Eating to live

I’m taking Spanish this semester. It’s a useful language that I expect to use a lot and it’s projected to pass English as the main language of the United States in coming years. MCTC offers lot’s of Spanish classes, at diverse times during the day. I had my pick of Spanish classes. Except, I wanted to take Japanese, and there was only one class for that. It meets at night. I can’t learn at night. I settled for Spanish.

Yes, Spanish is a far more popular language to study than Japanese. But I still wanted Japanese, and that popularity difference just prevented me from learning what I wanted to learn. I looked at other schools nearby, too. It’s the same story.

This got me thinking and brought me to a horrible realization. Everything we have learned in school is what is offered to us. Information may be relatively free, but we are stuck learning what classes teach. This goes all the way back to grade school where a balanced schedule is set in place, covering a wide variety of interests; A wide variety of interests, but nothing unique.

These “unique” courses end up in obscure departments of four-year anniversaries, and not even they offer everything there is to learn. Besides, it’s not like Japanese is any sort of higher-learning than Spanish. Our scope of available education is narrow, not just at MCTC, but everywhere.

To a good student, a class can be like water is to a sponge, only a more appropriate metaphor might be food to someone starving. They will eat anything they can get and be happy with it. I’m going to be happy learning Spanish. As I said, it is a very useful language! But I’m only eating it because it’s there and Japanese is not. Maybe the “unpopular” classes are only that way because they are not offered as much as the “popular” ones?

I would love to have a class on folklore, but we don’t offer one. That’s in the realm of four-year universities. But why is it? It’s not more advanced nor difficult to teach than anything else we offer. That brought me to another frightening thought. Are two-year universities the opposite of education? That is to say, if there is a difference in subjects offered between four and two year schools are two year schools “keeping people in their place”? Of course, many people at MCTC go to a four-year upon graduation, but that seems like even more of a reason to not have such a radical difference in study.

It’s not money. MCTC has a lot of money; it’s just used on duplicates of popular classes to make more. For every Spanish class we have, one would think it wouldn’t be too hard to make one of them a class on Japanese. As much as I love the classes we do offer in our English department, perhaps one of the funds for a class could go to something higher-learning-but-no-more-difficult, like etymology?

The options you, the student, are left with to learn what you want are relatively few. Class ideas can be chartered at MCTC, but there is no guarantee it will be offered before you graduate. There is only one source of information I can think of that is really free. The internet.

Here comes a third realization. Why are we paying for classes when we can learn about anything we want on the internet for the price of said connection? Two reasons, I suppose. The social aspect of classes makes it much easier for some students to learn. Also, we need degrees to prove we know things. Much of the world doesn’t care about skills learned outside of a school. But they are skills.

I’m taking Spanish this semester. I will be learning Japanese on my own time. Maybe I will tell the higher-ups we should have a class on English etymology and someone can take it when they start here.

Suggest a class if you have an idea. Learn what you want on your own. Take classes to reach your educational and career goals.