We were discussing an aspect of education I particularly despise... apart from spelling, which is essay writing.
I was explaining the fact that, in general, when I get essays back I seem to receive the same comments which go along the lines of;
"Really good points Jazza but this isn't how an essay is meant to be written."
I struggle to grasp the 'correct' language needed to write an academic essay, I will write an essay in a very similar style to how I write this blog. It is chatty, informal. The points are there, it has structure and a valid drive, I am just not restricting myself to the formula that will create 100 identical essays on the Spanish Civil War (for example).
But apparently in the academic world they don't want essays with a chatty style. What can I do? I write it how I would speak it, that is how my brain works.
I told my counsellor (his name is Andrew) how I thought this was unfair, ridiculous and that I couldn't understand how I am going to grow as an 'academic' (I can't even type that with a straight face) if I am going to be shackled to being the exact same as everyone else for foreseeable future of this degree.
He then told me this:
"You've got to play their game. After you graduate you can do what the hell you want. But for the mean time, just play the game."
This has not sat well with me.
I am very much my father's son when it comes to authority in that unless it makes sense I cannot simply sit there and pretend everything is peachy. When I was in the navy it was different, there are rules and a status quo in that kind of environment to stop people getting hurt and so that decisions get made (I am not saying they are always the correct decision but that is another story).
I cannot stand, however, that I am going to have to conform to a ridiculous guideline that does nothing but restrict me in the work I produce for the next 3 years. These are MY points that I am trying to put across and argue. Surely MY style is the best way to accomplish this, not a technique that every sodding person has to live by.
But, that said, what the hell CAN I do?
I need this degree...
Do I need this degree?