I was planning on making the reassuring post that I lived through my week abroad this Friday or Saturday, but I had to get completely pissed off and blow my cover before then.
You see, I’ve finally had a realization, or reached a conclusion. I will make the declarative statement here very shortly, so if I turn out to be wrong I can read it later and feel like an idiot and you can all be witnesses.
The conclusion is this:
My semester in London is a complete waste of my fucking time.
Yes, I like being here, and I like being able to see the city, I like being able to hit the theater, and I really like the ease of travel. But academically and professionally this is an utter joke. My classes, save one, are worthless; the one worthwhile class is taught by a faculty member from my home institution, and therefore has such things as discernible class structure, goals, and competent teaching. The rest of the classes are taught in three hour chunks by adjuncts who care probably only marginally more than I do.
I am learning nothing.
I take my academics seriously. I don’t appreciate being spoonfed information during ungodly long class periods just so they can keep up some pretense of me being a student, or their institution being a place of education.
So now that I’ve hit the halfway point and two of my four classes have ended, I must be happy, right? Well, no, because now that my classes have ended I am required to take on an unpaid internship for “cultural experiences” and “immersion” and so on. My internship started today. It was seven hours of combing through Microsoft Access databases updating contact information for journalists. At no point did I learn anything about British culture or what it’s like to live in London; I can have a soul-crushing office job just as well in the States as I can here.
The program my college has opted to use is basically running a temp agency on the side, shunting students off hither and yon to do unpaid work at various places.
Everything I have learned and experienced in this country about culture I have learned on my own time, outside of the classroom. The rest of it is busywork. I could have had a more profitable academic year if I stayed on campus.
It’s starting to look like I should have.