04 February 2017

Recurring Fear

I have a piece of paper that says I learned business administration from a particular college.

The thing is, I did not learn much there.

That is not to say that I don't know what was being taught, it's just that I'd learned it before I walked in the door and registered for classes.

Autodidactic is the term.

I incurred a rather substantial debt to get that piece of paper.

I am now very reluctant to pay anyone for something I already know.

A recurring theme in attempting to find someone to teach me something I want to know is a refusal on the part of the teachers to assess where I presently sit in the scheme of things and allow a prospective student to "test out" of the novice stages of the school.

Car repair tuning has figured out that most students know how to spin a wrench by the time they're asking about fuel map tables, so they break the classes out and don't require Screwdriver 101 before you take the classes on using the Tech 2.

Too many skills teaching places require you take (and pay for) all of the 100 level classes to get to the 200 level classes then 300 then so on.  Regardless of if you know all the 100 and 200 material cold before you talk to them.

Graduates who only learned by starting with the 100 classes of course advocate learning it that way.  Forgetting that they were once an egg, they no longer grok that not everyone starts in the same place.

There's another kind of graduate that adds to the fear.  These are the people who explain to you, like you were a child, that you must take the 100 level classes to learn the material properly and once you do that, everything will suddenly be clear.  They can never relate why relearning something you already know in a different way makes the knowledge superior.

It's like a cult.  Cults are scary.

I've been bumping into it for a really long time.  It happens a lot in karate.  Earn that green belt, move, find a new dojo and discover that you're a white belt again.  But the new school teaches you better than the old one, they count out the kata in proper Korean...  Then move again, start over again, and now it's superior because you're learning to count in Japanese.

When you realize the only new material you've been exposed to is how to count in a new language you get very cynical about the hiring of teachers.

Hiring of teachers is an important part here.  That person you're shoveling money at?  Yeah, you're paying them to teach you.  They're not paying you.  But you'd never see that in their attitude towards their students.  This is another aspect that makes some schools seem more like cults.

Pay your tithe, Disciple, come be exposed to the light of the master.  Do not disparage the teachings of the Enlightened One, or verily flying monkeys will be dispatched to disparage you.

Do not question the Divine Wisdom by having the temerity of trying to interview your prospective employee before you hire them.

The Master - Student model is inherently cult-like in a manner that Teacher - Student often isn't.  Because a teacher is, in their hearts, an employee.

Where do I hire an employee?  Because if I'm paying you to do a job, I'M the boss; not you.

PS: Classes cost a lot of time and money, and making sure that what I want to buy is worth the time and money is just due diligence, not intransigence.

PPS: If it seems like I don't want to learn, that's incorrect.  I am trying to avoid paying for remedial classes for redundant knowledge.  I notice that nobody wants to help with that.


  1. Possibly related analogy. If I hire you to fix my car, I'm not paying you to tell me I bought the wrong car.

  2. I found a HEMA club that operates in a really nice way. Not organized by The Grand Club Leader from whom all knowledge flows, but structured pretty much with anyone with sufficient experience able to step in and teach. Cost is negligible for a martial art, and everything's structured like what it is, a bunch of people wanting to practice things that require other people, with a few bucks going to the one in charge of setting up venues and stuff.

    Would that such a learning/teaching style could expand to more places.

  3. Business school was mostly common sense with formal terms on everything. Someone told me you should go to school for something you can't teach yourself. That was after I went to business school.


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