This Thursday is my graduation day. I’ll be crossing the stage at Carleton University’s Field House. This entire year, I’ve been waiting for this moment of pure accomplishment. Four years (3 somewhat studious and one fabulous year in France), thousands spent on tuition, books and coffee and beer at Roosters/Olivers, and countless amazing memories to last a lifetime. Yep, I’ve crossed that finish line (crawling at the end…but finished nonetheless.)
Last year, while in France I came to be a huge fan of Jamie Cullum, partly because his lyrics hit home. Anyone living the ridiculous twenties can most likely find truisms in his Twentysomething song.
After years of expensive education
A car full of books and anticipation
I’m an expert on Shakespeare and that’s a hell of a lot
But the world don’t need scholars as much as I thought
Maybe I’ll go travelling for a year
Finding myself, or start a career…
Granted I’m no Shakespearean scholar as studying Hofstede’s cultural dimensions was more the International Business style – there’s a lot of truth in his words.
Although I’ve learned a lot over these past 4 years, now that I’m out, I’m focusing more on what I haven’t learned. I’ve been one of those classic “cookie cutter” kids my entire life. Good grades, got involved, the works. The funny thing is, now that I’m out, I’ve realized that a lot of successful people out there didn’t even take the education route. I’ve met quite a few extremely successful people over the past few months who barely graduated from high school.
This in turn has made me reflect on how I’ve spent the last 17 years of my life.
Here’s my beef with the education system.
- Don’t cater to the lowest common denominator of intelligence
- Don’t baby us
- Don’t allow me to play the system
So what does this mean?
Don’t give me good grades in school when in reality, it would never be accepted in the work world. As for the babying, (guaranteed my classmates wouldn’t necessarily agree) but a lot of teachers change the rules to accommodate the whiners. Ex. “I don’t like my grades.” Answer: “Don’t worry, I’ll add a point five percent for question 5”. Ex. “How do they expect us to research that?” “This is impossible and the real world wouldn’t ask you to do this” Answer: Handing in a half-assed project deems great marks. And when I say “don’t let me play the system”, don’t allow me to get A’s without understanding the concepts. I was always great at writing tests. It was a classic case of cramming – in one ear and out the other (15 min after the test was over). I always found it strange that the kids that understood the concepts never really seemed to do well on the tests. In retrospect though, who was the winner? The person with great grades? Or the person who knows how to actually use those concepts?
I shouldn’t harp on myself too much, but they are questions worth reflecting on. Then again, maybe University did exactly what it was supposed to do: make me question everything…
So, cheers to being a twentysomething and a toast to those fellow classmates on Thursday. Let’s party.