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Do I Want to Die?
"Do you want to die?"
That's what one person asked me upon reading my article. Yes, I considered that this article might receive negative reception, but I crafted it carefully. Hence the opening lines. However, of all the people I know who read it, none have reacted negatively. One person left me a very positive tweet in fact, agreeing that our school had a distinct lack of "intellectual curiosity." I really liked this phrase, "intellectual curiosity," for although I didn't use it in the article, I feel it almost perfectly encapsulates what I was trying to say. It's not just about going to class for the sake of going to class. Maybe, some of it is, but that's not the main message. You're at college to learn. You should want to learn. You should have intellectual curiosity. You're here (allegedly, supposedly, purportedly) to become an intellectual, and in order to do so, you must be curious. You see how that works. Instead, I see people who are here for...the social life? But that's what I don't get. Is college, for some (*cough* most *cough*) people just the world's most expensive four year party? ("No, Obama's going to give us two years free, so it's a free two year party!"). But why? It's like some people go to college for the alcohol and the degree is just something that comes with it. I mean, you've probably heard the expression "D's get degrees." And if you go to college currently, you've probably heard it just this week, people say it so often (you know, because so many people have such bad grades...you know, because so many people skip class). But hey, I'm not judging. That's your choice. Do whatever you want. I just enjoy people who like to think. I enjoy intellectual curiosity.
I get it. I really do. Sometimes skipping class seems like a good idea. You can potentially avoid having the professor discover that you’re unprepared. You can get an extra hour back in your day. If it’s just a note-taking day, you can easily get what you missed from a classmate. You can skip your first class of the day and sleep in, or skip your last class and end your day early. To the same effect, if it’s the day before a long break (or the day after a long break, if you’re adventurous), then you can just skip the whole day and add an extra 24 hours to your hiatus. Most classes allow about three misses, so as long as you don’t exceed that limit, there seems to be no problem.
Normally, this is the part where I explain why, despite everything I just stated, you should not skip class. However, that’s not really why I’m writing. Although my attendance record is basically flawless (and I still contend the one class I did skip wasn’t really my fault), I don’t expect anyone to follow my lead. Rather, I’m here only to encourage moderation.
Although the larger ideas had been fermenting for some time, the inspiration for this article came quite suddenly. I went to the commuter lounge at the same time I always do, but on this day, I saw a friend there whom I know has class at that time. He was watching a movie on his laptop—and clearly not the type that his professor would put on reserve at the library. I asked him why he was in the commuter lounge instead of class, to which he replied that he was skipping. He proceeded to tell me that he would also be skipping his other two classes that day, and would literally be going to no classes. I get it. Sometimes we need a day off. But, if you’ll remember, we are in the commuter lounge—we are commuters. So I asked him, “Why are you even here?”
Age of the Machine
Leon wakes up in a land about which he knows nothing. His only guide is a person about whom he knows even less. Quickly finding himself involved in the politics of this new universe, Leon's main concern remains simply getting home. However, things change, and Leon soon finds that returning home is anything but simple. If Leon is going to get back to his universe, he'll have to first discover the truth about this one. But he'll have to hurry: lies are in high supply, time is not.
Age of the Machine
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At the time, I simply meant, “Why did you bother driving to school if you weren’t going to any classes?” but as I had time to reflect on it, I realized that I know a good number of people who spend a good amount of time figuring out the best way to skip a good number of classes. Suddenly, “Why are you even here?” grew to assume to a larger meaning. We pay tuition to go here, and the tuition is primarily supposed to be for the education we receive. Education is the point of college. So then, the question becomes, why have you chosen to go to college and pay the costs associated with it, only to neglect the actual purpose of those costs? (And don’t dare say, “because my parents are paying for it.”) To me, college is where aspiring scholars and intellectuals should go to receive education in the field of their choice, not simply the place kids go after high school is over. But perhaps I’m too idealistic.
How many Classes Do you Skip Per Week?
I’m not opposed to skipping class on occasion. School should be a high priority, but over the course of four years, it would be unreasonable to think that it would be the top priority every single day. Of course, there is also a difference between the classes we want to take and the ones we must take, and skipping the latter in favor of the former could perhaps be reasonable in certain cases. However, I know people who literally plan out ways to maximize the number of classes they skip. And, they skip not for the purpose of becoming productive in other areas, but simply to indulge in a movie or video game.
I’m not here to pass judgment. Skip whenever you want, for whatever reason you want. It makes no difference to me. All I’m saying, is that few people, if any, are being forced to go here. You’re here of your own volition. You’re here for education (at least, that’s what you’re paying for). Education occurs in the classroom. And if you’re not here to go to class, then I ask you what I asked my friend that day: Why are you even here?
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I am a writer. I have substantial experience in journalism, and my passion is for creative writing. When it comes to writing, I've dabbled in everything.
I am a reader, a hockey player, a part-time musician, and an English major/Political Science minor at Canisius College.