realchild's Diaryland Diary

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Bitchcake 2014

In the spirit of not ever growing or evolving, I think I will continue with the bitchcakes for a minute.

I hate college. I hate it. I fucking hate hate hate it. I left and vowed to not go back. Then I got suckered into going back because I'm strong enough to do it. So, cock knob that I am, I went back. It resulted in one of those middle-of-the-semester conversations with an adviser about me quitting. (Because I fucking hate college.) I finished that semester by abandoning one class and finishing another. Then I vowed to never go back, because I'm not strong enough to do it.

The problem is that I need college. It hurts me to say it. Oh God, how it hurts. Today, all people need a meaningless degree that they can wipe their asses with or risk poverty. You need the meaningless degree for a horrible job that will pay you $20K less than your degree-less parents made in the 80s not accounting for inflation, but whatever, in today's market it's considered a "good job".

(OH and the other day someone on twitter pointed to this online calculator where you could punch in your income and see what you would be making if your salary was increased as much as some greedy corporate CEO's. Can I tell you it would have been about $100K and I died a little?)

Anyway. I don't want to go back to college. It's stupid and hard for an old person, or "non-traditional" student. The university I attended didn't keep track of its "non-traditional" graduates. Well, if they did they kept those numbers hidden in the dark corner of the attic. If I had to guess the percentage of non-traditional students who manage to get degrees, I'd put it around 0% - 0.5%. Maybe in a good year it gets to the upper ones, maybe even cracks two.

I've thought a lot about all the reasons why college is such a horrible idea for an old person, and I think I understand why none of us ever graduate. I worked toward a degree for four years. At the end I had just become a sophomore, so that puts it at roughly nine more years of me doing this shit and no. Nope. Fuck that.

Much is made of the poor quality of online colleges but at least they meet their students' needs. Example: prior to starting classes, I had to test to determine how much math and reading comprehension I'd retained. I tested very well in reading. Had I enrolled in an online college I would have been given the chance to demonstrate competency and bypass some English. In other words, if the university would have awarded me credit for my real world experience, I would have started off well into my freshmen year. When I quit, I would have quit a junior. And believe me, if I were a junior, I would not have quit. I would have talked myself into living this way for another 18 months or so. I would have stuck it out.

Science will never be able to measure the toll it took on my social life. Most everyone I know isn't speaking to me. I missed everything, good stuff and bad stuff. I was just never there and so my people got used to me being a huge disappointment or just not part of the landscape. I would go for weeks without having a non-utilitarian conversation. If I had a spare moment I spent it sleeping. Laundry piled up. Dishes piled up. Mail piled up and bills went unpaid. Twice I came home to no electricity because I hadn't paid the bill in so long. It wasn't that I didn't have the money, it just didn't occur to me to pay the bill. I can't count how many times my phone was shut off for the same reason. Between work and school I was spread so thin for so long and eventually I just shut down. By the end of my last semester there I couldn't even write essays. I would open a new document, stare at the cursor for a couple of hours and then go to bed. Everything I wrote was pure shit, a word salad.

The whole time I was just doing one thing to get it over with and get onto the next thing. The next thing wouldn't matter other than the it was the thing that was preventing me from doing the next thing and the next thing. Writing an essay was no more consciousness expanding than sorting socks or picking up a hairball. I don't think a university understands that. I remember one day I had scheduled about 40 surgeries. That is a lot of demographics and cross-referencing. It's hours of phone calls. You must be fully engaged with each case and each patient lest something fall by the wayside. Anyway, I left the office half dead and went to class where, surprise! We had a writing exercise. All I could think was "Are you fucking fucking kidding me?" I got zero credit for whatever sad little paragraph I managed to poop out. There is no end to days like that. You can't, on hour twelve of your day, sit in a circle and talk about Toni Morrison. Well, maybe YOU can but I CANNOT. An online course would have had the decency to say: "submit this to our crappy message board by Thursday & I'll pretend to read it".

And the busywork. I took three semesters of Spanish, involving workbooks and a shitty website. I was a 36 year old adult filling in blanks in a workbook (a fuckin' workbook!) about why I fight with my brother. My brother, who I haven't fought with in over two decades. Yes. I so relate to this. Please, when can I do more exercises from the workbook. Incidentally, I got As all three semesters of Spanish. And I don't speak Spanish. Thanks, college!

That right there is the real problem I have with it. Each year they turn out graduates prepared to fill in blanks. I have worked with people who have graduated from that university, as well as other universities nearby. They are unimaginative. They have zero coping. They do just enough to make it look good and complain the entire time they do it. They don't or can't think critically enough to do be thorough, to see the whole picture. They are dead weight. Useless.

These are the reasons why college is not for old people. They won't acknowledge what you have. They won't acknowledge your day. They won't acknowledge that your needs are different than that of a twenty year old. Your job is to be their idea of a student, and you can't be. You have to pay your bills and do the laundry and pay property taxes and do all of the shit that comes first. It's fine for a year or two, but to do it for four years and still be nowhere, to have learned nothing...ugh. I can't go back. Don't make me.

I am writing this entry instead of enrolling in classes. I am writing this entry also instead of taking out the garbage uphill on an icy driveway in 2 degree temps. Thank you.

Happy New Year to you, btw, if you weren't one of the lucky recipients of my "Happy New Year" text I sent while in bed streaming Westerns slightly high on expired pain medication and eating Entenmann's because THAT'S how much fun I am to be around right now.

10:59 p.m. - 2014-01-02

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