Saturday, 21 July 2007

saturday night.

Saturday night ("is the loneliest night of the week; it's the night that my sweetie and I used to dance cheek to cheek. I don't mind Sunday night at all, that's the night friends come to call, but saturday night is the loneliest night of the week" (old sammy Cahn lyric)). When you work at home all week and suit yourself about your comings and goings, all the nights of the week are the same. And so I find myself sitting here at nine in the evening (the time at the foot of this post is bogus- I set the clock to New York time for reasons I cannot recall), determined to write a few words so I can uphold my daily blogging record. I've been busy photocopying The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard all afternoon, and now I've slipped wee cal a twenty to glue it all together for me to show my editor in San Diego.

One thing caught my attention this morning when I did my news-gathering, in fact it made me laff. That's Tom Spurgeon's notes on this news item
Cartoonist Confesses to Not Graduating

" ...the cartoonist Lee Hyeon-se, a college dropout that had lied about it in an early interview and kept the lie as part of his resume. ... I can't imagine any advantage a cartoonist would gain by having people think they received a college degree over their being a drop-out or getting kicked out of the first grade or something. In fact, if St. Peter gives me a quiz on education levels of cartoonists after I kick the bucket, I'm likely going straight to hell. A cartoonist might as well have told a lie about whether or not they rode a horse."
It reminded me that I occasionally find myself cross-examining myself about what the hell happened with my 'formal' education. Sometimes I facetiously say that 'school was an interruption to my education'. The fact is, I failed all my a-levels, presumably because my head was elsewhere, then I did a one year foundation course at the Central School of Art and design in London, but failed to get accepted for a diploma course in a specialist subject, and I never could figure out what went wrong, I was a leading student that year, and not just in my own head I think. I could always see clearly in my mind's eye where I was going and what I intended to achieve, but recently when I loosely pitched an idea to an editor, I realized that the things in an artist's noodle are not likely to be clear to anybody in the world except him/her/self. We really do need to draw a picture. But in drawing the picture you're just getting out there and getting on with it anyway. Nowadays the educational establishment accepts that the world is changing so fast that many of the jobs and much of the work of the future doesn't exist in the present. Insofar as education is preparing kids for the working environment, imagination and adaptability are thus key qualities. Though whether Alan Moore's line in The Birth Caul no longer applies I would not be prepared to say:
"The real curriculum is punctuality, obedience and the acceptance of monotony... those skills we shall require in later life; oblique aversion therapy to cure us of our thirst for information, and condition us so that thereafter we forge an association between indolence and pleasure."
Though, like Tom, I would think it absurd to falsely claim a qualification unless there was specific short term gain in the balance. I can't even remember the last time I had to compose a resume. In fact, I don't think I've ever had to pretend to have one, at least since my last day job in 1986, in which I was a filing clerk deliberately working under my qualified capacity (high school, a handful of 'o-levels').
Perhaps my readers have an opinion on the matter.


The wife of my bosom just kissed me goodnight, so that'll be me off to my beddybyes.
Good night all.

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7 Comments:

Blogger spacedlaw said...

Bah! After a while all of this nonsense should really be as meaningless as it was in the first place (but don't let your kids see this).
Still: I see plenty of people sticking to certificates of formal education as if school (or university) was a life saver when in fact it does not even teach you to fend for yourself.
And don't get me started on how bloody useless some teachers can be, please.

21 July 2007 7:00:00 am GMT-5  
Anonymous tita said...

Friends of mine who are among the most celebrated cartoonists/ illustrators/ artists in the country are art school/ university drop-outs. I think their academic degree would be irrelevant, anyway, since their line of work requires their unique skills and styles.

Wanna be a Springfield citizen? Here's to spend the weekend, if you have time to log in and happen to have big photos of your face: Simpsonize Me.

One last thing: we just came back from Singapore, where I successfully found Black Diamond! Yaay!

21 July 2007 7:10:00 am GMT-5  
Anonymous Mia Wolff said...

well I graduated from art school and massage school--but the way I make money is with information I slowly gathered into my brain and body via circus, martial arts and training without degrees.
I look back and actually think of all the drawing I did, trees that I climbed, and my parents library that I was free to pick from as the basis for it all...

21 July 2007 7:33:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger drjon said...

Tita: Eddie's already a Simpsons Character. (Here's me. Handsome devil, eh? *laff*)

Eddie: I know what you mean about Saturday nights. Just recently I've taken to going out on a Friday and Saturday night, because like you I'm working at home, and there's something about staying at home on a night when everyone else is out that I find pretty disheartening.

21 July 2007 8:09:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Kimota94 aka Matt said...

Depending on what direction your professional 'career' goes in after school, your education may or may not mean anything. I started off as a computer programmer, and so my credentials from university were considered very relevant to my first employer... and then never again (work experience them trumped ancient school records)!

One of the lessons I picked up in university, though, that I think would've helped me in whatever occupation I might've ended up in, was the one about being in charge of my own life. Unlike any of the schooling I'd gotten before that point, at university it was all up to me: no one was picking my courses for me, no one was taking attendance to see if I showed up for lectures, and no one gave a shit if I passed my exams or not! Suddenly, for the first time in my life, I realized that my success or failure was entirely in my own hands.. and I loved it! Those were formative years that pretty much dictated the way I've lived my life ever since. That alone was worth the tens of thousands of dollars it cost me and the government of Ontario!

21 July 2007 8:45:00 am GMT-5  
Anonymous tita said...

drjon: Tita: Eddie's already a Simpsons Character.

Ack! How could I forget that! *slaps forehead*.

21 July 2007 9:41:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

I would say that education is the most imporatnt thing we can be doing with our time. Sometimes schools get hung up on qualifications and job-seeking. But we shold be educating ourselves every day of our lives. Acquiring wisdom.

them's my two cents.

23 July 2007 2:38:00 am GMT-5  

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