Friday, May 12, 2006

A Rant. By Tom Kruger

Well, about half way through the semester that just ended I drafted a blog about how much trouble I was having with school this semester. That particular blog never made it to be published because I was having too much trouble staying up in my classes. Now I'm here at the end of the semester and I can take a breath for a minute. Actually, lets be honest, now I spend my time working instead of studying. Anyway, back to the subject--historically bad semesters. This was one. My A- ego was shattered this semester by a jarring 2.8 gpa. I had not even considered this as a possibility. Before I go on, I have to admit that I still have one grade to get back, but It's not looking very good.

There is a silver lining. I passed math class. By math I mean Partial Differential Equations. The University of Utah teaches this class terribly--yes you, Professor Folias. They also use a book by Nakhle Asmar that is terrible. (I hope you see this someday Nakhle.) Anyway, so I passed. I don't have to take it over.

Now I'd like to discuss some of the other issues that this poor semester brings up. Namely, grad school and self-concept.

First, the easy one, grad school. If I am to go to grad school in mechanical engineering at the university of utah, then it must be as a part of the fast track program which allows me to take masters level courses in my senior year thereby completing the masters in a short period. This program requires a 3.5 GPA. After this semester mine has fallen to 3.3. Also an historic low. It is true that they may still accept me. Graduate schools set their requirements high to help control the number of applicants, but still allow people in who don't strictly meet the requirements. You may be wondering why I must have this program if I am to get a masters. The answer is 7. 7 years. 7 years I have been working on a bachelor's degree in engineering. Jumping through the hoops of higher education. All the while wrangling the sedition that is in my genes so that I may obtain that precious paper that says I'm an engineer. What it really says is how good I am at school. I don't know if grad school is where I'm going to be.

Now for self-concept. Tread lightly hence. Don't say I didn't warn you.
There is a little piece of me that wants to be the best. At what, you may ask. Everything. Should I attempt a thing, any thing, (I know there's a space there, it's supposed to be there) then it's only fitting that I do all I can to do it perfect. Now of course, I can't do it perfect. I'm human, but the desire remains. Last semester I almost got there. Don't think for a second that I almost perfectly knew everything that was being taught, but somehow I got excellent grades. I even got nominated to Tau Beta Pi, and if you follow my blog you know something about what that was for me. It gave me a taste of being 'elite'. (I warned you. It's going to sound very concieted at times.) I wanted to be the best. I'm not. I'm very good at it. I'm very good at lots of things, but I don't feel like I'm the master of any. Throughout my life I've had tastes of being elite. I was on a championship football team until we lost in the fourth quarter. (not that I had much to do with it one way or the other.) This feels like the same thing. Something that was almost great. Defeat from the jaws of victory snatched. I realize that school is not over. I have many successes ahead of me both in school and professional life, but I don't know what the future will hold.

One more rant before I close. I just found out that I didn't get any scholarship money for next year. I am astounded. I have been busting my ass for 5 years in school without a single award to show for it. I emailed the undergraduate advisor asking when the notifications were going to be and she said they had gone out more than two weeks ago and that due to funding issues there were few awards.

I always tell teenagers that I come to know well that no matter what the administrators at school are telling them, what you are at the end of high school is not what you will be for the rest of your life. The same applies to college and me.


Post a Comment

<< Home