Is intellectual ability our downfall?

By Alexa Jones

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Flickr

It is a tried and true subject: education. But what about it is so darn enigmatic? Well, information is so readily available in our country, yet we ourselves, as a nation, are still helplessly holding onto blueprints on how to hold ourselves together. Even learning how to go about our own road in the pursuit of happiness is a challenge.

Economically, I could go on;  President Barack Obama’s new tax plan seems like a last resort for Republicans to agree to an exchange for Democrats to bring about future cuts in Medicare and Medicaid. But at the core of subjects to teach arises the subject of being taught.

Those people with the microphones are actually trying to help you out. They are the all-seeing eye from the “Lord of the Rings” that sees the discrepancies of our country and readily tries to give opinions on issues so that further solutions can come about. But the kind of mindset for such a major, how the dissemination of facts via newspaper to inform the public is gradually growing out of use, keeps me awake at night. I have even adopted a new system of thinking, much like that of Rachel Berry, where the potential of unleashing an article riddled with controversy, graphic images, and a means of investigation plopped upon the desk of a Times magazine correspondent is my ultimate fantasy. I am not even sure if I like writing now.

It is with this pressure to survive in an unknown world, something that seemingly never runs out of witty and smart people, that you start to question your true calling, maybe even the function of the classes themselves.
As fun as it sounds, I am not implying we burn our diplomas. I am merely inquiring about our incessant need for competition. Since we are so worried about our resumé and standing out, we strive to make all of these extra things pristine – internships, job experience, an amalgamation of tips from the kings of the trade. The inadvertent question becomes: what use is your degree?

Of course, it is to your advantage to have an educational background, but in all honesty, who do you think your employer is going to pick – the person who has a sparkling 4.0 GPA and no experience or someone who has just scraped by with tons of partnership opportunities to call his own? There’s a reason for that – it is mostly overlooked in our generation because the key to success comes in forms of annotated articles and notes you swear are in a different language when you read them over. It is the question: can you think for yourself?
I could be wrong, but I doubt one will have a multiple choice option when a problem arises. Now comes the time where terms like common sense and critical thinking are thrown about as well as the connections one has. The question is further enhanced after reading Paul Tough’s article in the New York Times about how children who have a solid character (zest, grit, self-control, etc.) tend to achieve more in later years than their grade-smart counterparts. Why are we afraid of making mistakes?

That is the true ingredient as to what it means to be successful. I know we have been brought up to achieve all or just forfeit to a life as a hobo, but maybe the true vision of being intelligent is knowing how little you know and not proving just how much.

I mean, if it were not for journalism, a bubble of ignorance would shroud me about current events. Today, all of the information whipped up at the slightest nuance of change has you wondering what the problem was in the first place – and most importantly, how do I keep up? I mean, something posted on the Internet two days ago is ancient history. Even so, as Hillary Clinton succinctly surmised at the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), “As information transcends borders and creates opportunities for farmers to bank on mobile phones and children in distant villages to learn remotely, I believe that here, at the beginning of the 21st century, we are entering the participation age, where every individual, regardless of gender or other characteristics, is poised to be a contributing and valued member of the global marketplace.”

So raise your hand! You may be the one that has the outline for something truly remarkable.

Alexa Jones is a Collegian columnist. She can be reached at [email protected]