Work in Progress (No, really)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Just hand me my degree already...

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You've seen the list of work I have to do, and the chaar panj of you who visit this blog (read stalk me) have also probably seen the lack of progress I'm making. I've hit the point now where I just want out. I want this crap to end. It's more a hassle than anything. This is coincides with regret. At 21-22, I should have minimal regret and yet, I feel like I've lived a pretty dull life and was doped by the majority. High school doesn't really matter, you can be average and make it into a good/decent college. (Honestly, the entire education system in America is outdated and lopsided, good in certain areas while not adequate in others.) The difference between a good university and bad one is generally less about education and more about the extras -- exotic programs of study, sports and "recreational" activities (both good and bad, if you catch my drift).

But I also feel like I'm too gullible too. One of my professors said something a few weeks ago that's been stuck in my mind since then. He said, "literature is not innocent" and consequently when we analyze it we need to save our sympathy until the end (if we have any by the end). At first, I disagreed with the thought (a gut reaction) -- probably the mullah in me. Regardless, I didn't say anything (I don't say much in any class). However, now I understand the words a little better. You need to be critical, even if it clashes with personal beliefs because you need to see whether things can stand up to your criticisms and critique. This saying isn't just bound to beliefs and literature either, it also applies to people. One of the most important lessons I've learned from university is don't trust "semi-powerful" people. This includes but is not limited to your professors, advisors, upperclassmen and others. "Semi-powerful" pretty much is the equivalent of an "Uncle Know-Nothing."* At least people with absolute power are corrupted absolutely (and use it wickedly) but with a "semi-powerful" one is bound to run into hypocrisy. Obviously some exceptions exist but in general I've stopped trusting such people and expecting much. Heck, I may have unconsciously applied this rule to myself (although I have no power) too. But I digress.

I'm hungry and want something to eat, but it's cold outside. I don't want to go outside and get food (I haven't eaten out in a while so it's allowed) but I also don't want to go make something; so I'll go outside and get food. At least, that's what I thought an hour ago. That's how I operate. It would take a great deal of effort to change that, and I don't know if I even want to anymore. Probably the only thing I've ever done consistently is make sure I don't get too out-of-shape and that's easier since I'm really skinny.

I'd so rather have been a novelist or something, but that implies you have some sort of discipline. And most of the time, my stories are lost in the pen to paper transition I have literally a dozen or so unfinished/semi-started ideas on my computer. And then, if I do finish one, I'd need a good alias (let's face it, some names just won't sell).  Also an editor, I apparently make too many mistakes. I also write utter crap so it's probably better this way.

I read this article earlier and it at least gives me some comfort that this type of thinking is pretty normal. But seriously, more and more I feel like I'm going to be part of a crappy, new "lite" version of the lost generation. Or I'll be part of the precursor generation to it ( today's kids seemed doomed to fail) that no one will remember. Not that I really want to be remembered. Well, at least not by the world. And on that note, I know next to nothing about my great-grandparents and beyond that I don't think my parents and relatives know anything. So really, you'll be forgotten in chaar panj generations. Unless you're from one of those families that just keeps track of this information. On the other hand though, with the internet and social media, I think it might be different from now on. Of course, this is all under the assumption that a nuclear holocaust doesn't occur, aliens take us over, the halwa reservoirs are totally depleted and a  maulvi rebellion occurs, or more likely WoW puts an end to our advancement. (For the record, I don't play. If you do that's cool. It's just that I'm not looking for another addiction. You can interpret that however you like but just remember "literature isn't innocent." Although I am, at least until proven guilty).

This entry has been all over the place. The only thing that holds this all together is the "chaar panj." 

*A term coined at a dawat I once graced with my presence. It's pretty self-explanatory. You probably know one or two in your expanded circles.


  1. I felt exactly the same way during my entire last year. Overall, it was probably the worst year of my life. I hate the student life in the US. It feels like students are in a different class of people than everyone else. The whole suburb thing is already a fake, sheltered environment inside the real world, and college is another layer of shelter inside of that. The only way I could go back to the states is if I was living in a city like New York, Boston, Chicago, SF, etc. There life at least resembles normalness (which for me means: the way people live in the rest of the world). Seriously, after I came back from Moscow, college in the US felt like a joke.

    Anyway I definitely sympathize with your situation. I think if you're not in the sciences, then college doesn't give you the skills you need anymore. And if you are in the sciences, American education lags behind everyone else. Personally I think the best I can do at this point is make sure my children grow up outside the US and have the chance to get a proper education.