I am not an “expert.” I hope you don’t hold it against me. I have no formal academic training in physics, philosophy, sociology, psychology, anthrolopology or economics. That is a lot of–ologies one can potentially be Expert in, isn’t it?
I graduated from a University with a liberal arts degree then picked myself up, brushed myself off and got about the important work of teaching myself how to think. That’s called autodidactism.
College is good at a few things, foremost of which may be learning specific skills the human race has developed over the past 8,000 years or so. Unfortunately, one of the most valuable skills we have developed that is not taught at any University I know of, is the ability and desire to think independently.
If I had the wherewithal to found my own university, I believe I would name it The School of Thought. Students could graduate with a degree in Peace of Mind.
But alas, modern academia is a far cry from the idyllic institution of my imagination.
In college, research papers I poured laboriously over, embedded with intellectual fodder, imbued with blood, sweat and tears, never got very high marks. They got lots of marks, usually in red.
In fact, the more didactic the transcription of a professor’s lecture, the better grades the papers were given. While these exercises in rote thought seem to demand the undivided attention of many an undergraduate for many an unforgiving hour, I slapped them together at midnight and got As across the board.
This willy-nilly mentality is as much all the rage as excessive alcohol consumption among undergraduates whose mantra is “Cs get degrees.”
If I learned anything at all from these exercises in futility, it was that hard work isn’t a pre-requisite for graduating college. And thinking even less so.