Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Mid-Exam Crisis and the darkness within

So I managed to get to sleep sometime before 2am this morning. I somehow got up at 8 (my dad coaxed me). Then I ate tuna for breakfast. My dad was being all encouraging and saying fish is good for my brain and that I'll need it. Yeah, sure will I thought.

I wrote the media relations exam which went as well as possible but it's not the exam I've got my mind on really. It's the whole program. I'm glad I didn't study for the exam. It wouldn't have helped. It seems like it never matters how hard I work. When I work too hard then the teacher gets suspicious and finds something to dispute about how I haven't done the project right. I hate my prof. Today she handed back an assignment of mine with the words "not evaluated" printed on the front. As it turns out, apparently I did it all wrong and now "we need to talk" again.

I went in to talk to her and she tried to be all assuring and sweet by mentioning that I wasn't the only person who had a problem with the assignment. Is that supposed to make me feel better or just average? As long as I'm just a run-of-the-mill guy right? What a sugar-coated snake egg she is. She didn't like my issues management assignment because instead of using key messages from the school about how prepared they are for a crisis and how everything will always be ok as long as they follow their agenda, I made key messages about proposed solutions to the problems I identified through reading and researching the entire report on the school. Wrong wrong wrong.
(look for the rae review on www.conestogac.on.ca)

"Do you see how what you did wasn't what the assignment asked for?" She asked. I felt like I was on sesame street and I was being asked: "Can you see which truck isn't like the others?" Well yeah, and how much you just want to make things hard. "Well, I mean, if I'm supposed to be representing the students then wouldn't I voice their concerns?" I asked. Here's her trick response: "you DO represent the students but you work for the college, you have to show that the college is doing everything it can to avoid a crisis" (or something like that, really, I tuned out as soon as I saw her ugly face). I have issues with her can you tell? We bickered a bit over why I couldn't do the assignment the way I saw fit and then she told me not to be discouraged. Oh, ok, so you're going to give me a zero on an assignment unless I have the "threat" of failing the course and I'm not supposed to be discouraged? Yeah, like a 55% would really make me feel rewarded regardless of how I really do! And that's fair.

I'm seriously weighing the difficulties of continuing this program versus the skin it might save off my back if I just opt out now. I wanted to use writing to make a difference but as she said "that's activism, and I think that's where your heart really lies." My heart doesn't lie. I've already enrolled for the business diploma waiting list so perhaps I might escape from her evil clutches yet. Here's hoping

Things that make it difficult: The program head is no teacher. Furthermore she can't teach. Her marking scheme is sketchy, she seems to favour bimbos and it feels like
we're just her little guinea pigs. She's never taught this program before, Conestoga College is less than the best college in Ontario which it claims to be and I talked to a counsellor last week who just basically sat there and wondered with me whether this 'diploma' will actually increase my marketability or not, so my doubt increased.

I should have gotten a trade years ago. What am I doing here? Anyways, I might be able to put things into better context when I'm not riddled with exam stress but in the mean time, all is darkness within.

look for the rae review

10 Comments:

Blogger The Lioness said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:51 PM  
Blogger J said...

Barrett,

Don't quit. It might piss you off, and it might be stressful and annoying, but you know what? It's what you chose. You chose it for a reason. Keep that reason in mind, bite the bullet, and grind your way through the bullshit. It's only two years, and then you've got more training, more education to put on the resume, and better credentials. Employers can't look at your marks. All they see is that diploma on your resume.

It's probably fair to say that there was at least one essay in university that you screwed up and for which you got a bad mark. We've all had that. But you didn't quit university, did you? No, you graduated with a B.A. and that's something to be proud of.

Make this something you can be proud of too, and stick with it.

3:54 PM  
Blogger J said...

One more thing -- if you're looking at business programs, then look at MBA programs. They accept people with a Bachelor's degree in any subject -- it doesn't have to be business. They want people with diverse backgrounds.

Sure, you might not get into the Richard Ivey School (Western's Business school -- probably the best in Canada), but you'll get in somewhere. And then you'd have a Master's and could work as a high-paid corporate exec. ;)

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

B- My advice is to get your ass out of the program. It's a waste of your time and talent. Your in post-secondary education, you should be learning things from people you at least respect on some level. Does the program stimulate you, or frustrate you to the point of passion - if not, fuck it.

SPOCK

1:09 PM  
Blogger J said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:36 AM  
Blogger J said...

Sure "Spock", that's one way to look at it.

Or you could suck it up, realize that not everything in life is going to be either fun or fair, and recognize that having these credentials could benefit him.

You know what? Actually, he's right. *Let's* quit anything we don't enjoy. That's a great manifesto by which to live. Words of wisdom that will take you far in life.

1:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

J-

You need to read more and watch less Oprah. Though, if you find you have trouble reading, just put the book down and walk away...as I so was so obviously pointing out before -anything that requires effort is not worth your time. You can also try doing the same thing if you impregnant a woman accidentally.

spock

12:15 PM  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

Guys, I think I'm realizing that it's a balance between the impulsive and the strategically planned. You have those outbursts sometimes (as I did) where perhaps you picture yourself at some quiet restaurant filled with busygoers at lunch. Suddenly one cell phone rings then another and then to stop them is impossible, and the conversations are multiplying exponentially, penetrating the very root of your mind and ripping it out slowly (as a metaphor for stress). All of a sudden there's this immense nattering from people all over, and you just can't take it anymore, but then you pull out your crossbow and kill everyone.
Well, you can't do that in real life. I don't even own a crossbow, and to slay the enemies of this society, one has to be smart. My story got a bit out of hand there but I just wanted to say that we have to work together and support those things in ourselves and others though sometimes we doubt them, we can't just freak out and die. Doubt should merely be a tool of investigation. And as I learned in PR an issues management strategy is much more effective because it treats potential problems and fixes them before they become a crisis. I'm feeling more stable in my choices now that I've gotten a better understanding of what they are and how I can make damage minimal. That's the fun and serious part. You make something good out of what you have or you won't have it. So I'm going to continue trying.

3:30 AM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

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7:52 PM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:58 PM  

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