Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Ridiculous Formalities of Higher Education

So in 3 weeks I'll have completed my first year of grad school. If all else goes smoothly in a year and 3 weeks I'll have my Master of Science in Communications. Remember my first day of graduate school? Oh yes I believe in my blog it went something like this, and I quote:

"They all use big words and smarty pants theories I've never even heard of before. Even the Professors. Do you know anything about the "Dreyfus model for skill acquisition" or "Neo-Aristotelian rhetorical criticism" or "Double Hermeneutics"? ME EITHER! There is a list like this of 60 terms all just as weird and confusing that I have to memorize (and their definitions) by the end of the quarter."

This tiny freak out went on and on until my head nearly exploded with worry. Turns out that I do now know what neo-Aristotelian rhetorical criticism is AND hermeneutics. Turns out these are fairly simple terms and it also turns out that they are basically totally useless, at least as far as giving them big words are. I mean instead of saying hermeneutics you could just say interpretation. I mean really? Do we have to call it that big word?

Apparently we do, because higher education is all about looking and acting as pretentious as you possibly can.


You think everyone is smarter and better and grand because they use big words and have amazing theories and they read big name people but REALLY it's just a bunch of memorizing and learning how to sputter things out at the right moment. It's one BIG JOKE.

So now I have a first chair committee who is pretty great and all and I'm doing a thesis on World of Warcraft. Yeah, that's right WOW. Because apparently getting any kind of degree in communications basically equals you being able to do whatever you want, because hey, we're still trying ot figure out how to define communications. Isn't that wonderful?

Now I'm trying to apply for degree candidacy which is where I fill out this one page form. Sounds easy, right? WRONG.

They have to make it all complicated with their wording and stupidness(oh, wait that's not a word). Basically, I keep getting the sheet sent back and they're like:

"This class shouldn't be listed here, list it somewhere else"

but then my chair is like

"no, that's where it's supposed to be"

and then my department head is like

"no, it's in the right spot but it's 4 credits not 5."


Then I e-mail my department head and I ask if my 2nd chair needs to have a doctoral degree. He says no, your 2nd sari can be ANY PROFESSOR YOU WANT, just has to be outside of the comm department. So I think GREAT this will be easy. WRONG. WRONG WRONG WRONG.

Basically I'm on the 5th professor I've e-mailed to be my 2nd and they all have said 'no' spewing stupid bull shit excuses like:

"I'd love to, but I'm too busy"
"I'd love to, but I'm not graduate faculty"
"I'd love to, but I don't have my Phd."
"I'd love to, but I can't be bothered with your petty thesis because I'm a grand smart professor and you're just a stupid grad student, go away peasant."


Who knew it'd be this hard to form a stupid committee. They should just form one for you, but really that would take WORK and the last thing a professor ever wants to do is inconvenience themselves.

This. Is. Idiotic.