23 October 2012
3.5 Timeouts Tuesdays
Elder is graduating from high school this year. How the heck did that happen?
She has sought my opinion on university. As I have spent almost my entire adult life at university, as a student, post grad student, doctoral candidate and employee, I have lots of opinions. The first is that university sucks. The second, or corollary to that opinion, is that a university education is now all but useless, which paradoxically means it is more necessary than ever before.
That last remark may require a little explanation. Around the time my father was in school, graduating high school was a ticket to a good job, because that meant something. Not everyone made it all the way through, many dropped out early to support their families or to work the farm or something. Graduating High School was a marker, it said you were smart, could study and see it through. As time past, more people began graduating from High school, so the diploma came to mean less. In my own time, before I came to university, graduating university was a ticket to a job, because it was rare. If you had a degree you had a job, and if you didn't have a job it was because you didn't want one, possibly because you were backpacking around Europe or something.
Now, the bachelor's degree is meaningless, because almost everyone and their chimp has one. Furthermore, whereas in the past university used to create bird courses for their athletes, nowadays the number of junk courses has proliferated immensely, with degrees in fields that have utterly no practical application outside of a university, but which are wildly supported by academics, because an academic is someone who believes academia is the highest state to which humanity can aspire. But the proliferation of degrees means that the degree does not distinguish anyone, but that means you must have one just to be even with the rest of the pack. I have more to say, but this is 3.5 timeouts.
I think I might write a book about university entitled "You Can Wipe Your A$$ with that". I'll begin by talking about