Author Topic: On Who I Am & What The Hell I'm Doing On Your Lawn!  (Read 7532 times)

axod

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Re: On Who I Am & What The Hell I'm Doing On Your Lawn!
« Reply #45 on: February 22, 2015, 05:08:09 am »
You can't do that in the UK unfortunately. (Are you UK, Joe? For some reason I got it in my head you are...)

ETA: Or I could reread the OP and not be a dork. I blame sleep deprivation. Yes! Nigel's advice sounds very sound to me.  :oops:

You guys don't have any flexibility the first two years? That's only the second thing I've ever heard about the UK college system that isn't superior to the US college system.

Here, the undergraduate electives are such that you can take a fairly wide variety of classes before choosing a major.

The British system pushes specialization starting in high-school.  First two years you got 4 out of eight classes being elective 'GCSE's'.  The last two years are "A-levels", typically divided into six classes, three higher level and three lower.  All of them are ellective however only the top-three higher-level courses really matter; the lower level classes being considered remedial- to give the impression of a round curriculum.  In order to be competitive, students need their three higher A-levels to complement what they intend to study at uni, essentially having to decide your entire future at 16 years of age.
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Re: On Who I Am & What The Hell I'm Doing On Your Lawn!
« Reply #46 on: February 22, 2015, 05:31:40 am »
You can't do that in the UK unfortunately. (Are you UK, Joe? For some reason I got it in my head you are...)

ETA: Or I could reread the OP and not be a dork. I blame sleep deprivation. Yes! Nigel's advice sounds very sound to me.  :oops:

You guys don't have any flexibility the first two years? That's only the second thing I've ever heard about the UK college system that isn't superior to the US college system.

Here, the undergraduate electives are such that you can take a fairly wide variety of classes before choosing a major.

The British system pushes specialization starting in high-school.  First two years you got 4 out of eight classes being elective 'GCSE's'.  The last two years are "A-levels", typically divided into six classes, three higher level and three lower.  All of them are ellective however only the top-three higher-level courses really matter; the lower level classes being considered remedial- to give the impression of a round curriculum.  In order to be competitive, students need their three higher A-levels to complement what they intend to study at uni, essentially having to decide your entire future at 16 years of age.

That's horrible.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: On Who I Am & What The Hell I'm Doing On Your Lawn!
« Reply #47 on: February 22, 2015, 06:52:20 am »
Nope. You can take a few things directly related to your primary subject in the first year, but you can't take a lot of them and you might not be able to switch over if you decide that's what you want to focus on instead.

I did intro to media studies and intro to sociology in my first year but if I'd decided I wanted to focus on them instead of political science in the second/third I'd have needed to make my case to the university. A friend of mine went in to study Oriental Culture and wanted to swap over to a pure Japanese language degree after the first year - he was denied because... well, I'm not sure they actually gave him a reason.
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Re: On Who I Am & What The Hell I'm Doing On Your Lawn!
« Reply #48 on: February 22, 2015, 03:10:52 pm »
Here, because AMERICA!, your freedom is essentially restricted only by your ability to pay for school and how long you want to be in it. Which is, granted, horrifyingly prohibitive in itself for a great many people, and is also why when people are like "you should really take X or Y elective because enrichment" I'm like LOL.

But within those restrictions, at least here in Oregon (it varies from state to state), the core degree requirements have a broad enough scope that every student not only can but is required to take a broad variety in classes in the first two years, and it kind of doesn't make that much difference what they settle on for a major until the third year. It really helps to know by the second year so you can be taking foundational classes, but if you change at the beginning of the third year it's not that big of a deal. And you can still switch in your fourth year but at that point it might take you longer to graduate, depending what you switch to. Totally up to the student though. You might run out of financial aid assistance (technically my scholarship funders don't extend the scholarship to cover double majors, but I have good reason to think they will in my case) but the school isn't going to stop you.

In my first two years, I took sociology, anthropology, math, psychology, art, philosophy, writing, health, biology, chemistry, and geology classes. All of them applied to my core degree requirements, and it was a broad enough taste of available options to help me settle on a major I really love. Although the financial support system for students here in the States SUCKS DONKEY BALLS, the system itself provides a very diverse foundational breadth of knowledge that avoids streamlining students onto tracks and allows them to seek their own strengths and interests.



“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: On Who I Am & What The Hell I'm Doing On Your Lawn!
« Reply #49 on: February 22, 2015, 03:12:11 pm »
Oh plus at my University you can design your own major, if none of the available majors really appeal to you. You just have to design a curriculum, present it to the University, and successfully defend it.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: On Who I Am & What The Hell I'm Doing On Your Lawn!
« Reply #50 on: February 22, 2015, 06:10:02 pm »
Guess I just need to get my foot in the door and see where it leads me. Pretty much going to have to start at the bottom no matter what I want to ultimately do.

As a side note just for the lulz I'd love to major in some nonsense like 'Eldrich Humanities' and defend it before a panel.

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Re: On Who I Am & What The Hell I'm Doing On Your Lawn!
« Reply #51 on: February 22, 2015, 06:18:57 pm »
That sounds fantastic, and is probably far more sensible than our system. There's limited flexibility, but you essentially have a list of approved modules you can pick from, and it can become a real hassle - as my poor friend discovered - £9000 of debt already accrued and then he had to stick with a degree programme some of his professors knew he didn't want to do. He actually wound up dropping out of that university entirely and picking up again at a different one two years later, IIRC.

Admittedly, our financial support is awesome, even with the scarily large numbers attached (although I think they're also smaller than American numbers anyway?). My debt has risen to £30,000 and interest is rising faster than the payments but... as it is taken automatically from my pay and will eventually run itself out with no penalty for not having paid it off, I don't feel it is a real pressure.
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Re: On Who I Am & What The Hell I'm Doing On Your Lawn!
« Reply #52 on: February 22, 2015, 07:23:28 pm »
Wow, yeah, that sounds terrible on every front except financially. I mean, what if, like happened with my friend, someone thinks they want to be an art major until  they take a chemistry class, and find out they love it? Now she's a PhD malaria vaccine researcher. It seems like it would have been a real loss for everyone if she'd been forced to stay in art.

On the other hand, an undergraduate degree costs about $100k.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


The Wizard Joseph

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Re: On Who I Am & What The Hell I'm Doing On Your Lawn!
« Reply #53 on: February 22, 2015, 07:28:41 pm »
I think that's the part I least like about the idea of going back to school. I don't want to accept placing myself in debt. It feels like asking for help that I don't actually need in order to learn.

Good news is I recognize that I DO need help to learn and that being a prideful jackass will only get one just so far in life. 
You can't get out backward.  You have to go forward to go back.. better press on! - Willie Wonka, PBUH

Life can be seen as a game with no reset button, no extra lives, and if the power goes out there is no restarting.  If that's all you see life as you are not long for this world, and never will get it.

"Ayn Rand never swung a hammer in her life and had serious dominance issues" - The Fountainhead

"World domination is such an ugly phrase. I prefer to call it world optimisation."
 - Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality :lulz:

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Re: On Who I Am & What The Hell I'm Doing On Your Lawn!
« Reply #54 on: February 22, 2015, 07:43:25 pm »
I think that's the part I least like about the idea of going back to school. I don't want to accept placing myself in debt. It feels like asking for help that I don't actually need in order to learn.

Good news is I recognize that I DO need help to learn and that being a prideful jackass will only get one just so far in life.

My one biggest tip is APPLY FOR EVERYTHING. Get really good at cranking out essays and apply for every scholarship, every internship, every inclusion program you can find. I have talked to so many people who are shy about applying for scholarships/programs because they think they should be spending that time studying. Don't. Make time for it. And volunteer for shit. Getting into one program makes it more likely that you'll get into others, so just keep at it. ALL that shit looks good on your CV and makes it more likely that you'll get into grad school later on, or get a good job, or whatever it is you want to do.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


The Wizard Joseph

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Re: On Who I Am & What The Hell I'm Doing On Your Lawn!
« Reply #55 on: February 22, 2015, 07:58:37 pm »
I think that's the part I least like about the idea of going back to school. I don't want to accept placing myself in debt. It feels like asking for help that I don't actually need in order to learn.

Good news is I recognize that I DO need help to learn and that being a prideful jackass will only get one just so far in life.

My one biggest tip is APPLY FOR EVERYTHING. Get really good at cranking out essays and apply for every scholarship, every internship, every inclusion program you can find. I have talked to so many people who are shy about applying for scholarships/programs because they think they should be spending that time studying. Don't. Make time for it. And volunteer for shit. Getting into one program makes it more likely that you'll get into others, so just keep at it. ALL that shit looks good on your CV and makes it more likely that you'll get into grad school later on, or get a good job, or whatever it is you want to do.

Like really digging into the system huh? That sounds like the hardest thing to do ever, so I'm game! Should start cultivating some contacts in the school systems here and see what directions my friends may be able to point me in.

I've spent the last three years just getting dug into LaCrosse and focusing on my work and social life. I want a higher education for it's intrinsic value as a buff to my competency, but also must pay in lifestyle changes as much as any financial concerns.
You can't get out backward.  You have to go forward to go back.. better press on! - Willie Wonka, PBUH

Life can be seen as a game with no reset button, no extra lives, and if the power goes out there is no restarting.  If that's all you see life as you are not long for this world, and never will get it.

"Ayn Rand never swung a hammer in her life and had serious dominance issues" - The Fountainhead

"World domination is such an ugly phrase. I prefer to call it world optimisation."
 - Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality :lulz:

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Re: On Who I Am & What The Hell I'm Doing On Your Lawn!
« Reply #56 on: February 22, 2015, 08:15:19 pm »
I think that's the part I least like about the idea of going back to school. I don't want to accept placing myself in debt. It feels like asking for help that I don't actually need in order to learn.

Good news is I recognize that I DO need help to learn and that being a prideful jackass will only get one just so far in life.

My one biggest tip is APPLY FOR EVERYTHING. Get really good at cranking out essays and apply for every scholarship, every internship, every inclusion program you can find. I have talked to so many people who are shy about applying for scholarships/programs because they think they should be spending that time studying. Don't. Make time for it. And volunteer for shit. Getting into one program makes it more likely that you'll get into others, so just keep at it. ALL that shit looks good on your CV and makes it more likely that you'll get into grad school later on, or get a good job, or whatever it is you want to do.

Like really digging into the system huh? That sounds like the hardest thing to do ever, so I'm game! Should start cultivating some contacts in the school systems here and see what directions my friends may be able to point me in.

I've spent the last three years just getting dug into LaCrosse and focusing on my work and social life. I want a higher education for it's intrinsic value as a buff to my competency, but also must pay in lifestyle changes as much as any financial concerns.

Yep.

The people I know who couldn't get jobs after graduation are the people who just went through school taking classes, and didn't engage in extracurriculars, internships, volunteering, networking, etc.

Plus, say you apply for some little program where you work on a jobsite part time over the summer. Other programs will see that as proof that you are motivated and engaged, and are more likely to offer you funding/other opportunities. For me, a small summer internship program that didn't even place me in my field of study has led to being sent to conferences, a full-ride scholarship, acceptance to the University Honors College, two weeks in Borneo, two weeks in Peru, (all of which someone else is paying for) and a volunteer spot in a neuroimaging lab that probably won't be volunteer for long because I now have two different lines on grants to fund me.

A lot of people I know were like "nah I don't have time for that" when I tried to talk them into doing that rinkydink little community college internship program. The people I did it with, though... it opened doors for all of us, bigtime. Being in the right place at the right time to hear about it was luck, but actually pursuing it is the part that makes future financial supporters go "hey, this one has initiative, let's fund her".
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


The Wizard Joseph

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Re: On Who I Am & What The Hell I'm Doing On Your Lawn!
« Reply #57 on: February 22, 2015, 08:51:50 pm »
I think that's the part I least like about the idea of going back to school. I don't want to accept placing myself in debt. It feels like asking for help that I don't actually need in order to learn.

Good news is I recognize that I DO need help to learn and that being a prideful jackass will only get one just so far in life.

My one biggest tip is APPLY FOR EVERYTHING. Get really good at cranking out essays and apply for every scholarship, every internship, every inclusion program you can find. I have talked to so many people who are shy about applying for scholarships/programs because they think they should be spending that time studying. Don't. Make time for it. And volunteer for shit. Getting into one program makes it more likely that you'll get into others, so just keep at it. ALL that shit looks good on your CV and makes it more likely that you'll get into grad school later on, or get a good job, or whatever it is you want to do.

Like really digging into the system huh? That sounds like the hardest thing to do ever, so I'm game! Should start cultivating some contacts in the school systems here and see what directions my friends may be able to point me in.

I've spent the last three years just getting dug into LaCrosse and focusing on my work and social life. I want a higher education for it's intrinsic value as a buff to my competency, but also must pay in lifestyle changes as much as any financial concerns.

Yep.

The people I know who couldn't get jobs after graduation are the people who just went through school taking classes, and didn't engage in extracurriculars, internships, volunteering, networking, etc.

Plus, say you apply for some little program where you work on a jobsite part time over the summer. Other programs will see that as proof that you are motivated and engaged, and are more likely to offer you funding/other opportunities. For me, a small summer internship program that didn't even place me in my field of study has led to being sent to conferences, a full-ride scholarship, acceptance to the University Honors College, two weeks in Borneo, two weeks in Peru, (all of which someone else is paying for) and a volunteer spot in a neuroimaging lab that probably won't be volunteer for long because I now have two different lines on grants to fund me.

A lot of people I know were like "nah I don't have time for that" when I tried to talk them into doing that rinkydink little community college internship program. The people I did it with, though... it opened doors for all of us, bigtime. Being in the right place at the right time to hear about it was luck, but actually pursuing it is the part that makes future financial supporters go "hey, this one has initiative, let's fund her".

This is all great to hear and I'm very glad fortune has brought you such excellent things!  To me the concept of fortune differs from luck in that any old fool can get lucky here and there, but fortune is the compound effect of opportunity and one's character. When I wish someone good fortune I am essentially saying "I hope circumstances favor you" & "Do the best you're able" and prefer it greatly as a blessing over good old 'luck'.

Hearing that was encouraging Nigel. I really don't know what's behind all the doors I haven't opened yet.  :)
You can't get out backward.  You have to go forward to go back.. better press on! - Willie Wonka, PBUH

Life can be seen as a game with no reset button, no extra lives, and if the power goes out there is no restarting.  If that's all you see life as you are not long for this world, and never will get it.

"Ayn Rand never swung a hammer in her life and had serious dominance issues" - The Fountainhead

"World domination is such an ugly phrase. I prefer to call it world optimisation."
 - Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality :lulz:

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Re: On Who I Am & What The Hell I'm Doing On Your Lawn!
« Reply #58 on: February 22, 2015, 09:33:03 pm »
Hey Wizard Joe: cursory googling implies that your sig is the only instance of that Ayn Rand comment out there. Is it yours and may I steal?
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The Wizard Joseph

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Re: On Who I Am & What The Hell I'm Doing On Your Lawn!
« Reply #59 on: February 23, 2015, 01:07:12 pm »
The one in my sig? Sure! Just made that one up to try and encapsulate the essence I got from the book in one sentence. If you have a use for it go ahead and thanks for asking.
You can't get out backward.  You have to go forward to go back.. better press on! - Willie Wonka, PBUH

Life can be seen as a game with no reset button, no extra lives, and if the power goes out there is no restarting.  If that's all you see life as you are not long for this world, and never will get it.

"Ayn Rand never swung a hammer in her life and had serious dominance issues" - The Fountainhead

"World domination is such an ugly phrase. I prefer to call it world optimisation."
 - Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality :lulz: