Friday, March 10, 2006

Identity

MY EDUCATION

I've already inspired some discussion affirming me going back to school somewhere other than Marlboro and not finishing my Plan of Concentration.

Today, I had epiphany about how things started going wrong.

To illuminate the whole thing, I'll quote the Marlboro College (or as some refer to it, "That School"):

What is a Plan? An integrated study that focuses on an area of the curriculum or on a set of related questions or issues that cross disciplinary boundaries...

* an integrated course of study planned by the student
* in one or more areas of the curriculum
* under the guidance of a faculty sponsor or sponsors
* approved by the entire faculty

[. . .]

How do you do a Cross-Disciplinary Plan? Carefully.
Such Plans involve study in two or three different fields, sometimes with fairly equal distribution of weight, sometimes with one field clearly dominant. Whatever the structure, a cross-disciplinary Plan should have the same goal as a single-field Plan. That goal is the investigation in depth of a single problem or a set of clearly related problems. In cross-disciplinary Plans, it is the notion of clearly related that determines the success of such Plans in meeting the stated goal. Any student who ignores or forgets this essential Plan concept risks considerable disappointment when the whole is finally evaluated.

[. . .]

DON'TS
. . .
3. Don't forget that it is your responsibility to maintain a strong focus on your central question/ project, and to consult with your teachers and sponsor if you have any misgivings about the direction of your work.


Suffice to say, this e-mail that I sent to the fiancee sums up my experience:

I took on more than I could chew. Not because of what Marlboro required of me but because of misunderstanding on my part and miscommunication.

Marlboro doesn't require a thesis. It requires some kind of project, which generally includes papers that are related by topic but not by some problem or thesis statement necessarily. They can just address a topic from different angles or different "expressions" of a topic (like three different novels).

As for the miscommunication, I took on the sociology teacher as a sponsor, but I really just wanted to draw on sociology for theory and understanding. I didn't want to study sociology or even real life utopias/dystopias, per se. And somehow, I couldn't get this part across. . ..


Fun, fun, fun. . .not really.

Unfortunately, I have to focus on getting a job before even thinking about going back to school.

WILL WORK FOR EXPERIENCE AND NEED EXPERIENCE FOR WORK

My life situation has become something of a Catch-22 similar to the one a band experiences when it first starts gigging. I need work to get experience, but I can't get work without experience (unless I take an internship, then I can hardly pay the bills to survive to work).

The whole Catch-22 wouldn't give me trouble except that it grates on my self esteem and mood. Lacking a demonstrated education (in the form of an associates or bachelors) doesn't help, either.

Neither do I want to work some job that will bore me.

I feel like I can't do anything except insurance, but I don't like the insurance industry. It came as a fallback job years ago. When I try, I can make up descriptions that make it sound noble and even exciting.

On an everyday level, though, it bores me.

Having the feeling that I don't have skills to offer and that I feel strained marketing myself (when I generally don't do well talking about myself in the first place), I feel useless as a member of society.

It sucks, but I've got to get going to a games night.

Maybe that will get my mind off of my bad-employment self esteem.

No comments: