The benefits of a good education

28 07 2010

Sometimes I feel like moping and whining because it doesn’t seem like my university education (of great quality!) is getting me anywhere. Okay, perhaps I should say I used to feel like that, up until the point where I landed this internship, yet that doesn’t stop me from still feeling cheated when thinking of the jobs you cannot get just because you don’t have any experience… besides, who cares if you’re an English major anyway?

It would seem that, finally, my two university degrees are going to pay off. (I’ll mention, at this point, that your basic school education – Gr. R-12 – is important, too, thus it shouldn’t be neglected or taken as a given, as a lot of children do.) When you read so many books you start wondering what kind of relevance it’ll ever have in your life. Sure, I’m able to say that I’ve read Dickens and Chaucer and Shakespeare and whoever else, but that isn’t the best conversation starter. It can actually be a mood killer, since nobody really wants to talk ‘academics’. The Classics seem to be a love only of sophisticated (read: moved on in years, i.e. older) people and university students. Isn’t that a shame…

However, I now find myself in a most wonderful situation – one I have willing thrust myself into, with as much enthusiasm as I can muster, and working at a great (but efficient, I’ll add) speed that makes the whole university experience gratifying. I am currently proofreading part of a series for a specific age group/ school phase. And you wouldn’t believe the titles I’m dealing with…

I have proofread OLIVER TWIST (Charles Dickens), KIDNAPPED (Robert Louis Stevenson) and THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) already – not the English books, though, but the translated versions thereof in Afrikaans. The books are aimed at children of about 9 or 10 years of age (Grade 3/ 4 learners). The other books for this phase include TREASURE ISLAND (Robert Louis Stevenson), ROBINSON CRUSOE (Daniel Defoe) and JANE EYRE (Charlotte Bronte).

Oh, how my inner English scholar is rejoicing right now!

I’ll admit that I’ve never read or even heard of KIDNAPPED, yet I have seen two film versions of OLIVER TWIST, and have read TREASURE ISLAND and THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES for my own pleasure. ROBINSON CRUSOE and JANE EYRE were dealt with at university (so I’ve read them), along with other Classics, thus it would seem that having a broad literary background (and a broad spectrum of reading pleasures) is really a good thing.

Now I don’t have to talk about the content of the texts themselves, but rather just the fact that I’ve been proofreading (and editing) them for younger readers to enjoy and learn from. That’s right – going for the ol’ I’m-making-a-difference-and-helping-children-with-their-education stint. I don’t really care whether or not they like the books. As long as they’re being published, distributed to schools and read in classrooms, I at least want the texts to be free of many errors.

So yes, finally I’m reaping the rewards or benefits of my (academic) education. If I didn’t possess the skills to read, write, edit, use logical thinking and have decent grammar skills, I probably wouldn’t be where I am right now… although, I’ll admit, it all depends on the individual, so I’ll allow myself a small pat on the back for having come this far.




2 responses

29 07 2010
Treasure Island (Color Illustrated by N.C. Wyeth) | The Kindle Store

[…] The benefits of a good education « The Skinny on my Jeans (Genes) […]

30 07 2010
Educational Loan is Designed to Meet Educational Expenses | Student Loan

[…] Th&#1077 benefits &#959f a g&#959&#959d education « Th&#1077 Skinny &#959n m&#1091 Jeans (Gene… […]

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