Grad School Diary: Missing School


Ah yes, I am still "in" school. I am yet to finish.  The last time I went to class was the fall of 2013. It has load to do with money. At first I thought I would not survive the anxiety of being so close to finishing and not being able to. But time subdued the sentiment. Sometimes friends will ask, "Hey, so you've finished your graduate program?" and when I say no, "Oh!" is issued with an accompanying odd look. Then, "why?" At first it was embarrassing. As if I ought to be ashamed for not being able to afford school. But I still do think it ridiculous that one has to pay for an education, especially in the United States! Like seriously?! It makes absolutely no sense to me. I will spare you the rant this time. But maybe I ought to be ashamed. I am, after all, in a CUNY and tuition is not as awful as the private institutions.

School has always been something I enjoyed. Even back in Ghana where there was corporal punishment involved; even at the lower level when dictation meant standing on top of my table, full of fear of that moment when the cane will make contact with my ankle––it often did. But I learned how to maintain my balance so I would not fall and break my poor neck. Ah, but there were excursions too and those were rather exciting. Learning, to me, has always been very much a part of "real life" not outside it. The idea of school is the idea that we can and should learn from one another and that things are multifaceted: one should consider the minds of others. That we can go from a lack of knowing to being knowledgeable. That change is an occurrence in every aspect of our being. That we are all but apprentices of life. Skills can be acquired, the scope of thinking broaden: made flexible to challenge what ought to be questioned, to protect that which is essential and good. I love the community learning creates: of people coming together from all walks of life, to participate in acquiring intelligence. And in so doing teaching other members of the community something new. Hearing how we think through the questions we ask, the way a teacher explains things, passes it on; it all feel organic. Like something that ought to be done throughout a lifetime, not something one does for a few years, gets a paper that says they have done it and it's over. And definitely not something one only does in a classroom.

I am not in favor of the structure of the traditional educational system. It is forceful and boring. And grades matter more than they ought to. If I am able to go back to school this semester––which I am planning to, and therefore, crossing everything in hope that it happens––I will not care too much about my grades. I am going to go and have a grand time.  It would be, after all, my last class before I write my thesis in the spring; that is if all goes well. Then I will graduate in 2016 and it would have taken me only four years to finish a two year program. But debt free and without scholarship (because I am an idiot)! ^_^

---
Jane

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