One of the most ironic things about college that I’ve noticed so far is how frustrating it can be, and how there is no outlet for your squabbles as a student. You are an adult and are expected to just nod along obediently, a professor not really giving a crap how much they aren’t in agreement with the four other professors you have.
Maybe it’s just me and the week I’ve had, but I have more than enough to say, but struggling uncertainty on how to say it— and if I’m even supposed to.
Take for example, a certain career development course that meets once a week on Tuesday mornings– just to randomly make something up. Now let’s say that this class teaches a very cut and dry approach to getting a job; less creativity and more sustainability. You, the student, are interested in becoming a writer. The professor has little to no advice for you and all the advice she does give contradicts directly with the advice given to you by your writing professor.
You smile and press on anyway.
This pretend Tuesday morning class then prepares you for a mock interview, testing your skills on not only your personality and interpersonal skills, but on how well you’ve been listening during class. You are an attentive student and feel ready. You study the week before the interview and remember the professor’s advice about expanding on your resume, as well as their advice to particular “routine” questions.
You go into the interview, dressed nice, smile on your face, (mildly) sweaty palms, and a handshake so damn firm you are ready for the UN. You are ready.
The interview is a half hour and the man across from you takes notes the entire time. You have answers for everything. You relate everything back to your resume and how your past experience had prepared you for this job– hell, you could do the job now you are so experienced.
He fails you.
He tells you that you were only supposed to talk about the description of the job in question. He didn’t care about your resume– it was impressive, but he didn’t care. And those questions he asked you? Half of them were illegal and you were supposed to know not to answer them. Yes, even the one your professor helped you prepare for and told you is the most important question to nail.
Everything you were taught was wrong. And now you are sitting in a second floor bathroom of the Student Academic Building trying to use your sweater sleeve as a brown paper bag to stop yourself from hyperventilating.
You are embarrassed, you feel betrayed, you feel stupid, and now you are going to get a B in the class for doing exactly what your professor asked.
I have been drafting all the different ways to ask “What the fuck?” in an academic setting, but I don’t think I’ve gotten it quite right just yet. Hopefully, the inspiration with strike me before I do the same to my professor.