Friday, October 15, 2010

So...When it Comes Right Down to it....

What I've learned in school this week:

1. In employment situations, everyone is (basically) just trying to impress each other.
Example 1: Hey look! I came up with this great product idea!
Sure, someone might need that product. But it also could get you a promotion.

Example 2: Hey look! I made 10 sales today!
More money for you, and your boss thinks you're a great salesman.

Example 3: Hey look! This boring snoring report is really well organized!
Menial work suddenly becomes praiseworthy!

2. In school, everyone is (basically) just trying to impress each other.
Example 1: I've got a 4.0 GPA!
Impressed future employers, friends and family members abound!

Example 2: You only studied for 2 hours? I studied for 10!!
Academic badge of courage.

Example 3: I understand the concept just fine, but the teacher is asking me to prove it with this busywork. I'll do it for YOU, teacher!!
Teacher feels satisfied seeing quantifiable results.

I guess what I've realized is that most actions are a double-edges sword. You may be TOTALLY jazzed about doing service, so you become the president of a service organization.  But the fact does look really good on a resume, and that never hurts, does it?

What I'm saying is - I just wish that we could all just be real people. I wish we could just get to know each other instead of feel like we have to impress each other.  I should just be able to like to sing, and not have to feel I need to be the best singer for people to believe that it's a legitimate hobby. 

Sure a resume scratches the surface to show what kind of a person someone is.  But people are so much more than the objective outcomes they produce or positions they have filled.

And isn't learning supposed to be an individual thing? I'm in school because I want to be, taking classes that interest me, so I'm a better thinking and thus a better citizen of the universe?  Why has education become a system of proven, executable outcomes focused on homework and test content, rather than the students and what they're absorbing.

I just feel like humans get easily distracted. In trying to formalize the emphasis of "important things" we just end up getting way off track sometimes.

And forgive me for the GIANT, sweeping generalizations I have made. These are all just extreme examples to help me maybe get my brain into words, which is usually sort of difficult.

Also - whenever I say "when it comes right down to it," as in my title, I think of this:

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