I hate college, not purely in the sense that I do not like being told ridiculous nonsense that in no way actually benefits my life (though I do truly and utterly hate that). No, I hate the notion of culturally mandated higher education for what my pretentious self assured mind considers to be more enlightened reasons. You might feel differently. Here’s why you’re wrong.
- The Cost-inordinate to what you receive. This summer I paid a literal 1000$ to take an online film class. I never met my teacher, I never spoke to her, emailed her, or even aw her face, nor could I tell you who else was in my class. What we did? Watched movies. I paid a thousand dollars for a PHD to decide my Netflix que. It’s nonsense. -And what do they do with that money? New buildings, better football players, perhaps a statue of a former school President that none of the students currently enrolled at the University were even aware of. Nonsense bullshit that is putting you tens of thousands of dollars in debt. “But Paul, most of those things are bought by grants, and donations, you ignorant slut.” Well first of all my good man, slut is a cancerous word that our society uses to slap women in their faces, and it is one that should not be uttered on my blog. Second, I know that you ignorant ass munch (not to offend the ass munchers out there). But these things are bought because that is the way in which the world of the university has defined itself. Grand buildings, tremendous stadiums, and expensive sports teams with which to fill them. Silliness. I spent three semesters at a community college- same resources as my current university, but a literal fourth of the cost.
- “College prepares you for the real world”. Haha oh does it? That real world where you party five nights out of the week, work sporadic day time hours, and pay some one hefty fees to boss you around? College is nothing like the real world. it’s not even similar. Yes, it provides you a chance to move out of your parents house, but guess what? For 450 a month you can do that anyway.
- “College makes you a smarter, more well informed member of society.” Oh does it? I wish someone had told me that four years ago, I might have found the time to smile about it. That’s horse shit, and you know it. College, as in everything else, can only inform you as much as you decide you want it to. You want to be informed? Read a newspaper, they’re seventy five cents. So what am i proposing? Nothing. This system isn’t going anywhere, and it never will. It’s too ingrained in our society for it to go anywhere. All i can suggest is that we stop pretending that it is some temple of enlightenment, and call it what it is- an institution used to designate the haves and have nots. Those with degrees- now deemed worthy of a decent job, and those without, who can’t hope to. It’s bullshit, but it’s our bullshit, so own up to it.
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Isn’t it ironic he way in which college forces you to spend inordinate amounts of money (in relation to the services that it provides) that put you tremendously in debt, just so that one day you might get a job that pays a decent wage? Emphasis on the word “might” by the way. Because there are no definite’s. Hard work won’t under all circumstances yield your dream life, and conversely, supreme stupidity will not always leave you homeless (see every single reality tv star ever). There are no guarantees in life, even though it feels like maybe there should be, and while this is regrettable, it is not something that will be changed by activism, as it is really only as prevelent these days as the cause is trendy.
In that regard the less academically inclined among us are still out of luck. It seems that so few people have found fault with this system that requires us to put ourselves deeply into debt just for the chance at a job that provides a live able wage. People get so caught up with this “need” for a higher education, that they don’t ever stop to think that their could possibly be an alternative. Perhaps they are right not to dwell on it. Perhaps this “Hunger Games,” esque, survival of the fittest arena of education and job hunting has become so institutionalized that the probability of other options gaining traction are so slim that the efforts to create such a thing would be better directed elsewhere. Either way, it’s something to think about isn’t it. I’ve always figured that your degree costs a good deal more than the sticker price. Besides four years of your life, it costs your dreams. That is not to say that everyone can, or should dedicate their lives to the pursuit of a rock and roll career that they will never have, but rather it just seems worth mentioning that once they take that plunge, get that degree, and enter into white corporate America, I do believe that they pay not just the hundred thousand dollars or so of tuition, but also that creative fire in their belly that they had had up until their eighteenth birthday. And that passion you can never get back.
Food for thought.
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I wax quite often on this blog, on how very negatively I feel about the pursuit of my degree. Perhaps such feelings are justified, but then perhaps not. I am one to obseess over the futility of higher education. To what degree to these classes actually service me, or anyone for that matter? All of the books that truly shaped my world view, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Lord of The Flies,” “the Grapes of Wrath,” were read when I was just barely a teenager. All of the other texts of meanign to me, I have discovered myself. Yes some of the books that I have read in college have been interesting, but they do not shape me, they do not define me, and in fact, they mostly irritate me.
“But you didn’t have to be an English Major!”
Yes, thank you internet stranger, I know that. And thus the title. Is college bullshit, or am I? With Fifty or so majors to chose from, surely one would strike my fancy enough to keep me from boring you on the internet about it. I might have thought that said major was English, given that the only thing that I have ever wanted to do was write, but what can you do? Such has not been the case. SO maybe the problem is me, because I hoentst to God do not like college folks. First, the teachers. Folks that assume upon their own speculative knowledge to the point that they think their words are gracing the ears of the masses. In the English department, that consists largely of alluding to all of the things that might symbolize the penis. But then there are the students. The over enthused, that answer everything as though their penis related ideas are also worth sharing. It goes without saying that they aren’t my cup of tea. Then there is the Greek students. No, not the race, the bumbling fools that can hardly articulate a sentence, let alone come to a conclusion about one that belongs to someone else. Not my cup of tea either. In fact the only college students that I do appreciate is the other silent types, be they slackers, like myself, or simply shy students. They are the students that keep me from standing out. The ones that are there to cushion the teachers notion of who is or is not participating in class, which is good, because the very last thing that the slacker wants is to be noticed.
So you tell me, is the problem bitter old me in the back of the classroom, or the system that requires me to do so to get a job?
Thanks for reading,
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For those of you who do not know (and honest to god- why should you?) my name is Paul Durante, and among other things, I write a blog, tweet absurdly stupid things (which you can find @DewmontPaul btw :)) and write blog posts that like twenty people read. Such is the life opf anEnglish major I suppose. I also have recently debuted a web series for those of you who are interested. I wrote and directed in it, and in this episode I even play a man named after a food dish……
But alas, such matters are not why we gather hear today. Rather, we come together to discuss a far more important matter than my shortcomings: the Matrix. For those of you who do not know (I assure you, I was among your ranks until last night) the Matrix, is a film in which our protagonist “Neo” discovers that his life is not as he had cpnvieved it, but rather the [roduct of a program that decieved the human race into believing that all was real. As you find out in the first film (and for the record I have yet to see the other two) the world ended when humainty created and then subsequently went to war with AI that we created. In the process of pursuing that war, we blocked out the sun in the hopes that it would terminate our solar powered AI friends, but such was not the case, and we subsequently went extinct….Except that we didn’t. rather than allowing us to die out, robots created an articial world for us to occupy, in which things are essentially as they had been in 1999. And it is with this point that I do believe I am in disagreement with the general public.
Last night I watched this film with my wife.
“What assholes,’ I commented once we were done.
“I know right,” she replied. “You mean the agents?”
“I mean the humans! We kill our planet and then feel somehow entitled to it? Neo is a prick.”
As you might imagine, I am on the side of the AI. Yes, it is less than fortunate that we are essentially batteries to them, but regardless, they were far more merciful than I believe that “our” (humans as a species) actions warranted. Within the confines of this movies plot, we had killed our own planet. Rather than going extinct as earths history dictated we should, we merely took on another form, as a consiousness rather than a body. Granted, this is not the ideal existence, but it is nevertheless the one that we have earned. Only the most extreme proponents of human elititism could claim that we were still entitled to an ownership stake of this planet that we had allowed to be destroyed. And yet we are supposed to view Neo and company as the heroes?
Or are we? granted I have not seen the subsequent films, but as an English Major, I have to wonder, are we truly supposed to view this film with the assumption that Neo and Morpheus are righteous in their conquest, or are they relics of a society that placed a supreme emphasis on human life? That is not to say that human life has no value, but rather that it is lucky to have been preserved in any capacity given what seems to have unfolded in the Matrix time line. In real life, we will most assuredly not receive this same comforts after our soils erode, and our atmospheres give way to noxious gas and pollution. Perhaps Neo and his friends are presuming upon an entitlement that they are not worthy of.
Just something to think about
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For those of you that have not been reading along (I’m talking to you, World Wide Web) my name is Paul Durante, and for the past, ohhh twenty or so years I was just a shell of what I could be. In that time, I have met people that I care about, gone places that expanded my horizon’s past the corn filled soils of Illinois, and even written things that i am somewhat proud of, but it took me up until this summer to find what I can finally call, success. And how might a mediocre small scale internet personality quantify success? Well since no one reads or watches my things, this online pest has had to go the deeper, more personal route. Marrying my wife, was the best decision that I have ever made, opening my life up to something that it had previously never been familiar with: daily joy. Even before, when we were only dating, or even engaged, the happiness was still tremendous, spiritual, and perfect beyond what I had ever before known, but now as I pound away at these keys with a wedding band on my left hand, something has changed. There is a new sense of simplistic profundity to this familiar and yet new sense of happiness, and I am afraid that it is a profundity that I cannot explain in this blog, most especially because nobody pays me for this shit.
But amongst this wonderful and exciting new chapter of my life is an ever so feint veil of surprise and speculation from my peers. Oh yes, I am still a student.
“What do you think? Unplanned pregnancy?”
“You don’t thing….surely he isn’t a Christian?”
Okay, okay, so no one is literally circling up and whispering gossip in my face. In fact, the vast majority of friends and family have been very supportive of our decision, but in the background there has always been this since of judgemental speculation.
So lets clear things up.
- Nope, no pregnancy, planned or otherwise, although I do believe I would look glowing with a baby bump.
- Excuse you sirs and maams, but we have been together for three years. There is nothing blind or reckless about it. There isn’t a reckless bone in my body.Your reading the words of a man too cowardly to even attempt to parralell park.
- Haha no. I’m not a Christian, nor am I in any capacity religious. But do try not to say it with such stank in your voice next time.
Here’s the deal. When you know, you just know. Are we young? Perhaps slightly. But we are also financially able to pay for our own food, transportation, and living quarters (which we would have had to do regardless of whether or not we had gotten married) and in roughly nine months, we will also be degree holding members of society (despite my utter disdain for all thinks scholastic).
We are happy, which as far as I am concerned means that we are doing something right, because really, how often is there something to smile about?
Thanks for reading,
If you have any questions or comments, leave them! I love hearing from you guys
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This may be exclusive to the english department, but in my experience there are two types of professors: Those that look like sixty seven year old men posing as preppy college students, and those taht dress as though they are homeless. There is of course the occasional old gentleman teacher that dresses modestly but well, but they are few and far in between. A note should be made that this is exclusive really only to men. Women dress like normal fucking people. Today I had one of the homeless men. Don’t get me wrong, I love the homeless, I just never expect to see them teaching me children’s literature. Is it a political statement that he wore dirty, torn clothes. or is there a story behind it? perhaps he had just vcome form his own The Hangover type situation in which he gave his tooth to ed helms and somehow predicted that Bradley Cooper would be succesful. And you know, put on dirty clothes afterwards. I’m not sure what it was, but whatever the case, it was all that I considered for the duration for the class. To say the least, it was more fun than actually thinking about childrens literature.
Thanks for reading
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Married as fuck. Sounds nice doesn’t it? While the day itself was a bit of a blur, I do believe that it is the very last phrase that the priest uttered before saying “you may now kiss the bride”. You’re married as fuck, so just go ahead and kiss her. Eh maybe he didn’y say it. I knew though, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
Lets rewind. My name is Paul Durante, and for the last three years my every waking thought has been completely and utterly captivated by one Rachel Riesenberger (I’ve learned to look past the whole German thing and I hope that you can too). I wish there was a fun like or as that I could whip out to adequately describe our relationship (you know, like some Bonnie to my Clyde bullshit?) but the truth is she’s more like the teacher to my inner deliquint. My girl was our class valedictorian, a feat that she is not too keen on mentioning, and while i am no intellectual shlub, you are nevertheless reading the words of our high school classes 121st ranked student (and I do believe that there was only 98 kids in our class). In many ways we are opposites. She is the sweet to my bitter, the organization to my clutter, even the Christian to my secular humanist. With all that in mind, I have been married as fuck for three years, even before the church and the state decided to recognize it the way that we did. And that simple fact has been my utter joy for the past three years.
Married as fuck. That’s the funny thing about love, about human connection- that’s where the joy in life is. I’m only twenty one, but if there is one thing I know without doubt, or without question, it is that the difference between joy and pleasure is as distinct as it is crucial to understand. Food can be pleasure- a fleeting moment happiness caused by what is usually fat and sugar, but a meal, shared with friends and loved ones- that can be joy. That right there can be a memory. the same thing is true of marriage, or any relationship of substance really. If there is one thing I know, it is that the most foolproof path to happiness lies in understanding what matters in life, and what doesn’t. Because there are somethings that no one can take from you.
It is in this regard that I myself have struggled, even if only slightly. I have the world- everything that I could ever hope for, and yet there is a small part of me that tries to define my happiness or success by how I am received as a writer or a director, or whatever the hell other goofy thing I am working on at the moment. Since I was six I have dreamed of being a professional writer, and it has been about since then that I have also pursued it. I have written stories, and novels, created web series, I am in pre production on an independent film, and I even started a goofy blog in the hopes that it would get people to pay attention to me. I WANT to be succesful, but what I always come back to is the simple fact that I have already been given far more than i need. Everyone is always looking for that greener side of the pasture, but what I continuously realize is that there is nothing better than what I have now. I’m twenty years old, and I have peeked. Exactly what everyone dreams of yes? My life is perfect, Everything else that I get after this point is bonus.
Thanks for reading-
Got Questions? Leave a comment. Ask nice and I’ll respond, ask rude and I’ll get balligerant with you.
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this is going one becasue, well it can be. i’m done motherfuckers! school is over. no more papers, no more tests, no more nothing. im free as a motherfucking zebra. im an eel that hasnt been entrapped in a confining tank, roaming out and about in the open sea shocking starfish and taking names. and im all out of starfish. or names. whatever. i’m free!
time for netflix, friends, family, and reading. oh god. READING. i forgot that people could even do that. you know, because im a college student and all. for the last four months my life has been a hurricane of sparknotes and wikipedia. to read for fun, and to do it from a real live book (*livilyness of books may vary*) will be wonderful. i can even contemplate playing a video game. that would be nice. i never play video games. oh sure, i play pokemon from time to time, but that is more of a lifestyle choice than anything else, and its one that i carryout proudly. gosh. i cant wait to forget all of the bullshit that i just learned.
thanks for reading guys.
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school is my lex luthor. luther? its a pain in my ass. but then thats true of everyone. the issue at hand is not quite as simple as hating school, its where that leaves me. a year and a half ago i left home for a university life that i had never wanted for myself. it fell into my lap more than anything else, and while i love the life that it facilitates for me with my fiance- a woman who very much appreciates her education, it leaves me in a pickle. my hometown is…well home for me. its where my friends are, its where my family is- its where i can get a job, and its where i dont have to. its dewmont. its everything that my surrogate town is not and more, and yet i am far from it. over one hundred miles away; a sentiment that is true even when it isnt. two years ago, while i was still in the community college that would serve as the as the foundation for dewmont, i made a statement to my then girlfriend (now fiance) that college students were essentially homeless. those that live in the dorms i meant. for nine months they are in a little room that they essentially rent, and then they spend the other three at home. i reckoned that constant moving- the lack of a given stable environment would cause an identity rift- a lack of a sense of belonging in any given location. she told me that she thought i was wrong and i decided that she was probably right, given that she was the one at the university at the time. now it is me that is experiencing dorm life, and i am quite certain that i had had it right the first time. when i go home, i find that everything changes- and when i am here nothing does. in both cases i am molded by the environment at hand. it is not i that shape- but rather i am shaped by it. its a conundrum without resolution. an issue that i cannot solve- but that doesnt make it any less true. how about you let me know what you think? is college as bad as i say it is, or am i just making shit up so that i have something to write about?
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its not quite ready yet? what in the motherfucking world do you mean its not quite ready yet? ….oh. im sorry i got a little bit ahead of myself. that tends to happen when i am slowly working my way up to a rage stroke. you see my phd-diseased pretentious wad of tissue poor excuse for a human being professor accidently told me that he hasnt read my proposal. no not for marriage- two weeks ago we had to turn in our proposals for our end of the semester research papers, and as the semester ends in one week, i just wanted to double check. everything was alright with my proposal yes? oh, i havent quite gotten to it yet. thats the answer this snot wad gave me. i genuinely wanted to projectile vomit, not because the statement made me sick to my stomach but because if ever there was a time that someone deserved to be vomited on, it was right then and there. in my four lit classes this semester i have been assigned three novels a week every week for the past SIXTEEN MOTHERFUCKING WEEKS. of those novels a substantial amount of them had come from him, and while i cannot blame him for assaigning homework, i can blame him for not grading it. this is the problem with college professors folks. i maintain that the majority of them rarely care much aboutt he craft of teaching. yes they may enjoy intellectual conversations about great works of literature with young people, and they certainly enjoy assessing peoples understanding of THEIR assesments of said literature, but when it comes down to it. when we break the issue up into its purest form, what we get is sheer idiocy– a system in which we find grown men and women reenacting their own academic glory days of college in the hopes that they might never have to abandon the experience of being a student. in this particular instance this lack of responisbility and respect is affecting me greatly, and yes, frankly it does make me want to vomit.
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