Monday, April 27, 2009

School's out for the summer

I’m about to graduate from college and lately I’ve been all smiles, but I just got a bill in the mail from my university for $35. So I called to ask what the charge was for.

My diploma!

So you’re telling me that after all the tuition I’ve paid and the books that I’ve bought, they can’t just throw in a diploma? It’s not included? There should be some fine print that says, “diplomas cost extra.”

I know it’s only $35, but to charge me for my diploma is just silly. It’s just insulting! I mean, these college people are bleeding me dry! Don’t they already have enough of my money? And how much can a fancy piece of paper with my name on it cost? I doubt it runs them $35, especially when they print them off en masse for all the hundreds of other graduates.

I guess it’s only fair that I not get my money’s worth, because my whole college experience I’ve been trying to NOT get what I paid for. I paid (handsomely, mind you) for my education, but I only want to learn the bare minimum. Actually, I don't want to learn anything, I just want a degree, man. When a teacher is lecturing, I ask them what is going to be on the test and only study and take notes on that. I only do the reading that I know there will be a quiz on. Early in the semester I figure out just how much class I can miss and not lose points. Silly, really, when I consider how much money I’ve put into this.

I’ll pay the $35, but one thing I absolutely WILL NOT do is attend the graduation ceremony and “walk.” To me, this is just a way to prolong the college agony. It’s basically a class, some faculty member droning on and on, except now I get to wear a dress and stupid hat! The dress and hat cost extra, too, by the way, and I will die before I give these college crooks one more cent of my money.

And as much as I hate classes and tests and paying for diplomas, I have enjoyed the college experience. By “college experience” I mean “chasing girls, going to parties and shows, participating in school organizations and spending time with friends.” But you can’t stay in college forever, and if that’s all you go to college for that’s kind of like buying some really expensive shoes just to play with the box.

So with all this I swore I was though with college, but recently I decided I want to go back and get my Ph.D. I was inspired by one of my professors who always wears cutoff sweatpants and muscle shirts to teach class. I just thought, “Man, I want a job where I can look as trashy as I want all the time. No more polo shirts or khakis for me!” Plus, you get summers and holidays off, just like a student. All you have to do is teach a couple of college kids just enough information for them to get their diplomas. Dream job.

Muscle shirts and cutoff sweat pants, here I come!



    On a more focused note, higher level education can be insanely frustrating because on one hand, it's incredibly expensive, and on the other, it's basically expected that everyone will have a bachelors degree at some point in their lives. So the equation is: overpaying for a crowded, generalized, overcrowded education= apathy= wearing sparkly graduation hats.

    Though I was a complete nerd because despite the flaws knowledge is my crack so I felt slightly high on learning and knowledge my whole college experience. But I'm slightly touched in the head. I could probably gleam a life lesson from a cheerios box.

  2. A PhD huh? I thought you realised you were institutionalised enough already? :P

    Get out there, man... into the real world! At least get some good, juicy, applicable knowledge of how the real world works.

    Do you really want to be that bearded professor that knows everything about one subject, but nothing about everything else?

  3. hmm i remember when i heard you had to pay extra for the actual diploma...i thought the same thing.
    like...really? i just gave you assholes thirty million dollars and you can't just give me a piece of paper? plus they have to mail it to you. you can't just go pick it up.
    so lame.

    i've also thought about doing the old PHD thing, but only because i want people to call me doctor nova.
    how awesome would that be?

  4. still being in college myself (about to be my last year as an undergrad) i like your analogy of shoes in the box. currently at this point i have dumped the shoes out of the box and am running around with it on my head!

    the college i go to is now charging students to use the gyms on campus during the summers if you're not registered for a full load.

    congrats on graduating!

  5. Sorry, but the only thing they throw in for free at NMSU is a keychain holder you can wear around your neck.

  6. Ha! I landed on your blog through 20sb. You definitely make some valid points here. I still haven't received my high school diploma because I refuse to pay my parking tickets. Apparently where I went to school you had to pay to use the public parking lot. So 8 years later, here I sit diploma-free. It's the principle, man.

  7. hey no offense to this sebastian guy but he can suck it, man. what does he mean "get out there into the real world?" Are you not in the real world now? I think teaching college is not only a great job, but quite a noble job at that. You're like, actually doing something to better the world. Changing lives and educating people so society improves. I can't think of a whole lot of "real world" experiences that have as much of an effect.

    Does getting some job for a few years and biding your time before going back to teach give you "juicy, applicable knowledge of how the real world works?" I think that's crap, man. Unless you're locking yourself in your basement all day you're experiencing "the real world" whether you're at a university or jiffy lube. Unless he means going out on a safari or taking a trip around the world to see and learn culture or something - that would be awesome and I'm all for it.

    Anyway good job Jacob! You'll be an awesome professor.

  8. maybe i was overly harsh there, heh :) but i stand by it. and maybe too many days locked in my house working from home have just helped me to appreciate the "real world" lately. hah.

  9. Yes, I meant travelling. Exploring the rest of the world and other cultures and other ways of living than cushy, institutionalised life.

    Teaching is fantastic (I've taught both middle and high school for a few years), but I'm just telling you, I think those professors with some kind of real-world applied knowledge are better than those that have been at the same institution since they turned 18 :)

  10. ahhhh, the "college experience" i wouldn't trade it for the world, if I had to get a grade, it would probably be a 4.0! My college education on the other hand, well that's another hind sight I probably should have tried a little harder, studied a little more, and went to class more than twice a week. But by the end I figured out how to party like a rock star and still ace my midterms. And then to celebrate it all I sat in the hot sun for four hours hung over at a graduation ceremony where they didn't even call out my name, but at least my parents were happy.

    Congrats and good luck with your future endeavors!


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