I spent a lot of time in university. A good 6 years to be exact. I took classes in almost every subject, partly because I was interested in so many things, but mostly because I was distracted by figure skating and continually moving all over Canada in search of a ice dance partner who didn’t require serious emotional counseling.
In those 6 years I took 52 classes. 52 classes in linguistics, journalism, writing, philosophy, psychology, neuropsych, physiology, anatomy, acoustics, English lit & grammar, Spanish, Russian, history, art history, music, film studies, and drama. I know! That’s a whole lotta knowledge I’ve crammed into my short term memory. How much actually made it into my long term memory remains to be seen.
Now, obviously I think learning stuff is cool and fun or I wouldn’t have spent so many years doing just that… or maybe I just stayed so long because of the free medical/dental plans, scholarship money, and lack of adult responsibilities…
Every now and again when I hear students whine about super hard final exams, endless assignments, and less than adequate beer at Pub night, I think to myself, “What did I actually learn in university?” Here, I explore this topic in moderate detail.
Things I learnt in university:
- The formant values of the Swedish vowel “ö”, the Russian vowel “ы”, and the Canadian vowel “aboot”;
- The inner turmoil of Ivan the terrible
- 20th Century European History (in general) AKA war sucks;
- How to review a really long & boring English Lit book by skimming, plagiarizing & half watching the movie whilst watching a super cool action flick in your peripheral vision;
- Philosophy & the Matrix (in general);
- The twisted and shady side of chiaroscuro;
- Modern poetry doesn’t NEED to rhyme;
- MS Word & Excel is the devil’s handywork;
- Psychology (in general);
- Why Tolstoy was such a giant stick in the mud;
- Nazis and Soviets were all over that propaganda shizz;
- It’s best to stay far away from the snacks on the Battleship Potemkin;
- The anatomy and physiology of the ear & mouth/throat area (in ridiculous detail);
- Infant screams/cries are less than soothing to acoustically analyze than say, Enya;
- Don’t sit next to the guy that sucks on pens causing them to explode over everything within a 5m radius;
- You really have to commit yourself to produce a good Patronus charm;
- It’s inevitable that you will get your worst mark in the class you took because you thought it would be super easy;
- Tutoring ESL is a great way to meet cute foreign exchange students;
- There are better ways to spend your time than failing to teach a monkey/chimp/gorilla language
- Pavlov was a jerk to his dog
Things I didn’t learn in University:
- How long it takes to boil an egg;
- How to earn money (in general);
- Anything about taxes;
- Tener una conversación inteligente en español es más complicado que ordenar tacos en un restaurante mexicano;
- How to fix a broken toilet or plumbing (in general);
- How to navigate around Home Depot;
- “Food-in-cupboard” maintenance;
- How to negotiate with cell phone carriers;
- Stuff about fixing cars or fallen off mufflers;
- The complexity of screwdriver heads;
- Where the missing socks go and who steals them;
- Cooking food that tastes good (in general);
- How to deal with over demanding, ambiguous, & clueless clients
- Exactly where the maple syrup comes from. Trees? The ocean? Bee hives? Mounties? Beavers?
- Anything about grout;
- How to fix broken electronics;
- Getting out stains produced by dark beverages, spaghetti sauce, and ink/jiffies/markers, on more often than not, white clothing;
- Where all the money goes and who steals it;
- Credit card debt. I swear, no one told me!!
- Computers, using software, coding, photography, video production, editing, design… basically everything I need to know. Oops.
What did you learn or not learn in university? Also, if you know the practical solution to any of the above please leave a comment. Teach me and I’ll listen… mostly.
PS. Why am I sat in front of an uber kit? Kind of random isn’t it? More sweet photos and a special DIY photo blog from my latest shoot with uber Vancouver drummer, Jesse Godin this week!