Friday, March 27, 2009

The problem with schedules.

Keeping up the posting every night is a good thing for me. Having regular band practices and having a regular schedule are good things for me. I just wish that I weren't subject to the more dominating things about a normal schedule. I like the benefits of having band practices at consistent times, and I like the benefits of requiring myself to post every night, I just don't like the control that is exacted over my life with school and work schedules. It's like one's life isn't their own. With band practice or writing I set the schedule and I feel like all of it is my own. I'm just parcelling out my hours as I chose because I have things to do, But when I sign up for classes, or for a work schedule it's like I'm giving a certain range of hours to other people. The hours are no longer mine.

We've gotten so used to scheduling every hour of our days that we don't think of it as an affront anymore. It's no longer considered an odd thing for a kid to have a full schedule that gets them out the door at 8 and gets them back home at 8. That is such an arduous schedule if you really think about it, and yet it is what we expect of the average middle class child.

I'm not saying that I don't understand the need for a certain amount of scheduling, I just wonder if we're trading productivity for humanity. I'm also worried that perhaps what we're producing won't be of any worth. We're creating students who are so good at fitting within the lines that when a problem that requires more of them occurs only the people who didn't fit manage to solve it. I've always been the smart kid but I've never been the straight As kid, because I know things, and I know how to do things, but I do not every subject myself to the tyranny of school work.

I know that's a bit hyperbolic, and I realise that some of the refusal to do all my work is just laziness, but I also realise that blind acceptance of school work isn't a healthy attitude. People who get straight As rarely have outside lives. That we even bother with grades as a way of measuring anything is somewhat ridiculous. I could write an essay just on the problems with the logic of grading, but this isn't the place. I simply want to ask the question, who are we raising, and what are we making ourselves to become. This every so scheduled life, and these absolute deadlines aren't so good for us. That we add more and more activities to the average day, with little time for unstructured relaxing that doesn't centre around a television.

I don't know how to fix it for everyone else, but for me, I don't treat the hours after school as study time. I don't treat the hours of my days as anything really, they simply are. If I have a class I need to go to I go to it; if I have work to go to I go to it, but in the time that isn't taken by one of those absolutes I do things as I'd like, and at my fancy.

I just want to make the point that doing well as everyone else defines it isn't a good thing. Being dazed and going about ones day along with the mores that society runs on is dangerous. Making a little rebellion once in a while. Doing school because you want to learn rather than because you simply want to jump through the hoops to get a degree, working because you enjoy what you're doing for work, not just because you need the money. Those may seem like minor distinctions, but they can make all the difference. The stress you feel from going to school for a degree is gone when you go because you want to learn. The stress you feel from working for money is gone when you just enjoy whatever about your job there is to enjoy. The repetitive accuracy of a factory job, the personal interactions of a service job. The point is that we must all take an accounting of our time and decide how much of it is our and how much we're giving to other people. I'd suggest that when you give your time away to work, or to school, be sure you're willing to waste those hours, or make the most of them in that situation. We don't get another life when these ones are done, so why should we be spending every available hour doing what other people want us to do?

Just an important meditation on the nature of scheduling, and how perhaps we should be aware that we're loosing all that time. Be aware that when you get paid 8 dollars an hour whoever your working for is saying that an hour of your life is only worth that much. They are putting a finite price on your existence. I could calculate it for you based on average life span in hours, but I won't do that. Let's just say that when we work, we really are selling ourselves, no matter what it is we're doing.

Just think about how you spend your time, and if it's not how you want to be spending it, then say fuck it to work, to school, to whatever you're doing, and make the time you're spending into your own time. Play music all the time instead of working, and make that your work. Write instead of going to school, and make that your avenue for learning. Make your time YOURs again.

Anyhow, that's a bit of my philosophy. Call it a minor part of a manifesto if you will. Schedules are dominating, so make sure you want to be submissive before you agree to one.

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