Tuesday, September 23, 2008
B.M.O.C. and talkin' about college
B.M.O.C. stands for Big Man on Campus. a term that came floating back to me from who knows where.
Los Angeles readers note there is a big rally for women/Obama being organized for Sunday Oct. 5 in Westwood at the Federal Building. I've gotten a couple of emails about it, though details still vague.
Blog friend awanderer is in college and ambivalent about staying there. Here are some thoughts in no particular order. Maybe you have some too.
What's great about college is you have these years to explore and learn things which may take you in unexpected directions, and if you're lucky you'll have teachers who will guide you to these unexpected places. You can reach a depth in your thinking and exploration that may not be available to you at any other time in your life.
For many fields degrees matter so you have no choice if you're looking to be a doctor, lawyer, or professor yourself. In the creative fields I found people were rarely queried about background, rather it was whether you fit into the field that was there, and whether you had talent enthusiasm and no snotty attitude.
Suits jobs are where they really care what school you went to, not whether you're actually competent and motivated or not.
It used to be the Ivy League schools were functioning as a social sifting as well, but that's really changed. So parents in the past strived for their children to get into those schools, figuring that's where they'd pick up their friends and partners for life.
Sometimes you can make a mistake and think, "Oh what's the point of learning this? When will I ever use this in life? I want to get out of here." Think it slowly and carefully.
I found I even used ALGEBRA in animation. I graduated in 3 1/2 years. I couldn't wait to get out.
I think with the Internet, google, digital dialog, it's more possible than before to really educate yourself independently. I also think it's foolish to imagine everyone should be going to college.
When I was at Smith education standards were swinging wild and free, and you could really write your own curriculum almost from Freshman year. Thus I never learned things I couldn't quite understand, because I chose not to study them. History for instance. Or electricity. I didn't take a single history class. Later I discovered I loved reading about Western history.
I remember my last year at Smith I knew of a guy who was doing independent study at Yale, studying television. He watched tv all day. He didn't even have to write about it.