Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Pack up & get out: school's out

Here's how my schoolday mornings usually go. I'm jolted awake at 7:30 AM sharp by that haunting flat tone of my radio alarm, and as it gets progressively louder and more insistent I have no choice but to crawl out of bed and wander over to my desk to shut it off (can't have it by my bedside where I could just swat it to the ground with one irritated hand gesture, can I?). This assures that I'm at least awake enough to mobilize my legs without ending up looking like a misshapen pretzel.

As I sit on my bed, slowly waiting for the cobwebs of sleep and drowsiness to start to wear off, the phone rings: it's my mother, calling to confirm she's to come and pick me up about 40 minutes later to drive me to my bus stop. I tell her to come, we hang up, I keep sitting on my bed looking like a not-entirely-dead zombie who'd been summoned from the grave by some sort of demonic curse. (I don't do sleepless mornings very well.)

I finally get out of bed, take a detour at the bathroom, then start to get dressed, taking utmost care to make sure I don't try to fit my socks over my head. 'Cause you never know. Then, I turn on my computer monitors and check my eMails, scroll my news ticker headlines for anything worth reading about (usually not), and then start blogging on the morning pile of stories that may or may not interest me.

Finally, as time ticks by, 8:10 AM arrives and it's roughly now that Mom comes in the apartment door; we exchange greetings, she tries (unsuccessfully) to get my brother Jimmy out of bed (yet he's either stoned, drunk or hung-over so her chances are slim at best of even getting a reaction, much less a "hello"), and then we talk for a few minutes – perhaps I show her a song or two of mine, or we talk about my girlfriend – until 8:20 AM, when we have to leave. I make sure I have my bus pass, apartment door keys, and enough wakefulness to ensure I don't break half my bones in the narrow apartment building stairwell on the way out.

We drive a mile or two down the road (dunno exactly how far; usually takes me about an hour clean-cut to walk it at a regular pace) until we arrive at my bus stop. There, we talk a little more, until finally the prison bus – um, city bus – arrives and I have to run to make sure the eternally-retarded driver (whoever it is, as they seem to be randomized) doesn't miss the sole person waiting at the bus stop. It's happened. Idiots.

And so I take the bus to school, and that's how my morning usually begins. Now, let me tell you how this morning began (which is the point of this entry).

I had gone to sleep at 1 AM specifically to make sure I had a little more sleep than usual, as I was tired of waking up wishing I had a spare revolver lying about I could get friendly with (I usually turn in at about 2-3 AM, even on schoolnights). Instead, even though I fell asleep relatively quickly (ie. in less than half an hour), I still found myself feeling ... like I could really use a spare revolver lying about and get friendly with it. Sigh.

Anyway; I shut my alarm off, sat on my bed for a few minutes, seeing (or rather sensing) sleep try its damnedest to claim me back to its wonderfully soft and warm depths, until the phone rang by my bedside. Mom called to ask if I was still going, I told her (none too happily) that I suppose I was. We then started talking about this and that, though mostly about a discussion I'd had with her the previous night when she'd called at 10 PM on her way to work. She reminded me that I really needed to talk to my father (ie. the man who really couldn't give less of a shit about whatever little woes ail me) about getting me a music teacher and schooling (nevermind that he'd already had SIX FUCKING MONTHS to call and never bothered to, despite my insisting and harassing him), that I just needed to talk to him man to man, or whatever. Yeah, that would work with a man like my father. About as well as it would with Homer Simpson. (Remember his discussion with Bart about girls that ended up with him literally falling out of his chair drunk? Yeah ...)

I'd been telling her for a long time about just how completely and utterly useless school was to me by now. I'm not learning anything. I barely even have "classes". Nowadays, my schooling equates to, in accurate terms, literally doing nothing at all for eight hours a day, two days a week (yet, for "only" two days out of five, you'd be surprised how much they suck in the life around them), during which I spend all my time on their half-functional computers blogging (when their connection doesn't have it's laugh with me, enjoying grilling my nuts as it times out over and over again). How very ... depressing.

And so, long story short; at the end of our conversation, she ends up saying she's going to bed. I ask her if she isn't coming to get me, and she states, matter-of-factly, that she isn't. That school really isn't for me anymore. I have no purpose being there. I'm not learning anything, and a diploma is pointless if I have absolutely no intention of getting an academic job or career. The only thing I give the remotest crap about, is music. (Second would be animal conservationism, which doesn't exactly require a Ph.D in zoology, either.) Music requires no formal academic education. It's a purely talent- and skill-based domain, where the only thing that determines whether you make it or fail trying – other than a persistent agent who knows how to push you through – is pure talent and skill. If you're good, you will succeed. It's that simple. You just need to show that you're good. And, not to toot my own horn (something I hate doing anyway), but I think it is safe to say that I am good. Good enough? We'll see.

Anyway, getting sidetracked here. Mother's going to bed, which of course pretty much directly implies I'm not going to school today – or any other day.

And so we said goodbye, and hung up. Yeah, like there was any chance of me going to bed, with the room lit up this bright (six months after my father promised he'd install blinds, my window's as bare as ever) and with the knowledge that I'm never going to be stuck eight hours a day in a godforsaken, underfunded, overcrowded, unstimulating and overall pointless classroom.

So I got up, and started blogging. It's now 9:45 sharp as I write this ... And I'm waiting for my girlfriend to get on MSN Messenger so I can tell her about my school be over with per my mother's wishes and her inherent reaction of screaming at me about how I'm ruining my life. Yeah, 'cause it's me who does all I can to make sure I don't get a musical education.

(Oh, waaiiit ...)

And now, if I could find some magic fairy powder and sprinkle it over my father's overlarge nose and get him to do his damn job and actually – y'know – parent for once and find me a music teacher, as I'm obviously incapable of doing so.

We'll see ... We'll see.


  • Melissa

    Oh god, really. I'm glad someone agrees with me. We've been on and off this disscussion, and I was beginning to think I was insane. Basically, he thinks he 'sure' to get a job as a music composer, and doesn't need schooling. He's assured me that he's 'debunked' my arguements that he should at least get his diploma by saying he doesn't need it. This is one of those instances where I pray I'll be wrong, that he'll wave the 'I told you so' finger in MY face. I don't know what else to do.

  • Joé McKen

    You two aren't worried about me, are ya now? Not your ignominious geeky Internet-dwelling nerdy?
    • Don't worry, the rest of the world also agrees with you.
    • Yes, I am sure, but you make it sound like I'm pretentiously just saying "bah, who cares, a job'll land on my lap, how hard could it be?", which is far from the case. I know the work involved and the efforts needed. I just also know I'm able to do it. It's confidence, not pretentiousness.
    (And – nitpick, I know – "music composer" isn't a job. It's a career. Actually, it's a family of careers – there are many "music composer" types. My particular subgenre would be film music composition. And in that specific career, a "job" is a movie, quite simply.)
    • You're talking about an academic diploma, obtained by passing exams for math, english, sciences, etc. Ask anyone in the movie biz and they'll repeatedly tell you: it's completely ancillary. Employers in those fields don't give a shit how high you can multiply or how much you know about physics, or how good you are at rhetoric. They very only criteria, are A) how good you are at your music (variability in styles, emotionality, etc.), B) if you can take the pressures (deadlines, etc.), and C) if you can push yourself forwards to present your work (for which I'll just hire an agent who'll be interested in representing me).
    • I've only debunked your arguments against what I'm trying to do because, frankly, they're weak arguments.
    Oh, and my "plan" (for BW who isn't privvy to our Messenger sessions as far as I'm aware, and anyone else bored enough to be reading this): drop out of conventional school so I can devote more time to my music. Check. Then, have my father/parents/fairy godmother contact a music school. Still waiting for my father to grow half a cerebreal cortex on that one. Then, enroll in said school (which should be simple enough once I have the critieria down), get trained in film composition, get my accreditation (which counts for a million times better than an academic diploma ever could in these realms), and then enter the market, freshly trained and ready to compose for whatever jobs open up to me.
    Simple, no? Not to mention – it's how it works.

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