I’ve finally realized what skill school has given me; the ability to do things I don’t actually want to do. This trait is what makes me such an excellent employee. I mean, I assume I’m an excellent employee. I haven’t been fired yet and I think I’m pretty good, but I could be perhaps a tad biased. But just a tad.
In any case, my point is that school has instilled in me a certain sense of duty to do things that must be done, but aren’t necessarily overly joyful. There comes a point during undergrad (though this particular example is rather specific to me) that you just don’t want to write another paper on colonial racism ever again. The era might change, the books are different, and yet the papers remain almost stoically similar to one another. The subject is just as important as it was the first time you wrote about it, but this is now six papers later and you wonder whether the title of The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano is meant to be ironic. This is not to say that there were never any papers I didn’t enjoy. That one I wrote in third year about Richard III was pretty interesting, if only because I find Richard’s hunchback slightly amusing (I should point out that the hunchback is not the main focus of the play, so don’t read it if you’re only interested in hunchbacks. There’s an awful lot more suspiciously incestuous relationships, general bitterness, and prince-murdering than bodily disfigurement).
But I digress. The point, in short, is that these papers had to be written. I once had a friend ask me how I managed to get things done when I made it clear that I really didn’t want to do them. The answer is simple; if you don’t write the 40% final paper for your postcolonialism class, you will get a zero for 40% of your grade and the chances of your passing the course decrease significantly. Such is the same in the working world. There are things you probably don’t particularly want to do, but if you don’t do them the chances of you being fired for failing to do major aspects of what you’re being paid for increase dramatically. I suppose what I’m really trying to say is that school has given me a work ethic.
And also a vast knowledge of how British imperialism screwed everyone else up.
~ Hilary Lyon Axle Hatchet