I watched the recent Republican debate and exited about the same as I entered.
I watched the recent Republican debate and exited about the same as I entered. My impression seems to dovetail with general consensus of no “Kodak moments” occurring to rock poll results.
The debate did solidify my perception that Marco Rubio is looking more like “the one,” although it’s still very early. He’s bright, direct and seems to have a cohesive grasp of issue details.
To me personally, one of the most intelligent thoughts came from Rubio when he noted the diminished emphasis given to training in the trades. He mentioned welders make more than philosophers; therefore, we can use more welders and fewer philosophers.
I’m sure he wasn’t specifically predisposed against philosophical pursuits but was illustrating an underlying fact of life that has become more prevalent in recent years. If you want to complete a meaningful course of study and be able to get a job at a decent wage, skills taught at community colleges are an amazing bang for the buck.
I’ve said for years that four-year colleges are becoming more and more a waste of time and money. Trust me, I’m not anti-education but am more and more skeptical of what passes as “education” today.
I’m an accountant and have been in the business long enough to see client’s kids grow up and go off to school because it was “the thing to do.” Tens of thousands of dollars are routinely spent sending sons and daughters on campus-life adventures before the darlings have the beginnings of a clue.
More and more today, education is becoming form over substance. There’s a growing perception that having a “degree” makes the difference. Not necessarily.
Acquiring marketable knowledge and skills makes the difference, not the piece of paper in a frame evidencing degree attainment in some touchy-feely puff of smoke subject. To scratch this form-over-substance itch, some colleges offer very weird majors.
Here are a few: Oaksterdam University in California offers a major in cannabis cultivation. I suppose there’s some farmer in all of us. Humber College offers degrees in comedy. Hold your applause.
More locally, you can get a B.S. from Appalachian State in fermentation sciences — making beer and wine! The brothers on fraternity row surely love this major.
Today at San Francisco State University you can major in sexuality. I wonder if the textbooks have centerfolds? Duke has a Canadian studies degree, East Carolina offers jazz studies.
Listen, I’m not saying any field of study isn’t valuable on some level. But I do question if some of the hundred or so “fringe” majors available can remotely support their hundred thousand dollar costs?
Education is wonderful but somewhere along the line — especially at today’s tuition levels — some cost/benefit logic should come into play. Added to the bare economics, nowadays you can’t escape the idiocy being promulgated on some of our most prestigious (and expensive) campuses.
Are students somehow being behaviorally lobotomized, having good sense replaced by nonsense with the invoice being sent to Dad and Mom? Are zombies actually real?
Has sanity taken up residence in community colleges? I know value lives there.
Otis Gardner can be reached at email@example.com.