So, I was watching this sports show (see how much I love TV--I'll watch practically anything!) with a profile about a recent high school graduate who has choosen to play basketball in Rome rather than sit out the required year before he can play in the NBA. He seems fairly miserable, not enjoying his new surroundings, even while living in what some might call an enviable vacation spot. I mean, how many people get to live in Europe the year after they graduate . . . and get paid fistfuls of money? When the interviewer asks if he's happy, the baller says, "Not really. But it's better than being in college. I could be sitting in class right now."
So, sitting in class is a horrible condition? Isn't that what college is actually for? I know the whole back-and-forth about how sports brings money and recognition to universities, that they pay for themselves, and how the academics should basically shut up and be glad that the money's rolling in. I don't really have a dog in that fight since I went to college for, uh, college and had to take out loans for my trouble; I was too slow to be a quarterback, my jump shot sucks, and besides, I'm a girl. But maybe there's something to that argument, as annoying as it is.
My issue is that this dude seems to suggest that "sitting in a class" something nobody would want to do. That's really disturbing. But we still, perhaps, have to wonder what college is for. If it's the whole experience of learning, he can do that inside or outside a classroom. But this attitude seems to be that it's the actual learning that's objectionable. I feel sad for this fellow. There is pleasure to be found in the exchange of ideas and the fervor of intellectual pursuit. Is he experiencing that in any way? Even if he were only excited about basketball and learning about it, well, okay. Learning is about exploring the world. College should be a journey towards that. If the NBA is the only destination, what good is an new, alternate avenue when the journey doesn't matter? There's something sad about this.