Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Welcome to the Twilight Zone

Things have been going awry here in the space/time continuum. For one, October was a lot shorter than a month. I feel like I went to bed one night and woke up and it was Halloween - and I don't even sleep that much! Not only that, but the physical area of this town has been slowly stretching. It now takes me 1.5x the amount of time to get to the USB as it did at the beginning of the year. If I didn't have to walk there so ridiculously much it wouldn't be such a big deal... *grumblegrumblegrumble*

So, apparently, what I've heard is, where I go to school, well, it's kind of a big deal. In the top twenty five in the nation or something. So how is it that Monday night I can collapse exhausted on my bed, get a power nap at midnight, drag myself up again at 1:30 to wrangle together a response essay for a lit class on John Milton's freakin Paradise Lost, and get a response back from my professor the next day that it was an "excellent response" and that it's good enough for me to consider turning into my term paper.

Shouldn't people be expecting more of me than this??

Why Our Brilliant B-School is the Fault of High School English Classes Everywhere

I knew this trend existed, I did, but I feel like I've seen it manifested a little bit more recently. People picking majors based on what careers will get them the six figures, figuring out specialties based not on what they enjoy but on which has the slightly bigger paycheck. Really? Really, people?

Don't your high school English teachers make you read Death of a Salesman?

My esteemed friend H. D. Martin said once that she wants to write for the "middle class crap." And if you're carefully watching, you can see exactly what she means. Most of your friends are probably missing out on their lives, and they don't even know it. Art is one of those things that tries to wake people up, point out questions and problems, study dilemmas, not often give answers but at least gets you thinking. The thing is, I'm not sure many people have spent time thinking about their lives in relation to their careers. And just why is it so important to be making the most amount of money in your field as possible. Everybody's chasing the American Dream now but maybe someone's forgotten to get some real sleep on it.

I am not a huge fan of Death of a Salesman. I find it long and tedious. It really hits you over the head. Which is why high school counselors should make everyone of their students read it as part of the college application process. And then write a two page response paper about it.

I've been ruminating on this because I had an idea for a screenplay about a young man who has the commendable middle class lifestyle but goes through several life changes about how that's not enough (cheesy in one sentence like that, yes, and without half the plot). It's a "coming of age" story in a different sense, in a sense when someone realizes that their B-school diploma is just a plaque on the wall. As I was thinking about this, realizing that it has so many themes of the tedious Death of a Salesman, I had to wonder if we needed another, reinvented Death.

The sad thing? I think we do. Maybe the B-school does need another prerequisite course in their major: "Your Career and how Art has deconstructed the myth that it will lead you to Happiness." A cumbersome course title? Maybe. But appropriate? I think so.

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