We may all live in a great big global community, but in my Blog, it's my world.

It's been many, many years since my original attempt at College life.  Long enough ago that I had forgotten much of what it took to get me through getting recognition in accomplishing and completing some levels of College.

I remember some of it, starting classes, walking in on Day 1, having the instructor tell the class that the class was a participatory class and required attendance (which usually sent me off to the add/drop lines to get a different class or at least try for a different teacher that didn't require my butt sitting in the classroom bored to tears...)  I remember taking classes with labs and projects and... oh, wait, this is the part that I had somewhat forgotten and where like father, like son seems to be the case.

I do remember taking some classes that included lab work, or were self-paced classes that required doing projects and turning in work but which didn't actually require attendance or at least where the teacher wasn't constantly riding my butt about turning in work.

There is, obviously (as most folks know), a big difference between K-12 and College life.  In K-12, teachers do hand-hold more.  They 'rat you out' to your parents and make a point of the fact that you may be slacking and not getting things done.  Your parents ride you and nag you, and make you do work that you might otherwise skip in favor of other activities in your life.  Ahh... other activities.  Yeah, things like going to the game room or arcade, or going to watch movies and ignoring classes that you didn't care for but were required to take anyway.  Yeah, it comes back to me at times as I think about previous history.

It especially comes back to me lately as I'm reminded of my own mistakes through the sins of the son.  I don't want to embarass him, or give away too many family secrets, but he has not had an easy time in College and much of that has been because of his own doing.  He's too disorganized, but worse yet, he seems to be perhaps a bit too much like his old man in that he gets embarassed easily and then can't seem to get over the hump of talking to his teachers to work things out.  He hasn't learned (as I have with experience) that sometimes deadlines are missed and though the professors may be sticklers about it, they aren't there as enemies.  They are willing to work with you, much as team leaders and supervisors in most work places are there to work with you and want to help, not crush you (at least not in most cases).

Yes, as you get into the real world there are hard deadlines, and consequences for not meeting deadlines that could include the loss of your job, or the loss of jobs for others you work with, and even potentially the loss of life for patients (for doctors), or other service members you might serve with (for service members), etc.  But in many cases there are opportunities given, second chances granted, and lots of motivation in many other forms (most commonly financial) that tend to keep people on track.

Life in college is different.  It's that 'tween period in most people's life.  Not quite ready for the work-a-day life, and yet no longer in school daily, and most of the time no longer under mom and dad's thumb.  Time to learn life lessons as well as school lessons.  Time that can be hard for some to understand and deal with.

Such seems the case for my son.  He seems to fear possible confrontation with teachers, rather than assuming that the teacher really isn't out to get him and would like to see him succeed.  Unfortunately that fear, and that embarassment has led to some failures and poor performances that I wish my son hadn't encountered.  Yes, I know it's better to happen now than later, and I do hope he learns the extra lessons that staring him in the face from all of this, but I'd rather not see him fail at all (no matter how much he may think otherwise).

I hope he finds his current stumbles aren't too much of an impediment later.  I hope he uses these small failures as motivation to do better.  I wish I could say I know he will, but...  he is his own person.  Becoming a man, and learning on his own.  That is what happens at this stage of a still young life.


Comments
on Dec 21, 2007
I skipped quite a few classes in my day, and dropped a class or two along the way (I actually dropped an art class halfway in because I was going to have to sculpt a nude model! Haha!) but I did eventually make it through.

Of course, I had kids and work and a husband then, and if I hadn't I probably would have been far more irresponsible.

College is definitely a safe (if expensive) place to learn some of the lessons needed for success in the real world.

It sounds like you have a really caring, level-headed take on your son's college experiences. He is fortunate to have you to guide him.
on Dec 21, 2007

It sounds like you have a really caring, level-headed take on your son's college experiences. He is fortunate to have you to guide him.

Well, in fairness, it's mostly my wife that has been helping to guide him.  I'm more of a let him learn his own lessons kind of guy.  He'll learn.  Hopefully not the hard way, but he will learn.  Doing for him isn't helping him, and in the end doesn't get him to be independent anyway.

My most recent take on things has been that he needs to experience real work for a while.  Let him learn about life in the sweaty jobs out there, and let him find out how it's not that easy to find office work, or work where you aren't busting your butt for most of the hours in the day.  Once he realizes that life isn't a piece of cake, perhaps he'll better understand that college isn't as bad as he thinks it is.

on Dec 21, 2007
Haha. You're right on that. Making a living is not easy, no matter what type of work you're in (some jobs more demanding than others, of course) and absenteeism and dropping the ball for fear of confrontation won't cut it in the real world.

Kudos to your wife.
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