generation limbo: 20-somethings today, debt, unemployment, the questionable value of a college education

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another thing - outside of grad school what jobs ask for your transcript? almost none! even fairly official jobs usually believe you. as long as that's the case it really is more logical for someone at euler's school to just fuck around and then put a 3.9 on their resume.

― iatee, Wednesday, November 9, 2011 2:18 PM (2 minutes ago) [IP: 64.61.128.66: New York, United States]

not true. every public school teaching job asks for a transcript.

free banana man! free banana man! (remy bean), Wednesday, 9 November 2011 22:36 (seven years ago) link

a system that better prepares students for what it actually means to be a college student

This seems like a biggie to me xp

Yeah I mean, I basically went through most of high school doing my work either during class or on the bus ride to school the day it was due; what this translated to is a work ethic as an adult where I wait until just past the last possible moment to do a task, then cram mightily and kill myself to pull heroic measures to get it done. I never actually learned how to finish things early or plan out my workload!

sex-poodle Al Gore (DJP), Wednesday, 9 November 2011 22:36 (seven years ago) link

Me neither! I tried to make that a personal goal for myself in my last two years of college (which just ended heh, I act like it was forever ago) but I didn't make tons of progress on that front. (It is hard to learn how to do your best work when your halfhearted work gets good-to-excellent feedback. I finally hit a bit of a wall with that tactic during college but more importantly I realized that I did actually want to be proud of myself.)

whoop, up the butt it goes (silby), Wednesday, 9 November 2011 22:39 (seven years ago) link

yeah, I oughta keep my trap shut here, b/c I'm pos it won't go over well.

naw you can call us lazy :D

theres this weird thing were like, it seems p unfair that a le rosey alum who barely slumped her way through an creative writing degree at hampshire can land a sweet job in wealth mgmt after she graduates and plenty of other more qualified applicants are serving coffee but the le rosey girl is probably a better fit and if i was running pcs id hire her too. 'merit' is tricky thing i guess?

the green (Lamp), Wednesday, 9 November 2011 22:39 (seven years ago) link

that's well-put & wise. My non-trad students are def better prepared for college work compared with similar trad students of similar abilities & talents (though less well-prepared than the best trad students, of whom we get very few anyway since they all go off to fancy private colleges like the one I went to).

but I dunno about connecting to tangible real-world goals of academic studies. I'm with that if it means: most majors should assume the bulk of their students aren't going to grad school & structure the curriculum accordingly. my department's in the process of working on that.

so I mean yeah: some of this is the fault of bad organization at the university level. & some of it's the fault of bad students. & those are intermixed! but "blatant immaturity" isn't the fault of university faculty.

also I wish we had a way of funding public education that didn't depend on graduating anyone b/c obv some people who go to college don't deserve a college degree but we also need them as "consumers" & this affects dean-level pressure toward grade inflation. it really sucks.

Euler, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 22:40 (seven years ago) link

er xp to DJP a while back

Euler, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 22:40 (seven years ago) link

Yeah I mean, I basically went through most of high school doing my work either during class or on the bus ride to school the day it was due; what this translated to is a work ethic as an adult where I wait until just past the last possible moment to do a task, then cram mightily and kill myself to pull heroic measures to get it done. I never actually learned how to finish things early or plan out my workload!

― sex-poodle Al Gore (DJP), Wednesday, November 9, 2011 5:36 PM (3 minutes ago) Bookmark

lol otm. people really should be forced to work at mcdonalds for a few years before going to college

ASPIE Rocky (dayo), Wednesday, 9 November 2011 22:40 (seven years ago) link

wait there are Hampshire alums working in finance? xp

whoop, up the butt it goes (silby), Wednesday, 9 November 2011 22:41 (seven years ago) link

i dont think its controversial to wish that kids who didnt work hard worked harder? or cared more? i think a lot of people in this thread might suggest that those kids would be better off not going to college, at least not at that point in their lives, given that theyre a) not really learning anything and b) probably putting themselves into debt. (this is all in a perfect world, where a college degree signified something more specific than "employable")

like in my plan the lazy kids would be working on farms. would get the laze right out of em

max, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 22:42 (seven years ago) link

tho come to think of it my friend's evil ex girlfriend spent four years at Hampshire designing her own actuarial science major and is now an actuary no foolin

whoop, up the butt it goes (silby), Wednesday, 9 November 2011 22:42 (seven years ago) link

'actually an actuary' is the name of her forthcoming autobiography

ASPIE Rocky (dayo), Wednesday, 9 November 2011 22:44 (seven years ago) link

or the name of a lesser-known Tennessee Williams play

whoop, up the butt it goes (silby), Wednesday, 9 November 2011 22:46 (seven years ago) link

like in my plan the lazy kids would be working on farms. would get the laze right out of em

― max, Wednesday, November 9, 2011 5:42 PM (5 minutes ago) Bookmark

this is basically the premise of deep springs

ASPIE Rocky (dayo), Wednesday, 9 November 2011 22:47 (seven years ago) link

yeah that's awesome for the 26 dudes who get to go there. Also I keep wanting someone to do an expose of Deep Springs having like weekly mandatory orgies or something

whoop, up the butt it goes (silby), Wednesday, 9 November 2011 22:48 (seven years ago) link

because come on

whoop, up the butt it goes (silby), Wednesday, 9 November 2011 22:48 (seven years ago) link

i think a lot of people in this thread might suggest that those kids would be better off not going to college

yeah, basically

the green (Lamp), Wednesday, 9 November 2011 22:49 (seven years ago) link

or only to college later in life maybe

Euler, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 22:52 (seven years ago) link

college should start at age like 26 probably

max, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 22:57 (seven years ago) link

i would be so much better at college now than i was back then

max, Wednesday, 9 November 2011 22:57 (seven years ago) link

yeah i appreciated the last two years of my undergrad way more than the first two and i'm actually excited to be in school now

plax (ico), Thursday, 10 November 2011 02:08 (seven years ago) link

euler's tirade against the lazy generation ignores what I said earlier- most of his students have absolutely nothing to gain from working very hard in his course! (other than personal betterment - but surprisesurprise that's not why most people are paying tuition)

if the top 20% of his class were guaranteed good jobs - similar to the situation at a lot of law schools - there'd be incentive to turn in the best goddamn paper you could write. (watched 'the paper chase' a few nights ago...good movie)

right now there are two groups who are gonna do well:
a. do really really really care about plato
b. want to go to grad school or one of a handful of careers where yr gpa matters

the rest prob want white collar jobs and an A+ in your class is really not gonna directly affect their prospects at one. there's really no reason not for them to be out having fun. maybe they should care about plato cause plato is pretty interesting but that's not why they're there. they're not lazy, they're rational w/r/t the value of their time.

iatee, Thursday, 10 November 2011 03:39 (seven years ago) link

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/college_guide/feature/college_dropout_factories.php?page=all

i basically had no idea there were tertiary institutions anywhere in the world with < 50% graduation rates until i read this.

caek, Thursday, 10 November 2011 12:33 (seven years ago) link

I wanna see the list of dropout factories that went with that article because based on the comments they accidentally put Concordia College in MN on it

sex-poodle Al Gore (DJP), Thursday, 10 November 2011 14:34 (seven years ago) link

iatee that's nonsense: they're not rational with their time, they're fucking around, playing video games, getting wasted, watching tv. that's rational? for fuck's sake they could learn how to write! or fucking scrub dishes, if they're not going to learn to use their minds.

I mean if your point is that most people don't want to be part of the ~knowledge economy~ then fine; but I gather you're prepared to see massive wage drops compared to now? if I'm a business owner I don't want to pay some know-nothing good coin to enter data into a computer; I want someone with ideas & energy to carry those out. & you don't develop those playing xbox or watching Jersey Shore while cased out on Schlitz.

Euler, Thursday, 10 November 2011 14:50 (seven years ago) link

Listen, when you work as an office drone, having ideas will kill ya.

It means why you gotta be a montague? (Laurel), Thursday, 10 November 2011 15:01 (seven years ago) link

getting wasted and interacting w/ modern technology is prob more related to the life of a modern office worker than reading about plato

iatee, Thursday, 10 November 2011 15:10 (seven years ago) link

I'm sorry but you expect everyone to be steve jobs or something, yes I am prepared for massive wage drops and your field is included in that btw

iatee, Thursday, 10 November 2011 15:13 (seven years ago) link

yeah that's just a failure of imagination, on your part & on the part of so-called college students today. no wonder everyone's depressed these days!

i.e. tl;dr; goodbye America

Euler, Thursday, 10 November 2011 15:14 (seven years ago) link

I'd like some evidence that hard-working philosophy majors have been something that contributed new *ideas and energy* to the american economy, iirc they just become lawyers

iatee, Thursday, 10 November 2011 15:16 (seven years ago) link

why are you hung up on philosophy majors

sex-poodle Al Gore (DJP), Thursday, 10 November 2011 15:17 (seven years ago) link

cause euler's a philosophy prof complaining about his lazy students

iatee, Thursday, 10 November 2011 15:17 (seven years ago) link

ah, so you're using the rhetorical stratagem known as "being a dick"

sex-poodle Al Gore (DJP), Thursday, 10 November 2011 15:18 (seven years ago) link

i feel like ive lost the thread somewhere, what are the two sides of this argument

max, Thursday, 10 November 2011 15:19 (seven years ago) link

you could start with "what do philosophy majors do" About 5,940,000 results (0.21 seconds)

& yes this oughtn't just be about philosophy; I think it's nuts to say it's rational for people to waste their time rather than work hard at learning (& yes I'm aware that I'm on this message board right now rather than writing today's lecture but this is a kind of meta-work for me right now as I try to sort out how to handle my classes today).

Euler, Thursday, 10 November 2011 15:22 (seven years ago) link

euler: our generation is lazy / has a failure of imagination / needs ~ideas and energy~, his evidence is some people in his class go out and party and play xbox
me: sorry dude they don't really have any reason to care about your class they just want a BA, that is why they are there, this is nothing new btw, they might not have been there 30 years ago when they coulda gotten a decent job w/o a BA

iatee, Thursday, 10 November 2011 15:22 (seven years ago) link

as I understood the argument, iatee's claiming that it's more rational for future "office drones" (his expression) to fuck around than to work hard at university

I disagree

Euler, Thursday, 10 November 2011 15:24 (seven years ago) link

I think "office drone" may actually have been my expression but carry on.

It means why you gotta be a montague? (Laurel), Thursday, 10 November 2011 15:25 (seven years ago) link

making personal connections + being sociable is more important to your future job prospects than being rly good at writing papers on socrates

another one of those 'true value of college' things

xp

iatee, Thursday, 10 November 2011 15:25 (seven years ago) link

also iatee you act as though as a BA has no value aside from signaling which I guess is your "conceit" on this thread but I'm saying: it's not just that you have a BA, but what you learned getting it, that gives you value. are you saying that you wish students could just go to class & give minimal effort & get great jobs w/o investing intellectual effort? because if so, I think I understand what you're longing for, where you're really coming from, at least.

Euler, Thursday, 10 November 2011 15:27 (seven years ago) link

Great jobs?? I think they'd be okay with just getting JOBS remotely in their field of study.

It means why you gotta be a montague? (Laurel), Thursday, 10 November 2011 15:29 (seven years ago) link

Euler's point, though, is that getting a job in your field of study when you never actually studied it is... somewhat entitled.

sex-poodle Al Gore (DJP), Thursday, 10 November 2011 15:31 (seven years ago) link

right; he said decent jobs, that's fine too: minimal intellectual effort, decent jobs, that's the dream that this country was founded on, right?

is this just longing for blue collar America, get a factory job making solid buck? or do you want the jobs of the 90s, white collar management / consulting type work for the minimal effort folks?

xp DJP otm

Euler, Thursday, 10 November 2011 15:33 (seven years ago) link

this has nothing to do with what I 'wish', we're looking at the situation irl for your students

I think a BA has value beyond signaling, just more personal-fulfillment type value than value that'd directly translate to the workplace. generally. it's a good experience and people should make the most of it. I loved college, sometimes I think I'm giving the impression that I didn't.

but someone who's there entirely for signaling reasons is not crazy or even necessarily lazy. it's not entirely irrational to not care about that personal-fulfillment aspect!

xp

euler teaches in a field where there is literally no job in the field beyond teaching more people about the field.

xp

iatee, Thursday, 10 November 2011 15:34 (seven years ago) link

I think there's a distinction between "great" jobs and just jobs...people at the top part of the field will obv be those who excelled in their studies, but they will burn out and die if they have to do all the immeasurably boring and repetitive grunt-work done at the bottom of their field, so those jobs are structurally slated for those less ambitious, less studious.

I'm on hold w my dental insurance so I'm a little fragmented but that's roughly where I was going.

It means why you gotta be a montague? (Laurel), Thursday, 10 November 2011 15:37 (seven years ago) link

It's not merely personal fulfillment, though; you can actually develop skills! like how to write clearly! how to work with statistics! how to plan & set up & run & interpret experiments!

iatee has no idea what majors in my field go on to do but if he wants to do the search I recommended he'll see

what you're calling IRL: as though that's independent of the attitudes toward learning & accomplishment amongst students! what you're calling "the real world", I'm calling a failure of imagination. likely the truth is somewhere between but I think it's a lot closer to me than you.

Euler, Thursday, 10 November 2011 15:38 (seven years ago) link

is this just longing for blue collar America, get a factory job making solid buck? or do you want the jobs of the 90s, white collar management / consulting type work for the minimal effort folks?

I'm not doing any longing I'm just trying to understand what's going on in the world. I don't see someone working hard in your class as something that's gonna affect their economic future in a significant way. why not play xbox? they're there for a piece of paper w/ important signaling power not because they think it's worth paying tuition to hear you talk about plato. as long as that's the case, you don't get to complain about their work ethic.

iatee, Thursday, 10 November 2011 15:38 (seven years ago) link

we don't have to write-off an education in the humanities - we could work on having more employers see the advantage in hiring people who can think critically

but there is def major grade inflation in the humanities, hard to see if a lit major got her degree the right way or by writing about how much she really sympathized with molly bloom

ASPIE Rocky (dayo), Thursday, 10 November 2011 15:40 (seven years ago) link

iatee's approaching this from the other side of 'what does the job market look like/what does it require.' you can obv argue for the value of a good education in and of itself without any consideration of whether or not it'll get you a job. then the question becomes, what value should we pay for an education in and of itself. $40k a year? seems high.

ASPIE Rocky (dayo), Thursday, 10 November 2011 15:42 (seven years ago) link

again I think a good contrast is law school where how well you do *very very directly* affects your economic future. and people work pretty hard! you can argue that there's a difference cause that's a professional program but really it isn't in the way we teach law.

iatee, Thursday, 10 November 2011 15:50 (seven years ago) link

I don't really know where iatee is coming from, actually. What he's calling "what's going on in the world", as if it's an immutable fact, I think is wrong. If students are putting in minimal intellectual effort, then why should an employer want to hire them?

maybe you just had lousy professors or a silly major? I don't really get the resentment here.

Euler, Thursday, 10 November 2011 15:55 (seven years ago) link


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