Chasing The Pursuit Of Knowledge
When I was younger, I wanted to be a psychologist. I thought ink blots looked funny and I enjoyed the idea of hearing what others thought about all day long.
Later on, I decided I wanted to be a psychologist-teacher hybrid because I watched that movie Matilda where the girl with the telekinesis has a teacher with a name as sweet as she: Ms. Honey.
I dropped the idea when I realized I’d have to actually work with kids and went back to dreaming of a career in social sciences.
One day, though, well into my teens and long after my grade school musings, I thought, maybe I should not be chasing a job, but a life.
“What are you studying now?” “What will you study next?” “Where are you transferring?” “What colleges have you applied to?”
The worst part of being a second year student at a two-year college is being a second year student at a two-year college; if only because I have to endure these questions on a daily basis. Two years ago when we graduated from high school, the onlookers in our lives assumed it was the perfect time to pounce; to ask for the first instance in our young years, “So, like, what are you going to do now?”
It’s only natural that they’d ask. Graduating from high school is a rite of passage, after all, just another ceremonious hymen-breaking of sorts (except that it’s set to the tune of Pomp and Circumstance, a.k.a. the only song graduation bands ever know.)
When you decide you’ll be a transfer student, a second round of interrogation is expected. Too bad these hemorrhage-inducing questions are designed to expect only certain answers. In terms of average yearly incomes, statistics say that having an associate’s degree is the same thing as having nothing but a high school diploma. It seems that having an associate’s degree is only seen as a stepping stone and therein lays the issue.
Having an associate’s degree is not just two years into getting a bachelors. It’s two years worth of classes taken and knowledge gained.
Getting an education in this day and age only means you’re on your way to chasing a good job; valuing an education for education’s sake is an antiquated perspective in a time where having money is all anyone aspires for.
We know without a doubt that knowledge, like the terrible cliché goes, is power.
But the only form of power students are taught to acknowledge is the kind that comes from a bi-weekly company check and a soul-killing daily work routine.
And that’s no way to a fulfilling life; maybe a rich life, maybe a life of status in the community, multiple assets to your name and power in the markets but who wants that? (What side am I arguing again?)
The objective of going to school should not be so that you are able to add a few lines of credibility to your résumé but to simply become educated.
Education is a privilege and that no one ever sees it that way is a travesty to our depth as a society. Education is only seen as the means through which we may hope to acquire what the American standard deems significant: a pretty house, a respectable job with perks, a bank account the ladies will fawn over.
Despite all the different ways people have asked the question, “what now?” upon hearing that I am approaching my final semester at Dade; I am not any closer to knowing the answer.
I am not chasing my career. I’m not dreaming of a 401k. I just aspire to be happy.
For now, I imitate the responses I’ve heard others use, even when I know the only thing I plan on doing once I take off the toga is to ditch the heels on the way to the car, degree in hand.
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