In Nothing We Trust

The more I stay in school, the less trust I place in this institution. When I was growing up I always believed that college was a place where brilliance flourished and was recognized, that being more innovative, thoughtful and passionate would be rewarded.

Having been in and out of college for the past five years or so, I have gone through more than my fair share of academic achievements and pitfalls. Observing people in my classes, my instructors and the policies of the institution itself, I can’t help but feel scammed.

College is all about being tactful to be honest with you. How to pull in resources and get your work done. It doesn’t matter if you have to betray your own friends, cheat on your loved ones or lie to your instructors. Nobody cares. It is probably the most ethically lacking environment I have experienced. You will make friends, but years later you will find out they haven’t liked you for a very long time, and will go to great lengths to sabotage your academic success.

I have a friend who jokes about me all the time. He says all I need in life is a whiteboard, because I was so passionate for what I did, I couldn’t help but grab a marker and teach my friends everything I knew. They started joking about it, and with the progression of time, they even started discouraging it. “Reema, don’t teach me, just answer my question.” Alright well, fuck off.

Nobody wants to learn in college. People want answers. Nobody questions WHY. In a class of seventy, I am the only person who ever shamelessly asks questions during lecture. What can I say, I don’t go to class to play with my iPhone. Instructors, especially in Aero, can be very aggressive towards questions. Often times they see you as some geek who is so full of herself she is trying to find faults in the lecture. Instructors don’t prepare to answer questions in class. They’ve never had to for years. Why would they. Nobody asks them.

All this is very troubling to me at times. There are people who knew nothing about aerodynamics and they have Bs in the class. Thats a sufficient grade in my college, maybe even a good one, considering our average graduation GPA is a meager 2.5.

As much as I love what I do, there are days I wish science was not an institution. I wish science was like what it was for Galileo, with a few tools and a vast amount of space and time to discover. The people of those times were true geniuses. They had freedom of thought, and they could do whatever their heart desired, and think of any possibilities. Me? Ha! I am not a scientist. None of my peers are either. We are just institutionalized.

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