On Education

quote-build-your-dream

Education is the keyI’m sure we’ve heard that before.  It’s been told to us probably a thousand times and will be told a thousand more times by our parents, by our friends, by our teachers, and by ourselves.  Yet the truth is when we speak of “getting an education” should we really be speaking of paying $50,000 a year just to regurgitate information?

I’ve been going to school for almost 15 years now, first public school, then charter, then private, then public, and now private again…some of the best schools in my city, state, and now this nation but honestly if I could do it over again, knowing what I know now, I don’t know if I would or rather if I should.

Now, hear me out first, it’s not that I don’t think getting an education is important, I do but I think or rather I know that some of the best education I’ve received hasn’t come from an institution.  I went to one of the top private schools in the DFW area for practically all of middle and high school now I’m at the third/fourth (+/- depending on the website) ranked liberal arts college in the nation, and while I know it’s contradictory for me to be saying this but I’m not sure how much I’ve learned from these schools.   At least not learning in the way they consider it for what I have learned has been more from the environment of those schools than in classrooms.

But truthfully, some of the best, most fulfilling education I’ve received has been from the creative work I’ve done (writing, theater…) and from observing people and my surroundings.  And, not to sound like a field of broken dreams but had I had the strength as a young girl to realize this I probably would’ve kept designing my fashions and dedicated myself to doing the other creative works I used to do because let’s be honest, I’ve never really given a damn about school nor have I ever been especially good at it.  I got into Wellesley most likely because of my dedication to community service and my involvement in my school and community not because of my grades, they were good (average) but not even close to outstanding.

So in short what I’m saying is that you should carefully evaluate your life decisions and don’t take a certain path just because everyone else has done so.  I might not be good at test taking but I’m smart, and I understand pretty darn well the economy and such and it is only going to get worse.  By the time I’m 30, well, I’m just glad I’m lucky enough to not be stuck with some of the ridiculous loans some of my fellow college students will have.  

Know your strengths, and if there is a path you feel is right for you that happens to be different from the traditional high school to higher education “path to (supposed) success” take it because you can always go back and get that degree but once you are settled into a comfortable job and have a family, good luck following those dreams.  I’m not saying it’s impossible to follow them later, my dad’s doing a fine job at it now, but it’s not easy.

But then again, I’m just a college student at a top U.S. college, so I guess you could say my life is pretty comfortable…what do I know?  Well, I know, I work everyday, writing and blogging and constantly putting myself out there.  I may be in college now and I may be stuck here but trust me when I say, I’m making my dreams a reality now.  It came to a point where I realized, I’m not here to get a 4.0, I’m here to network, to use this school’s resources to get me where I want to go, and to educate myself for myself…it’s not easy forging your own path at a place that says “light your way” but really means “…by doing it our way”, but it is completely and totally worth it.  

Know what you’re getting in to and when you see or create the opportunity of a lifetime, don’t be afraid to drop everything and go seize it.    

And to all those high schoolers out there…don’t you dare pay more than what you can afford for a degree, there are tons of people who have found success without it.  This doesn’t mean drop out now it just means be smart about what you’re getting in to, if you really want a degree there’s always another way to get it, without being in debt for life.  

A degree from Harvard won’t help you to accomplish your dreams (any faster/better than one from your local public university) if in order to pay it off you have to go work at some iBanking firm when all you really wanted to do was write.

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

The Maze (pt.2)

They tell you of riches, paint stories of success but what they don’t tell you is what it costs to get there.  Sitting here, in this spinning chair once again as I did all last summer, it hits me, again.  The life of me, my life, the life I am supposed to live cannot or rather will not be like this.

As I look out of the door, I see grays and browns and whites, the colors of a desolate field where Hope wins no battles.  I wonder if they are happy, I mean they are comfortable, I suppose, but doesn’t there come a time where even comfort isn’t comfortable?

Hmm…I wonder, anyway, a lesson to all I suppose is to keep doing what you started doing, what you really, honestly, truthfully, want to do.  For when you stop, the zombies win, so I guess, I’d better keep writing.

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

P.S. The Maze (pt.1)

Repost: Kids Can’t Write

To all my kid writers out there, keep on writing.  The younger you start; the more experience you’ll get. 🙂

*This is a repost of the post “Kids Can’t Write” published on August 2, 2012, enjoy!*

What’s next?” said Novelist Tom Robbins “Kiddie architects, juvenile dentists, 11-year-old rocket scientists? Any parent who thinks that the crafting of engrossing, meaningful, publishable fiction requires less talent and experience than designing a house, extracting a wisdom tooth, or supervising a lunar probe is, frankly, delusional.”       

“There are no prodigies in literature,” Mr. Robbins said. “Literature requires experience, in a way that mathematics and music do not.”

This is a quote from the NY Times article “Young Writers Dazzle Publisher (Mom and Dad)” that was published on March 31, 2012.

Why, I ask, can there not be prodigies in literature?  Why is it that so many people cannot stand the fact that there are children out there doing things some adults never have?

My first instinct would be to say that it is merely concern, concern that these “child authors” are not taking the “lit world” seriously.  That is a statement I do understand.  There are numerous children who have their parents pay for them to self-publish a book.  Those children write their stories and then they expect their parents to shovel over hundreds or maybe even a thousand dollars to get their book published.  That is so silly.  Why would a parent ever want to spend money like that on something their child has worked hard at when there is a very high possibility that the only profits will come from friends and family members.  How ridiculous…right?

Wrong.

Reading this article only made me wish that I had been as dedicated a writer and that self-publishing had been as prevalent when I was younger.  Had I and had it, instead of having my parents spend money on the various activities that I (and most kids) tried out, I could be a published author.

Having just finished writing my first book, Blood of Isis, and now on to starting my next one, I can already tell that my writing has improved.  When I noticed that I was shocked!  I write all of the time, for school publications, on my blog, in my diary but somehow just by finishing writing one book I have seen more improvements in my writing than I have with all of those other areas combined.

There is just something about sitting down and writing a book that can really improve not only your writing but your character as well; writing builds character!  I did theater for years, all throughout middle and high school, now in college I have only done makeup for one show.  When I tell this to people they often think that I wasted my time but what they do not realize is that just because you do not go on to become a world-renown actor (or author) does not mean you have wasted your time.  By doing theater I learned to always be fully present, how to carry myself, how to speak, how to lie, and how to imitate accents…the list goes on.

By writing and publishing a book these young prodigies, yes Mr. Robbins they are prodigies, learn so many more things than those that are shown by their profits made.

It is just like what Mr. Heckmann said about his son Ben’s self-published books, “He can play basketball at home, or he can join a team; here he kind of joined a team,” Mr. Heckmann said. “This is Ben’s basketball.”

It is time that we as a nation or at the very least as bookworms, aspiring writers, and authors realize that these children have talents they bring to the writing world.  For too long have the literary elites held they keys to the publishing world.  In my honest opinion, why I really think so many adults in the literary world object: FEAR.

They are afraid that some kid is going to gain more notoriety than they have.  However I want you to know there is nothing to fear.  These kids are not going to gain more notoriety than you have…why???  Because, they already have.  By publishing at an early age, not just writing (I am sure many authors will say they have been writing since they were little), while these kids might not reach “success” they are learning about the world of publishing.  This means that by the time they “come of age” they will be very advanced writers.

As for the comment about child architects, etc… while we may not have met one yet who is to say it cannot happen.  If a person has the will, the drive, they can achieve what some consider to be impossible.

I understand that literature requires experience but it is not as if these children are writing about adults, I am sure they could care less about the kind of “quality writing” that could earn its place in the literary canon.  Rather they are writing about people their age, who have experiences the things they have experienced.  I get that there is something powerful about being an adult who has “been there done that” and looking back and being able to write about those experiences.  However that does not mean we should discredit those who attempt to or do write about the things they are going through.

I have read books about children or teenagers written by adults that while good feel sort of aloof and too removed from the situation, and I have read books by children and teenagers about children and teenagers that, while not necessarily having the “literary genius or language” that a book by Dickens has, do have an insight into the adolescent mind that few adults can capture.

These kids are not trying to reinvent the wheel all they want is the chance to have their voices heard.  Unfortunately most agents and publishers will not give them a chance, no matter how good their book is.  Like I have said before I have not and probably will never see what the first draft of To Kill a Mockingbird or The Mortal Instruments series looked like, for all we know we might have consider it to be sub par.  However someone gave those books a chance, a chance that many young authors today never receive.  So the next time you say that kids can’t write take a look in the mirror because once you were a kid, you had dreams, you had goals and you believed that anything was possible.

Don’t you dare belittle what a child has accomplished just because it was something you never managed to do.

(Dear Readers,

I would love to hear what you have to say about this topic 🙂

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

Kids Can’t Write?

To all my kid writers out there, keep on writing.  The younger you start; the more experience you’ll get. 🙂

What’s next?” said Novelist Tom Robbins “Kiddie architects, juvenile dentists, 11-year-old rocket scientists? Any parent who thinks that the crafting of engrossing, meaningful, publishable fiction requires less talent and experience than designing a house, extracting a wisdom tooth, or supervising a lunar probe is, frankly, delusional.”       

“There are no prodigies in literature,” Mr. Robbins said. “Literature requires experience, in a way that mathematics and music do not.”

This is a quote from the NY Times article “Young Writers Dazzle Publisher (Mom and Dad)” that was published on March 31, 2012.

Why, I ask, can there not be prodigies in literature?  Why is it that so many people cannot stand the fact that there are children out there doing things some adults never have?

My first instinct would be to say that it is merely concern, concern that these “child authors” are not taking the “lit world” seriously.  That is a statement I do understand.  There are numerous children who have their parents pay for them to self-publish a book.  Those children write their stories and then they expect their parents to shovel over hundreds or maybe even a thousand dollars to get their book published.  That is so silly.  Why would a parent ever want to spend money like that on something their child has worked hard at when there is a very high possibility that the only profits will come from friends and family members.  How ridiculous…right?

Wrong.

Reading this article only made me wish that I had been as dedicated a writer and that self-publishing had been as prevalent when I was younger.  Had I and had it, instead of having my parents spend money on the various activities that I (and most kids) tried out, I could be a published author.

Having just finished writing my first book, Blood of Isis, and now on to starting my next one, I can already tell that my writing has improved.  When I noticed that I was shocked!  I write all of the time, for school publications, on my blog, in my diary but somehow just by finishing writing one book I have seen more improvements in my writing than I have with all of those other areas combined.

There is just something about sitting down and writing a book that can really improve not only your writing but your character as well; writing builds character!  I did theater for years, all throughout middle and high school, now in college I have only done makeup for one show.  When I tell this to people they often think that I wasted my time but what they do not realize is that just because you do not go on to become a world-renown actor (or author) does not mean you have wasted your time.  By doing theater I learned to always be fully present, how to carry myself, how to speak, how to lie, and how to imitate accents…the list goes on.

By writing and publishing a book these young prodigies, yes Mr. Robbins they are prodigies, learn so many more things than those that are shown by their profits made.

It is just like what Mr. Heckmann said about his son Ben’s self-published books, “He can play basketball at home, or he can join a team; here he kind of joined a team,” Mr. Heckmann said. “This is Ben’s basketball.”

It is time that we as a nation or at the very least as bookworms, aspiring writers, and authors realize that these children have talents they bring to the writing world.  For too long have the literary elites held they keys to the publishing world.  In my honest opinion, why I really think so many adults in the literary world object: FEAR.

They are afraid that some kid is going to gain more notoriety than they have.  However I want you to know there is nothing to fear.  These kids are not going to gain more notoriety than you have…why???  Because, they already have.  By publishing at an early age, not just writing (I am sure many authors will say they have been writing since they were little), while these kids might not reach “success” they are learning about the world of publishing.  This means that by the time they “come of age” they will be very advanced writers.

As for the comment about child architects, etc… while we may not have met one yet who is to say it cannot happen.  If a person has the will, the drive, they can achieve what some consider to be impossible.

I understand that literature requires experience but it is not as if these children are writing about adults, I am sure they could care less about the kind of “quality writing” that could earn its place in the literary canon.  Rather they are writing about people their age, who have experiences the things they have experienced.  I get that there is something powerful about being an adult who has “been there done that” and looking back and being able to write about those experiences.  However that does not mean we should discredit those who attempt to or do write about the things they are going through.

I have read books about children or teenagers written by adults that while good feel sort of aloof and too removed from the situation, and I have read books by children and teenagers about children and teenagers that, while not necessarily having the “literary genius or language” that a book by Dickens has, do have an insight into the adolescent mind that few adults can capture.

These kids are not trying to reinvent the wheel all they want is the chance to have their voices heard.  Unfortunately most agents and publishers will not give them a chance, no matter how good their book is.  Like I have said before I have not and probably will never see what the first draft of To Kill a Mockingbird or The Mortal Instruments series looked like, for all we know we might have consider it to be sub par.  However someone gave those books a chance, a chance that many young authors today never receive.  So the next time you say that kids can’t write take a look in the mirror because once you were a kid, you had dreams, you had goals and you believed that anything was possible.

Don’t you dare belittle what a child has accomplished just because it was something you never managed to do.

(Dear Readers,

I would love to hear what you have to say about this topic 🙂

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

Put All Your Eggs In One Basket

“Put all your eggs in one basket and then watch that basket.” – Mark Twain

I know, I know traditional wisdom tells us NOT to put all of our eggs in one basket.  But what if traditional wisdom is wrong, what if by putting all of our eggs in one basket we could reach success… would you do it???

The reason we are told not to put all our eggs in one basket is mainly because of fear.  Because you know what happens if you put all of your eggs in one basket and something goes wrong…you have failed, right? Wrong.  Albert Einstein once said that it took him over 10,000 tries until he finally invented the lightbulb however he did not consider those to be failures.  In his eyes he had learned 10,000 ways not to make a lightbulb.

When you tell people of a new idea, of something seemingly radical, they often freak out.  They let their own fears of taking a chance and going for that dream carry over to you.  Which is why people will often say that “you shouldn’t put all of your eggs in one basket.”  But, sometimes that is what you have to do. 

Many entrepreneurs, inventors, full-time writers, bloggers, etc…had to, at one point in their life, take a chance and put all of their eggs in one basket.  Sure they could have failed, but the important thing is that they didn’t allow their fears, and the fears of others, get in the way of living their dream(s).

I’m not saying that you should go out right now and quit your day job, actually please don’t do that right now…you should probably think about it first.  But what I am saying is that one day there might come a time when you feel tired and spread thin, where all you want is to live your dream.

All I ask is if/when that day comes don’t let fear and “traditional wisdom” stop you from putting all of your eggs in one basket and living the life YOU want to live.

If you never take that chance and live your dream(s) then what is the point of dreaming at all???

Whimsically Yours,

PnC