What is your opinion on formal education?
  • If you are an under-grad, post-grad, etc, what do you feel you are getting out of it?
    If you have finished your degree(s), how would you describe the experience, looking back?
    If you are going back to school after some time off working, travelling, whatever, why did you choose to go back?
    If you are in high school or post-high school, are you planning to pursue a College education? Why/Why not?
  • Dropping acid all throughout high school then going to a liberal arts college. duncan had it made.
  • Formal educations is outdated. Sites like Khan Academy are the future. Anything is possible on the internet. Just need to get more things open sourced.
  • I agree with opt out. We have a dismally failing educational society. Khan Academy lessons are okay but education shouldn't be a commodity. Socrates would have called higher education intellectual prostitution.

    Anyway, I did my undergrad at Amherst and think I got a lot out of it because I went on scholarship, and learned lots more OUTSIDE the classroom. Western Mass is a good area as they have 5 colleges and a hippy school called Hampshire College.

    I also began an MA in philosophy concentrating on Wottgenstein, Russell and the transition from modernity to Post-modernity and the existential crisis we face. however, I had a fiery argument with a woman professor (prominenet atheist who i will not name) and lost my scholarship and worked until on a whim I took the LSAT and go into a few schools and found my self back on Boston as a JD candidate, where I am now.

    For 90% of ppl, it's undergrad (apart from of you're going to Ivy) it's because "you'll look like a loser with no education from your friends" which is so stupid. But much propaganda (like Olive Garden commercials) put pressure on families to compel them to school. For the Ivy, it's about meeting people. I think anywhere really but especially Harvard.

    I was there on fellowship and it's all networking. The classes are easy because students ate already doing great work OUTSIDE the classroom, where it counts. You catch a glimpse in Social Network movie.

    If I could go back, I would have gone to a trade high school where at least I could fix my car or craft things and sell them, etc..just so I could make art and not deal with hassle of calling AAA for a towtruck.

    And I would be like this brilliant high school kid I knew when I taught at Amherst and study, learn as many languages as you can! I would've loved to gone to a proper French immersion school, or the other elite schools and prep schools, but you can't say it would've been better because I feel very happy.

  • The wrong things are taught in HS. Like Robert Kiyosaki said, the US runs on the $, yet we don't teach our kids on how to make it, save it, invest it.

    A course in proper speaking skills wouldn't hurt, either.

  • There are some interesting anecdotes in here, that's for sure.

    I am going back to University as a 27 year old. Part of the application process for my program is a formal letter that describes what I've been doing since I dropped out of my undergraduate program, where I am heading in life, etc.

    I have been chipping away at my letter in WritingRoom, basically trying to keep it as pasteurized as possible. I feel like a big reason that I wasn't successful the first time around was because I wasn't willing to play the game. I was blatantly ignoring papers that I found to be a waste of my time, and I blew the fucking top off ones that compelled me to learn. Eventually, my grades sunk low enough that I no longer qualified for the critical $, and I just sort of wilted under the financial pressure. Just a fucking caricature of a punk douche with a false sense of entitlement.

    In high school, teachers pulled me aside and gave me the "I get your deal, kid," we would come up with some arrangement on how I could direct my enthusiasm. In University this simply was not the case, and I just fuckin' faiiiiiiled. I felt a complete and total disconnect from my profs, like I might as well have been watching lectures on TV. Was this the case for anyone else?

    I am trying to come up with a plan of attack for round 2. At this stage in my life, I am much more organized, I am fitter, I am eating healthier, etc. Should I simply stick to the course outline and pander to their expectations? What was your plan of attack as you completed your degree? Were you successful?
    Post edited by M0XIE at 2012-03-20 23:51:05
  • Might be a little ironic me posting my positive thoughts on higher education after my mini breakdown yesterday over a small test but:

    I love the IDEA of college/university. I always had magical expectations about what it would/should be like. Then I sit in a lecture for two hours while my African lecturer talks statistics in his thick accent which I can barely understand, and it's excruciating. Same thing for most of my tutorials...I don't know what it is which this masters im doing but all of the lecturers/tutors have really thick accents and In struggling to understand than because they're also talking about complicated mathematics based stuff. So I just have to study a lot more because the basics are getting lost in translation.

    I'm going off topic here.... The great thing about formal education is they give you the basic plan of how to attack a topic in a way that you learn the essentials and how they apply to a particular job or prOcess. So you follow that, but once you start getting into it, it opens up the doors to all the other little side branches of the topic and you can take it as far as you want.

    For all the haters of formal education, the internet is not an alternative. Libraries have been around, for free, forever. These people didn't consume this free information before and they won't now. A few articles and YouTube videos has nothing on a semester of coursework. Very few people study the amount of hours you need to put in to get a undergraduate or post graduate degree. And plus when you're studying at home, you have no one marIking your work, no one giving you feedback and directing you and you can't get a job from it. I know having a job sucks, but there's no comparison to studying something you love and then getting a degree in it and earning 100k+ $ doing it.

    Learn all you want online, you'll most likely still be working that minimum wage job. Employers want educated people.....wouldn't you?
  • M0XIE said:

    If you have finished your degree(s), how would you describe the experience, looking back?

    The social aspect was positive. The classes and degree (Civil Engineering) - which I was never very engaged in, just enough to get by - took me too long to complete. Although it's enabled me to get a pretty nice gig and created a series of solid opportunities for me. Looking back, I remember being milked for money, to jump through a series of hoops, to obtain a piece of paper, for employers to take me seriously. It's all so silly, but part of the game.
  • This is the future of education!!!
    Post edited by RyanT at 2012-03-21 10:13:13
    Traveling through the Multiverse
  • if you're interested in actually learning things and becoming well-educated... formal education isn't required.

    if you're interested in playing the game of life, climbing ladders, working a 9-5, having benefits and comfort, and a job that slowly sucks away at your soul.... go for it.
    sunt lacrimae rerum
  • uiuuiu
    I went to college and I think it's a fun way to learn. I don't use my degree for my career or anything...so i could have done without wasting thousands of dollars. The school I went to was mostly an open admissions arts school so it wasn't as structured and strict as a school that is for doctors or lawyers or that kind of thing. If I could afford to I would still take one class a semester just for fun....but like @fnord just said you can keep learning on your own.
  • I am currently 21, and have decided to not pursue formal higher education. I study languages on my own. People often ask me how I know so much about languages without taking classes, and I tell them its because I study them on my own. I feel (not necessarily specific only to language study, but to everything) that in a formal environment, we're not being taught the critical skills and broad pattern recognition/analysis that are actually useful, but rather memorizing bullet-point gimmick answers that won't apply unless we see and understand the bigger picture. We'll memorize answers to pass a test, then we will forget about it once we're done.

    When this concept applies to language study, specifically, it manifests in the form of an unnatural, robotic approach to learning something that is entirely organic and contextual-based. Less memorizing, more doing. The best way to learn something (I say the only way to learn something) is by experiencing. Anything else is just postulating based on what someone else tells you.

    The paradigm is just too askew for me. Not to mention the outrageous prices, and the virtually nonexistent "leg up" that a degree gets you nowadays... I think its more of just a formality anymore, perpetuated by social pressure based in the outdated routines of yesteryear. Granted, there are still a few specializations that greatly benefit from higher education, the medical field in particular. Not surprisingly, the medical field is one where education is actually greatly done through first-hand experience and mentoring.

    Doing something because you love it seems infinitely more effective than doing it because you're pressured with failing a test if you don't, wasting money and not living up to a social standard you're not even quite sure should be there.

    Anyway, I babble. Bottom line for me: I do what I do because I love it, and being so I have learned in months what would've taken me years to learn in a classroom.
    Post edited by Kuwolla at 2012-03-21 18:42:43
  • Did any of you form life-long friendships over the course of your post-secondary career? That is another aspect of school that I find very important. I can't speak for anyone else, but for me, it's not easy to find places to put myself around like-minded people.
    Post edited by M0XIE at 2012-03-21 20:08:10
  • A like the romanticism in not going to college. In doing it your own way. Finding your own way in life without compensating part of your life by going through formal education. But for most of us. It's a part of life. It's a structure and it gives us time to think, time to figure out what we like to do. Gain experience and knowledge in the fields that we are interested in. And for a lot of people it works. I'm currently in my first year of college and I love it.

    I know a lot of guys who didn't choose that road. Who are now trying to make a living in a more artistic way. Or even started online businesses making good money only a couple years out of high school. And if you have figured out that is the path you want to take its great. But I know a lot of 30 year olds who don't know what they want to do with their lives, I know a lot of 40 year olds who don't know what to do with their lives. And most of them are interesting people. So what do you do in that case? You get a degree and settle for it.

    In a way you could say I'm prefering security over freedom. Mostly because I don't know what I would want to do with that freedom yet. Until then I like to comply to the system. Do what works for most people. The problem is sitting around isn't the option either. College is a great way to get out there, meet new people, gain some knowledge, gain some theoretical and field experience and at the end of the day you walk away with a diploma to fall back on. (Even though the majority of college graduates has a job that doesn't fit their degree at all.. Although of course that doesn't mean having no degree at all would qualify you the same of course.)
  • I think public school / proper homeschooling still holds an important place. College less so, in my opinion.
    brave or just ready to die
  • Learning in a classroom is outdated.
  • fnord said:

    if you're interested in actually learning things and becoming well-educated... formal education isn't required.

    if you're interested in playing the game of life, climbing ladders, working a 9-5, having benefits and comfort, and a job that slowly sucks away at your soul.... go for it.

    THIS. I went to college, hoping to become enthralled with learning from educated people. I took classes I thought would be interesting only to be massively disappointed. I learned more outside of the classroom amongst my peers than I did from professors. But, if you want a job, most people will toss your resume if you don't have at least a little piece of paper that says you're qualified to do the job that they are going to retrain you to do anyway.

    (side note: Today I interviewed at a golf course for a server job and the guy kept asking me these vague fucking questions, such as, "What do you think it takes to be a professional?" or "What are some things you do well and what are some things you'd like to improve on, professionally?" I said, "Uhhhhhhhhh...hang on, I've got another call." and hung up.)
    If you don't like Hank Williams, honey, you can kiss my ass.
  • I don't know if this will help you, but it was easier for me to like school once I learned how to find everything interesting. This might sound very odd, but it gets easier. I'm trying to think of good examples.. I sometimes think about the subject in the context of history or why this was so important to people they wanted to preserve the idea, realize if it wasn't for this person we would never have THIS person, relate it to other things in my life or other themes, find connections to modern day ideas, or just wonder why my professor talks the way they talk, why they think their subject is interesting, why they're teaching it like this, etc.

    I'm sure it will help if you have a mild interest in the subject you're learning and an average to good professor. But I look at it like, I get to listen to 6 hours of live lectures a day from 3 different characters who enjoy this subject so much they wanted to teach it. Nothing excites me more than seeing people with passion and if you're fortunate enough to get a teacher that somewhat enjoys what they're doing, it's awesome to just watch them! Besides, i'm PAYING good money for this, I am going to take everything I can from it. Every recommended book, every suggested lecture, etc are things that I might not have time to look into now, but years from now I can go back to it, so I take notes like a motherfucker. I guess it helps if you're a nerd, too.

    Deep down I know, though, I don't NEED a formal education to be happy in life. It's just one of those personal decisions you're going to make. I initially did it for my mom, but I can see the greatness in it. I look at my peers at school as a reflection in society and hopefully it'll "prepare" me for the "real" world. Simply- it's the way you look at it, if you're going to have to do it, make it fantastic.
  • I do think the current education system could be vastly improved, too. There are SOO many better things we could be learning and benefiting from. Maybe some classes emphasizing current events, meditation, technological advancements, how the government has fucked you, alternative history, etc. I go to my classes usually trying to ignore this fact cause I think it'll just weigh me down.
  • If I devoted the six hours I usually spend going to school and sleeping in class to doing research online I think I would be a much better person and I would be much more knowledgeable. That being said, it is important to have a place to go for social interaction.
    Well, I just submitted my formal application as a transfer student. I wish you all luck in whatever direction you've chosen in life.
  • I finished my undergrad with a major that pretty much secures unemployment (English Lit), but I've learned more in the 3 years I've been studying occultism than all my schooling before. Quantum Physics, Sacred Geometry, obscure philosophers... I just feel like when a kid graduates from high school, you should hand him a Terence McKenna book and say: Go!
  • Formal education is vastly superior to no education.
  • Life is the best teacher.
    College is great if you go to learn stuff...not just to leave with a degree & hope to get a job...that's the wrong attitude IMO.
    Colleges isn't for everyone...if you want to learn, get educated, and I think the goal is to leave "knowing stuff"...not just the diploma.
    Get a job, learn a trade, get good at something you like...
    I think college can be an escape for alot of people...in fact some people can leave college without ever really working with other people...how strange is that...if you started at 18, and worked a few years, you have 4 years of practical experience and you can determine what you like and don't like about different types of jobs.
    I went to college for 2 years, but couldn't afford to continue...all told, I guess I ended up in a pretty good place...almost 9 years, and I'm home before 5, and have my nights weekends to play with the kids...its my path...works for me.
    LEARN something tho'...read a book. Read, ask questions...evolve. It doesn't have to be taught in a class to be worthwhile.
    Eyes that have seen will know what I mean - Todd Rundgren
  • Formal education is incredibly important. I would encourage everyone to go to university especially. Obviously, career wise it is a good thing. But even just to study part time, in the evenings or whatever a subject that interests you like writing, philosophy, science, biology etc, it is very rewarding.
  • I would love to shit on formal education, but it's definitely given me a chance to be where I'm at today. Not to say it can't be better... Or that time can't be better spent. It depends mostly on the individual, their intelligence and ambition at a young age. And their career interest, obviously. For instance, you straight up can't become a structural engineer without schooling.
  • Like anything in life it's all about trade-offs. I'm a huge a self-learner who has went through the formal education system. As for truth value and relevance to your life, most formal education is a complete waste. But as far as navigating yourself through society to extract resources and do the cool stuff that having money allows, it's very helpful.
    "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I will meet you there." Rumi
  • jabjab
    Formal education has its advantages, and obviously it has its downsides as well.

    I think saying that its outdated is a little extreme, but we're all entitled to our opinions.

    ...which brings me to my next point. Formal education is a wonderful forum for learning to interact with others, and learning to accept diversity of thought. Is it the ONLY forum for that? Obviously not, as we're all sitting here on a message board--another good forum for that sort of thing. But personally, I was enriched by my schooling because I went to a college that was different from my hometown, with a wider spectrum of people, values, opinions. I was living among others who were quite different than me in terms of background and philosophy, and I became better for it.

    Additionally, I think formal education teaches a degree of discipline and accountability that is quite important to learn when you're 18, 19, etc. You are, largely, on your own--and you have to balance your time and energy accordingly. Again, there are other ways to learn this (like simply starting to work full time at a job), but nonetheless, it is something else positive that is offered by the formal college experience. Many people--myself included--enjoyed the structure.

    And, of course, you're exposed to a number of different subjects that you might not otherwise think to study. You're also exposed to experts on the subjects. These aren't just people on message boards. These are professors and teachers who have devoted their lives to studying a certain subject or philosophy. To be able to shoot the breeze with them is incredibly rewarding. Once I got out in "the real world," I realized just how wonderful it was to have had such easy access to so many great minds. I miss that greatly now.

    Post edited by jab at 2012-05-15 14:57:42
  • jabjab
    jimmybob said:

    As for truth value and relevance to your life, most formal education is a complete waste. But as far as navigating yourself through society to extract resources and do the cool stuff that having money allows, it's very helpful.

    Well said, jimmybob. I don't know if I'd go as far to agree at it being a complete waste, but I hear what you're saying. At the end of the day, you have to find truth for yourself; nobody else can teach it to you, and certainly not in a formal class setting. But formal education is great when it comes to learning how to navigate through society and exact resources, as you said.

    Good post.

  • My opinion is that it simply sucks. It felt like a big game of who can remember facts better. Tests, they attempt to trick you, how is that helpful? I hated school and found it boring.
    check out my music and artwork at http://sufista.com
  • jab said:

    jimmybob said:

    As for truth value and relevance to your life, most formal education is a complete waste. But as far as navigating yourself through society to extract resources and do the cool stuff that having money allows, it's very helpful.

    Well said, jimmybob. I don't know if I'd go as far to agree at it being a complete waste, but I hear what you're saying. At the end of the day, you have to find truth for yourself; nobody else can teach it to you, and certainly not in a formal class setting. But formal education is great when it comes to learning how to navigate through society and exact resources, as you said.

    Good post.

    Thanks. I agree about it not being a *compete* waste, especially if you are cognizant of the pitfalls going in and actively curate your educational experience to avoid those pitfalls. I more meant that if knowledge and truth were your only goals, then you can get the same or greater value for far less time and money by self-directed learning.
    "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I will meet you there." Rumi
  • I think...
    A) Most people go to school to LEARN TO DO A CAREER- scientist, computer programmer, physicist, journalism, etc.
    B) Very few people go to school to LEARN TO THINK and function for themselves in an insanely complicated world where concepts like right/wrong better/worse are anachronisms.

    I believe if you choose your school wisely, college can be great for B. I got 2 degrees (philosophy and religion) with about 4 minors from Indiana University (sociology, film, history, cognitive science) and while I don't use my degree in my job (writing or the one that pays the bills) it was invaluable to developing my approach towards the world and opening me up to new information. Of course, I hung around IU until they literally said "hey buddy, no more student loan cash for you- you have 2 and a half times more credits than you need to graduate- get lost" so maybe I'm not the best one go give advice on this subject.

    I think college sucks for A, unless, as mentioned by others- you are training to be a drone.
    Oh, and if you go into marketing- either to study or as a career. Kill yourself. (Thank you Bill Hicks)
    www.williamhrdina.com -- Simple Journeys to Odd Destinations
    "All phenomena are real in some sense, unreal in some sense, meaningless in some sense, real and meaningless in some sense, unreal and meaningless in some sense, and real and unreal and meaningless in some sense." Robert Anton Wilson
  • I went to college, starting at a JC, when I was 27 and graduated from UC Berkeley. Studied Rhetoric.

    Best decision I ever made.

    College, like everything else is all about what you put into it.
  • It depends a lot on the school and class and professor (no shit!!)

    I've had awesome classes where I get to learn lots of new things and apply them immediately for tangible results and feedback. I've had classes where the professor bumbles through a powerpoint slideshow and tests us using SCANTRON multiple choice exams.

    I like it here. My major has us making a new game in progressively more powerful and interesting environments every semester/year. Lots of fun and creativity.
  • Also living mostly on my own has let me stretch out and learn lots about myself. Getting out of my parent's house has been a great experience. Having a library 5 minutes away with all the books for any number of college/university courses (shared campus) is so fucking cash. I'm slapping myself for not having checked out books from there sooner.
  • messimessi
    i'm messi
  • messimessi
    google - is fucking education
  • Never let schooling get in the way of your education.
    All you need is love
  • I also got really lucky that my high school was willing to experiment with lots of cool computer classes. My last few years of high-school had me learning java/c++ courses as well as stuff like 3D studio max, flash, photoshop, and adobe premiere/after effects. The classes were so foreign to most of the staff that the kids ended up being the authority on them and we were given pretty much free reign to learn as we pleased. We ended up putting so much more effort into them because of that freedom. For our film editing work me and some friends recorded our fooling around in IL-2 Sturmovik (a WWII flight sim) and produced a silly video about Latvian fighter pilots (do those exist?).
  • Though I'm not formally educated, I have worked in as a professional environment in a few different roles(marketing specialist, production artist, and copywriter), and in general, I've never felt that I was below my coworkers, who are almost all college educated, in intelligence, skill, talent or knowledge.

    Having worked with and competed against the college educated, some of which graduated from highly competitive universities, I've seen a wide range of people, some I consider educated and smart, and a lot I consider educated and not impressively smart.

    Because college, and even good colleges due to socioeconomic factors, graduate so many not smart and unknowledgeable people, I'm simply not impressed by the label.

    But, has the lack of a college degree hurt my career options? Absolutely.

    If it weren't for the fact that I'm currently a creative, who is judged solely on their portfolio for hire, I would have gone back to get a college degree a few years ago, but not because I need it for knowledge, because I need it for appearances.

    Despite my anti formal education stance, I actually do plan to go back to college, when I move to New York. I'm going to enroll in a part-time general studies degree program at The New School, so I can study exactly what want. I want the safety of a degree for the future(damn society for making me have to do this).
    Post edited by CostiganJr at 2012-05-15 22:50:37
  • I just finished a 4 year undergraduate degree from a major public university. If I had to go back and do it again, I would have never went.

    My parents more or less forced me into going to college. Actually I never really considered NOT going. It was the thing to do after high school. I thought I knew what I wanted to be, but after a year or so of school I changed my field of study at least 2 times.

    I always wanted to be an audio engineer and work in a studio. I went to college for something in the medical field. Now I graduated and I am working as an audio engineer. I got that job from my grandfather who knows a guy who knows a guy who is an audio engineer. IT IS ALL ABOUT WHO YOU KNOW.

    It seems to me that in order to do what you want to do, just start doing it. That's what I am doing now. I guess it took me a lot of tuition payments and 5 years to figure that out. I can say that I would never take my college experience and do it differently. I suffered alot through college, had some fun, and I am now a totally different and happy being.

  • nordicpeasantnordicpeasant
    I'm a Troll. Don't Feed Me.
    formal education sucks you just remember things. I think a trivium quadrivium education is best. You learn how to think critically,
    Post edited by nordicpeasant at 2012-05-18 11:24:41
    My dog was beautiful if you disagree you are a tard
  • To some degree I think formal education is overrated. To give you guys an example my ex-girlfriend has a masters degree and was a teacher that got stuck working in a catholic school making low to mid 30's, while I'm an air conditioning mechanic making double that amount with 1 year of technical school. There are multiple ways in my field to make a 6 figure salary with a little ambition. A few years ago I thought my industry would see a flood of people getting into it considering the dismal job situation out there........but nothing, nobody seems to want to sweat to make a living anymore. I work for a large company, and there's no new blood coming into the field......it's kind of baffling.
  • Finest Graduation Speech Ever Valedictorian Speaks Out Against Indoctrination Schooling

  • Just thought I'd bump this thread since I am now fully enrolled... I had to apply as a transfer student, so my first year will be a redundant continuation of my last program while I try to weasel my way into the actual program I want to pursue.

    Wishing you all personal and academic success,
  • Good to hear @M0XIE !
    Be sure to keep us updated.

    A few people have said this already but formal education definitely isn't for everyone, and it depends on what your goals are. If you're 100% sure what job you want and it's not in academia, you can probably get there by your own path. Otherwise, university can be a good place to surround yourself with smart people that will intellectually kick your ass and make you a better person.

    For me, I deliberated a lot, finally found a program I liked and fell in love with it. After undergrad I left the country in order to reset and refocus on what exactly I wanted out of life. Now, a few years later, I'm considering going back for my PhD. This is where winning the lottery would really come in handy :)
  • All learning is good. College (that Mommy and Daddy aren't paying for) is an agreement you make with yourself, that you will actively participate in learning. And sometimes you will be forced to learn about things that your are not really interested in. This is great because it opens you up to so much more than you would normally try to seek out for yourself. The knowledge gained from learning and contemplating gives you the furture opportunity to imply wisdom in circumstances. The same kind of thing may be achieved via stumbleupon and a vass supply of TedTalks, the only thing lacking from that kind of information is the deeper analysis of what that information means to you. I.E. Literature Essays are an amazing way of examining ourselves by relfecting on our feelings and ideas said work has conjured in us. Of course it depends alot on the school and teacher as well, nothing worse than a Proffessor who has a hard dick for his Diployma's and thinks that that entitles him to be a fucking puttz.
  • zorzor
    Temp Ban
    first day of junior year of high school today. just got home and im all ready to jump out my window.(jk, i have a quarter to smoke through, before i do that). what can i do to rebel? cant stand the monotony of memorization. feel drained and desperate for escape. i learned more from the tim leary book i dragged with all day, and looked like a wierdo reading; than i did from listening to all of these psychos babble for an hour at a time. helllpppppp
  • Apocaloptimist1
    I'm a Troll. Don't Feed Me.
    Post edited by Apocaloptimist1 at 2012-09-07 03:17:28
    Anti-Profit Permaculture Campgrounds for Creative Minds!

  • College isn't worth it right now unless you're going into a science (engineering, medical, math). If I were in high school now and I didn't want to major in anything like that, I'd wait like 5-10 years until the college bubble bursts then get my undergrad and graduate degrees.

    In my situation, I want to get an MS right now, but I know the cost of the graduate program I'm interested in is not going to be offset anytime soon by the bump in salary. It's definitely not going to make me feel fulfilled as a human. If I were going for that, I'd go balls out and apply to medical school.

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!