Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I'll Take 'The Penis Mightier' For $100, Alex

Attending university was one of the best things I've ever gotten to do. If I could pick any time in my life to experience again, that four years would be it.

As I grew up, there was no question that I would end up going to university (in the States, people tend to say 'college', but where I'm from, most people say 'university').

Edmonton is a university city, with a beautiful (to me) sprawling campus at its heart.

The University of Alberta. In case you're wondering what that bright yellow building is, it's affectionately called the Butterdome, and is a sporting facility

The UofA is not an old school, it recently passed its 100th birthday, but it is a well-respected Canadian university.

When I was little, I remember driving by it in the car with my mum, and asking 'Is that where I'm going to go?' and she'd smile and say 'Yes, someday.'

When I finally got there, I fell in love with the place, as I always thought I would.

I loved the buildings. HUB Mall was one of my favourites.

Do you see all those multi-coloured cupboard-door thingies up high, looking out onto the floor of the mall? Those are student residences. The floor of the mall had restaurants, a laundromat, a bookstore, an art gallery, etc. The ceiling was all glass, as you can see.

My favourite thing about the building was how long and skinny it was. My parking garage was located at one end of it, and most of my classes were located in buildings at the other end of it. I could warm up for 10 minutes and not freeze my ass off whilst getting to class in the dead of an Albertan winter.

I loved the people. A lot of my friends were at the UofA, but there were thousands of other new people to meet. Some were local, some from across the world. All walks of life. All studying different things, with lofty dreams.

I enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts program. I didn't know what program I'd eventually end up in, but it was a good place to start.

I would hear people scoff when I told them this, and it would make me angry.

"Arts? Oh, so you want to be unemployed! AHAHAHAHAHA!"


The reason I liked the Arts so much is that you can get a more open education. English, Math, Science, Social Studies, History, and so much more.

Sure, I could have enrolled in a Science degree program and made out with petri dishes and equations all day, but that just wasn't for me. I wanted a little of that to go along with a plethora of other little things.

I eventually settled on an Anthropology major and a Sociology minor.

What better program for a people-watcher to be in than that one?

And it's funny, because I talked shit about science, and then ended up going for a degree focused in Physical and Forensic Anthropology. Which is pretty much all science.

I loved Sociology too. I could have easily made that my major instead if it wasnt for my love of Human Osteology. I was a bone-fondlin' motherfucker.

Oops...handled that one a little too hard...

Sociology was awesome though.

The most enjoyable Sociology class that I took was Sociology of Media. It took place in an airy, stadium-style university extension building, with a huge projection screen in it.

My professor had a sexy Tina Fey-esque vibe going on, and she had studied pornography as the subject of her PhD thesis.

Every male student's fantasy, right?

Mine too!

Anyway, one week she said that as part of the course, we would be studying pornography and its effect on society and she would play a porn clip on the big screen.

She said she was only allowed to do this if we all gave consent. Anyone who was morally opposed to being shown porn in class could abstain from the lecture with no academic consequences.

She asked for anyone opposed to give a show of hands.

Of COURSE no one put their hands up.

1) We were getting to see porn IN CLASS, on a huge screen. For school! Did I mention that?

2) Anyone who got up and left would be given shit about it forever. We were in our 20's, but that kind of peer pressure never goes away. I don't care how old you are.

3) I'm sure half of the male students in the room already had their hands occupied, and were ready for her to dim the lights!

Yep. I loved university for moments like that.

I had plans to go on and get my Masters and PhD in Forensic Anthro, but I didn't. It's not for lack of discipline.

I was very disciplined and goody-goody, I definitely didn't live the 'Animal House' life while I was there.

My dad paid for my entire education. I was very, very lucky. I treated school like it was my job. I wanted to make sure I earned every penny that he paid. My dad was a difficult man sometimes (ok, a lot of the time), but he didn't make me feel like I had to do this in terms of my education. I've just always been a self-driven person.

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but he died in late 2002, right before my last semester. I was in the middle of finals that week. He'd been in bad health for years and his heart finally gave out.

It was still a shock though. Some people have the worst health habits and still live till they're old. I thought he'd be one of those people.

Swervin' Mervin

Anyway, he left me enough money that I was able to pay for the rest of my undergraduate education and live for awhile without working afterwards. I didn't know what to do with myself. His dying changed the course of my life.

I think everything happens for a reason. I might not feel like that when I'm in a the middle of a tough situation, but later on I do. One of Chuckles' favourite sayings is, 'It all comes out in the wash.'

Am I working in the profession that I got my degree in? No.

Do I have Dr. ahead of my name? No.

Am I happy and have an awesome life? Yes.

I make decent money to sell books for a living. I peddle knowledge.

I have a husband that loves me for ME and all of my weirdness and foul mouth, and is proud of my intelligence and rapier wit.

The people that laughed at me for my choice of university study can bite me.

I enjoyed every minute of it, and it made me a more interesting person. I can have a conversation about pretty much anything.

And I'm a fucking Jeopardy virtuoso.

That's all worth having a degree on the wall. No matter what it is.

If any of you crazy kids out there are hemming and hawing about whether or not college is relevant these days, it is. Even if it's just for the memories and prestige.

Do it.


Liz said...

Hi Kyna,

Nice one, and I have to agree - after all I haven't just graduated from my MSc for nothing...

Oh and btw, you can call me MASTER now. Biatches. Lol.

Only joking :P

Anyone who feels they don't need to continually develop themselves whether it be through reading or going on courses/degress are really missing out. And degrees are definitely still worth the time.
After all, it teaches you completely new skills such as presenting, critical thinking, time management, writing.. you name it.
As well as drinking skills, obviously.

To anyone considering going back to Uni, or who are working and considering; definitely do it. If you have the chance then grap it and take it. it's worth it; if only for yourself.

Marguerite said...

Kyna, bless your heart for saying this. I've read so many things lately critisizing higher education and saying it's worthless to kids because they just end up in debt and unemployed. Isn't the point to better ourselves and broaden our horizons. At university we learn to start living like adults, we study subjects we have a real interest in and we learn about life in general. How can that be a bad thing?

Jess said...

Good on ya, Kyna. You know, I went to Uva and took the same route you did, not knowing what I wanted to do, but feeling pretty happy that I got to take interesting classes instead of algebra for once. One of my professors was teaching Don Juan and Castenada and decided to bring Peyote into class! These are experiences I'm pretty sure you just don't get in engineering school. And you know what? when I did finally figure out who I was, I ended up being able to parlay my little ol' Arts and Sciences degree into one of those careers that people go to Harvard for. So there! And I got to learn about Peyote and French, economics, psychology, music theory and astronomy! It can't be beat.

I too agree that even if you decide that you really want to be a mechanic or hairdresser or any of the myriad of professions that don't require a degree for work, the point of college isn't for work, but for YOU... who it makes you, which will be a more well rounded, broader thinking individual with a wealth of friends and contacts you wouldn't have known otherwise.

It's the 4 years I'd live over too. Though those first few in Manhattan are close up there too!

John Gray said...

I never got to University ( well full time that is)
it would have done me the world of good.......
I would have slept around with a load of boys/men and probably have become a vet!

Kyna said...

Master Liz: One of my best skills is time management (and my employees like me for that). Wiring too, obviously. I still get a thrill every time a friend or co-worker asks me to edit something that they've written.

Such a nerdy thrill.

Marguerite: Yeah, I've been seeing that a lot over the last few years.

People see that others have gotten lucky by landing themselves a good job without uni, and say, Fuck it!

Not saying that doesn't happen, but it just sounds like a cop out by kids who are too uninterested in going, or feel like they don't want to spend money on it.

I know how lucky I was to have my dad for my schooling, but even if he couldn't, I would have just done the student loan thing.

Jess: *whistles* Nice education you've got there!

When I was little I always dreamed about going to Harvard or Oxford or some other ridiculously awesome world-famous university, but I was happy going to the U of A.

That was sort of my point, it doesn't matter what school of higher education one chooses. I didn't mean to sound like I was leaving out trade schools (that's what we tend to call 'college' in Canada), because I wasn't. Anyone who wants to further their education after high school has my admiration.

That was cool about the Peyote, by the way. Everyone has some sort of cool memory from university. Mine was just the porn lol.

John: Well, I still hope you got in some part-time shagging! :D

Boys AND men? You're just greedy! :P

Dude, what you do is pretty awesome(besides shagging). I love reading your blog because you're a helper of animals and people alike. I've never been that sort of caretaker type of person (only time I've ever felt that way was when Chuckles was going through cancer treatments), so I admire it in others. It's something you're born with.

Al said...

I did read this the other day on my way out the door. But I have to say, a big chunk of my second degree was anthropology (a major).
The physical anthropology units I did were som of the most fun I did at Uni!
I have to say that while shagging is pretty darn good, most porn is dull boring!

Kyna said...

Al: Most of my anthro friends were into cultural anthro. I think that's just what most people think of when they think of anthropology. I liked those classes (at my school, we were required to take a little bit of all four fields), but physical anthro was my favourite. Every day that I had an Osteology lab, I woke up excited. It's all I talked about at dinner. LOL

You're talking to a girl that's seen a loooot of porn. You're right. Most of it is boring after you see enough of it. ;) But to get to see it as part of a class? That's just a good damn story.

Al said...

I'll agree there it does make a pretty good story!

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Well what can I say girl ?
Law was my major and English my minor .. law because I would argue the point into oblivion no matter how ridiculous and English ?
I liked Chaucer's frankness ? LOL
I was teased for going to Carleton .. even though I was excepted to Queens and Ottawa .. Carleton seemed to be the "one"
I was way too young when I stared university .. 17 .. what the hell did I know about anything ?
But .. not having utilized that education .. marriage .. baby .. and the military telling us what to do every second of every day/night ... finally FREEDOM when husband said enough !
Did my education help me in the whole scheme of things ?
I'll get back to you on that?
I truly think that over used quote "the school of life" taught me so much more it is scary !
Funny post girl .. tickled my funny bones ?