Just Another Day – 5: The Trouble With School

The trouble with university is not that I don’t like it. No, I love university. I get to take really great classes where I learn other languages (French mostly, but some Spanish and Latin as well) and I get to study really great topics (I’m majoring in Classical History).

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I’m in the middle of a year-long class on Ancient Rome and it’s so incredibly interesting. The Ancient and Medieval world fascinates me, which is probably why I loved last term’s classes on Ancient Greek and Roman plays and the History of the High Middle Ages.

The trouble with school is not that I have bad profs. Quite the opposite actually. I’ve been fortunate to have awesome professors for all of my classes. They are not dull and boring, so they know how to keep me captivated and learning.

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The trouble with school is not that I’m stuck in a lecture hall with 300 students. I had a chemistry class with 300 students once, but that was the only one. All my other classes range in student numbers from 16-30, which is actually not only reasonable, but pretty damn nice. I always get a chance to ask my professor if I have a question, so that’s not an issue either.

It’s not going to school that I don’t like, it’s what happens when I get home. You see, the trouble with school is all the assignments and essays that go along with it. Last term I wrote four shorter essays of 2,000 words and five fifteen page term papers. The trouble with school is that I don’t want to focus on all this homework anymore and that I don’t want to write another essay.

As I think about this, turning it over and over in my mind, I start to realize something. I don’t mind writing essays, and I actually like to do the research because I get to learn about really cool subjects. I don’t mind studying for a language exam because I love learning French and, more importantly, I love speaking French. This is when I realize that there is no problem with university.

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The trouble with school is me.

I’ve been finding it hard to stay focused on one thing and I keep jumping between projects, not getting anywhere on either. After my research is done and it’s time to write that essay, I have so much difficulty actually starting that my life turns into a procrastination nightmare. Every day I tell myself it will get better, but everyday it doesn’t. I still get everything done on time and I still enjoy myself, but I always feel rushed and I feel like my grades aren’t where they could be. I’m sure many of you can relate to this, and it can cause for a lot of stress that just builds up until I get to a day where I get so upset that I don’t want to do anything school related and I start telling myself, “Well, I’ve waited this long so it can all wait another day.” (Only I use many more colourful words).

Today isn’t one of those days. I haven’t had one of those days in a while, which is why I’m thinking about it so much. It’s gotten to the point where I’m expecting it. I’m trying to work on my procrastination, but my attention is so easily averted to something else. I’ve been getting lots of writing done and I haven’t had a ‘wasted day’ in a long time. It’s just frustrating, but I know that many people procrastinate. We do it every day and it probably frustrates the hell out of you, too.

All I can say is that I will work at it, which I do. I’m just not seeing any progress. Oh well. Better luck tomorrow, right? 😉

Thanks for reading!

Till Next,

-Will

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Categories: Family, Just Another Day, Life | 22 Comments

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22 thoughts on “Just Another Day – 5: The Trouble With School

  1. jeremiahandrews

    I hope that you can employ time management in staying on topic, one item at a time. I found in university that it was one at a time, and not to spread myself too thinly. It is important to love what you do to the point that what you do becomes effortless, if that is even achievable. Take it easy and do a good job. use your writing skills well and that will help you in the long run. in order to make the grades one must perform to the level that great grades are possible. With that, pushing yourself in your studies will guarantee you great grades. I know you can do it. You just need to believe that as well.

    • Thanks! 🙂 I know what you mean. The grades are there for me…I’m an honours student with a pretty good average and I love history and what I’m studying. I just need a little more motivation to write essays and such! I love doing the research…and I often get sidetracked when I am doing it because I’ll stumble upon another topic I tell myself I now need to know about as well! Haha! I just know I could do a little better and strive for the Dean’s List or something…I’m just not that interested. I don’t know why. It’s not upsetting…just a little stressful some days! I guess I just don’t want to feel like I’m settling because my marks ARE good and I sometimes get the mentality of why would I try harder now that I’m already honours and well above class averages? Now I just feel like a dork complaining about being honours lol Thanks for commenting!!

  2. Okay, I’m creeping again, but I feel the need to comment on this especially because sometimes the things that you say literally take the words out of my mouth. Or what I would type, you know what I mean. I was thinking about writing a blog post about a similar topic a while ago, but I couldn’t quite work out what to say. Sometimes I complain about school, but then when I actually get to class, I (most of the time) love sitting there and actually learning everything, especially when it’s something that I find really interesting. For example, I had an ancient Rome class where I memorized all of the emperors and dynasties, and could tell you exactly how they came to power, and I tend to do the same with everything, like I have all of the rulers of Britain from 1066-Present memorized, as well as all of the US Presidents. None of these things were required, but for some reason I just wanted to do them because it was really interesting. Some of it didn’t even help me in the class, and even hurt me because instead of working on the essays, I’d do that instead. For my Old English class last semester (WHICH WAS AMAZING, btw) I figured out how it was similar to Elvish and then translated a bunch of things that I wasn’t assigned, even though I should have been memorizing the first 30 lines of Beowulf in Old English for part of my final. Sometimes I wish I could dictate my own class assignments, because I think if professors saw the work that I was really doing to learn the material (like when you fall into a research hole, sometimes involving wikipedia, and end up 2 hours later wondering how exactly you ended up where you ended up) and be engaged, they’d take that instead of some essay that I couldn’t quite organize my thoughts as well as I could have. Last semester I had a 20 page paper for my Tudor England class and I put it off for the entire term and ended up finishing it 1 hour before the Hobbit premiere because it was due the next day at 7am, that was sketchy… Anyway, I completely agree with you in the sense that I love actually learning things, and I love (most of) my professors because they are engaging and bring up things I would never have thought of on my own, but sometimes I hate the busy work outside of class. Sometimes I also hate the time spent actually going to class, but then I realize that I’m not sure what else I would be doing, and I’m grateful for my education, so it’s not really wasted at all. Sorry that was really long, I hope it made sense. Anyway, I’m off to do all of the reading that I put off this weekend that I should have been doing instead of shopping for Thorin leggings…

    • Wow. I couldn’t have said it better myself. I do like to memorize things like this as well! haha. I know all the Kings of Rome from Romulus to the exiled Tarquinius. Also, last year I spent some time memorizing EVERY country in the world. Now I can look at a map and if you point to a country anywhere I can tell you what it is. Or, if you ask me where a country is I can tell you – in detail – where it is located. These are the things that nerd love to do. I don’t know why…it’s just fun. And man can I relate to the research hole that is Wikipedia. EVERYTHING is so interesting that I HAVE to click that link to a new page to read about that. I just want to KNOW things and not have to be tested on them. Oh well though. I’m happy with my life so I’m not too concerned about all this stuff. It can be frustrating, but at the end of the day I try to forget about it. Hopefully I’ll become a famous, rich author and won’t have to worry about how well I did or didn’t do in school! 😉

      • Exactly! And when I really think about it, I do know A LOT, I just wish I could know them and not have to worry about assignments on them. I just want to spout my random knowledge in casual conversation and blow people’s minds. Haha, that’s my plan too. Then they can say “Oh she has degrees in English, and History, and a law degree,” in my little bio thing and people will think I’m super cool. I also find that my classes dictate a bit what I write about though, like I was taking Greek Mythology classes when I wrote one, and then when I wrote my NaNo last semester I was taking that Old English class and half of my characters randomly burst out in Old English mid-book.

        • Yeah…I’m getting a history degree and then thinking about law school. This is too uncanny. Are you sure you’re a real person? Not some 50 year old creep trying to be like me? 😉 Just kidding! I’m taking Latin in school and for one of my novels I’m creating my own language (like Tolkien) and I drew on inspiration from Latin and French. How is Old English? I was always curious about taking it. The Tudor class sounds sweet, too. At my university we don’t have a class like that one. Lots of other European Middle Ages stuff…guess I’ll just have to watch that show, The Tudors. I haven’t seen a single episode yet…but it always looked good. I don’t even know if it’s still on! Everything you say is like an echo of my mind…for I, too, incorporate stuff I learned in class into writing. My High Middle Ages course really helped me hammer out a solid rural, fantasy setting. Now it’s time you stopped copying me. 😉

      • Are you sure YOU’RE a real person? That’s why I had to creep so hard because I literally freaked myself out and I was like ummm this can’t be normal, this sounds too familiar. If you want to picture a 50 year old creep in those Thorin leggings, that’s on you haha. That’s so cool that you’re creating a new language! I want to see it when you’re done! Old English was AMAZING! It was really difficult because languages aren’t really my thing (7 years of French and I feel like I know nothing, except how to order food and ask how people are) but it was really challenging and that’s why I liked it. And the LOTR aspect, of course. The Tudor one was awesome minus that huge paper and my procrastination. The professor was really difficult because he came from Oxford and St. Andrews so he knew what he was talking about, but that made it really cool as well. The Tudors show isn’t super historically accurate but it’s really interesting, I watched all 3 seasons on netflix during the class last semester because I felt like it.

        But exactly, that’s why it’s freaking me out, because I feel like I would say all of the things you say, and then I feel creepy… anyway. I promise I’m not a 50 year old. I’m only a well-preserved 45, let’s not be insulting. 😉

        • Oh it’s on netflix? I’m definitely going to see if it’s still there. And about that language…I’ve got a long ways to go. I can tell you that there are 33 letters in the alphabet, and “En Sus Apodos” means “By Your Names”, and is a religious saying for the gods. I’ve got to work out some of the details with verbs mostly, and I’m kind of just adding stuff as I go. “a” is the equivalent of ‘of’ and so forth. I’m also trying to develop a script for the language, but I don’t want it to just be like an English ‘A’ is transcribed as ‘@’. I don’t want letter by letter decoding, I guess. I took a class on phonetics, so I know all about the phonetic alphabet and so rather than have symbols for the letters ‘a’, ‘t’ and ‘y’, I want to have symbols for the sounds /ae/, /t/ and /j/. I think it will help make the language more ‘legit’ if the script is based of of sounds rather than the English letter assigned to that sound. It could also be easier because in English the same letter can have many different pronunciations, but this is avoided in French through the use of accents and such. This is just something I’m really interested in. Now I just went from nerd to super-nerd factor 10. 🙂

        • It’s definitely not historically accurate but still really interesting! No, no that’s actually really interesting, I think it’s better when it’s phonetically done rather than by letter, it makes more sense that way!

        • Yeah, but it also makes it harder to create the language and the script because then I really have to know my stuff. It has been really fun though, I have to say.

  3. Life after school is so much better. 🙂 Persevere and it will be over before you know it. Will you teach with that degree?

    • “…and so I would urge you to study hard, to burn the midnight oil; I would say to you, don’t drop out of school. I understand all the sociological reasons, but I urge you that in spite of your economic plight, in spite of the situation that you’re forced to live in — stay in school.

      And when you discover what you will be in your life, set out to do it as if God Almighty called you at this particular moment in history to do it. Don’t just set out to do a good job. Set out to do such a good job that the living, the dead or the unborn couldn’t do it any better.”

      Ralph Waldo Emerson

      • Wow nice quote!

        • I just read that on The Better Man Project blog today (It’s part of a larger essay) though I think it might be a few days old…I can’t keep up. 🙂

        • I can never keep up either. Every couple days I end up with about 1,000,000 posts to read because I get so blogging backed-up. 1,000,000 posts takes a while to get through.

    • Me be a teacher? I think I’d strangle the children…literally. Me and children don’t go together very well! 😉 I want to go into journalism or law school, but I needed two years of just general Arts and Sciences, so I figured if I’m going for two years I might as well stick around for another year or two just to get a degree. That way, it’ll at least give me a degree (which I think is better than just two years and no degree) and it will also give me more time to decide which one of the two I really want to go into.

      • Journalism for sure, with your creative streak. No one likes lawyers. And their ‘creativity’ always seems to involve lying and deceit. 😉 Teasing.

        • I could be a 45 year old lawyer, deceiving you right now. And you would never know… 😉

        • You don’t say? Well, if we’re confessing… I’m really a 60 year old man – in ‘the pen’ as we speak (they say I tried to kill the postman with a lawn mower- it wasn’t how it looked, I swear!). Do you have any experience overturning felonies? 😉

        • Well…tell your ‘husband’ to times the regular cheque for this month by 24 and I’ll be your defense. Give me a little more and we’ll pay the judge and maybe some members of the jury and we won’t have to worry about my skills… 😉

        • The husband is real. His name is Lucky. The warden married us, but I don’t get to see him that often as he is in solitary confinement most of the time… 😉 I’ll talk to him about that balloon payment, but I have every confidence in your smooth-talking ways!

        • LOL I laughed so hard. Too funny. 😉 Thanks for that. And until I get that money, you’re screwed.

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