My experiences with violence in schools still echo throughout my life but standing to face the problem has helped me in immeasurable ways.
To every Pork Chop, Dog, Cabbage, and Frog. To every Marshmallow, Spaz, Foureyes, Geek, Dweeb, and Nerd. To every Gimp, Fag, Swot, and Mole. To anyone who had the audacity to be different. It Gets Better.
A little over five years ago I had a crazy notion – I was going to study psychology part time. After several months of feeling completely burned out at work without any idea why I got into computers in the first place it was time to look for something more interesting to do. Thankfully the burnout left along with the job but I kept the idea.
I was told I was crazy, told I’d never see it through, told that The Open University is actually just a society of house-bound, stressed-out recluses who can’t deal with the real world. In reality, it was hard work, but the OU has over forty years of experience in making higher and further education available and accessible to those who can’t afford traditional university (pretty much everyone now thanks to the Thatcher Con-Dem government).
All degrees are taught using a modular system, where each course counts for a number of experience points and when you gain enough you get to level up you’re awarded a degree. Imagining I was playing a very painful and boring Role Playing Game was enough to struggle through and be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology for Christmas.
So that it, right? School’s out, no more teachers? Turns out all a Diploma means is that you can read a textbook and join the BPS, so I’ve signed up for an MSc this April. The race is on the see if I can get a PhD before I reach retirement age.
You Are Not so Smart is a blog about the many ways we delude ourselves based on psychological and economic research. In a similar manner to the Freakonomics Blog it takes pot-shots at the conventional wisdom such as wine snobbery, the usefulness of meetings, and caffeine buzzes.
The Misconception: You know why you like the things you like and feel the way you feel.
The Truth: The origin of certain emotional states is unavailable to you, and when pressed to explain them, you will just make something up.
This is the time of the year when the excitement of a new set of books and a new course with the OU fades with the onset of the first Tutor Marked Assignment.
For the past couple of years, I’ve been leaving these to the last minute, which has ended up with me writing all night before it needs to be in and trying to buy time travel delivery from the local Post Office.
This year, however, I’m trying to be grown up so I’ve decided to get cracking a week and a half early. I’ve used Mind Maps before when taking notes so tried this
open source application. I’ve managed to create my entire outline in the time it’s taken the boss to have a bath. Maybe I won’t be sneaking envelopes through my tutor’s door this year.
In a Grumpy Old Man moment, I previously remarked the young people today seem to have too much self-esteem which leads to an inflated sense of entitlement and general rudeness. While I had nothing to back up my opinion it turns out that my rant was at least close to the truth.
An extensive study of 16,475 college students from the United States has revealed narcissism has risen steadily among that population since 1982 due to the last couple of decades’ obsession with promoting self-esteem.
Is it my turn to call for national service to be reintroduced?
The study is due to be published in April and, of course, the author has a blog. Ironically the blog is hosted on Livejournal – home of the narcissistic, illiterate, and rude youth she highlights.
Having attempted a piece of minor madness, I’ve got my first year’s results back. I was hoping for a bare pass in the exam just so I could have a couple of month without worring about a resit, instead I got 60%.
One year down, another five to go.
I must be mad. They’re sending out an application form and I’m going to do it. Expect fewer stories of carnage and more of head shrinkage.
So, tell me about your mother.