January 22, 2007

knowledge vs college

i have recently (within the last year or so) come to appreciate magazines. newspapers, though handy for their sense of urgency and directness, can typically be poorly written and uninteresting due to the fact that they are produced daily. books, though thorough, just eat up so much time and can occasionally become rather monotonous. magazines, i have found combines the best of both media: they're to the point, yet since their turnover time between issues is usually multiple weeks, they are typically very well written.

i'm a current subscriber to Relevant magazine and Sports Illustrated (really i just get SI so i can read Rick Reilly and look at the pictures; i get all the sports coverage i need from espn.com usually). anyway. they keep me occupied enough for now. eventually i plan to get Newsweek and some sort of music magazine, i haven't decided which one i want to get - maybe Rolling Stone.

magazines (along with a great deal of books) are where i've gotten a great deal of my knowledge from in the last handful of months. i'm learning a lot about the world, as well as about my life. along with personal experience and through conversations with friends and family, i've probably gained the most knowledge as of late from magazines.

however, i'm sorry to say, since i've gotten back to school and into more difficult and time consuming courses, my magazine time has diminished greatly. which is unfortunate, because i'm at school to learn, yet in reality it seems to be hindering my ability to do so. sure i'm finding out a bunch about philosophy and religion and anthropolgy and such, but as far as personal growth goes, i feel like i'm floundering. maybe it has just been a dry first few weeks (which i doubt), but i honestly feel like i learn less when school is in session than i do on my own. i'm currently in the middle of four books right now for my classes, however, i just spent the last hour thumbing through Relevant and i picked up more thoughts and ideas to wrestle with than i have in all of my books thus far.

i guess the main difference is the fact that when i'm looking through magazines or picking out books to read i'm doing so because it is something that i want to wrestle with and because it is something i want to figure out. gaining knowledge about The Faiths of the Founding Fathers, while interesting, isn't anything i'm anxious to add to my life.
heartbreak hotel.

anyways. i guess sometimes i wonder why i'm in school at all. knowledge? no. i just want a piece of paper.
sigh. what a lame direction.

-ap.

2 comments:

Christian said...

don't get newsweek. just read bbc.com

josh said...

i think it's all perspective. if you see the destination of these four plus years of college as nothing more than a piece of paper, you've made a huge financial mistake. i WILL get a piece of paper when i graduate, but i'll carry with me an enormous amount of experience and knowledge that i've accumulated over the years. college IS 95% what we put into it. but i can see people seeing it as just getting a piece of paper b/c the collegiate arena is not the ideal learning atmosphere for everyone.

yeah i like magazines: relevant, the economist, GQ, and us news and world report. i have tendency to love and hate pop culture. i've found i hate it when it pulls people from worthwhile thinking and love it when we can look at pop culture in a way that we see what it says about who we are.