semester as a transfer at Rowan and I’m about to walk out and go buy an RV. So… who’s driving?

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Written by cor24leone

November 13, 2009 at 2:30 AM

4 Responses

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  1. Ah, but you learned what you needed to learn from College. Learning how to be that Drone is what makes you so valuable. What is the point of having someone to work for you, if you don’t know obedience and the ability to follow directions has not been thoroughly whipped into that person?

    Don’t get me wrong. I love college, love classes, love learning. I don’t like being put into a position where I must dance, like a puppet on strings, in order to get a satisfying grade.

    I dropped everything to work on Uninvoked (shameless plug: Read Uninvoked! Leave Comments! Support lonely authors!) and to explore other options for publication. (No, I’m not desperate. I’ve been published, successfully enough to live on the results. I’m not impressed anymore.)

    Good luck. In the end, only you can decide if its worth it.

    Uninvoked

    November 13, 2009 at 2:46 AM

  2. Dude, i feel you. Most of the readings we do for all my classes are boring as hell and they contain nothing that makes me want to read further. More importantly, I always finish reading each piece with the mindset, “Wow! I can write so much better than this!”

    So why am I wasting my time reading the work of mediocre writers when I could spend it writing my own stuff? With this mentality, I started working on a story over the summer but I never have time to resume it because of exactly what you said… work, school, homework, sleep, repeat.

    It seems like not one of the assignments I turned in with this class fully satisfied the teachers. I spent a good amount of time writing those papers, just to be told that I didn’t do it “the way they wanted.” I normally try to approach assignments differently for the sake of being unique, but it doesn’t seem to be flying too well in this class.

    Once again, why should I waste my time writing “unacceptable papers” when I could be writing my own stuff where my views are the only ones that matter? Similar to you, Mike, I might be bitter and overly frustrated as well.

    halld76

    November 13, 2009 at 4:06 AM

  3. Somehow, this post made me sad. As well as I am doing in my creative writing class, I hate my teacher for making me write what she wants me to write. How do I know that once i get out into the world, my writing will be accepted?

    Nevertheless, I feel as though college pushes me in the right direction when it comes to showing me what is out there to read. Different views on the same subject can let me pick my own point of view.

    augeregua

    November 13, 2009 at 4:19 AM

  4. Wow, I’m sorry you’re having such a bad time in your writing classes. I loved mine so much during my undergrad that they made me switch focus from being a literary student to pursuing writing for graduate school.

    You can learn to write without going to school for it. Write a lot, and read everything you can get your hands on, and you’ll learn how to write eventually. So I asked my writing professor why I should go to grad school for writing, and his first answer was that it would shave two years off of my learning curve. I was sold on this alone, but then he added in networking and community support.

    What I’m trying to say is that if you find the right writers to learn from, it’s worth going to school for it. It’s even worth it when you’re forced to do things you don’t like, there really are writing lessons everywhere, even if you’re just learning how not to write what you want to write. I wish you very good luck with it, and keep writing.

    Sevvy

    November 14, 2009 at 12:18 AM


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