The meaning of life

“The meaning of life is to give life meaning.”  This is a quote (of which I do not know the origin), is one that think says more about life than any I have ever heard.  As humans, we always strive to discover why we are here.  People spend lifetimes trying to discover the meaning of our existence but in all actuality it is one question that we are never supposed to know the answer to.  You can search all you want but we will never know until we pass into the next life (or whatever happens after we die), so why waste our time.  Give your life meaning, make a difference, create your own meaning to your life but don’t waste your time trying to find an answer that doesn’t existence because you won’t find it.  Another one of my favorites (that I again have no idea who originally said it) is “Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die tomorrow.”  This is another quote that puts our life in a perspective that we should all strive to live by.  You never know when you’re going to die, maybe not for another 100 years maybe tomorrow, either way we’re only here for a short while so why waste your time doing something that you don’t want to do.  In my opinion this is how everyone should live life, and while we may make the wrong decision at times, learn from it and move on, don’t dwell on it and waste your time here in misery looking for an idea that never exists.   

Here’s the part where I relate this to education.  If you didn’t notice on Monday my description of my genre paper was not the most confident and descriptive one, in fact, I’ll be the first one to say it, it probably sounded like I had a half thought out idea that I really had no stake in.  That is not because I procrastinated and threw some half thought out idea together at the last minute, in fact I actually spent the whole weekend working on it in an attempt to come up with an idea that I felt confident enough to turn in and attribute to my work ethic and the rubric criteria.  I went through probably five different ideas of what I wanted to do, but sense we have very little structure to these genre papers I kept second guessing my ideas.  First I hand the idea to make a video, of which I was going to depict different styles of teaching and how they affect the students but I felt like the comedic side of me would have made seem more like a hysterical Youtube video other than something that could be considered even remotely academic so I scrapped that idea.  Next I went to a board game that would depict a typical semester for a teacher and all the hardships they encounter but again it wasn’t an idea that I felt confident enough about the way I depicted this so again I went back to the drawing board.  Next I went through various ways to show the difference between the different types of schooling, I went through multiple genres and finally settled on making brochures advertising local area (St. Louis because I know them the best) high schools to show the difference between the ways that parents can have their children educated.  I finally think I struck gold with this idea but it’s neither here nor there.

This blog post is about why I was so indecisive in the first place about my idea.  As the quote says “the meaning of life is to give life meaning,” do what you enjoy and disregard what doesn’t seem appealing to you, pretty self-explanatory.  Most class structures do not follow this idea, they give you a specific set of topics of things to do and you have to follow the criteria to earn a decent grade.  Take one step out of the line and you get marked down.  Most assigned projects and papers follow a standard and give students very little wiggle room for what they can do about them.  Not only are they incredibly boring to write but students learn very little from them because they have no interest in what they are writing about.  This is why our genre papers and blog posts are so enjoyable because they have very little structure.  We have general criteria (education) but other than that we can talk about almost anything we want.  This is what I see as the biggest flaw of the education system when I went through it.  Every single class I have ever taken before 301D has said this is what you have to write, this is how you write it, and if you don’t like it then too bad.  I have become so accustomed to this type of structure (and I think you all can agree) that when I was told in this class to communicate whatever in whatever way I want as long as it has something to do with education, I felt lost.  I feel like this system needs to be implemented sooner in grade school.  Definitely not in the early years, but encouraging students to voice their opinions in whatever manner they want will prepare them better for what comes after college.  I mean, how many times after graduation will you have to write an analysis paper about the symbolism in Shakespeare.  Never, that’s what I thought.  It confuses students like me who get into less structured situations like this, and we have trouble deciding what to do.  Anyways I’m going to go cry about the fact that the Cardinals didn’t make it to the World Series this year so let me know what you think. #12in13

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