I have a lofty dream of going to law school and being successful and owning a beautiful house in upstate New York. In my ten year plan there are all of the pertinent milestone events (study abroad in Europe, graduation from undergrad, amazing LSAT scores, acceptance to law school, and passing the bar) but there’s a lot that comes before even the first milestone. Like, uh, taking the classes required to graduate from undergrad. Oh, and doing well in them. That’s an important one. I’ve learned the hard way you can’t sweep your bad grades under the rug anymore when you only have three tests in a twelve week period.
A kind of nonsense
A recent trend in both undergrad and graduate schools is the idea of a certain number of summer credit hours. I was first introduced to the idea when a friend at New York Law School said she couldn’t sight see with me while I was on vacation because she had class. My response? It’s the end of June. What kind of nonsense is that? Currently the kind of nonsense I am getting familiar with. I signed up for summer classes this semester with a heavy heart and a dragging GPA. I thought to myself, how bad can it be? It’s four hours a day, twice a week. No big deal. Wrong.
If it wasn’t obvious not too many people are pumped to spend their summer vacation in a class room… and it shows. I’m taking a French class which has dwindled from 15 to 8 and an Entrepreneurship class where I’m the youngest person in the room. Since telling people I’m learning French is far more interesting than telling them I’m learning Spanish and have no plans to get into business, my excitement for my summer peaked and hit a plateau the week between spring and summer classes. I lacked a choice on the language front since foreign language is a requirement, but I wasn’t completely sold on this Entrepreneurship. The only thing that got me into that classroom on the first day were thoughts of my GPA and mixed reviews on Ratemyprofessor. Halfway through the first class session I was fantasizing about leaving and never coming back. The criticisms lobbied at the instructor on Ratemyprofessor weren’t entirely false, but neither were the praises. It feels like I’ve spent the last six weeks relearning things I already knew. Little adages I’ve heard all of my life tested and proven true. But apparently that’s the point.
The subtlety of language
There isn’t anything special you have to do to be successful in creativity. You just have to remember how to be creative, but what we’ve really spent a lot of time discussing is the subtle nuances of language. The subtlety in the way you phrase out your concerns (concerns as questions) has been, for me, my favorite lesson. The difference between “this idea has been done before” and “how do you plan to deal with similar competitors” is huge and while the message is the same it generates a different thinking process. The subtlety of language and the distinct phrasing of words is what has gotten more than one person on trial out of hot water (I’m looking at you John Edwards).
If I had the inclination, I could wax poetic about the beauty of language (above) and its application to various mediums, business and entrepreneurship included, but that’s not what’s important. I spent the majority of Fall and Spring semester cultivating this idea that I just don’t know how to thrive in topics I’m not interested in. Disinterest does not breed an award winner. What’s important was finding something that made this non-major related class that got in the way of my vacation worth something. And that goes for nearly everything. If it sucks, but you have to do it make it worth something especially in regards to education. Because if you’re just a body in a classroom instead of a mind in a vessel then you’re really just wasting everyone’s time.