Thursday, November 5, 2009


I had a shocking realization recently:

I now spend all of my time doing everything poorly.
I write papers poorly.
I read books poorly.
I make movies poorly.
I make pottery especially poorly.

I even eat poorly because I spend all my time making crappy movies and pots and papers, leaving no time to make myself real food.
I sleep poorly for the same reason.

And this is why I hate school. I hate how it corrupts my motivations. I hate how it turns what could be genuine learning and creation into a soulless checklist to be ticked off for a grade. Without the arbitrary extrinsic motivator of grades and the ridiculous structure of the school system there would be no reason to do anything poorly. What motivation would we have to skim through books, absorbing just enough information to recognize the answers on a multiple-choice test? For what reason would we hurriedly clack out a paper 10-minutes before class about a topic we don’t care about? Why would we rush to make a film that we are not proud of and show it to others?

I know that there are always going to be deadlines and expectations to meet --school or not. But this semester my workload is really taking a toll on me and its getting me down.
I do not want to have this relationship with my schoolwork and my education. I want to absorb every word of the books I read and let them sink deeply into my soul. I want to have time to reflect on them, discuss them, let them change me. I want to genuinely care about my papers and films and ceramic pots and for them to reflect an honest act of learning and creation.
But there is literally not enough time to do everything well—so I am stuck with 4 depressing months of having too much to do and doing it all poorly because if I didn’t I would flunk out of school (or at least lose my scholarship which is worth thousands of dollars).

I hate it.

The end.


Kathleen said...

I couldn't agree more. this reminds me of that paper you wrote in high school about how grades corrupt the learning system. good job brooke. we should all just stick it to the man. but i can't because if i don't do well this semester, I can't learn what i choose.

kelly said...

kiley is feeling a little bit of the same way, i think as you get further in school you are just proving you can do it all. hang in there i promise it is worth it to have that degree and have more choices in your life, making the movies and pots you choose but you have the opportunity now to do all of those things, dicated or not, i have never made a movie or a pot! i am sure also that you do not do any of those things poorly you are just holding yourself to a high standard which is good it makes you work harder! i know it is hard not to have time to sit down and read a book of your choosing b/c you don't have time but you will someday, a season to all things! i know you can do it all brookey brooke! do it all!

Gordon said...

Did I ever tell you about the coloring assignment I had to do for my Geology class in my last semester at BYU? It led me to think a lot about this sort of thing. See I vote we toss the system and start our own university/commune.

amber said...

you dont do anything poorly.

but i know what you mean.
and i hate it too.
and i love you.

Jessica said...

i will throw pottery with you, i will hold your tripod for you, and i will burn down the testing center with you. i'll do it all for you.
i'm right next door my brookey. we can do this together.