About Me

Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Don't Wrap Me In Your Regulations
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Tuesday evening, before the radio show, I hit up an information session regarding graduate school at Fairfield University. Since grad school is something I’ve contemplated more than a handful of times I decided to go to this event. Sadly, it looks like grad school is not in the cards for me right now. I was thinking I could teach English since I have a degree in Journalism and have been working as a writer for the past half decade. Unfortunately, and if you want to know why a lot of teachers suck keep reading for a rant, a person can only teach a subject that they majored in and Journalism doesn’t count as English (what am I writing in? Lebanese?). This really made me think, how incredibly un-well rounded are the people we have teaching our kids if they can get an English degree, hook themselves up with certification to teach, and call themselves a teacher?

Some of my best teachers were my college professors. NONE of them took a route where they went from college to grad school to teaching, they all lived life, they all had experiences. Now I may be underselling English grads but how much life experience can you have with that kind of a major? I mean, I love to read, but it’s a hobby, it doesn’t put you out there in the world. Lots of people I know have said I’d make a great teacher. I think the fact that I was a great martial arts instructor helps out, but it’s like I have a lot of people saying I’d be great at it, but a system that says it would be hard to make it happen because I’d be stuck in undergrad classes for two years before even starting the grad school process.

It’s funny, as I was listening to the staff talk about all the forms that had to be filled out by certain dates, and certain classes that had to be taken, and certain requirements that had to be fulfilled all I could think about how full of shit it all is. I’ve always been the kind of guy that dislikes "the system" and much prefers doing things his own way and hearing a bunch of what essentially turned out be red-tape discussion and people trying to find ways around it my mind kept telling me "dude, this is so not you, you hate rules. You’re a journalist, you love pushing every boundary. These people want to tie you down and steal your soul."

OK, maybe stealing my soul is a bit harsh, but the concept that I’m not allowed to do something because I didn’t take a class eight years ago is ludicrous to me. Sorry, I was out living life, and doing things that, no doubt, nobody else thinking about grad school was doing. I’m a lot more able to connect with the youth of America since I write about the culture that’s currently helping to shape it, but that youth has been screwed for years by a system that keeps churning out teachers who aren’t able to reach them. Ya’ll, and by ya’ll I mean the people who created these ridiculous stipulations, not Fairfield U, which is a University I still have a lot of respect for, had someone who could reach those kids and you completely dissuaded him with your rules and regulations. Congrats.

Final Thought - Daaaamn homey, Fish N Grits is showing me A LOT of love. I’m now going to have TWO, count ‘em, TWO full length features in the first issue of ‘05. I’m also in the process of pitching two other interviews to a variety of publications. One of them I have to place, the article is simply too good to not be in print. One of my boys over at MTV pointed out that at the rate I’m going hooking myself up with features pretty soon places will no choice but to hire me. I hope he’s right, cuz I’d like to be able to eat at a nice restaurant again. Nothing against Pizzeria Uno, but in all honesty, hittin up a place that has cloth napkins would be a great change from the norm.
posted by Adam Bernard @ 10:42 PM  
  • At 8:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I initially took offense to your comments on teachers. And I fight the good fight, as many other teachers do daily. It is an extremely difficult job and there is much to be said for attaining a degree/certification in a particular subject area...especially on the middle/high school level. I'm probably considered one of the "good" teachers (whatever that means) and considered most (not all, which is probably the case with any field of study) of my training extremely beneficial. I think it a rather closed-minded view to imply that those of us who have done the work (attained degrees in English and Education) have not lived life. Most teachers I know and work with live very full lives. As with any profession, leading a full life can only enhance one's job performance.

    I have a suggestion. If you really want to get your feet wet substitute teach in Bridgeport. See if you have what it takes to keep students engaged and excited about learning day in and day out.

  • At 4:30 PM, Blogger Adam said…

    OK, first off I'd like to point out the irony of someone saying they've lead a full life then posting under the name Anonymous, which means "not easily distinguished from others, or from another, because of a lack of individual features of character." That was kinda funny to me.

    Now I'll stop being a smartass and address the issue at hand. I openly said in my post "I may be underselling English grads," or any grads for that matter who go on, do their school work, then go right to grad school then go right to teaching. That being said I will never feel someone who does that leads a "full" life. Where is the life experience there? Where's the struggle? What kind of life stories can you have if all you've done is school?

    Lemme break it down, two of my best teachers ever lead full lives before becoming teachers. One ran her own newspaper and another won two Pulitzers as a reporter. Personally I see that kind of life experience as a lot more important than taking a few classes in school. One thing I learned in journalism class is that class will never be able to teach you what being in the field will. Maybe what I'm saying is I feel like one should have had to contribute to the subject they want to teach before they teach it.

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