Life Of A Blogger #31

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Weekly feature created by Jessi at Novel Heartbeats to discuss one non-bookish topic per week. For more information about this feature click here

This week’s topic: School
School is a touchy subject for me right now. In high school, I was that girl who was always in the AP/Honors classes, making the honor role, graduating 7th in my class, all that non-sense. During my senior year, though, I realized that I had no way to pay for college. I wasn’t Valedictorian and though my SAT scores were above average, they were stellar. My parents didn’t have a savings fund for me and academy scholarships only pay for a small portion of tuition…which is still an issue that pisses me off. You give someone with a barely passing grade a full-ride just because they can toss around a ball? ANYWAY. I also realized that I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with me life and though I wanted to ride off into the sunset for college, I didn’t want to mortgage my future to study something I wasn’t necessarily going to use. What good is a degree in psychology if I have no intention of using it to help people?

Another sappier reason (one I don’t think I’ve ever admitted) is I didn’t want to leave Russell. I wanted to stay in North or South Carolina, but I wanted somewhere a good distance away, so there would have been several hours of travel time between us. I know long-distance relationships don’t usually work and I didn’t really want to risk it. I loved Russell too much to leave, even then. I don’t regret it or blame him for not going to college because I don’t think I would have went even if he hadn’t been a factor, but I’d be lying if I said he didn’t play a small role.

I went the get a job and move out role immediately after high school. This past year or so, I started going back to school to earn a business degree because I have finally realized my dream, which is owning my own independent bookstore. I want a store that’s the size of a Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million, but that specializes in certain areas. My biggest issue with trying to buy books in stores over online is actually finding the book I’m searching for. I have been meaning to buy Victoria Scott’s Dante Walker series forever, but I just can’t find it in stores and I don’t want to buy it online. So, that’s what I want. I want to open a store that specializes in YA, NA, Romance, Fantasy, Scifi, and stuff like that. Maybe just fiction in general, with expanded sections for each subgenre. But, the more I learn about business, the less confidence I have that I could do it. It’s not just because of the money issue, though that is a big problem because keeping the business afloat while I wait for profitability would cost more than I make in a year, but also because I’m not sure I’m business-minded. I think I could handle the financial side, doing the bookkeeping and helping customers, but I just don’t know if I could make it work. Maybe I’m just scared, but I just can’t envision it really happening. Not to mention, how could I convince anyone to loan me money to start a new indie bookstore when so many are failing? I don’t think anyone would want to risk their money on such an investment, regardless of my enthusiasm for the project.

All that was my long-winded way of saying that I’m taking a break from school right now. I mean, yes, it is summer, so of course I’m out of school, but I mean I don’t plan on going back next semester. A combination of, once again, not knowing what to study and the fact that I failed Expository Writing has took the wind from my sails. I had no drive to do well in school last semester. I don’t even know what my final grade was in my accounting class was because I never looked. I know I passed, but I don’t know if it was with a B or a C. Before I failed English, all my college transcript had was A’s. So I feel like a bit of a failure and I don’t want to go back right now.

That’s my take on school at the moment. What’s yours? Let me know in the comments!

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4 thoughts on “Life Of A Blogger #31

  1. OMH, school in this country! AGH! In grade/HS, we teach rote memorization, but very little thinking. (This is a general statement – I know there are good schools, I went to one, thankfully!) A lot of funding is driven by test scores, which puts pressure on teachers to only focus on certain things that will be tested & forget about the rest even if it would be useful, bc there just isn’t time/money. Administrators are pressured to make sure their teachers are focusing on those tests because that’s where the school’s budget comes from…

    And then there’s college. Even if you are a straight A student w/ many activities or volunteer hours or whatever else it is colleges are supposedly looking for to have a “well-rounded student body” – even then, full ride scholarships/grants are not very prevalent (unless, as you pointed out, you have some awesome sporting ability & then it’s all “here, join us, we’ll pay you to come to our school! and you can be on TV for our games!”).

    So, we (society) tell kids in order to be successful they must go to college & they must go right away after HS & they must know (or at least have some idea) what they want to do w/ their lives. CHOOSE NOW! CHOOSE NOW! Not only that, but they will have to do this most likely knowing they’ll be in debt forever for this education. Not just for classes – even if you live at home w/ your parents for 2 years and don’t have to pay room & board, you will have to pay for books. Now, you might be able to get your books used. There are lots of good websites out there now. But more than likely, you’re going to end up shelling out $80-$200 for a book at some point. Then, when the store you bought it from generously allows you to “sell” it back to them, they will give you $10-$25, if you’re lucky. Next semester, someone else will buy your book for $75-$175 (because it’s now “used” you know). It’s seriously a vicious cycle.

    erm. yes, sorry about my mini school rant there! eep!

    i love the idea for your book store! but can also totally understand feeling burned out & unsure & everything else you described. taking a break is always a valid option. just remember, you have ppl who love & support you no matter what – they know you & will be able to give honest, accurate thoughts on what would be best moving forward.

    : )

    • You are preaching to the choir! I know exactly what you mean! It’s all standardized tests, standardized test, standardized test….was there something else I was supposed to be teaching? Oh yeah, STANDARDIZED TESTS. It makes me so so angry when I think about it. It’s probably why The Perfect Score was one of my favorite films because it really harps on that end. Also it has Chris Evans in it and he’s just pretty, but I digress.

      I went to a high school that was hit and miss. Some teachers followed the testing route and others actually taught and made class interesting. Most were the testing route, but those few teaching ones made it worth the wait.

      And the book buying thing! Some of those books are more expensive than my class! And I’ve had to buy most of them new because now a lot of them come with access codes to programs you MUST have for class and it’s cheaper just to buy the new book with the code than to try and buy a used one and get a code online. X_X. I don’t ever sell my books back. I could use the money, but I’m just appalled by how little they pay you for them and then how much they mark it up. I paid you $200 for this and you are going to give me $30 and then sell it for $100? No thanks, I’ll just keep the useless thing…maybe I’ll need it someday to look something up. I even tried to return on I didn’t use, that was still in the shrink wrap with the access code and they wouldn’t give me full price because I kept it for a few weeks before learning that I didn’t really need it. GRH!

      It’s a very touchy subject! I’m glad you like my idea! I think a lot of bookish people would love it! That’s part of why I was so excited when I started school because I knew I could make a success of it, but now that evil doubt monkey is in my head making me question that since so many bookstores are failing. And I understand why they are! I mean, I’m as broke as the rest of the bookworms and paying $20 for a book that I could just pay $12-$15 for online is a hard thing to do unless it’s something I really want, but I try to make a point to do it when I have the money.

      I am really burned out. It got to the point that I was weighing the pros and cons of actually doing my homework. Should I take the time to do this and try to raise my grade? Or should I just let it go because I know I’m not going to make an A, so what’s the point? And it wasn’t even a class that I didn’t understand that work for. Yes, sometimes it was a bit confusing, but with a little effort, I always figured it out. I’ve never been like that. I’ve always done whatever necessary to raise my grade to where I want it to be and that drive is just MIA. Which makes it even worse. Hopefully some time off will recharge that drive, but I’m not counting on it.

      Seriously, if I’m going to meet more people like you by going to far away bookish events, I must go to more. You are so awesome! We’ll have to find another event we can both go to (and Lauren, of course) soonish!

      • yeah, my last year in college i was not all there. my head wasn’t in the game (i’d gone to be a teacher, and then had a confidence shaker myself & wasn’t able to recover in time for the next year). it turned out to be the right decision for me to leave at that time, and i definitely don’t regret the time i spent there, but i’m STILL PAYING FOR IT! *laugh* and eventually all my experiences led me to a career i looooooove (seriously, i never pictured myself in HR), so i can’t regret that! 😀

        awww! *HUGS* i’m so happy i met you & lauren, too, and DEFINITELY we need to go to another book event! i wish i could go to knoxville (i think that’s in july) but can’t do another 10 hour road trip til i pay off nashville. LOL

        oh! and on the bookstore – i’ve often wondered if … do you remember how there used to be (maybe there still are) internet cafe’s? so, ppl could just go there & log into the net & tool around for whatever. well, i wonder if a bookstore that figured out how to do something like that w/ a mix of physical books & e-books would work? the owner could work w/ independent authors who don’t publish to amazon (and those who do) and ppl could hang out & read them for a fee… of course, almost everyone has their own e-readers now, so that might have been a better idea five years ago…; ) ah well.

  2. Pingback: June 2014 Wrap-Up | Bows & Bullets Reviews

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