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  #1  
Old 10-23-2011, 01:02 AM
pxavier pxavier is offline
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Default School vs. Music

I'm in college and I've been in a band with a friend of mine for a couple of years. We have been writing music, but can not perform too often because we go to separate schools. As of now we can not transfer. I am wondering whether it is a wise idea to leave school. I am only here to secure a day job and support my passion/future career. Although I do love learning, being here has become frustrating because I do get ideas for compositions, but class or homework gets in the way. This also gives me and my friend less time to practice throughout the day. There are many opportunities dealing with networking and music at our schools, but we are beginning to feel like we are wasting time. This is the one and only thing we can picture ourselves doing, making and playing music as a form of entertainment for others.
  #2  
Old 10-23-2011, 01:44 AM
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Default Re: School vs. Music

Well man, you can be sure you're not the only one in this position.

I'm pretty much the same. I love music, and for the most part, I hate studying, exams, getting up early, etc..

But I chose school anyway. The way I see it, I rather suck it up now and have a good job later on, and make of music my hobby, instead of being 40 and working as a salesman on the local music store "waiting to be discovered".

But hey, I admire those who have the courage to give it all for their art. Unfortunately though, most of them end up pretty bad. :/

Cheers!
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Old 10-23-2011, 02:48 AM
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Originally Posted by diegobxr View Post
Well man, you can be sure you're not the only one in this position.

I'm pretty much the same. I love music, and for the most part, I hate studying, exams, getting up early, etc..

But I chose school anyway. The way I see it, I rather suck it up now and have a good job later on, and make of music my hobby, instead of being 40 and working as a salesman on the local music store "waiting to be discovered".

But hey, I admire those who have the courage to give it all for their art. Unfortunately though, most of them end up pretty bad. :/

Cheers!
I agree. Most people would say making a living playing music will be nonexistent. The ones who pursue their passion regardless aren't interested in hearing anybody else's opinions anyway. So the question you must ask yourself, is which one are you?

The people who are relentlessly pursuing their dreams are not willing to settle for a day job to support their music habit. The ones who stay in school to get a degree so they can make a living think the ones who are single-minded about their music careers are idiots.

And then again, you must realize that staying in school to get a degree doesn't necessarily mean you'll make a living in that field either. And with more and more people with degrees losing jobs or just not able to get jobs, those prospects don't look good either. So it's really your call, none of us can give you advice because you're the one who has to live with whatever you decide. Not us.
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Old 10-23-2011, 03:24 AM
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Default Re: School vs. Music

What is your current major? As was said, neither career is guaranteed but depending on your major you could be wasting your time. Not getting the degree, but not finding a job once you graduate.
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Old 10-23-2011, 05:44 AM
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Default Re: School vs. Music

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What is your current major? As was said, neither career is guaranteed but depending on your major you could be wasting your time. Not getting the degree, but not finding a job once you graduate.
I was a mechanical engineer. I opted out for two reasons: more financial aid, more time to drum with bands and practice, and more time for myself. Now I'm an environmental science major. But as was said and just realised, I don't really care for opinions. I can finish up my degree any time, but music comes first. Only have one life to live.
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:05 AM
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I was a mechanical engineer. I opted out for two reasons: more financial aid, more time to drum with bands and practice, and more time for myself. Now I'm an environmental science major. But as was said and just realised, I don't really care for opinions. I can finish up my degree any time, but music comes first. Only have one life to live.
Can I call it or what? ;)
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:15 AM
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Can I call it or what? ;)
Nope, can't let ya man. Just gotta let it fall into place ;-).
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:53 AM
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Nope, can't let ya man. Just gotta let it fall into place ;-).
Well, try not to believe that you're having an original idea here. If I had a dollar everytime I had this discussion I wouldn't have had to gig as much as I have!

Good luck out there ;)
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:16 PM
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I think you need to strike while the iron's hot. I dropped out high school to play drums because the parents wouldn't let me play when they were home. But I quickly realized that I needed to support myself while playing music so I joined the Navy with the sole purpose of learning some skill that could help me pay the bills once I got out - and that's just what happened. So after getting out and playing in a dozen different bands for several years, and having chased down the dream of becoming a "pro" and concluding that it wasn't to be, I came to the realization that school was where it was at. I started at 28 and it took me 7-1/2 years to do it, but I graduated with a degree in electrical engineering.

At no point during my little odyssey did I ever have to completely stop drumming, so I'd say I went about it the right way - for me.

Bottom line is that you can go back to school at anytime in your life, but to really chase down the dream of playing for a living has to be done while the passion and the time are still there.
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:45 PM
pxavier pxavier is offline
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Default Re: School vs. Music

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
Well, try not to believe that you're having an original idea here. If I had a dollar everytime I had this discussion I wouldn't have had to gig as much as I have!

Good luck out there ;)
Haha, nice one Bo. Yeah, I wish I hand;t prayed to get back into school when i almost got kicked out twice... I think it was meant for me to leave. But this time I'm leaving on my own. I hate being 20. I miss the teen years...

Quote:
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I think you need to strike while the iron's hot. I dropped out high school to play drums because the parents wouldn't let me play when they were home. But I quickly realized that I needed to support myself while playing music so I joined the Navy with the sole purpose of learning some skill that could help me pay the bills once I got out - and that's just what happened. So after getting out and playing in a dozen different bands for several years, and having chased down the dream of becoming a "pro" and concluding that it wasn't to be, I came to the realization that school was where it was at. I started at 28 and it took me 7-1/2 years to do it, but I graduated with a degree in electrical engineering.

At no point during my little odyssey did I ever have to completely stop drumming, so I'd say I went about it the right way - for me.

Bottom line is that you can go back to school at anytime in your life, but to really chase down the dream of playing for a living has to be done while the passion and the time are still there.
Why do people always make it seem like I won't go back once I leave anyway? Does it become unaffordable? Is it really that easy to go back to school (not that I want to)?
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Old 10-23-2011, 08:00 PM
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Default Re: School vs. Music

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Why do people always make it seem like I won't go back once I leave anyway? Does it become unaffordable? Is it really that easy to go back to school (not that I want to)?
I think it's simply because most people don't.

Of course school is expensive, but if later you become serious about it, you can work it into the schedule and budget using financial aid, loans, rich in-laws, or whatever. And if down the road you do decide you want to go back, it's not terribly hard. There were tons of other 30-somethings at the school I went to (University of Washington). It's totally fine if you don't think you want to now - when I got out of the navy, I was so sure I'd never go to college that I cashed in my college fund and spent it all on a new drumkit! It's just good to keep in the back of your mind that someday you might actually want to back, so you don't need to feel like you're closing the door on that option forever (nothing's forever).
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Old 10-23-2011, 08:06 PM
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I think it's simply because most people don't.

Of course school is expensive, but if later you become serious about it, you can work it into the schedule and budget (using financial aid, loans, rich in-laws, or whatever). And if down the road you decide you want to go back, it's not terribly hard. There were tons of other 30-somethings at the school I went to (University of Washington). It's totally fine if you don't think you want to now - when I got out of the navy, I was so sure I'd never go to college that I cashed in my college fund and spent it all on a new drumkit! It's just good to keep in the back of your mind that someday you might actually want to back, so you don't need to feel like you're closing the door on that option forever (nothing's forever).
Yeah I agree. It just intrigues me as to why people say most don't go back
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Old 10-24-2011, 02:43 AM
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It just intrigues me as to why people say most don't go back
Why do they say that? Because it's true, I'd imagine (haven't actually looked up the stats on it though). College isn't for everybody. Just look at Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Vinnie Colaiuta, ... ;)
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Old 10-24-2011, 04:03 AM
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Why do they say that? Because it's true, I'd imagine (haven't actually looked up the stats on it though). College isn't for everybody. Just look at Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Vinnie Colaiuta, ... ;)
True, true... I never thought I'd be someone dropping out of college, it never occurred to me all my life... Then again, I never thought about college until I had to in high school.
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Old 10-24-2011, 05:17 AM
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Default Re: School vs. Music

One thing to consider...a BS degree is now required for a zillion kind of jobs just because
there are so many people with them. I'm in my 60's and while I play a lot of gigs I do
work part-time jobs from time to time. Many companies are now requiring a BS degree.
Supply and demand at work. (I don't agree with it either...but I don't make up the rules)

If you can finish a degree and have the sheet of paper...I would say do it. It will help you
later on. A BS degree today is what a high school diploma was in the 1940's.
  #16  
Old 10-24-2011, 07:09 AM
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A BS degree today is what a high school diploma was in the 1940's.
That's true.

If you feel overwhelmed by having to balance schoolwork and your passions, pxavier: don't get married or have kids...
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Old 10-24-2011, 01:12 PM
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If you feel overwhelmed by having to balance schoolwork and your passions, pxavier: don't get married or have kids...
Oooooh, there it is right there! Ditto for balancing work life and your passions.

Truer words were never spoken.
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Old 10-24-2011, 07:01 PM
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One thing to consider...a BS degree is now required for a zillion kind of jobs just because
there are so many people with them. I'm in my 60's and while I play a lot of gigs I do
work part-time jobs from time to time. Many companies are now requiring a BS degree.
Supply and demand at work. (I don't agree with it either...but I don't make up the rules)

If you can finish a degree and have the sheet of paper...I would say do it. It will help you
later on. A BS degree today is what a high school diploma was in the 1940's.
Yeah, a lot of career jobs require them. You are very right about that Also, if I need to, I can go back for 2 years and get my masters in Engineering. I'm happy I completed two years of it... I dunno, it didn't seem necessary for a lot of people to even go to high school, especially the greatest of the great. Personal, but do you have a BS? How did it help you? No need to answer, just wondering.

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That's true.

If you feel overwhelmed by having to balance schoolwork and your passions, pxavier: don't get married or have kids...
Hey caddy, awesome point, but this is NOT always the case. Not too many, but plenty of examples in history of this ideology being thwarted.

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Oooooh, there it is right there! Ditto for balancing work life and your passions.

Truer words were never spoken.
Yeah, work like and passion is usually only seen as separable within the sphere of capitalism (or more radically, feudalism), but there are ways around that.
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Old 10-24-2011, 09:52 PM
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A BS degree today is what a high school diploma was in the 1940's.
I've got to agree with that. Unfortunately university these days is just a joke. Someone in my class (2nd year, Mechanical Engineering degree) today (after turning up 1/4 h late) didn't know whether "ambient temperature" meant 20C or 100C. Given that we don't tend to do tutorial classes in saunas I thought it would have been pretty obvious for someone who somehow managed to pass the first year of a degree course in something as technical as mechanical engineering. How the hell half the people in my yeargroup even manged to get onto a degree course, let alone make it into the second year, i just do not know. No wonder one of the other lecturers has to give us classes in how to get a job, or rather he tells us how bloody difficult it is to get a job these days. It's not about being capable any more, it's about how well you can write a piece of paper and bullshit your way through countless numbers of applications, tests, screenings and interviews.

Good that you want to do something different mate. Personally I don't know what I want to do once I'm finished my degree. I don't feel as if I want to spend all that time and effort just to become another small cog in the corporate machine. I think you should keep at it though, as this poster above me has explained, at least having a degree gives you more of a choice if you ever decide to hang up the professional sticks.
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Last edited by eddiehimself; 10-24-2011 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:02 PM
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I've got to agree with that. Unfortunately university these days is just a joke. Someone in my class (2nd year, Mechanical Engineering degree) didn't know whether "ambient temperature" meant 20C or 100C. Given that we don't tend to do tutorial classes in saunas I thought it would have been pretty obvious for someone who may have lives depending on his technical expertese in future. How the hell half the people in my yeargroup even manged to get onto a degree course, let alone make it into the second year, i just do not know. No wonder one of the other lecturers has to give us classes in how to get a job. It's not about being capable any more, it's about how well you can write a piece of paper and bullshit your way through countless numbers of applications, tests, screenings and interviews.
... I don't know what ambient temperature is either... I'm sorry I'm a drummer and not a scientist? I think you should stop judging people based off one instance. Before I studied Environmental Science (Biology BS), I was a mechanical engineer because I wanted to learn about cars and the operations within and without them. I didn't choose the major because I already knew a lot about "ambient temperatures". I wanted to learn about them... Not everyone is built the same.

Otherwise, I agree as well. This is why I hate college. It's a load of bullshit. The other day I failed a test so I complained to the teacher and made my point, which was that the definitions on the test were not the same as in the textbook, and my test was covered in terms the professor did not emphasize in lecture. The professor knows I study hard and well and am at tentative in class, so the professor gave me another version of the test to do (four versions so people won't cheat), and I literally finished it in 5 minutes, and got 100%. THIS IS A TRUE STORY. HAPPENED TWO WEEKS AGO. Now, with that in mind, think of how many kids could have aced their tests, but failed because they had the "wrong version"... I don't see why they don't give professors the elementary school jobs and vice versa. It seems that teachers get worse and worse the higher your level of education...

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Originally Posted by eddiehimself View Post
I've got to agree with that. Unfortunately university these days is just a joke. Someone in my class (2nd year, Mechanical Engineering degree) today (after turning up 1/4 h late) didn't know whether "ambient temperature" meant 20C or 100C. Given that we don't tend to do tutorial classes in saunas I thought it would have been pretty obvious for someone who somehow managed to pass the first year of a degree course in something as technical as mechanical engineering. How the hell half the people in my yeargroup even manged to get onto a degree course, let alone make it into the second year, i just do not know. No wonder one of the other lecturers has to give us classes in how to get a job, or rather he tells us how bloody difficult it is to get a job these days. It's not about being capable any more, it's about how well you can write a piece of paper and bullshit your way through countless numbers of applications, tests, screenings and interviews.

Good that you want to do something different mate. Personally I don't know what I want to do once I'm finished my degree. I don't feel as if I want to spend all that time and effort just to become another small cog in the corporate machine. I think you should keep at it though, as this poster above me has explained, at least having a degree gives you more of a choice if you ever decide to hang up the professional sticks.
This edit makes A LOT more sense. I view engineering as cog-school central... I thought it would be more hands on, but no, it's Dilbirt with the maybe-quirk of getting to see your design built, for the needs of a corporation. At least you have the right mind man. I'm a junior now, I stopped cause I couldn't pass Thermodynamics, and neither could about 3/8 of my class... That, and it depressed me. I only got to see one gear at school. And it was wonderful 20 second moment.

Last edited by pxavier; 10-24-2011 at 10:14 PM.
  #21  
Old 10-24-2011, 10:24 PM
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A BS degree today is what a high school diploma was in the 1940's.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddiehimself View Post
I've got to agree with that. Unfortunately university these days is just a joke.
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Originally Posted by pxavier View Post
Otherwise, I agree as well. This is why I hate college. It's a load of bull...
Whoa! I think you guys are misinterpreting what groove1 was saying with that quote. In fact, I think you have his point exactly backwards.

What he meant, and I've read it before, is that it used to be that a high school diploma was enough to get you by, but there are a lot more people with degrees these days so the advantage of having one isn't quite as strong as it used to be. But that is not to say that the quality of the university education itself is any worse now and only what a HS diploma used to be. That's just faulty logic that may well haunt you in due course.

If anything, a master's is the new bachelor's.

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This edit makes A LOT more sense. I view engineering as cog-school central... I thought it would be more hands on, but no, it's Dilbirt with the maybe-quirk of getting to see your design built, for the needs of a corporation. At least you have the right mind man. I'm a junior now, I stopped cause I couldn't pass Thermodynamics, and neither could about 3/8 of my class... That, and it depressed me. I only got to see one gear at school. And it was wonderful 20 second moment.
Sounds to me like you should be in trade school studying to be a mechanic. Designers and engineers don't typically do the level of hands-on that techs do. That's just not what it's about.
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:28 PM
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Whoa! I think you guys are misinterpreting what groove1 was saying with that quote. In fact, I think you have his point exactly backwards.

What he meant, and I've read it before, is that it used to be that a high school diploma was enough to get you by, but there are a lot more people with degrees these days so the advantage of having one isn't quite as strong as it used to be. But that is not to say that the quality of the university education itself is any worse now and only what a HS diploma used to be. That's just faulty logic that may well haunt you in due course.

If anything, a master is the new bachelor.

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If anything, a master is the new bachelor.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
I just heard that on the radio the other day!!! But yes I agree. I understood his quote, but what I said was just an aside... Hahaha
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:28 PM
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This edit makes A LOT more sense. I view engineering as cog-school central... I thought it would be more hands on, but no, it's Dilbirt with the maybe-quirk of getting to see your design built, for the needs of a corporation. At least you have the right mind man. I'm a junior now, I stopped cause I couldn't pass Thermodynamics, and neither could about 3/8 of my class... That, and it depressed me. I only got to see one gear at school. And it was wonderful 20 second moment.
I think you've missed my last point completely. What I was saying is that I don't know if it's worth all that effort of applying for a small job in some big corporation. Nothing to do with the course. The only thing that's getting on my nerves at the moment is one of the lecturers is telling us we should base our final year project and units on what we want to do for a first job and we have to have a peliminary report and literature survey before the end of this year. I don't know what I want to do yet!
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Last edited by eddiehimself; 10-25-2011 at 04:51 PM.
  #24  
Old 10-24-2011, 10:33 PM
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Whoa! I think you guys are misinterpreting what groove1 was saying with that quote. In fact, I think you have his point exactly backwards.

What he meant, and I've read it before, is that it used to be that a high school diploma was enough to get you by, but there are a lot more people with degrees these days so the advantage of having one isn't quite as strong as it used to be. But that is not to say that the quality of the university education itself is any worse now and only what a HS diploma used to be. That's just faulty logic that may well haunt you in due course.

If anything, a master's is the new bachelor's.
Personally I thought the first year was far too easy. Nothing we learned in our first year was much more complex than what we learned for our A-levels (that's like the equivalent of high school diploma in this country). The university said this was to get everyone singing off the same hymn sheet or what have you, to be honest if they improved their entry requirements then this wouldn't be a problem.

Quote:
Sounds to me like you should be in trade school studying to be a mechanic. Designers and engineers don't typically do the level of hands on that techs do. That's just not what it's about.
Pretty much this. I think you sound a bit like one of my friends at uni, he worked as a mechanic for a few years before coming to uni (doesn't have any A levels) and was expecting to get paid loadsamoney as a graduate engineer pretty much doing exactly what he was doing in the garage. He found out to his detrement that this was far from the case and has struggled a lot as a result.
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:55 PM
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After having been out of school for several years now, I should stress that there's a helluva lot more theory going on in the classroom than most engineers will ever use in actual practice.

The schooling is supposed to be tough and there are a lot of people who get "weeded" out, but you want engineers in society to have the demonstrated aptitude and tenacity to power their way through the academics. In too many areas of practice, it can easily become a public safety issue.
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:19 PM
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After having been out of school for several years now, I should stress that there's a helluva lot more theory going on in the classroom than most engineers will ever use in actual practice.

The schooling is supposed to be tough and there are a lot of people who get "weeded" out, but you want engineers in society to have the demonstrated aptitude and tenacity to power their way through the academics. In too many areas of practice, it can easily become a public safety issue.
That's just dumb.... "Let's go out of our ways to ruin people's GPA's because we are an engineering school..." They can easily weed the non serious people out with an independent research project that will actually be used on campus.

Last edited by pxavier; 10-24-2011 at 11:19 PM. Reason: Too man curses
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:31 PM
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That's just dumb.... "Let's go out of our ways to ruin people's GPA's because we are an engineering school..." They can easily weed the non serious people out with an independent research project that will actually be used on campus.
Believe you me, I feel your frustration. Those years of my life were an exercise in humility like I'd never been through before nor since. For better or worse, we don't get to make the rules - we can only decide if we want to play along.
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  #28  
Old 10-25-2011, 01:53 AM
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Keep up with school, perhaps if you can continue working (to take the daily bread and butter to home) do so!

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I am wondering whether it is a wise idea to leave school. I am only here to secure a day job and support my passion/future career. .
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by pxavier View Post
That's just dumb.... "Let's go out of our ways to ruin people's GPA's because we are an engineering school..." They can easily weed the non serious people out with an independent research project that will actually be used on campus.
It's not about "ruining everyone's GPA" it's about making sure only people who are capable of getting a decent GPA can graduate. That's sort of how academic institutions work. If you want to be an engineer you have to be able to do this sort of stuff. It's not just about being handy with a wrench or a milling machine. In fact a lot of engineering designers don't get their hands dirty at all. It's unfortunate that a mechanical engineering degree didn't turn out to be what you wanted to do. If you want to fix up cars, plenty of garages that will be happy to give you an apprentiship I'm sure :)

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Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
After having been out of school for several years now, I should stress that there's a helluva lot more theory going on in the classroom than most engineers will ever use in actual practice.
Maybe for some practices, it depends entirely on what job you're doing and in what field.
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  #30  
Old 10-25-2011, 04:31 PM
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I'm very sorry I'm getting into the discussion late because I have lots of opinions on this stuff, and I'm living through it right now. I just graduated in Dec 2010 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. I'm using my day job to support my wife, who is in graduate school, and my healthy drum gear addiction. When she graduates I have plans to go back to school for my MS, possibly my PhD.

First off, pxavier, You need your BS to get an MS. They won't even let you in the program. Masters degrees, in science related fields, are designed primarily as a gateway to your PhD. They don't really help in run of the mill engineering. Sure you might get paid more, but it won't help you with the actual work. Plus, some companies flat out won't hire you if you have a higher degree, because expect to be paid more. So it may hurt you. Anyway, there is a handful of research involved and the courses are harder and much more indepth. Don't be fooled by the two year duration.

Quote:
After having been out of school for several years now, I should stress that there's a helluva lot more theory going on in the classroom than most engineers will ever use in actual practice.
This is a fine line that you're playing here Mike. Yes I agree, if you work for an corporation and especially aspire to a managerial position in engineering, you hardly ever grab your calculator and crunch numbers. There are nation wide and world wide engineering standards that essentially ave all the work done for you. Volume after volume of numbers and solutions that have already been calculated and solved.. you just have to look it up... That's how run of the mill engineering works and a testament to the brain drain and fall of education in this country.

Just like in drumming, the best, most creative/musical drummers got famous by trusting their technique and fundamentals and created grooves/licks/feelings that no one had yet. No one today is going to get famous by playing the book of Steve Gadd. All his stuff is priceless groove, but its all been done before. Stanton Moore is a prime example of someone who is really creative and has brought something new to the table. Yes he has influences, but he really the only young guy that has brought second line and New Orleans style playing into the modern age, and its gotten him a lot of notoriety. Likewise, the great strides that take place in science and engineering come from people who know the theory, trust their fundamentals, and refuse to rely on the standards and status quo to "do there work for them". In my opinion, if you don't have that drive to bring something truly new to the field, you don't want to be an engineer. You want to be a manager, a draftsmen, a designer, or something related.

So, sure you don't use all that theory in industry. So what, you should know all that theory, and if you want to be an engineer, you have to care about it and not blow it off as bull. Everything you will do as a engineer stems from that theory, even the standards everyone blindly follows. If you know the theory, you know how to apply the standards, and you will be a much better engineer.

Is it easy to go back? Yes. Technically, its just as easy as going in the first place. In reality its harder, only because most people don't have the gumption to actually do it. You get comfortable in your home with your hefty paycheck and no homework, and you just don't want to follow through. Its as simple as that. I'm even struggling with that now, haha.

Quote:
"Let's go out of our ways to ruin people's GPA's because we are an engineering school..."
This is obviously not the motivation, at all. Engineering is a practice. Just like drumming, you have to PRACTICE. Practice and review fundamentals and theory. Otherwise things will cave in on you your junior and senior year. Trust me I know. This stuff has to be habitual. You should just know it, you don't have the luxury to remember. That's why there is so much busy work. The professors are trying to get you just know these things and not have to recall them. It needs to be like walking, or playing a paradiddle. You can't be thinking R-L-R-R-L-R-L-L.. you have to just do it naturally.

Quote:
I only got to see one gear at school. And it was wonderful 20 second moment
It depends on the college you go to. I was fortunate enough to get some more hands on stuff than I expected. We welded, casted, ripped metal apart, brazed, soldered, machined parts, the whole nine. You have to take your college experience for what it is. If the hands on stuff is primarily what you are interested in, then maybe you should look into the other professions previously mentioned. I'll you one thing, starting salary for a plant operator is way more than that for an engineer. You're on your feet all day, or all night, depending on when you work, covered in grease, and sometimes coal dust, but you make a very pretty penny.

My advice to you is to stick it out and get a degree! Whatever it is. Maybe engineering is right for you. Frankly, it doesn't matter what you get your degree in most of the time, having a BS period is much much much more valuable than not having one. You can always pursue music. But going back to school is a difficult pill to swallow. Having a BS in your back pocket if times get rough pursuing music will literally be invaluable.
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Last edited by wsabol; 10-25-2011 at 04:42 PM.
  #31  
Old 10-25-2011, 07:31 PM
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Default Re: School vs. Music

School comes first. Always.

Yeah, you can love music, but if that fails (which more often than not it does) you won't have much to back yourself up unless you are rich. Push through it, find a band here and play with them. I play for my schools jazz band, and i also jam with a few other bands when i get the opportunity (quality drummers are in high demand here).

Whether you plan on being a musician for the rest of your life or not, you better have a back up.
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  #32  
Old 10-25-2011, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: School vs. Music

Another option to financially make it in todays world is to start your own service business. No student loans, no homework, no exams, you start at the top. That's what I did, best decision I ever made. Trusting your financial livelihood to some company you work for is too risky for me in todays business climate.

With a lawnmower you can start a landscaping company. These days a licensed plumber stands a better chance of making good money than degreed engineers. There are many options available for starting your own business, and the bonus is that you are the boss, and can schedule your life a lot more to your whims rather than your employers whims. Plus you don't work at the same place, day in, day out, for the rest of your working life. I think that kills you a little everyday. I can't say enough good things about becoming an employer rather than an employee. The best part is you earn, you spend, and then you are taxed. An employee earns, is then taxed on the full amount, and then spends. Huge difference, just huge. Why not take advantage of legal tax deductions? That's why corporations were started in the first place, to avoid paying taxes. All employees are paying more than their fair share of taxes. It is in my best interest to be a corporation and write off everything I possibly can before being taxed. Why more people aren't doing it is beyond me.

It's so hard to make it the traditional way. Years of school. Massive loans to pay back. No guarantees. All kinds of competition. So many walls and obstacles to hurdle. It will never be like it was in the 50's and 60's again where you could stay with a company for life and not get screwed out of your retirement. It's every man for himself from now on, that's my stance. I don't want to depend on some company to not fire me, or merge and get squeezed out. I make my own security.
I answer to my customers only, and even though they are my "boss", they usually don't act like my boss. They are just happy that a pleasant knowledgeable person showed up on time to fix their problems. I've made many friends and business contacts through my business, hell I met my wife doing electrical. If I need a day off or I have to leave early, I don't need anyone's approval. How deballing. I just don't want to be anybody's subordinate, no thanks. I don't need anyone telling me what to do because my standards are higher than most people I come across anyway.



My own son I've instilled in him the mantra to be your own man and don't depend on anybody to survive. It's too risky otherwise IMO.

Last edited by larryace; 10-25-2011 at 08:29 PM.
  #33  
Old 10-25-2011, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wsabol View Post
This is a fine line that you're playing here Mike. Yes I agree, if you work for an corporation and especially aspire to a managerial position in engineering, you hardly ever grab your calculator and crunch numbers. There are nation wide and world wide engineering standards that essentially ave all the work done for you. Volume after volume of numbers and solutions that have already been calculated and solved.. you just have to look it up... That's how run of the mill engineering works and a testament to the brain drain and fall of education in this country.
I don't think it's a fine line at all. I don't aspire to a management position and I work for a firm with less than 100 people (industrial, mechanical, & electrical engineers). You'd be hard-pressed to find any of our engineers who've balanced a chemical equation, computed a double integral, or convoluted anything since college. Do we work with those principles day in and day out? Of course, and it is important to understand where all this engineering comes from.

I'm on project teams that design everything from cogen power plants down to the M&E for K-12 schools (and a whole lot in between). I can do 3-phase power calcs and control system design all day long, but get me anywhere microchip design, radio-wave anything, digital signal processing and I'm a babe lost in the woods - despite that I studied that theory in college.

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Another option to financially make it in todays world is to start your own service business ... I can't say enough good things about becoming an employer rather than an employee ... I answer to my customers only, and even though they are my "boss", they usually don't act like my boss. They are just happy that a pleasant knowledgeable person showed up on time to fix their problems. I've made many friends and business contacts through my business, hell I met my wife doing electrical. If I need a day off or I have to leave early, I don't need anyone's approval. How deballing. I just don't want to be anybody's subordinate, no thanks. I don't need anyone telling me what to do because my standards are higher than most people I come across anyway.
You rule, Larry! This is pretty inspiring stuff. Sounds like you're in an enviable position and it must be very gratifying. Honestly, I'd find it intimidating to hop our on my own like that. That, and I kind of like what I do. Still, it must be amazing to be your own boss!
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  #34  
Old 10-25-2011, 09:00 PM
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Default Re: School vs. Music

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Another option to financially make it in todays world is to start your own service business. No student loans, no homework, no exams, you start at the top. That's what I did, best decision I ever made. Trusting your financial livelihood to some company you work for is too risky for me in todays business climate.
I love this post, Larry, this is what I have been thinking about a lot lately.

My story is similar to Mike's in some ways. I returned to school later. I got accepted to a good engineering school but was studying percussion at the same college, so after one semester I moved to a music major. My parents gave me a lot of hassles about doing music. So I entered a three year undergraduate/graduate program to become a policy analyst specialist. I figured I would have a fall back degree. I hated it, dropped out of that program. I had two philosophy classes, I could take seven more in the next year and graduate. That's how I got the most unmarketable degree, except for the fact that banks hire philosophy majors. They're honest. I ended up in banking, drumming part-time and then latter went back top school to get a master's degree in Music. It took me about six or so years since I didn't have the undergraduate degree. I figured I could teach at the junior college level; but by the time I graduated, they told me I would need a PHD to do just such. The bank I was working at was bought out, I took a buy out, I got accepted to a good graduate school for the PHD. Didn't like the academic study of music, cursed myself for leaving the bank. The banks failed, major layoffs, everyone I know at the bank was cursing themselves for staying, losing their pension in 401K's filled with bank stock. More layoffs.

When I went to grad school full time, I started teaching lessons and I'm still doing that. If I had to do it all over again, I would have gotten the BM in percussion and worked towards getting DMA or a teaching credential, a very marketable degree for teaching junior college. Nobody told me that. If we only had the internet back then.

But I've come to the realization that one way or another having a skill that will put you in business for yourself is the only way to go.
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  #35  
Old 10-25-2011, 09:01 PM
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Default Re: School vs. Music

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Another option to financially make it in todays world is to start your own service business. No student loans, no homework, no exams, you start at the top. That's what I did, best decision I ever made. Trusting your financial livelihood to some company you work for is too risky for me in todays business climate.

With a lawnmower you can start a landscaping company. These days a licensed plumber stands a better chance of making good money than degreed engineers. There are many options available for starting your own business, and the bonus is that you are the boss, and can schedule your life a lot more to your whims rather than your employers whims. Plus you don't work at the same place, day in, day out, for the rest of your working life. I think that kills you a little everyday. I can't say enough good things about becoming an employer rather than an employee. The best part is you earn, you spend, and then you are taxed. An employee earns, is then taxed on the full amount, and then spends. Huge difference, just huge. Why not take advantage of legal tax deductions? That's why corporations were started in the first place, to avoid paying taxes. All employees are paying more than their fair share of taxes. It is in my best interest to be a corporation and write off everything I possibly can before being taxed. Why more people aren't doing it is beyond me.

It's so hard to make it the traditional way. Years of school. Massive loans to pay back. No guarantees. All kinds of competition. So many walls and obstacles to hurdle. It will never be like it was in the 50's and 60's again where you could stay with a company for life and not get screwed out of your retirement. It's every man for himself from now on, that's my stance. I don't want to depend on some company to not fire me, or merge and get squeezed out. I make my own security.
I answer to my customers only, and even though they are my "boss", they usually don't act like my boss. They are just happy that a pleasant knowledgeable person showed up on time to fix their problems. I've made many friends and business contacts through my business, hell I met my wife doing electrical. If I need a day off or I have to leave early, I don't need anyone's approval. How deballing. I just don't want to be anybody's subordinate, no thanks. I don't need anyone telling me what to do because my standards are higher than most people I come across anyway.



My own son I've instilled in him the mantra to be your own man and don't depend on anybody to survive. It's too risky otherwise IMO.
Sounds gr8. I'm thinking of going down either starting up my own business route or going freelance after I've finished my degree. The only issue though is I think I'll probably have to have some work experience to gain some credibility. So I'll still probably have to be a cog in a corporate machine, but hopefully only for a while.
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  #36  
Old 10-25-2011, 09:01 PM
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I don't think it's a fine line at all. I don't aspire to a management position and I work for a firm with less than 100 people (industrial, mechanical, & electrical engineers). You'd be hard-pressed to find any of our engineers who've balanced a chemical equation, computed a double integral, or convoluted anything since college. Do we work with those principles day in and day out? Of course, and it is important to understand where all this engineering comes from.

I'm on project teams that design everything from cogen power plants down to the M&E for K-12 schools (and a whole lot in between). I can do 3-phase power calcs and control system design all day long, but get me anywhere microchip design, radio-wave anything, digital signal processing and I'm a babe lost in the woods - despite that I studied that theory in college.
So I guess it not a fine line, but you are in the nitty-griddy of the engineer and design. So you'll use the standards that are out there and theory that you remember to optimize your design, which is awesome. Project managers and people on the commercial side of things got there BS in engineering, but decided to through all that hard work away and be managers and trade power on the business end of stuff. I guess I'm just jaded in that respect. If you want to be on the commercial side of things, be in business school some engineering/business hybrid program, not my engineering class where you're slowing everyone down.

I got my BS to do real science and engineering. They got their BS in engineering to do business. I feel like that devalues my BS, because they are going to forget 80% of what they learned in school for business knowledge they pick up on the job, and then go out and flaunt their BS in engineering like they can still size a piston shaft, design a PID controller, solve differential equations, etc. Its like people with a top of the line gear that can't keep time. They are out out looking hip and cool on stage, but they need to trade in those drums for some lessons.

There are definitely exceptions. Not saying everyone/everywhere is like this.

How did this get so off topic? lol. Sorry.
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Last edited by wsabol; 10-25-2011 at 09:21 PM.
  #37  
Old 10-25-2011, 09:28 PM
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Default Re: School vs. Music

Quote:
Originally Posted by wsabol View Post
I got my BS to do real science and engineering. They got their BS in engineering to do business. I feel like that devalues my BS, because they are going to forget 80% of what they learned in school for business knowledge they pick up on the job, and then go out and flaunt their BS in engineering like they can still size a piston shaft, design a PID controller, solve differential equations, etc. Its like people with a top of the line gear that can't keep time. They are out out looking hip and cool on stage, but they need to trade in those drums for some lessons.

There are definitely exceptions. Not saying everyone/everywhere is like this.

How did this get so off topic? lol. Sorry.
Actually, I think you and I are on the same page here. I knew a lot of people in college that couldn't care any less about the topics they were studying - they were more concerned with the perceived prestige of an engineering degree only to help them get out and sell widgets! I like engineering because I think it's cool. I'm definitely not getting rich off of it. Maybe I should chuck it all for sales...(not that there's anything wrong with sales people, *cough, cough*). And I am more or less a cog in our company, but as someone wise once said, "Cemeteries are full of 'indispensable' people." Not sure how that applies here; I just like that line... Oh yeah - I'm not trying to be important; I'm just trying to buy more cymbals! erm... nevermind.
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  #38  
Old 10-25-2011, 09:43 PM
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Actually, I think you and I are on the same page here. ...(not that there's anything wrong with sales people, *cough, cough*)
I here yea. Glad we are on the same page.
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  #39  
Old 10-26-2011, 04:39 AM
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Default Re: School vs. Music

Quote:
Originally Posted by wsabol View Post

I got my BS to do real science and engineering. They got their BS in engineering to do business. I feel like that devalues my BS, because they are going to forget 80% of what they learned in school for business knowledge they pick up on the job, and then go out and flaunt their BS in engineering like they can still size a piston shaft, design a PID controller, solve differential equations, etc. Its like people with a top of the line gear that can't keep time. They are out out looking hip and cool on stage, but they need to trade in those drums for some lessons.

There are definitely exceptions. Not saying everyone/everywhere is like this.

How did this get so off topic? lol. Sorry.
I think it is good for the OP to really get a full sense of what he is dealing with. As far as your post, I didn't stay in engineering but from what I know about the field from close friends who are, if you don't keep up with your skills and get into the business or the management side, you become unhirable as an engineer after a very short time regardless of your degree simply because you didn't stay on top of the new technology.
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  #40  
Old 10-26-2011, 07:59 AM
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Default Re: School vs. Music

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Originally Posted by eddiehimself View Post
It's not about "ruining everyone's GPA" it's about making sure only people who are capable of getting a decent GPA can graduate. That's sort of how academic institutions work. If you want to be an engineer you have to be able to do this sort of stuff. It's not just about being handy with a wrench or a milling machine. In fact a lot of engineering designers don't get their hands dirty at all. It's unfortunate that a mechanical engineering degree didn't turn out to be what you wanted to do. If you want to fix up cars, plenty of garages that will be happy to give you an apprenticeship I'm sure :)
Did you read my example? I don't think so, so I'll repeat myself... In my music class, my teacher tested us. She created four different tests so people would not cheat on each other during the period of time we worked on our test. I failed my test miserably, because the definitions under the identifications section on the test were either bogus or were skimmed over quickly in class (in other words, were not emphasized...). I told her this, and so she wanted to prove a point to me that same day by making me take another version of the test. She took me to her office, and gave me another version of the test. I literally finished it within 5 minutes and got EVERY definition correct. Fifty minutes to fail an exam, five minutes to perfect it. Now, ask yourself... What about all the other people who have failed? They could have got a hundred, but did not because they got a more difficult version of the exam. Their future in college is based upon this exam. Because they failed this exam, they will ever be able to obtain an A. This test DID NOT measure their smarts. It did NOT measure their aptitude in identifying styles of music of specific ancient instruments... It only did one thing, make the class more difficult and unfair for its students. Who knows what to study in this class...? This is only ONE example of the bullshit that is nothing less than COLLEGE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wsabol View Post

Just like in drumming, the best, most creative/musical drummers got famous by trusting their technique and fundamentals and created grooves/licks/feelings that no one had yet. No one today is going to get famous by playing the book of Steve Gadd. All his stuff is priceless groove, but its all been done before. Stanton Moore is a prime example of someone who is really creative and has brought something new to the table. Yes he has influences, but he really the only young guy that has brought second line and New Orleans style playing into the modern age, and its gotten him a lot of notoriety. Likewise, the great strides that take place in science and engineering come from people who know the theory, trust their fundamentals, and refuse to rely on the standards and status quo to "do there work for them". In my opinion, if you don't have that drive to bring something truly new to the field, you don't want to be an engineer. You want to be a manager, a draftsmen, a designer, or something related.

This is obviously not the motivation, at all. Engineering is a practice. Just like drumming, you have to PRACTICE. Practice and review fundamentals and theory. Otherwise things will cave in on you your junior and senior year. Trust me I know. This stuff has to be habitual. You should just know it, you don't have the luxury to remember. That's why there is so much busy work. The professors are trying to get you just know these things and not have to recall them. It needs to be like walking, or playing a paradiddle. You can't be thinking R-L-R-R-L-R-L-L.. you have to just do it naturally.
Did you read my example? I don't think so, so I'll repeat myself AGAIN... In my music class, my teacher tested us. She created four different tests so people would not cheat on each other during the period of time we worked on our test. I failed my test miserably, because the definitions under the identifications section on the test were either bogus or were skimmed over quickly in class (in other words, were not emphasized...). I told her this, and so she wanted to prove a point to me that same day by making me take another version of the test. She took me to her office, and gave me another version of the test. I literally finished it within 5 minutes and got EVERY definition correct. Fifty minutes to fail an exam, five minutes to perfect it. Now, ask yourself... What about all the other people who have failed? They could have got a hundred, but did not because they got a more difficult version of the exam. Their future in college is based upon this exam. Because they failed this exam, they will ever be able to obtain an A. This test DID NOT measure their smarts. It did NOT measure their aptitude in identifying styles of music of specific ancient instruments... It only did one thing, make the class more difficult and unfair for its students. Who knows what to study in this class...? This is only ONE example of the bullshit that is nothing less than COLLEGE.
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