Mrs G is currently signing up kidlets for their A-levels and it got me thinking that when I was sixteen and making these curriculum choices I had no idea what I wanted to be so how could I choose the right course?
Three times I’ve been in further education, three times I’ve dropped out. I’m a non-graduate in a graduate role and one of the few people I know or work with of my age that doesn’t have a degree. Then again, in a complete lack of modesty, I’m also one of the smartest people I know.
Unless by smart you mean actually sticking at a course and getting qualified so I can use that certification to its fullest.
When looking at moving to the US one of the key problems I will have with immigration is that my education stops at A-levels and doesn’t reflect my actual skills and knowledge. If I could be sixteen again what course would I do?
Firstly, let me make this clear…I am not actually going back to uni or giving up a well paid job to do so. With a child on the way, and all the time resource that will take I am not going to be that crazy. So Mama-g, if you are reading this relax. I will not be going back for a fourth time.
Now that important caveat is out of the way I need to look at some prospectuses (prospectii?) for courses to do.
The three courses I have already quit were
Microbiology and Zoology (I was going to be a geneticist – it was a few years after Jurassic Park)
Media Production (I was going to be Steven Spielberg – it was a few more years after Jurassic Park)
Communication, Culture and Media (I was going to be able to watch Jurassic Park)
So now I need to think about what I know and what I’m interested in, which when you are asked at 18 is a very unfair thing. How do I know what I want to do with my life when it has been sheltered in the confines of the home and school, you want us to make choices about our adult lives and then tell us that it will determine our fortunes and happiness.
At school I was bored with maths and wanted to get as far away from it as possible, but it’s what I do on a daily basis. I could never see the point of pure maths and wanted it applied to real world situations. At school it’s more important to know pi than to learn how it can be applied to statiscal models.
Now that I’m involved in analysis I love that maths can build models that predict behaviour or explain past events. I use it to predict sales for next week, but it’s also used in the algorithms to determine who we want to buy our products.
It’s not just at work that my interest is piqued, books such as Freakanomics and The Signal and The Noise are some of my favourite reads. I go home and in my own time read books of formulas in a way that you couldn’t when I had an exam to revise for. There is no incentive for me to do so, it’s just something I want.
It’s this science of want that really gets me going, why as rational human beings do we purchase things that don’t fulfil the necessity of life. How to we ascribe as much cost value to a piece of fruit as a cigarette? I am fascinated about the way as a society we operate on a system where the majority work in service but not production.
If I were to go back to university I would do Economics.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Only Sixteen.”
Tell us all about the person you were when you were sixteen. If you haven’t yet hit sixteen, tell us about the person you want to be at sixteen.