Tuesday, February 17

Great Expectations

In my opinion that is. I have a little brother, we'll call him Boris (all his friends do anyway) and he is at that crucial period of selecting high school classes to determine the future of his education. I have been there, done that with school and, being 7 years older, my advice is 'clearly' always right. Clearly. I guess I am defining success for my brother how I define it for myself (high level of education, productive member of society, etc.).

Back up a second. Boris is freakin' smart. Really freakin' smart in an engineering/mathy type way. But he hates school. Recently I found out that he hasn't taken any of the university level science classes he will need to get in to university (read: study engineering and make his sister proud). He doesn't want to go to university he was to do a college course to get out of school as fast as he possibly can. He was not having any of it when I pointed out that university is 'better' (for him of course). To which he kindly pointed out the 'usefulness' of my sister's music undergrad and my many years floundering in the academic world for my niche; Touché.

Why does it matter so much then? Because I feel like I see this potential that he is wasting because he is lazy (yep, I said it, he only likes things that come easily to him). I want the very best for my brother. But it does reveal a bit of university vs. college snobbery I don't want to admit I still have. College is a great alternative, so practical, the chance to learn real skills; but for other people, not for my little brother. Uh oh, maybe someone is trying to vicariously correct some of her own mistakes? Poor kid.

ps. I did apologize and he already knows he can take a 5th to recover courses if he for some reason decides he wants to work really hard for 4 years and pay lots of money to do it.


Silas said...

interested in engineering but not wanting to do the work eh? that sounds like me. suggest something like a technologist diploma at various colleges. way more practical and kind of a shortcut to working in the technical field. not as conceptual.

Katie V. said...

Thanks Silas. I'll mention it to him. I know it is his life, I hope he finds something he enjoys.

will said...

So university is pretty much made for people like me (i.e. a rarefied world where people worry about Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar instead of real life), but there is a part of me that just wants to quit academia and write novels or play Scrabble for a living (you know, if it was actually possible to make a living doing either of those things).

These days there is an expectation for people, especially smart people, to go to university, but I say, do what thou wilt (to quote Rabelais).