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alitar (profile) wrote,
on 3-23-2004 at 2:09pm
I have a book critique due tomorrow fror which I have to bullshit 1000 words. The book is an easy read, but not particularly insightful or well-written. It's for an MIT class that I despise even more than the one last term, and I need to do well because I don't have to have a mark below 85 this year. This, of course, gets me thinking about the general uselessness of my first year at university, and the futility of trying to do a good job at something too stupid to merit my effort. I expected easy courses and easy grades here, which is definitely the case, but I guess I expected that I could coast through all of it without putting in any effort, which for the most part is true. I have a suitemate who slaves day after day in her science major, earning great grades on the way to a likely 90 plus average. That's great for her; she's earned it. I'm probably not going to get as high an average, and well that doesn't exactly please me, I'm totally ok with the grade/time exchange.

I'm just bitter because sometimes I actually have to put in work. This seems stupid of me; I know. It's university, I'm here to work and learn, blah blah. Except that I'm not learning. Or, I'm learning some bullshit on the relationship between media and sports organizations/government/consumer/whatever that is of absolutely no interest or use to me. I don't want to do that anymore.

It's partially my fault. I chose French, Bio, Calc, thinking yeah, it'll be easy review in the beginning, but I'll get to learn some new stuff later. The whole higher education transition will be easier. I didn't except that my assessment would be such an overestimate. It's almost the end of the year, and as I sit here looking back, trying to determine what exactly I gained, it's hard to find anything that this university gave me. Yes, I have say, 3 great friends I trust. But that's it. In every other respect, school has stood in the way of what I want to do. Extracurriculars suck, people generally suck, classes definitely suck. I'm tired of being surrounded by mediocrity; I want to be inspired by something I learn, enough to go read stuff on it, and scour the internet for every last morsel of knowledge on the subject.

I'm frustrated that university involves a ton of bureaucracy. I hate that with a million "executive" positions on the billions of committees and shit that exist on campus, that the only thing I'm good for is layout. I hate that I can never get a VP finance position, or become an editor for a publication because I don't have ridiculous experience, and I refuse to kiss the interviewer's ass. I hate the people who are ultimately chosen are in no way more qualified or capable than I am, but have learned to present themselves in a more favourable light to get a position that they can put on their resume. They pitch ambitious ideas that will never materialize while I go with a grounded, realistic proposal that is rejected. I'm assigned to the artistic team. Then they slack off or are genuinely not able to do the excellent job that they promised, and I'm here, watching their mediocrity with extreme frustration, piecing together some table of contents page for the fiftieth time. I hate that knowing the right people will indeed result in getting good positions and that people who don't know me assume that I'll good for one thing only.

I have spent the better part of the year in my room reading or watching movies. I love that I have so much time. I LOVE that I can indulge in what I have passion for, that I can drown myself in it for days and not have to worry about neglecting work. But I hate that occasionally I have to drag myself out to complete the useless of assignment of the term and engage in ridiculous small talk with the people who live around me, making small sympathic noises when they complain about work that is so fucking easy. I hate that I take some subjective (read: no all multiple choice) courses in which I can't get perfect. But there's no way I'm ever putting in the work to get a higher score, because no effort get already get me something decent. Why put in 2-3 days of studying to get the extra 5 percent learning useless material when I can just read something that is actually worthwhile?

I'm starved for inspiration. I want something to come along, grab me, shake me by the shoulders, and scream at me to get my ass up and dive in. I know you guys roll your eyes (affectionately, I hope) when you see me superlatively extolling figure skating, Lord of the Rings or some other excellent movie, Alias (last year, anyway) or the latest great experience I had, but I do so because these things inspire me. There is nothing greater than an experience that leaves me feeling like I've just been run over by a truck, a brilliantly executed idea that blows my mind so much that I can't think coherently, just replay the moment of impact again and again and feel its purity.

I don't expect to find this very often; the rarity of the occasion is what makes it so special, but I guess I've always been surrounded by a level of excellence, by people who are so amazing that simply looking at them was enough to make me vow to get into gear and WORK. There have been so many times in class (physics, english, biology, art) or in a conversation with Mr. Fautley when an idea was presented, and my reaction was "Whoa, that's so fucking cool." Moments when I looked at the teacher and he became a hero of some sort, far surperior to anyone else in the world for that fleeting minute, because he was in possession of a power (knowledge, wisdom) that I hungered for. I guess I expected to encounter at least somebody here that could offer that, just once.

This is just a rant, and the sentiment will quickly dull as I get set to write my book critique, but it's there, all the time, always aching a little bit. I was desperate enough to seriously consider a transfer to Waterloo, just as Mel has been granted one to UT. That probably wouldn't have been the answer, now that I've had time to reflect, but I'll never know for sure. I hope summer will be better, and I'm sure it will be, because at least I can spend time with people that I appreciate and respect. I'm still in the middle of On the Road, and what I would LOVE to do is take a road trip with a couple of friends anywhere, and just talk. I hope we can succeed in putting something like that together.
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