Higher Ed problems
Posted by Peter W. Schramm
Eric Gibson thinks that private colleges have it "better than the actual welfare state."
8:32 PM / December 12, 2008
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While I was at Ashland a few years ago I saw homes leveled to put up more buildings. In graduate school I watched as my university constructed a rock climbing wall in the student center, while building a new medical school that looked like a giant chipotle right down to the stainless steel decor. I think the university, as it is in modern times, is the greatest scheme ever. Hold people's futures at ransom essentially all the while building adminstration centers and glorified day care structures. I often wondered what went on in those administration discussions considering admissions. Did they talk about reminding the tour guides to stress the award winning food at convo, To show the 'new student center' that was completed after my graduation and yet was part of the tour five years earlier. I recall the lament of many teachers about the lack of intrest in learning and I have little doubt that they don't know the half of it. Connect this to the meritocracy discussion if you want. The problem is that colleges compete for government loan dollars and they grow and put up more stuff to get more government loan dollars. The mentality amongst my generation was that you had to go to college to have a good job. Well, we have graduated and said jobs do not in fact grow on trees. Oh to be a skilled laborer at GM 30 years ago. We always saw college as a means to and end, and now that the end is less likely even with college fewer people are going to go. People not reaping the benifits are going to turn their nose up at donating.
I think this is all good for education though. It may make colleges start thinking about how to get good teachers and not how to make sure that the tour guide talks about the lazy river and the flat screan TV's in the student center. So much of the money right now does not go to the education side.
Who is the college student in this day and age? I will tell you the people I met. The middle aged person going at night to further their career. The spoiled snot spending their parents money with the noble idea of, four years to have a good time. Then there is the merit person who is there to acculmulate awards, mentors, ect on their way to some sort of public service job. If you ask any of them why they are their it is to have a better job someday. to the snot its about networking with a fraternity, to the middle aged guy its about getting promoted, the merit kid wants to have relations with important people. Then there was the retired guy. He was what I consider what the university should be about. He worked hard all his life and was there to learn because he enjoyed doing it. How can the youth, surrounded by uncertain times, capture the spirit of retired guy? Mabye the answer is that education is wasted on the youth, or that education should not be a gateway to something else. Three years removed and I already lament wasting a lot of the opportunities I had to really learn and tackle tough ideas. I guess the person who told me you will never have more free time than you do now was right. I just wish, I and my fellow students did more with it. I do, however, doubt that the adminstrators really care as long the government checks don't start bouncing.