Hello again everybody and apologies for the long delays in between posts. As per usual it’s been a while since inspiration has struck and I have decided to post another musing on the world we live in. It’s that time of year when the academic community comes to a brief standstill and many young people across the country traverse from one phase of life onto the next. For myself this means the end of my BA (Hons) Drama Studies degree and the transition from student to graduand (becoming a graduate once the ceremony is over and I have the actual certificate). You may or may not be pleased to know that I managed to achieve a 1st in this relatively low impact course which is an achievement in of itself but not one I will be dwelling on too much in this blog. To do so would be arrogant and damning myself with premature praise, as the title of BA (Hons) does nothing for me until it is actually appears in the professional context along with a suitable paycheck so hold off the celebrations for now.
With regards to the ‘suitable paycheck’ I come on to the title of this little blog, particularly apt when looking for careers in the theatrical community. As the title suggests, as much as many people may try and fight or deny it, the theatrical communty is pretty bitchy and clique-y (sic) and people are more likely to hire somebody they know can do the job well, i.e. a person they have worked with before, as opposed to somebody off the street who has a first class honours degree in a very relevant subject. Now just to make it clear I am in no way decrying this practice or saying it is a bad thing; nor am I singing its praises as the way forward in creating the most revolutionary and innovative theatre that the world has to offer, I am merely saying that this practice of a sort of social nepotism does occur.
But why might people do this? The fresh faced young graduates are eager, keen and full of fresh new ideas which have the potential to revolutionise the things around here and the way they are done. Surely they are the future and should be treated as such! I mean, they have been educated in such a way surely?!
…Educated. That is a word which always touches a nerve with me and a word which represents the exact problem with the way things are done. Sure these graduates are educated but what have they learnt? That’s the real question. I’m sure many of you reading this are insisting that education and learning are one and the same but when you consider the root verb the distinction is quite clear.
To learn is an independent act, occuring entirely within one’s own faculties.
To BE educated is a transient act whereby one person bestows knowledge onto another.
A person cannot have education without BEING educated. It is an act entirely dependent upon the influence of another and it is this fact where the problem lies. Dependence upon another person means you are assuming their views to be correct and true (again, two different things, we may get to that in a later post) and so any view contrary to theirs can result, on your part, in confusion at best and rageful vitriol at worst. Conversely, when one learns it is completely without influence as it is a process which occurs within the mind. Of course learning from somebody else is mostly the case but they merely bestow the information, it is YOU who does the learning. People chose to learn whilst often education is forced upon them and, as I said, this is a problem. Oscar Wilde once said:
Education is an admirable thing. But it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.
I believe this is the crux upon which my argument lies and the exact reasoning behind the maxim of ‘it’s not what you know…’. The fact of the matter is people who certainly KNOW the job are far more likely to get it than those EDUCATED because you cannot teach the learning, if that makes any sense at all. They have not been educated in the job…they have learnt the job, a process far more likely to prepare them. Universities are a wonderful thing in that they educate us to an extent but more than anything they prepare our brains to learn and be receptive to the knowledge that it is up to us to create within our own minds.
Only if you can master that do you truly earn the title bestowed. Have I? Time will tell. Sometimes I just remember that all the effort in education comes from the eduactor and ends when he or she goes home. Learning is the soul and it will never, ever stop.