500 Words At A Time: Trapped in the Stupid Box

“You know that you will encounter stupid people everywhere,” random person says to me.

“Yes, but I will not be trapped in a room with them.”

Over five years there has been one constant, stupid people. I know that is not politically correct and I am fine with that. There are stupid people and as long as the stupid people are doing stupid things away from me I am happy with that and I will guess that they are happy too. From my perspective education is undervalued because anyone, it seems, can get into college and everyone is told that they should have a college degree. BULLSHIT on both accounts.

Not everyone should be in college and not every career requires a college degree. Or at least that is the way it should be. Instead over the past five years I have been trapped in one degree or another of the stupid box. I’m not sure who is responsible for the stupidity that I see.

Society?

Parents?

Teachers?

The Student?

Technology?

Probably a bit of everything. Despite living in a society where anyone (most anyone) can enter a “college” and every career requires a degree, this country of ours (United States for those who didn’t know where I am located) is doing a horrible job of promoting actually obtaining an education. Go to college, but to learn skills. Skills can be learned on the job. Critical thinking and exposure to new ideas, new ways of thinking, history for context, and social skills those are hard to teach on the job. In fact, I would argue are best taught in a college setting where failure is not only encouraged, but safe to do. Because when Student X does not know why something is done or how to behave and gets fired from the job that will be a serious punch to the gut.

With a focus on skills it is hardly a surprise to me when asked to think about and apply knowledge that many students cannot do the task. What’s worse, is that many of them do not see this as a problem and because they do not see not knowing or being able to apply as a problem they do not ask questions. Asking questions, like failing, is how people learn and learning is or was the point of college or so I thought.

I’m not so sure now what the point of college is. Seems to be to get a piece of paper to make money. However, even if you have all of the job skills if you cannot apply them, think about them, understand them, and behave in society (can’t wait until the crotchtexters get a job where they cannot crotch text) you will not keep the job you spent countless hours and dollars to get.

At this point, crossing the 500 Word line, I should make a distinction between stupidity from lack of knowledge and experience and willful stupidity. There are plenty of students who lack knowledge and experience, but try to learn. That kind of stupidity, where they say something that makes your brain hurt one week, but the next have learned is okay with me. I like that kind of stupidity. Everyone has that stupidity-you didn’t know, you thought you knew, and then you LEARN.

Willful stupidity really gets under my skin. Someone paid for a student to attend college. There is no free college in this country. Scholarships are paid for by someone. Thus college is a bill and an investment. People expect something out of both. I am paying for college thus I had better do something with this bill or I got a lot of scholarships, I should do something to honor the investment someone made in me. Unfortunately, and really unfortunately, I have been seeing a lot of students who don’t give a FUCK. Not don’t give a fuck in an ironic way, but don’t give a fuck about anything at all other than texting on their phone, talking to students in class, and hoping that just by being in class that they will pass the class.

That is willful stupidity, a refusal to take part in the process of education for your own good. That kind of stupidity and waste, lets be honest that is a waste of money and time on a lot of people and institutions part, should bother more than me. That should be why college should not be for everyone. That is why college should move away from skills only. That is why college should be hard to get into…but my thoughts on the cost of college, difficulty, and value are another 500 Words…

 

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