We've all had the class. The "show up and get an A class." The "open book exam" class. The "everything is worth participation points" class.
For some of us, this is our ideal class. The "kick-up our feet and relax" class. The "easy credit" class. We welcome it. Embrace it. Smile at its existence in our schedules. It's our reprieve from organic chemistry and civil litigation. Our academic savior. Our "Look mom, I have an A in a class" class.
But for others, it's our "why am I spending $1500 on this class?" class. Our "when am I ever going to learn anything?" class. It's the reprieve we don't want. The relaxation we don't crave.
Instead, we crave challenge. We crave the exhilaration of learning something new. We crave the exultation of receiving an A on an exam we spent the previous week studying for. A real A -- bred from dedication and tenacity. An A that wasn't handed to us the second we paid our tuitions. An A we had to work our asses for.
This theology that many college professors abide by -- the one that guarantees three college credits to every student who registers for their class -- is impermissible in the real world. It's a theology that is bred in college classrooms and decimated outside, in the real world. CEO's and managers won't give you an A for simply showing up. You'll have to work for it, just as you should work for every one of your college credits.
If the ultimate goal of colleges is too manufacture capable adults who will thrive in the real world, this kind of teaching renders that goal fruitless and obsolete.
For many, college has become less about learning and growing, and more about receiving a diploma. Your desire should be attaining that coveted diploma, but the yearning to learn should also be present. Without the will to learn, or the capacity to earn it, that diploma is merely an insignificant document that carries little merit.
College institutions should push their students to excel -- force them to work for every credit they obtain, thereby facilitating the work ethic that will inevitably propel their graduates forward once the cap and gowns come off. Professor's should only dole out A's to those who have rightfully earned them -- not to those who merely showed up every other Monday.
But students should will themselves to learn as well, to open themselves to the process wholly and take more from their four years than just a diploma.
In college, we are given such a glorious opportunity -- one we may never encounter again in such prodigious capacity. We are given the opportunity to grow and prosper as intellectual beings. Vast amounts of information, on anything imaginable, is readily available to us (albeit, at a steep price). It's all there; we just have to be willing to absorb it, willing to work for its acquisition.
We're given all the information in the world, but it's worthless if we don't try to grasp it ourselves. Knowledge is power, and it isn't given freely.
Expect more than a "show up and get an A" class. Desire more.
After all, you're not paying $20,000 a year to attain half an education.