Wednesday, 19 August 2009

I'm fed up! Stop treating me like an adult! I mean, I just friggin turned 30!

I am fed up without even having done any real work on the dissertation. The dissertation is still at the embryonic stage but I am fed up. I am fed up of being here, of being a so-called student and having my life on hold. I have not done any work but I am fed up of thinking about it or avoiding it. It's a great idea for a dissertation - I suffer from thinking my lousy ideas are great - but all I want to do is for this to end and for me to able to get out of here.

Why in the why did they give us THIS long to do the dissertation? I mean, what is it with the British education system? Why do they treat us like adults? Why do they think I will be able to do this on my own, without any structure or hand-holding, discipline myself, do equal amounts of research/drafting/finalising?

This really takes me back to my undergrad years. I was totally lost in my undergrad years having come from American high schooling. I was actually all set to go to do the liberal-arts-fooling-around at a college in the US but my family forced me to go to the UK because my frigging brother got into LSE and the idea was for us to be together. Yes, I got short changed as usual. I had had done the UCAS luckily and Tariq actually wrote out a letter for me asking one of my colleges to accept me. It was better than the idea of going to some college in Greece as my parents wanted me to. Don't ask about all these genius ideas of my family. Anyway, so I get to the UK but seriously, I had no clue about what it really entailed.

There was also the live-where-you-want in these depressing halls of residence. The entire experience was so let's-treat-these-people-like-adults. You were supposed to be an adult who had it completely figured out what you wanted to do with your life, how to live it and what it's all about.

The main thing about college in the UK is that it is pretty specialised right from the start (in fact, they start specialising all the way at the A-levels). So you have to endure three years of whatever it is you have made the mistake of choosing (or whatever you get accepted for) as a subject. I mentioned this earlier - I had no clue about anything. I was a kid at the end of it. Economics was crap as it is - politics which was much more interesting and exciting was still pretty sophisticated for me. I mean, I did not really have a political consciousness or idea of anything except for whatever I had been exposed to - watching the news, being in an international school, my father's lectures, etc. Otherwise, I was pretty much a dodo and didn't know what I was really doing.

Economics pretty went over my head but politics did start to make sense after my degree. It sort of came together.

I think there are many pluses of the whole liberal arts thing the Americans have going. You can fool around for two years and then choose your major. I think it's pretty cool. You can truly be a student and explore subjects and see what you're interested in. The Brits are just too friggin desperate to get there already. There's no enjoying-the-process of how you get there. In the good old days, you would have to learn everything - music, art, history, letters, poetry, mathematics, language, etc. This is all the goddamn fault of capitalism. What a beast. What a b****.

I mean, look at this year! This was a masters on drugs. It was too friggin fast. I barely had time to absorb and think about any of it. All I did was blah blah and react and talk like a moron but I had nothing really intelligent to say about it. We had these oh-my-G0d-which-moron-invented-a-one-hour-tutorial-at-masters-level? We had one-hour tutorials in undergrad!! I was so shocked when I got here and I go to myself, geez, I'm paying £ 12,000 pounds for 2-hour lectures and a 1-hour-half-baked-joke-of-a-class? Are you guys kidding me with this? They made us do these lousy, lousy, shoot-me presentations - regurgitation of the material which everyone is supposed to have read but one schmuck gets to present it - which took half hour and then you're left to deal with big master categories in a half hour. Seriously. And oh my God the essays. Each one was a Mount Everest for me, I swear. Nothing is as painful as writing those essays. It was like going to the doctors, it was worse then a 12-hour grueling journey on a non-air-conditioned bus in the middle of the desert in Balochistan sitting among gold smugglers. It was worse than the UN car breaking down in the middle of the Liberia bush in the middle of the night and being rescued by a local NGO car. It was worse than getting car sick going through the hills of mud in the rainy season in Liberia. It was worse than getting I'm-having-hallucinations malaria. It was worse than sitting through crappy chick flicks with your dodo friends. It was worse than listening to people say dumb things.

I can't wait to get out of here and back to my life. The adult life I have chosen for myself. This studying thing is not my deal - I suck at it. I peaked in 10th grade!


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