Thinking and Linking by Joanne Jacobs
From my friend Signe Wilkinson.
Only in America! Crushing debts make going to college seem more like a punishment than a reward for hard work and dedication…
I’m just glad I went to shcool when I did. High shcool was a bit messed up for a lot of other reasons, but I was part of a shcool district that ranked well in a state that had one of the higher rankings for public shcools in the nation at the time. And by no means was I from a privileged community. Also, and I believe this is important, but we had a pretty homogeneous student body. That isn’t to say that there were not different types of people, but pretty much everyone was a native English speaker. Also, there was a bit of technology, but this was before too many computers in the classroom (we had computer labs, and occasionally a teacher had a computer in the classroom, but that was rare.) I will admit though that in retrospect there was a lot about the shcool environment that was unhealthy. A zoo in a way. But I’m still glad I did it then and not now. Though this is a bias not based upon a full grasp of the modern reality since I am pretty far removed from the shcool environment of today. Just a disclaimer.I really don’t know what it is like in the modern classroom, but I am sure there are many places where they have to cater to many ESL students in the main classrooms who might have that barrier there. And I can’t help but think that kids sitting in front of screens all the time (at home, in the classroom, etc.) doesn’t give them a bit of ADD. But like I said, I don’t know the true reality for kids these days so I’ll admit I am only speculating.On a related subject, I always crack up when people talk about how we have to compete on the global stage. First off, when do we reach a point that we have enough knowledge that we can start using it to make more enjoyable and happier communities, and functional societies? I’m not saying there isn’t always more to learn and discover. But are we going to be in a competitive race for the end of time only to find out we ruined what was good in life along the way? We need smart people to come up with good ideas, ones that enrich life. Even if they are just enlightening philosophical insights that might encourage people to live a little better. Anything to get the masses off there doritos eatin’ couch sittin’ idol watchin’ dope smokin’ people magazine readin’ messed up head thinkin’. Oh, wait. Never mind. I can’t do crap for these people so I think I’ll just do better for myself.
A big catalyst for all this was not only the civil itghrs movement/political correctness in general, but another effect of that, which was opening up a much larger student loan pool than we had ever seen. Now, suddenly, people viewed going into debt as a right, and getting an education as a right. Put it together and what do you get? A federally funded (read: poorly managed) business with franchises all over. Even the private universities got in on the act and as the funds kept flowing and applications kept coming in, schools expanded campuses and endowments, and raised prices higher and higher. Now it costs about the MSRP of a BMW PER YEAR to go to some of the better-ranked private schools and even some of the not-so-well-ranked.Eliminate access to easy money at low interest rates to go in the first place, and you’ve eliminated about half the problem. It used to be that even at private universities many of which were affiliated with or started by churches you could borrow money at a low interest rate if you were already there and couldn’t make ends meet. They didn’t want to see smart people leave, and all they had was smart people. Now, they couldn’t give a s**t who stays and who goes as long as they get their $$ from one source or another. PhD is the new bachelors/masters you need the will to go to school and live in poverty for about 10 years after your friends who graduate with business degrees to *really* prove you want to be educated.
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