Study Skills My Ass

That’s the latest from my advisor at school. Do the reading better = get better grades. Makes sense. But it’s not why I have a C in the class. “I’m sure you’re really busy with your business thing and your other interests but…” It’s impossible for me to try to explain the amount of emotional and intellectual energy that goes to other things, and many times it seems like I can’t control it when my mind wanders. I’m just so god damn fidgety when reading page after page of 400-page textbook after 400-page textbook that I’d rather sit back and watch Cornel West engage in rhetorical wizardry and ponder the implications of moving away from an examined, Socratic society and into a materialistic, anti-intellectual one.

I felt pretty abandoned after that advisor meeting. I wish they would stop taking the same cookie cutter model and trying to mold me around that…I want to be different. I think different. I am different. My philosophies may not always be right, but they’re different.

2 comments on “Study Skills My Ass
  • Hi Ben,

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now. Who the heck am I and
    why am I reading your blog you may wonder. I’m doing an evening MBA at
    the Univ of Colorado @ Denver & Brad Feld spoke at one of my summer
    classes. Since that time I have been reading his blog & many of the
    blogs that he links to. I’ve pointed a number of my colleagues &
    children of my colleagues to your blog in particular.

    Anyway, I wanted to comment on this post of yours entitled “Study
    Skills My Ass”.

    As someone who is part of the Academic establishment, I cannot imagine
    how inadequate you must make your teachers feel. One thing that always
    amazes me about your posts is how comfortable you are in your diverse
    environments & how well you fit in given how extraordinary you are. A
    serious problem with most education is that it can literally be “read
    this & regurgitate”. Thinking about or applying the knowledge is not
    desired. If you are someone who is more interested in application than
    information collection then your grades may in fact suffer.
    Unfortunately, grades & standardized test scores tend to play a major
    role in things like college applications, scholarships, etc.

    Anyway, I want to share a story with you. I was one of those straight A
    kids–skipped a few grades, finished college at 20, had my PhD by 26.
    When I was a teenager, my older brother (who was a C student) said to
    me “cathy, IQ is inversely proportional to common sense”. My brother
    went on to become a software developer & retired in his mid-30’s. I
    became a geeky academic and am only now at 36 pursuing an MBA & trying
    to figure out how/whether my interests fit into the real world. So,
    given this anecdote, do you think that grades really matter? Of course
    you don’t. You clearly have a great balance going in your life. Don’t
    let your advisor get you down.



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