Tuesday 11 January 2011

Notes on an 'Impossible Degree'

Coming to a University near you soon! Sign-up for "Degree Impossible!" - the degree you will never pass! With us, you will learn how to fail better...

We're doing this because we are experts in failure. Unlike other Universities, we're not going to pretend life is a success. Because ultimately, you and we cannot escape defeat. Degree Impossible! sounds miserable, but that is not our intention. We are here to help you cope. But we can't help you succeed. Because success is impossible.

Each year of Degree Imposssible! comprises 6 modules (six impossible things!) in which you have to do something impossible. In the final year there is an 'alchemical project' which is a double module. But you will not get that far. You can only fail. And then you have resits to worry about. You will never progress from year 1, and you will never be awarded a certificate. You can resit indefinitely - if you pay your fees. At some point you will decide you have had enough, and you will leave.

We are here to help you cope. Degree Impossible! will leave you feeling despondent and exploited. You will have failed at everything you have turned your hand to. But you will see it will have been worth it. The more you fail, the more it will have been worth it. You will curse your failure of judgement in signing up for the course in the first place. When you finally leave, you will curse your inability to have acted more decisively sooner. This is not to say that non-graduates of the "Degree Impossible" do not go onto careers which (to others) might appear 'successful'. They often do, after a period of recuperation and adjustment to the financial burden they have brought upon themselves (*more debt*). But they always know their success is short-lived.

What do you get for your money? You will be affiliated to our institution. This you might find useful as you try to cope with failure. We do. You will be surrounded by experts in their own failure to support you through your failure. We will help you cope with the impossibility of your dreams. We will chase rainbows with you, but we will know what lies at the other end, and be ready to pick you up from your disappointment. We know that what you want to achieve is impossible. We ourselves found it to be impossible. But we have learnt how to deal with failure. We have grown - as you will. You may learn our coping strategies. Some people call these 'skills'. We have also found that failing does not mean you have to be miserable. Some people call this 'knowledge'. With this knowledge, you will fear less. And fearing less will equip you to fail better.


Shirley Pickford said...

Blimey! I'd get a PhD for this! Life got in the way last time I tried to make a start, but I can still smile despite all the challenges... does that seem like not quite enough of a failure?

Happy New Year:-)

Mark Johnson said...

Happy new year Shirley!

Here's to beautiful failures in 2011!