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KichigaiKitsune

Further education, and miscellaneous ranting!

First off, my neighbor isn't that upset at me anymore. So that's good. I kinda returned the favor though; I busted my ass to get back home ASAP, and even got my surly friend to drive me home - and he was kinda bitchy about it! So don't you be guilt-tripping me, kid! >:C

Aside from that, everything's been very good, if a little too busy. I'm hoping Christmas hurries along, because I could do with a bit of a break - which is to say a break with my college studies. I've got a very light study load, but certain events over the last month or two have made things very complicated.

For one thing, I hadn't been to a class for the entire duration of a topic. The lecturer was understanding, and now I only need to do the final assignment.

However, the assignment had multiple topics, and the lecturer was supposed to pick one for us. So she totally picked the "hardest" topic of them all for me - knowing I was busy with work and other obligations. God dammit!

I'm not sure if she did it to spite me or because she felt I needed a challenge. I'm really not sure.

Either way, I have the hardest "version" of the assignment, for no extra benefit. Luckily, it's just writing. I enjoy that. It's not a hard topic, and despite the intention I don't need to research anything, I know all of this. I just need to find the time - and tomorrow I won't be having any freakin' time. Ugh.

On that note though, something recently happened in another of my classes that made me flip out - quietly, though. I didn't make a scene, no. I just simmered with roiling fury for several hours.

We had a practical exam in a class (the best kind of exam!). It was pretty basic stuff, and it involved performing a few basic system administration tasks on a Windows 7 virtual machine.

I booted my VM up and got started. I noticed it didn't have internet, and correctly assumed it was the proxy settings. So I set those, got a new IP lease and just moved on. Maybe 20 seconds of my time.
Part of me can't help but feel this is a sort of test in itself.

About an hour later into the activity, one of the teenagers next to me freaks out. "Oh shit, I can't get internet! What's goin' on?! Can you help me?"

I blink. Hang on, didn't these kids just get here from a class on networking?
Within a few seconds, about 5 others go "Oh noes, me too!" ... and they turn straight to me. Like puppy-dogs expecting dinner.

Are you serious!?!?

One of them, a really nice kid who has Asperger's, proudly declared: "I know what the problem is! It can't find the DNS!" Which was what Windows was outright telling him. I mean, I could read it on his screen...

I wanted to say: "Well, since you know what the problem is, you don't need my help, do you?"
I'm not a dickhead, however.

Luckily there's actually no rule against someone helping you in some practical tests here, those are considered more learning experiences than proper tests - however, if you can't pass a written exam for this course by yourself, you're fucked, so you still need to know the subject material. Which brings me to my next point...

So I tell them: "It's the proxy settings, that's all. Just set them, then reset the adapter if you're impatient."

Blank stare. From all six of them. What the hell?!
The lecturer actually saw me get up and set everything for these guys. As I said, this is the easiest shit on the planet. Some of the savvier students looked at me with an expression that said, "Geez man, just let 'em suffer."

(Note: this was not an age-related issue, not exactly. Many of the teenagers in my class are more knowledgeable than me on this topic.)

However, I have no problem with helping people. This stuff is way too easy, I should probably be in the next course. No, what I have a problem with is that there are clearly students struggling in this class and they're not getting any real help. They're just being allowed to fail, fail and fail until the end of the course.

For motivated students, tertiary education is fantastic. For youngsters still reeling from 12 years of shitty schooling, it's more of the same, even if it isn't. The lecturers operate on a different level once you enter college/university. If you fail, that's no skin off their nose. It's all about you and your motivation, and if you're not ready for it, you're just going to piss your money away.

Case in point, the guy with Asperger's. I had to confront a lecturer after class about how she was dealing with him, and I discovered his parents hadn't even alerted the institution about this. The fuck? Now I have to do it, you irresponsible fucks. I have to go up to the staff and inform them your son has special needs and ask them to change their approach. Not that I can achieve anything official, because I am not his god-damn parent!

I don't even know if he should be there. Poor guy. :S
Seeing these people, mostly youngsters who really want to be elsewhere, scrape by or fail horribly is getting annoying. Because I know they want this, they can do this, and they WILL do this if they do it when they're mentally prepared.

If there's one piece of advice I think people need to tell their kids, it's this: you don't need to go straight into university, college or any sort of further education. In fact, you probably shouldn't. You need time to recover and understand why you're there - and if you're in uni/college and doing poorly, that's usually a sign that you DEFINITELY need to give yourself time to break away from the attitudes of high school. Get a job and earn some money, you'll love it."

I've lost track of the number of people I've met in tertiary education who were only there because, deep down, they were scared to enter the workforce. Scared to leave what they know behind.

But they continue with the attitudes and habits of high school. (Technical) College/university is NOT the same thing, and going directly there from "Forced Education" is a big, big mistake; unless you're able to rally yourself in time. The first year of university is going to shock the living daylights out of you if you approach it as an unprepared/motivated high school student. It's the Culling Time, and universities know it.

Some of the younger folk in my course are very intelligent. Very interested in the topic. But they still treat classwork as if someone's forcing them to do pointless busywork - even if, actually, they'd learn a lot from doing what they're told. They show up to classes but don't do the work; I don't show up to classes, but sign in remotely and do the work anyway.

Tertiary education is not high school's natural continuation. It's a different beast.

And if you aren't there because you want that qualification and/or the training and education it provides, you're there for the wrong reason. I know all about this, I've been there. I know many "students" fucking around in universities, changing degrees like changing hats, motivated less than drunken sloths... hey, I think I just described myself...

Seriously though, this is aimed at the few university students I know will read this who are struggling: you may just need to break away from schooling for a little while and regroup, or restructure your courses to be less intense if you can.
Americans especially, I know it costs you an arm and a leg to be in college, but you'll waste a lot more money by failing your ass off because you went into tertiary study when you weren't ready. Just consider whether or not the best move for you is to delay further study for a little while, and try to break out of the schooling rut. If not, kick your own ass into readiness.

Because nobody is going to do it for you, not even your teachers.

If you'll excuse me, I need to do this assignment... and also write furry porn. Did I mention I'm averaging 4 hours sleep a night? Yeah. I am. Hi.

... Ohgodhelp.
Viewed: 48 times
Added: 5 years, 9 months ago
 
vulPN
5 years, 9 months ago
Most colleges around here have disability offices where students can apply for additional help if they've got something that, say, hinders their concentration or what have you. From what I've been told by people who work in them, they're horrendously under-utilized, just because the students themselves never make the effort to go to the office and apply, even though they qualify.

What college is supposed to be is the chance for these kids who have never really stood on their own to solve their own problems for once. Several of my colleagues from the high school I used to work in would literately read the test questions to students as a form of review. So it's no surprise when students get to college and suddenly don't know what to do, because they're not spoon-fed the answers to all the problems. You could be the least motivated student in the world in high school (like I was) and still turn it around and actually work in college, even straight out of the worst years of your life. If you don't change your attitude? Honestly, that's your problem and I have no qualms with you failing out of school, because chances are you were a dick in high school and probably deserve what you're going to get. If you're in college, you can't expect your parents to do everything for you and solve all your problems. It's time to do it yourself. There should be more prep for it, definitely, but we can't delay it anymore than we already have.

Here, in particular, it's really tough to go back. People do it, but in general, if you enter the workforce chances are you're not going to have the time, money or energy to devote to going back to school later.
KichigaiKitsune
5 years, 9 months ago
> Here, in particular, it's really tough to go back. People do it, but in general, if you enter the workforce chances are you're not going to have the time, money or energy to devote to going back to school later.

This is a factor I know of, but don't know much about. Here, it's definitely difficult to go back to school but not impossible. If it makes a difference, what I mean is that students should take one or two years off at most. If they do that, they might find they prefer the workforce, or tradeperson life (or pay!). But it shouldn't be too difficult to return to school, provided their parents are willing to give them support.

I know this is going to be different depending on what country you're from, but... it's still something to consider. At least, students need to be aware that university is a different ball game, and that the changes they need to make may involve working with emotions and habits more insidious and pervasive than they might comprehend at first.

>From what I've been told by people who work in them, they're horrendously under-utilized, just because the students themselves never make the effort to go to the office and apply, even though they qualify.

I want to challenge this phrasing. It's not just that they "never make the effort." They are usually unaware of the services available to them or feel they won't make any difference.

It's the same phenomenon as with abused/homeless youth. It's not that they are lazy, but they are uninformed or have little faith in these things. Runaways or abused kids rarely make use of the amenities available to them; they almost never even know about them.

>Honestly, that's your problem and I have no qualms with you failing out of school,

I disagree with this, obviously. It entirely depends on your school experiences and what habits/attitudes they formed. Personally, I had shyness issues that kept me from showing up to class. This is NOT a minor issue, believe it or not, and initiatives are in place to deal with this at my university. WHY did I have these problems? Because of aggressive and cruel teachers/students in my earlier years (VERY long story, ask me in chat). Mental issues like this are often hard to explain to people who don't have a similar background, but they're very real and very debilitating.

In short, coming to an environment like university straight from high school is going to be a bigger hurdle for some than it is for others. The things that stopped you doing your best in high school can be easy to dump when you move on to college, or they might not be.
Alfador
5 years, 9 months ago
:) *sigh*, if only I'd had this to read ten years ago... maybe I would've ended up taking time out of college to figure out where I was going with it, set up actual goals instead of just going with the flow, and maybe then when I returned and graduated my grades would have been better, would have been good enough to apply for graduate studies there...
squirrelfox
5 years, 9 months ago
Speaking from my own experience in university... I actually rocked my first year at uni.  All A's and B's, everything right on track.  Then I did a full semester's worth of courses in the summer.  And in my second year I was living in a dorm with a single room and knew no one, and hardly saw my friends outside of class (they extended an open-door invitation to their townhouse [on-campus townhouses for returning students -- weird mix of independence while still living under dorm rules] which I was usually too shy to take advantage of -- and they never remembered to call or text when they were having parties or doing things I'd enjoy doing with them), which is probably where my depression and anxiety started.  By the end of my 7th semester (half way through my fourth year), I was pretty well spent.

As you know, I ended up dropping out, and now I'm back in another university.  The depression and GAD is still an issue, but I'm working on them (and hopefully the new medication will help).  And even being a part time student, I had to withdraw from a course.  But I'm taking my time.  I'm doing what I can.  And I'm pounding out these research papers I have to do.  I'm finally doing the major I should have done in the first place, getting the qualifications that are going to lead me to a job that's going to make me happy and be useful to society (even if the pay's gonna be shit).

It's definitely a shift in my thinking, and in the end, I'm sorta glad I dropped out and had some of that "real world" experience.  Because now I'm more motivated than ever to get my degree and start that professional work that my family expects of me.  I may not end up being a doctor or an engineer, but I'll be a vital cog keeping society together.  Plus, psychology is just awesome to study.  :p
Gehenna
5 years, 9 months ago
You have actually managed to inadvertently offend me... Your implication that just because the guy had aspergers he shouldn't be there was... a bit mal-worded. I will give your words the benefit of the doubt, but I should alert you that people with aspergers (like myself) are perfectly capable of performing every task, and learning every less that you can. I do agree that his parents saying jack was a horrible move, but aspergers in no way should restrict him from being able to do the work.
KichigaiKitsune
5 years, 9 months ago
Not my intention. I was actually going to mention this, but: I know several people with AS and most them are high-functioning and quite capable of doing their work. This one, not so. He just doesn't seem to be the sharpest.

I was sort of just ranting here, didn't word that very well. Rather, his unusual behavior in class is explained by his Asperger's, which was what I had to talk to the teacher about. She was being a snippy bitch to him for talking to me, when I WANTED him to keep talking to me so I could keep him on track.
Didn't explain this properly, was worried about the length of the journal. I hoped nobody would interpret it that way.
Gehenna
5 years, 9 months ago
That is why I said your statement was mal-worded. I doubted that you had meant to imply it as such, so I gave you the benifit of the doubt and assumed you had merely worded your statement badly.
indorri
5 years, 9 months ago
Let me tell you about our class' Physics mid-term...
aldreyachan
5 years, 9 months ago
and even got my surly friend to drive me home - and he was kinda bitchy about it!

Tell him to nut up.
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