Soledad en masa

Bad education

with 6 comments

When I started writing here, I did not expect this site to become my outlet for what I eventually realized is the subject I can go on and on writing and talking about: music. When I finished high school and began college, I held more of an interest in politics & history, with minor interests in ethnomusicology and urban planning/history. After a month at Harvard, I knew that I would never be deeply interested in politics and history. Those were not subjects that I wanted to dedicate four years and countless energy studying. After that, I became lost. What would I spend four years studying that would make me happy and interest me enough to justify staying up late and writing papers?

As my college experience devolved and my dislike of Harvard intensified, I looked into studying urban planning/history and/or ethnomusicology at Harvard College. I couldn’t find conclusive information online or from pamphlets and Harvard professors & advisers were of almost no help. I knew what I wanted to study; I just couldn’t find the program (or programs) that allowed me to focus on those topics. I declared Sociology as my concentration, but I really had no idea why the hell I chose it. I should have hounded the Music Department or some other department about how their department could accommodate me. I stupidly chose Sociology without probing much how they could accommodate me.

I wasted a year-and-a-half of my education lost and without finding how I would be able to study what I was really interested.

Blogging (I despise this term, but there’s no better way to describe it) helped me discover that my real interest was in music, Mexican music, to be exact. I always doubted that it was my real interest because I have little formal education in music. Almost all of my knowledge comes from playing in mariachis and listening to Mexican music. Urban history is interesting and I like it, but I’m really interested in it in a case-to-case basis and how it intersects with music in L.A. I want to expand and continue with research on the spread of Mexican music in Los Angeles and other urban areas of the United States. All my writing on music has benefited me in other areas, but that’s for the next post.

I apologize for the cussing. It’s not something that’s part of my daily writing. I want to be frank with you, dear reader, and deleting the cussing would be a disservice to how I feel and think about subjects.


Written by soledadenmasa

October 7, 2009 at 4:00 am

Posted in College, Harvard, Music, Personal

6 Responses

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  1. It’s all about figuring out what you like and then going after it. Where you do it or how long it takes you to get there is of no concern once you figure out the answer to fundamental question. Good luck!


    October 7, 2009 at 4:06 pm

  2. So are you still at Harvard? Maybe you should look at that Berklee School of Music in Boston. I have heard good things about that place.


    October 12, 2009 at 8:56 pm

  3. Ethnomusicology fascinated me too, but I was intimidated by having to take music theory. Also, I’d have to know how to play the keyboard. It was a brief idea that came from taking one class in the department.

    Instead, I found ways to make the majors I chose work for me. I usually found ways to write papers on what interested me. For instance, in a history class, I wrote a paper on Mesoamerican musical instruments.

    Fields like sociology are broad enough that you could study different sociocultural aspects of Mexican music. Unfortunately, it feels limited when you have to take the basic courses in that discipline.


    October 18, 2009 at 12:42 am

  4. That’s great… that you know what your passionate about.
    When we go to school- it about books smarts and “theory” and then when we get out its putting that knowledge into “practice”.
    I think you began on the “practice” side- learning by doing as in being in the mariachi band etc.

    In the end you want to be comfortable and happy in life- professional and personal otherwise what’s the point of settling and conforming.

    We all are striving to be at the point in life where we are “living to work” rather than “working to live”, I know its easier said than done..but nothing is impossible.
    Reduce fear,doubt and worry..just go for it..echale ganas 🙂


    October 23, 2009 at 10:49 pm

  5. Like I’ve told you many times. No matter what you decide to study. You’ll be a damn good professor one day. It’s in your blood to teach. Maybe even a high school teacher…

    Principal Renteria. Sounds good no? Board Member Renteria. Mayor Renteria. Congressman Renteria. Senator Renteria.

    Inmate #0994245. lol, jk.


    October 26, 2009 at 8:18 pm

  6. I’ am majoring in sociology, I am taking a Law and Society program. I really like it and it is broad.

    dona junta

    December 28, 2009 at 3:00 pm

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