Who makes the rules? Do you ever get tired of "this is required" and "that is required" no matter what it is you are trying to accomplish? How can someone let out his or her creative streak if there are always invisible stop signs?

What am I talking about?

I'm talking about everything ... college requires you to take classes that are irrelevant to your interests and major or minor. They say that it will make you more "well-rounded". Come on now. How does attending a math class half baked from the night before and listening to a teacher read the book to you make you more well rounded? Not to mention, the tests. The tests are multiple choice and you have to buy your own damn Scan-trons. If you want to know the truth, the learning process is the budgeting of your money and getting all the details right. Which Scan-tron do I buy? Where can I get the best deal on my textbooks -- eBay or Amazon? How much money will I have left for Ramen Noodles if I buy this package of pens? If it's not A and it's not B, it must be C. Let's get real. I'm not completely dissing college. I understand that there are professions that need the degree -- doctors, dentists, architects -- you know, jobs in which the public's health depend on them. (I said architect because we don't want buildings to come crashing down on us.) But even they are subject to taking required courses that don't matter. It's about making extra money for the larger entity, not necessarily about making well-rounded students.

Rules. I even had them at massage school. Aren't they forgetting that some of their students are adults, not teenagers that just graduated high school and haven't an inkling about what it's like to live in the real world? I've worked jobs that pay two times more than what the people teaching me get paid, and they were telling me what to do and when to do it. I don't appear to have a problem with authority, and really I don't (I swear), but whenever I hear a condescending note come out of someone's mouth, I can't help but roll my eyes and wonder why I subject myself to such things. It makes my stomach sour when I see a woman old enough to be my mother clam up because someone basically yelled at her or "put her in her place". It's not right. We are adults. We know how to do our work along with taking on a full-time school schedule. Give us a break please. Don't mark down that I am five minutes late for my clinical when I am there ten minutes before my scheduled shift, don't charge me $260 for NOT attending one day of an elective for being sick, and then not have that elective available to me until after I graduate, don't have the "principal" come in and yell at my class for being too noisy or forgetting to turn off our cell phones ... we have lives, we are human adults, and we make mistakes. These rules only make the school look less of what they are trying to be, which is holistic, caring and open-minded.

Rules. Who ever decided what the format of a book or novel should be? Oh, uh ... it HAS to be 70,000 to 100,000 words, it HAS to be 12-point Times New Roman (I DESPISE 12-point Times New Roman!), you have to have some "things under your belt" or "some articles published" before even considering writing something of that magnitude. Why? What does it matter? Isn't someone who takes the time ... perhaps years ... to write the perfect novel, more persistent than the person who writes piddly articles for a Health & Fit Magazine? I would think so. And doesn't it take more balls to write something from the heart than about politics, sports or the newest way to lose weight? But guess what folks? It all boils down to one thing -- you guessed it -- money. People make money writing about arbitrary subjects, because for some reason that is what the majority of people want to read. I just have to hope that there will be some people out there who will want to read something absorbing, frightening, interesting and unusual. Will there be? Who knows. But I'm going to break the rules to find out.

And having the college degree to succeed -- that is the final "rule" of America that I will discuss today. I have met so many people that have college degrees that have no more good to say than someone that just graduated junior high. I have also met many people who do and don't have degrees that are so wise beyond their years that my heart opens up to them and lets them in immediately. But for some reason, the ones with degrees (even advanced degrees) that are shallow, annoying and ignorant, tend to piss me off the most. I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that I wanted school to be a part of my life at the time right after high school, and I didn't go. I know that is part of the reason. The other part is that some people just assume that having the eduction makes them better, smarter and more important than people who don't. They can't even give you a good reason why. It's just what they think. When I meet people like this, I want to scream in their faces, "SO WHAT!" So they went to school for 4-6 years full-time and did homework, went to parties and listened to interesting teachers for hours a day. SO WHAT. The majority did not work full time while doing this. Some didn't work at all. THAT was their job -- to go to school. How is that accomplishment compared to someone working and living in the real world instead of going though school? How? Yes, I know some peope complete degrees as adults WHILE working full time ... and those people I do commend very much. It's the after high school crowd that annoys me. And I'll say it many times before I die, I'm sure. It's just a bone of contention, but I can honestly say it's not because I want the experience now, I don't, it's because the ones that are having the experience don't appreciate it, and they do not understand what the real world is until they are at least 25 or 26 years old. I confirmed yesterday that I no longer want to pursue an English degree when I met the strangest individual that talked for an hour about her hamster friend and how he speaks three dialects and sleeps on her pillow at night. She has a Master's degree in English. Yikes. I'll stick with where I'm at, thank you.

These are "A" Rules. Paying taxes. Not drinking and driving. Stopping at a stop sign. Don't kill anybody. Don't drink bleach. These rules make sense.

These are "B" Rules. Don't walk across the street until the blinking light says so. Pay the city money for a sidewalk they decided to replace. Pay money to school when you change your mind about a class. Take yoga classes at school because it's required. Don't cuss in front of children. Don't change careers or jobs too often. Don't write a book, that's stupid. Eat slowly. Don't open a massage practice until you graduate. Go to the dentist twice a year. Get your eyes checked once a year. Go to the gyno once a year. Get all the tests and labs done that your doctor tells you even though you don't understand why. Get your dog licensed in your city. Declaw your cat. Don't eat eggs after the expiration date. Pour milk down the drain on the day it expires. Don't move in with someone too soon. Get married before you live together. Getting married is the best day of your life. Kids change EVERYTHING. You have to buy gifts for people you don't know because, well, it's "expected" of you. Drive the speed limit in residential areas. Don't let it be known that you spoil yourself sometimes ... or god forbid, that you love yourself! Don't write fragment sentences. Don't question authority, even if it's 86 years old.

"A" Rules are meant to be followed. "B" Rules are meant to be broken.

Have a very "B" day.

Author's Bio: 

Jen Burmeister is a freelance writer, dog walker, author of “Ralphie – Being the Weird Girl” (Coming 2008) and soon-to-be mommy in Troy, Michigan. To read more articles of this nature or learn more about Jen, please visit http://www.girlfromasmalltown.blogspot.com, http://www.thedogjogger.com or http://www.jenburmeister.com.