You can find the most interesting subjects when you start trying to find inspiration to create blog posts.
The one that most sparked my curiosity this week is: if you could go to college, with your tuition paid in full, what would you study and why?
This is actually a question I have been playing with lately. My partner is about to graduate from his MBA program…and I will be able to flee the house gleefully periodically — and I have been saying for months now I wanted to take some classes — I just wasn’t sure what sort of classes.
I don’t want to be gone from the house for long. I am not looking for a degree program (am I?). I don’t want to commit to three evenings a week…or anything complicated like that. I do not have the stamina to push myself to take a class, make the time to do the work at home, fight the kids, work on the house, and yada yada…I know my limits. I know how many spoons I can (hope to) count on every day when I wake up. I don’t want to push myself…I just want to explore … different things.
When I was younger, and I took that year off after high school, I always expected to go to college to get a liberal arts degree.
I was in the process of filling out paperwork for a nursing program…when I met an ex…and left that behind.
I took a job where attending college was literally impossible due to scheduling (every week you get a schedule–every day of that schedule was different–and it was a different schedule every week–). I did take some correspondence courses, because at that time that’s all there was, hoping to do more once I changed to a different position in that same company…or quit that company all together.
When I did leave that company, I went to massage therapy school. I had a two-year old daughter then…and I became pregnant with my oldest son while I was there. I graduated, but I didn’t take the test to get the certification I needed to actually work as a massage therapist.
I have taken a lot of singular classes over the years, online, correspondence, whatever. I have never pursued a single line of study.
What I want to do right now is take a single class on a single subject…as I peruse the community college catalog that shows up in our mailbox, I find myself … really uninterested in writing classes…in knitting classes…in art classes…Maybe a spinning class (as in spinning wool into yarn on a spinning wheel)…I own a spinning wheel –that I think my kids have screwed up, but since I put it together and only started to work with it before we moved in here I have no clue how to tell or how to fix it…which really hurts my heart when I see the poor thing shrouded for its own protection in the basement…
All of that aside, what am I interested in?
I always wanted to undertake a study of the Jesuit faith. Until I learned that the only way I would get the position I was after was if I had a penis. I don’t–nor do I have a desire for one…so I let it go.
I have studied religion and spirituality literally my entire life…and I have often entertained getting a degree in it…but if I have to face the same hypocrisy in class that I do in spiritual institutions around me…I know it’s better I study on my own and let the degree go right on past me.
History is something that I have studied for decades, something I still have a passion for and an interest in, something I study on my own all the time. My issue lately has been that the winners write the history books–and the books are not always accurate.
Why would this be an issue?
Because every college student I have ever talked to, no matter what program they are in, talks about how their classes lack real-world application. You study what you are given…you write about what you are given…or you don’t make the grade/pass the class. And every time this issue is brought up to whatever college, they don’t care, for whatever reason.
If I could go to college for a degree program, if time was not an issue, if money was not an issue, if child care was not an issue, even knowing what I know about art school, I would want to go to art school…I would want to focus on art history and abstract art…but I would also want to take as many foundational classes as possible–portraiture, figure drawing, whatever else would be required and would add to my knowledge base…even if afterwards I threw everything I had been taught out the window…I would want to go just to see what I could learn…and to see how I could improve myself in all areas, not just my artistic skill.
If I could go to college for a degree program, if time/money/child care were not issues, even knowing what I know about MFA programs, I would want to work my way through an MFA program…for the experience more than anything else.
If I could go through collage…same as above…same codicils and so forth…I would seriously want to go through a liberal arts program, with a focus on psychology, philosophy and history going on in the background…and that is where I would build the basis of my own work. not just going for the experience…those are fields that I would use to parlay into my career in some manner…letting go of the art school and the MFA–the liberal arts with focuses on psych and philosophy, with a minor in history…that’s is truly what I would love to do.
I don’t want a degree in psych. I don’t want a degree in philosophy. I don’t want a degree in history. I have always sought after is a well-rounded education…and as best as I have ever found, the liberal arts nomenclature serves that purpose.
My grandfather, after many heart issues, with no short term memory at all, went back to college in his 70s and graduated (don’t know what for–don’t need to…just know he worked hard and he accomplished his goal)…so I am not without hope that one day I can actually go to college for some program or another…more than the “some college” designation that I currently have…
What about you? How would you answer the same question: if you could go to college, with your tuition paid in full, what would you study and why?