Tuesday, October 25, 2011

More On Grad School

Feel free to skip this whole post if you don't want to read anything about grad school.

The whole process of grad school has really taught me something:

Being the only person in the room with something to learn sucks.

I'm not being metaphysical here.  Sure, we all have something to learn, but I'm talking about higher education--particularly classes that expect attendees to have a strong knowledge of a particular literary canon before beginning.  Unfortunately, my knowledge isn't exactly strong. 

Take Kafka's The Trial for example.  I read The Trial in my U of I days--circa 2000.  Since that's been eleven years ago, I think I deserve points for even remembering Kafka is the author.  But I can't tell you a blessed thing about the book this many years after the fact.

Therefore, I'm already behind in a game that expects precursory knowledge.  Not only do I have to read all the required literature for the class, in some instances, I actually have to reacquaint myself with things long since past in my memory.  And that doesn't even take into account the pieces I've never encountered.

There's another side to this coin, though.  My coworkers are encouraging just to switch to Curriculum and Instruction as opposed to English.  I always swore I would never go back to C & I because of the inane garbage I was fed during my undergrad.  But it goes so much further than that.  And it may be pride related.  I keep wondering:  how can I teach a subject I can't survive in graduate school?

I don't really care if I can ever add master's degree to my credentials.  I don't care if I move over on the pay scale.  Don't get me wrong.  Those things would be nice, but I'm not completely sold on any of them.  The thing is, if I do get a master's, I really wanted it to be in English.  Really.  Really.  And I can't explain that at all.

Suffice it to say I'm drowning and I have no knowledge that will pull me out of this particular rip tide.  Oh, and my presentation tonight?  Well, it wasn't good.  But sadly, it was the best I could do. 

I find that slightly depressing.

1 comment:

CaseyRhea said...

a wise and hilarious short man who taught be English two years in a row..... once (or 500 times) told me that it is only cheating if you're caught and don't have permission to use the information. thus... googling a synopsis ... or using something like Cliffs Notes because you have a job and other responsibilities (or things you would just rather do) that keep you from reading or re-reading whatever wonderful (or wonderfully craptastic) work is required for a course.... is using your resources wisely. I'll repeat....USING YOUR RESOURCES WISELY.