Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Busy Work

My Dear Reader,

This week, besides reading a book and preparing for a test, I have to finish a project that's absolutely worthless. And that's all for one class! Add to that the other book I have to read, the test I have to take at the end of next week, and you've got the typical college workload.

Now, the books are arduous, though I don't really mind as long as they're spread out, but I really don't see the point of assigning a purposeless assignment when there's already a lot going on at the same time. Why do professors feel the need to throw extra hours of library time as if an endless amount of homework is the only things that will keep us off of the streets?

Useless assignments have been plaguing me ever since kindergarten, and I just don't get why teachers of all grade levels can't manage to use the time they're supposed to fill up. It reminds me of high school, when my teachers decided that thirty to forty minutes of lecture time was more than adequate, meaning that my fellow students and I had a designated card game period at the end of each class. Then, of course, they told us we weren't allowed to bring cards to class (probably because we were making the teachers look bad), which turned our card-playing time into doing-whatever-worthless-thing-popped-into-the-teacher's-head-that-day time. It was just abut the lamest thing you could imagine. I used to look at my teachers and think to them, "I've only got one childhood to live and you're making me waste it on this?"

There's just no telling what I could have accomplished in the time I've wasted doing worthless assignments. Maybe I could have cured cancer. You never know. If we spent every bit of every day in the classroom actually learning something useful, we could probably fit a bachelor's degree in there somewhere, producing a generation of 22 year-olds with Ph.Ds! Oh, the possibilities.

And just to be clear, I'm not trying to say that every finger painting exercise was a waste of my time, because art is part of education too, but do we really have to spend three weeks working on posters that represent each of the constitutional amendments? I mean, really.

Kids have a lot more potential than we think they do, and I personally feel that this potential is wasted in a careless manner, and that failing to realize the aptitude of people at a very young age creates a pattern that extends through adulthood. Soon, busy work is a staple of the academic diet, because apparently the academic elite just don't know what to do with themselves if they don't have something to grade. If we could only be a little more efficient with our time! There is so much to do!

Anyway, despite the things I've said, the fact that these word are inspired by a specific, pointless assignment might make my point seem trivial, and I suppose it's easy to ignore the rantings of a poor college student who feels ill-used. Go tell it to your neighbor with melanoma.

Regards, best wishes, and educational efficiency,

-Cecily Jane