Thursday, October 21, 2010

what a farce.

yesterday afternoon at work, i was slapped upside the head by a very real epiphany:

the four years of college education that i have under my belt did very little to actually prepare me for the reality of working as a real life engineer in a world of real life complications.

it seems to me that the world of academia is as unrealistic as a televised cooking show. teachers and professors at every level of education are just as decieving as Rachel Ray or Martha Stewart. they flit about their kitchens with their hair perfectly coiffed, smiling and chatting away as they effortlessly assemble the most beautiful, and we are to believe also the tastiest (is that a word?) creations we have ever seen, all without ever breaking a sweat or even a nail!

but what they dont want you to know is that in reality, the first time they attempted to make that masterpiece of a kiesh, it took hours of yelling and cursing, a couple failed attempts, and a lot of wasted time. they probably even ended up in a heap on their kitchen floor, slumped against the cabinet lamenting their new status of an utter failure of a cook and a complete waste of space. ok so maybe that last part's a stretch, but it definately took more than the 20 minutes it takes them on the show to dump all the pre-measured ingredients into a bowl, mix it up and throw it in the oven.

academia tells you all the same lies, but they hide them under the pretense of 'preparing you for the real world.' they tell you that it doesnt really matter if you get the right answer, that the only important thing is that you learn something. that if you ask the right questions, there is an easy answer to every problem. that when all else fails you can check your answer in the back of the book. that just passing is acceptable. that if you just go through the motions of doing the work, there will be a great reward waiting for you.

but in reality there are no easy answers, no looking the answer up in the back of the book, and no one person who is secretly in possession of the 'right' answer. there are some times and some situations where you can ask all the right questions, go through all the right steps, spend three days working towards an answer, and in the end be no closer to a workable solution than when you started. there is no one who has already done the work and is just dying to tell you exactly how to most easily come up with the answer.

just like there is no such thing as magically pre-made perfect casseroles hiding out in your oven just waiting for you to open it and pull it out as though it were really that easy, some things in the real world are difficult and messy, and you have to be willing to get a little messy to deal with them.


nancyann said...

Maybe you shouldn't have killed the cricket...

Miss Brenda said...

I love when you get fired up. And I was coming here to comment to that effect. But then I read nancyann's comment and bwahahaha now I just want to say that I do not regret encouraging you to get an education, but the best thing I ever gave you was sisters. I hope your sisters will always be able to make you laugh.