This video made me want to pursue education.
This is Sir Ken Robinson's famous video that garnered close to 11 million views (as of October 2016) and over 40 million on the TED website. And it's the concept that fuelled me into pursuing a Master's education.
Basically, he talks about the traditional education system being obsolete, and the idea of producing students in a mass-production format to be terrifying. He argues that factory production mentality may have worked during the industrial revolution up to WWII, but the modern world cannot afford to produce people in a cookie-cutter format. He talks about how creativity is considered irrelevant, an how schools are pushing for STEM curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), and creates a hierarchy that places the arts and philosophy at the bottom rung of the academic ladder. He explains that creatives that become successful out of this system made it despite -- not because -- of it. This is especially alarming because society are demanding innovative creatives, while ironically, creativity is stunted early to produce those that lack the full potential to what they could be.
It hits close to home, because art was my passion all the way until high school. I still dabbled in some of it, but I did not think of it as a passion, or something I took all that seriously. I was warped by the notion that life is all about getting a stable and well-established career. But I had no idea what I wanted to do. Nobody asked me all throughout high school, so the thought never occurred to me until I found myself in the senior year, left without a hint to what I wanted to be. So, of course, I desperately clung to the first thing someone mentioned -- which was industrial design. I couldn't get into any programs in the country. I simply had no portfolio or a designer's sense. I was able to enrol in Humber College's Design Foundation course because of some string pulling (my step-father taught architecture there), and perhaps I did have a little knack for creativity.
After the 1-year program, I felt that I had no other choice than to continue being a designer, I felt that there was no other option (I was mediocre in pretty much everything else I did). Art never came up as an option because of my own insecurities of my skills and talents. And how it's often portrayed in society: that those that pursue art (while lacking in skill) inevitably fail, and failure will lead to a wasted life. But going to school for industrial design was no better. People close to me mentioned how my aesthetic sense has dulled after 4 years trudging through the wasteland called design education. Sure, many in my class are relatively successful, but what about me and the others that are disgruntled of where they stand, despite going through the same exercises, the same lessons, and same critiques? Does education come from the institution or the individual? I believe it's a little of both, but the institution have a moral obligation of tapping into the potential of every student (seeing that there's only 50 of them per year at my school).
I fell between the cracks, and the world be damned if I allow the students I am TA'ing to go through what I've been through (a year of unemployment, depression, panic attacks, insomnia). There is no way I'll allow that to happen.
Which is why I chose to pursue education.