College is a waste of time (OT)

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Malemute

Ice climber
the ghost
Jun 7, 2011 - 04:57pm PT
Not a complete waste of time, but there IS a lot of chaff before you find any kernels.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 1, 2013 - 10:32am PT
I was trying to find a thread to post this article from the NYTimes yesterday

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/31/education/as-interest-fades-in-the-humanities-colleges-worry.html

...
Meanwhile, since the recession — probably because of the recession — there has been a profound shift toward viewing college education as a vocational training ground.

“College is increasingly being defined narrowly as job preparation, not as something designed to educate the whole person,” said Pauline Yu, president of the American Council of Learned Societies.
...

Some professors flinch when they hear colleagues talking about the need to prepare students for jobs.

“I think that’s conceding too quickly,” said Mark Edmundson, an English professor at the University of Virginia. “We’re not a feeder for law school; our job is to help students learn to question.”
...

“Students who are anxious about finishing their degree, and avoiding debt, sometimes see the breadth requirements as getting in their way,” said Nicholas Dirks, chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley.

Many do not understand that the study of humanities offers skills that will help them sort out values, conflicting issues and fundamental philosophical questions, said Leon Botstein, the president of Bard College.

“We have failed to make the case that those skills are as essential to engineers and scientists and businessmen as to philosophy professors,” he said.



Interestingly, Botstein is onto something, "those skills are as essential to engineers and scientists and businessmen"

This past summer, participating in a summer school associated with the NSSC (http://nssc.berkeley.edu/); there was an evening "event" where the speaker discussed ethics. Apparently teaching ethics to engineering students has become quite a focus in academe, at least at UCB.

After reading the NYTimes article yesterday, I had a thought about how I learned ethics, not from an defuse socialization process, but formally. I didn't take a course in the Physics Department titled "Ethics for Physicists" but rather through reading literature and learning history. From fictional literature the exploration of the "human condition" through plausible stories gets you thinking about situations you might encounter. History teaches us about the consequences of choices, many of them dealing with ethical conundrum.

While teaching an ethics course in the Engineering department might be "efficient" it is hard to understand how such a course could address situations beyond the "case studies" presented... I can't imagine ethics being reduced down to a logic flow chart to be applied when needed (not that these classes do that).

I can't imagine it because of my exposure to "the humanities" where these questions are pondered, discussed endlessly, and an answer never offered... or at least not a hard-and-fast answer. The thinking through of the question is what is important, and a familiarity with that question, and the considerations, the best outcome, at least best when one is eventually confronted with a the real thing in life.

Why this isn't now apparent I don't know... perhaps it is the same reason that Physics Departments (at least when I was teaching in one) taught 19th century mathematics to its majors rather than having the Mathematics Department do it...

khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Nov 1, 2013 - 10:46am PT
College is not a waste of time, but it can certainly be a waste of money.
pyro

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
Nov 1, 2013 - 11:01am PT
People should get a credit for learning stuff from youtube.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 1, 2013 - 11:06am PT
Werd has it the dudes that built the Great Pyramid didn't go to colledge.
Norwegian

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
Nov 1, 2013 - 11:09am PT
i would definitely conclude
that the experience and fruit of
college has increased my
quality of life.
okie

Trad climber
Nov 1, 2013 - 11:12am PT
Bokonon says: " if you think ignorance is expensive, try education."
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 1, 2013 - 11:19am PT
But Weege, you got an education. I've a couple of nieces who wasted a whole lot of time and their Dad's money and don't even have husbands to show for it. I won't go into the minimum wage jobs they have.
Floyd Hayes

Trad climber
Hidden Valley Lake, CA
Nov 1, 2013 - 11:42am PT
I wouldn't have become a college professor had I never gone to college.
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Nov 1, 2013 - 11:59am PT
College won't make an idiot smart nor employable at any cost.
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Peavine Basecamp
Nov 1, 2013 - 12:14pm PT
College beats the alternatives. You are almost too stupid to breathe at that age, might as well pretend to read a book while you stare at ass all day.
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
Nov 1, 2013 - 12:18pm PT
.


Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA

Nov 1, 2013 - 11:19am PT
But Weege, you got an education. I've a couple of nieces who wasted a whole lot of time and their Dad's money and don't even have husbands to show for it. I won't go into the minimum wage jobs they have.

Lol
Nobody said it is guaranteed to make you useful.
Your education does take some planning.



But knowing stuff does totally suck..lol
All these doctors and nurses I'm working with right now.
Just think what they could have all been doing if they weren't performing surgery all day.

The best thing about education is that it teaches you how much you don't know.






Sketch

Trad climber
Langley, VA
Nov 1, 2013 - 12:19pm PT
College, like youth, is wasted on the young.
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Peavine Basecamp
Nov 1, 2013 - 12:21pm PT
I'd say the median age of college "youth" is rising. But maybe that's just at the reprogramming facilities I've attended lately.
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Nov 1, 2013 - 12:24pm PT
There are a bunch of ignorant, hungry sheep down in the Valley of Germanium and Silicon too. Middle class stupidity and conformity permeates the whole culture top to bottom. A nasty little junior achiever with his hard work, individual initiative, free will talk sounds so stupid when he collides with big money it makes you want to laugh (or cry). They can all go home and sacrifice puppies to an Ayn Rand stone idol. Long live the Dragon Lady and the University of Chicago School of Economics.
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
Nov 1, 2013 - 12:29pm PT
Got this a few weeks ago
I'm like, damn - I could have been playing video games instead!!

Credit: Riley Wyna
Rong Glanderson

Social climber
Merndherse, Kneevadder
Nov 1, 2013 - 12:38pm PT
College is for eggheads,,,and scientism mambo jimbo!

Go out yung man and get some EXPERIENCE under yer breeches,,,then talk to me about yer educkashun!
Rudder

Trad climber
Costa Mesa, CA
Nov 1, 2013 - 12:46pm PT
For those who don't believe in a college degree... watch 28 Up. :)
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Nov 1, 2013 - 12:48pm PT
Diplomas by themselves will not make anyone smart, or employed. Lack of education leaves a lot of doors closed, though.

Median annual earnings of full-time, full-year wage and salary workers ages 25-34, by educational attainment: 2011

http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=77
sullly

Trad climber
Nov 1, 2013 - 12:50pm PT
Yay humanities! My prof was talking about this article last night just before we lunged into an Edward Albee play. I live for the humanities. So did my parents. The pendulum will swing back.




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