Monday, March 23, 2015

I Should Have Been An English Major

            How do you measure the accuracy of a printing press at a newspaper publisher?  That’s the riveting question that my professor is attempting to answer in front of 50 students for my operations management class.  I look around the room and see hardly an interested face.  In my limited field of view, at least 6 Facebook pages are open.  A few students have their cellphones in their laps, happily texting away.  One dude in the front row has dozed off at least 4 times.  A handful of students appear to be taking notes.  I listened for a while, but then I found myself typing here.
            I don’t blame the professor.  He’s brilliant; a mathematician by trade, he is extremely overqualified to teach this dumbed down statistics class for business students.  His heavy Eastern European accent doesn’t help his cause.  I actually find the material mildly interesting, but the huge disparity in mathematical aptitude amongst the students necessitates that the concepts are introduced at the pace of a snail.
            I’ve been taking classes like this for two years now.  It’s not that I abhor my coursework; much of it, I find quite interesting.  Add that to Goizueta’s prestige, and the assurance that if I put in the effort, I have a pretty good chance of finding gainful employment, my business school education certainly seems worthwhile.  Still, instead of taking notes on the statistical significance of systematic process data, I’m sitting here writing this post.
I’ve prepared half a dozen presentations this semester.  I’ve taken four exams.  I’ve memorized the phases of the moon and the winter constellations.  I’ve researched affordable legal services and the health insurance market in America.  I’ve put in countless hours delving into topics that couldn’t mean less to me, or my future.  Nevertheless, to this day, I haven’t written a single paper—not a report, not an essay, not even a reading response.  Almost three months into the term, I’ve yet to use the one skill that I’ve put the most time and effort into improving, my one true passion.  What kind of undergraduate education does not require its students to write more than a paragraph at a time?  So, when people ask me how I like the business school, my response is always exactly the same:

I should have been an English major.

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