October 17, 2011
Here’s something to ponder: college. It is an artificial environment where we are expected to learn a given amount of information in a finite amount of time. We are graded solely on our ability to do this, and if the material doesn’t happen to “sink in” until after the semester is over then you can kiss that A+ good-bye. We are expected to know how to perform certain tasks- like how to read a book analytically or write persuasively. Throughout most of our pre-college years, we spend a good amount of time in English class trying to hone some of these skills by reading novels and short stories from many renowned authors. Not necessarily does all of this preparation help in the least bit, because I made to college, yet I still can not write even a “B quality” literature analysis paper. I can not comprehend any of the stories I am assigned to read, and when I try to read them I start to feel physically ill.
Let me make a quick segue to help put my situation in your perspective. What is something that really interests you? Are you passionate about it? Are you better at it than most of your peers? Let’s say you are an amazing artist- the Michelangelo of 2011! You share your paintings with your peers and they respond, “Wow, I don’t think i’ll ever be able to paint as good as you!” Great. Now you see where I’m coming from.
With that mentality in mind, I could bet money that, if I were to approach a humanities professor with a highly involved technical task (hmm, lets say… reassembling sniffed packets into a data file), I would receive the same response your friend gave you. In fact, if I assigned them that task and they had no way of learning how to solve it then you can imagine how frustrating it would be; it might even make you feel sick.
To be continued…
Written by Tom Beute– a Christian, barista, and software engineer.