Friday, December 2, 2011

What the hell am I doing?

School has always been the easiest thing to excel at in my life. After all, all you have to do is pay attention and do exactly as your teacher says. Pretty simple. But there is always that dynamic of should you listen to your teachers or side with your fellow students? In elementary school, this used to be such a huge question for me. I mean, if I didn't somehow appease my classmates who would I play with on the playground? Middle school and high school were more questions of whether or not I'd have people to sit with at lunch. Twelve years of being in this imperfect education system and I'm starting to really feel the effects of burning out. I've come to the conclusion that school isn't really about learning or acquiring knowledge.

You're graded/judged based on how well you can perform. Can you spit back the information your teacher is cramming into your brain? Can you follow orders and follow directions? Can you keep the status quo and not cause trouble? Are you valuable asset to the school community? If so, how can we capitalize on your skills/abilities? If not, how can we make you at least of average quality?

College is a bit worse, I think. Choose the major that will get you a job and make you a lot of money. Who cares about humanities or social sciences? Who care about learning about the history of people and how that affects the way we treat each other? No one because that won't bring home enough money to pay the outrageous loans you have to take out to get a piece of paper signifying your mark of privilege.

I feel like I should have been like everyone else--major in something "useful" regardless of whether or not I actually am 1) good at it and 2) interested in the subject.

I don't know what is happening to me lately. I am so sick of writing papers and it's not because I don't like to write. I know I love to write. I think it's the rules and formats on how to write. And being told that if I don't write a certain way catering to a professor's desires then I'll get a lower grade. Realizing that yes, being a working class second generation Asian American first generation college student matters a whole lot. It makes a difference when you're the one of the few if not only person of color in the room of a bunch of white middle class kids.

Sigh. No one said this was going to be easy.

Welcome to my life.