Brief note on tertiary education

So we toil on, trying to make sense of assignments too modest in scope to accomodate any genuine research, and I am consistently getting my best marks for assignments I can barely complete, due to my almost complete ignorance of the matter. If I knew more, I would breach the word limit, the clarity would suffer, and so on and so forth.

I am not sure when this happened, but few seem to notice that, somewhere along the way to breadth degrees, education-as-acquisition-of-knowledge has been substituted with education-as-role-playing. We don our robes and pretend we’re academic, writing our pretend-academic assignments and giving our pretend-academic talks and going on pretend-field-trips on which we do pretend-measuring and then pretend-calculations with partial data, and come up with pretend-results that serve for pretend-findings. It’s all so very sad, when it isn’t utterly infuriating.

2 thoughts on “Brief note on tertiary education

  1. chiaramente says:

    “It was the worst of all in class, though,” she said with decision. “That was the worst. What happened was, I got the idea in my head- and I could not get it out- that college was just one more dopey, inane place in the world dedicated to piling up treasure on earth and everything. I mean treasure is treasure, for heaven’s sake. What’s the difference whether the treasure is money, or property, or even culture, or even just plain knowledge? It all seemed like exactly the same to me, if you take off the wrapping- and it still does! Sometimes I think that knowledge- when it’s knowledge for knowledge’s sake, anyway- is the worst of all. The least excusable, certainly.” Nervously, and without any need whatever, Franny pushed back her hair with one hand. “I don’t think it would have all got to me quite so down if just once in a while- just once in a while- there was at least some polite little perfunctory implication that knowledge should lead to wisdom, and that if it doesn`t, it`s just a disgusting waste of time! But there never is. You never even hear any hints dropped on campus that wisdom is supposed to be the goal of knowledge.”

    Franny and Zooey

    • Jana says:

      I do love that book, Chiara! Thanks for bringing it up. The familial mysticism of it all…

      But I wish I had Franny’s problem. I wish Melb Uni was all wisdomless knowledge. No, here – and you should have a faint idea of what I’m talking about – it’s more about knowledgeless opinion, and very short opinion too. It’s all about saying, “I don’t know if I agree with Foucault” with an air of unassailable vagueness…

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