About Me

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A simple, tax-paying, opinionated American. I roam the streets of Boston at all hours of the night; slip on the sidewalks and drive through the pot holes. I find myself challenging the opinions of others on a daily basis. I despise anyone that opposes Cape Wind. The recession has had no effect on me except to shorten the lines I wait in at Privus, The Nile, Joshua Tree, and Target (people can only afford Wal-Mart). I make a lot of wise remarks, enjoy witty battles, and say it like it is. I'm a Democrat, a procrastinator, and I spend way to much time talking about both. I am me.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Higher education: The pursuit of intelligence or a 3rd mortgage?

You graduate high school and you... go to college. What else is there? You spend senior year of high school going through the rigorous application process; writing essays, touring schools, having meetings. Finally, it pays off; a thick envelope, fresh with the mail room clerks saliva and stamped by an over jealous postal employee. An acceptance! And to your dream school no less.

Here is where my issues with higher education begin. The price tag. Colleges and universities increase their tuition about 8% every year. Over the course of every 9 years, college tuition will double. Now, the question I ask myself is, is this really worth it? I highly value education; a self proclaimed know it all my whole life has always led me in the pursuit of knowledge, but is this cookie cutter style learning really worth it? Half the time spent working towards a college degree will be spent completing courses that have nothing to do with the field of study. In some very infuriating cases, you will be forced to take a class for the mere fact that what you need is not available. Excuse me for being a little bitter after being forced to take "Roman Literature" because the "Chemistry Lab" I needed to take is full.

Does this seem like a complete waste of time to anyone else? If I'm paying $6,000 per class, I'd really like to take a class that gets me one step closer to getting my degree. It is important to be well-rounded but there needs to be a limit. The system is flawed and has been for some time. The problem is no one questions it. Students continue to go through the motions and, step by step into financial oblivion. With the financial crisis raging in America, and forecast to continue for years to come, I find myself asking if I will be able to get a good enough job to handle my $500 a month college loan payments.

Education, limited to only the high classes and the aristocracy, did not become readily available until the Age of Enlightenment. During this glorious time, reason and knowledge reined supreme. And the kicker? It was a free exchange of ideas. With the worlds current idea of factory style learning, or the process of sticking as many people in a room with the same curriculum and hoping that a few of them are good enough at being sheep to absorb it, leaves much to be desired.

So what is the answer? Well, it's a difficult nut to crack but it all starts with curriculum adjustments and an overhaul of the tuition system. With government and state funding being cut, so are financial aid programs and scholarships, preventing many from pursuing higher education. Teach what needs to be taught and learn what you need to succeed.

Don't go with the motions.


  1. Dear UMass Amherst-

    Thank you for making me take Greek Civilization which I failed due to lack of interest bringing down my GPA.

    Love, Jen

  2. You said that lack of taxpayer money "prevents many from pursuance of higher education". Not funding does not "prevent" your pursuance of higher education, it just doesn't give it to you, free of charge, from strangers and neighbors. By that logic, not giving my entire paycheck to the hungry is me personally preventing others from eating (i would have to give the whole check, any amount i kept, even a dollar, would be a dollar more than someone who needed it more than me for food. I agree though about the current system. I would love to see the education system revamped. The requirements are a joke, and should be revised. Why should you be forced to learn a subject you have absolutely no interest in and that you will never use, just to graduate?