Friday, January 7, 2022

School's Out ForEVER

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This month 4 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. 

My “Secret Subject” is:

If you could have a college do-over (or first time experience), money is no object, what subject would you choose to study?

It was submitted by: 

 I burned out on school pretty early.
I had a very high set of expectations from my parents early on. I couldn't bring home a perfect score on a test without my dad "jokingly" asking why it wasn't better. I would have to sit at the kitchen table and do timed multiplication tables until I cried. All As were the only bar I could meet and even then it was without much praise or help. I was just supposed to do it.

I had advanced and gifted classes. I took Latin in 8th grade. And before I could actually graduate high school I almost had enough credits to also get an associates in college. And then when I had a little bit of freedom I sort of crashed and burned.

I graduated from high school and just couldn't keep going like I had been not with working a $5 an hour job and paying my own rent on top of that. It was damn near impossible as it was to make it through the day on what little I had to eat much less study on it.

It wasn't until my dad got sick with cancer about 6 or so years after graduation that I actually decided maybe I should finish what I started. It wasn't really for me. He'd been the one to push me the hardest in school, and I think I wanted to show him I would be ok. I'd do the things he'd wanted for me, and it would all work out even if he didn't get to see it. So there I was dealing with the grief of his loss and how complicated that all was, working full time, taking care of a toddler, trying to save a failing marriage, doing the housework and the yardwork mostly by myself, and adding full time college into that mix. It was brutal. But I did it. I got my bachelor's and took a year off before trying my hand at part time graduate school.

I didn't get to finish that. I didn't even get to stay working full time because life had other plans, and I wound up sick and unable to handle the constraints of that level of learning with a broken brain or the physical impacts of working on a broken body.

I don't want to do any more school whether the costs are covered or not if I'm honest. I wonder sometimes as it is whether the stress and trauma of my earlier life is what set me up to develop cfs as it is much less if I tried to do it all over again and found myself overworked and exhausted from writing and studying and assignment deadlines. If I never write another paper for a professor it would be too soon. Not to mention how much it costs, how profitable the student loan industry has been, how many predatory institutions have completely fucked over students, and how much we're brainwashed even in college to think a certain way about the country we live in and...yeah I'm not really that person any more.

I love learning for the sake of learning when I can do it at my own pace. I listen to enough podcasts and read enough of political theory texts to keep me forever expanding my knowledge and that's absolutely enough for me in terms of higher education. I can learn without having to do it for a grade, and I actually think I've learned more in the last 3 years or so than I ever really did in school. Im forever learning something new. For free. Without a date by which I have to hand in some paper that I bullshitted my way through because the assignment was fucking silly.

But for the sake of giving an actual real answer to the question instead of having to duck it because I've turned into a person who hates the American education system for a multitude of reasons, I'd love to take some art classes but I have to stress that those would be for me for my own personal enjoyment and expanding my skills to a higher degree. I mean, I'm already a lot better at painting than I was when I started a year ago on my own, but it would be nice to do something formal and gain some knowledge and skills. Other artistic classes might be fun--crochet, sculpting, ceramics. But I don't want a degree or to study art as my major or any of the things that burned me out on school in the first place. I just want to exist and endeavor to be the best version of myself I can be without it being under someone else's thumb.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

Part-time Working Hockey Mom


  1. I wonder what would have happened, had your family encouraged your artistic side along with the intellectual pursuits, whether you'd have been happier, have better memories, and maybe even been healthier.

  2. I think that college is dying. People are realizing that going in debt for hundred of thousands of dollars doesn't trump real life experience.