Well you know by now I am in the middle of my creative and professional writing degree at Nottingham university.
I have just witnessed some discussion by the first years about something that also caused this tension for us last year.
The aspect of performance.
Some people are complaining, whining and in some cases bitching about how they shouldn’t be graded on something they don’t like and don’t want to do.
I’m sorry? Who on earth enjoyed every single aspect of their degree? Who enjoys every single aspect of anything?
Apparently they are at a disadvantage because they are not natural performers. Surely the people who aren’t naturally poetic are at a disadvantage in the poetry modules. Surely the people who aren’t naturally technical are at a disadvantage in the editing modules.
I really don’t care that they don’t want to do it. I don’t want to sort out taxes but I can’t just whine and get out of it.
This is university. You are meant to experience new things. What do you even think you are going to learn staying in your comfort zone? If they stopped whinging for a moment they might realise the benefits to learning performance.
For example: interviews, job interviews, radio manner, book launches, confidence, an authoritative tone, proper posture, confident stances, interaction, communication, persuasiveness, public speaking, to name just a few.
It is relevant to everyone so if it was taken off the graded syllabus then the university would actually be doing you a disservice. Even if you decided writing was not for you, this is the one part of the course it was still worth you doing!
My advice to these individuals is to frankly grow up and stop complaining. It isn’t something you are able to change right now. Think of it as a challenge and try. Just try.
If it wasn’t hard it wouldn’t be worth doing anyway. If you gave it your full effort you might find that its not as bad, you might have an unknown talent…you might still be awful but wouldn’t you rather try instead of complaining. Give it a go. Screw your comfort zone.
You might actually get the point of it.
You might just learn something.