Just Good Advice
Brussel Sprouts and Milk.

Brussel Sprouts and Milk.

Among other stories, my mother still relishes telling the one about how (when I was twelve) I hid my brussel sprouts in my glass of milk to get out of eating the nasty little green cabbages.  I still argue I was trying to compete with my little sister who seemed able to magically escape from any detestable veggie, but that’s beside the point.  I thought I was really getting the best of Mom when I announced I had cleaned my plate in record time and was headed straight to the garbage disposal with my interesting beverage.  Then, like moms do, she dropped five devastatingly chilling words, “Great … now drink your milk.”

So, you’ve been at Tech for a little while, and you’re starting to think about classes for next semester, and you feel like ranting a bit about having to take classes “that don’t really matter.”  Yep, I know how you feel.  I was a student once upon a time, myself.  Now that life has gone and made me a father, I’m forced to chuckle because, just like I was doing with my brussel sprouts and milk, you’re wasting your time and making it all taste a lot worse than it should.  Seriously, if sprouts weren’t bad alone, have you ever tasted them after they’ve bathed for a few minutes in a nice glass of icy cold milk?  I just needed to change my attitude … seriously.  Now, how exactly does this relate to you and your classes?  Okay, okay, let me explain …

Let’s be honest … for years you’ve had teachers working with you by helping you along, reminding you to turn stuff in on time and other various good deeds.  You appreciated it at the time, right?  Problem is, the university classroom operates on the principle that you start with your high school foundation and then embrace the challenges of difficult classes and scholarly reading, just for the opportunity to be around, hear from, and eventually be able to have real conversations with researchers, thinkers, and others that will push you along to completely new levels … far beyond what anyone thought would be possible.

This is hard for some people to accept.  But these experiences teach us about ourselves, about the things and skills that will make us “Professionals.” Higher education also pushes us to learn a whole lot about the things we wouldn’t otherwise care to invest our time in.  As a result, sometimes we discover they are really far important (in the bigger scheme of things) than we ever imagined.

This may not be what you want to hear, even as I’m reading this I’m thinking … is anyone going to take time out to hear me on this?  But regardless, because it’s so true, I’ll say it anyhow, “Sit down, grab a fork, and eat those veggies  … this IS good for you.”  Now, if you start out with an attitude like that, then you’ll be ready for what comes next.  Leigh has some great tips on how to get the most out of your classes.  That’s probably the best step from here.  Click Here to get started…

2 Responses to “Brussel Sprouts and Milk.”

  1. gmoyano

    Reading this has given me a new perspective on those classes I thought “dont really matter”. Just wondering do you like you brussel sprouts now?

  2. Joshua Barron

    Heck no, are you kidding!?! Those mini-cabbages are still as disgusting as ever … which is where the analogy to classes falls apart. I do enjoy history, art, literature, and music, far more than even I could have imagined back in college. So there’s hope for you too! Thanks for the comment. –JRB.


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