College taught me that music taught me more than college.

I’ve been a musician longer than I’ve done anything that would be called a skill. I’ve been a father for 9 years and counting. Somewhere in there, I grew up enough to know that if I want to feed these kids I have to do something a little different. I went back to college in 2003… and 04.. then again in 05. I got serious after $20k in debt and a wife kicked my butt about wasting time. It wasn’t about attending school or not attending school, it was about choosing a path and finishing the journey. She didn’t care if I went to college or not, just quit wasting our time and future.

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So I enrolled in a commercial music program. That lasted one semester. Then I got real. I got my associate’s and moved on to a university. I don’t know what I’ve learned. In a blended mess of procreating 4 times and life in general alongside trying to check off the menial tasks required by higher educational institutions, it is hard to differentiate between what school has taught and what life has taught me. There are hundreds of arguments in the affirmative for higher education that applies to most people. In a case where the individual couldn’t handle standardized education, placed in the top percentile in CAT, TAAS, BS testing, and never has done a piece of homework in their life, college probably wouldn’t work.

First off, college is easy. You show up, you listen, you regurgitate, you go home. I argued with professors about facts and opinions and I probably convinced more than one adjunct to never go into teaching. I was bored. It was public school all over again. Except to my surprise, the professors passed me. Things I was interested in rather than the prescribed curriculum. I admire Jobs for saying it how it is at a college of graduating students. I’ve placed in the top 10% of the school with a 3.8, I’ve shown proof of concept with the professors and with a few conversations, showed them I understood the curriculum and they’ve advanced me. Now I’m 12 hours away from graduation and I have no motivation to complete the journey. I’ve already finished. I have 12 hours of required junk coursework left to do. Classes like Video Production and Motion Graphics. Upper-level electives with little benefit to me as an individual or to whatever company I work at or start in the future. Things I can learn in a couple of weeks with a laptop and a free trial.

It’s not their fault, the professors are good people and I guess some of the kids in my class are getting something out of the classes. Maybe. I’m not really sure.

This sounds arrogant, I’m sure. It all comes down to recognizing who I am and what I’m capable of. Perhaps that’s the benefit of school. Realizing you don’t need it? Professors are hard workers and they put in hours and hours of study to get where they are and I understand there’s something to be said for that.

I put in hours and hours as a touring musician in a punk band. Marketed, funded, lost, gained, built websites, negotiated contracts, distribution deals, and tours. In all that time I hadn’t realized I’d developed a sense of business ethic. I’ve also developed a taste for running my own life. Being in at a certain time and leaving when the work is done is an awful way to live. I’m not sure that I’ll ever be able to sustain my life with music as a source of income but I know I’ll be miserable doing it at a salary 9 to 5.

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