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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilitiger2 View Post
    A 4 year college education is terrific if you are prepared to take advantage of it.If money is not an object, its a wonderful social experience, intellectually challenging and so forth. but it is a myth that "college is for everyone". It is not. Professional/vocational schools? Absolutely! People can learn graphic arts and culinary skills and so on. Become a lineman for the electric company. Those people hardly need to sit through a very expensive personal growth journey that is liberal arts-and I say that as someone who adored learning, had mostly good teachers, have taught undergrads while in grad school, loved philosophy and everything I studied (eventually psychology). Many MANY people with tough backgrounds do quite well with a liberal arts degree, no argument, and many with privileged backgrounds totally waste it.

    I am a GIANT supporter of public education K-12, huge! THAT is where I think people get their basic civics, cultural norms, and critical thinking skills. And that is where people can develop a love of learning, even if they do not pursue a higher degree.


    This is too much of an elitist philosophy. Why shouldn't the lineman for the electric co have a liberal arts education, or the trash collector? Yes, education is expensive, but when you look at the costs of new cars andhowmanypeople think nothing of investing in one every few yrs, the cost of an education is comparable and a lot more valuable.
    A lot of the problems we see in this country are due to tunnel vision. People can' t see outside of their own experience, religion, nationality etc. The art of compromise depends on the ability to see other points of view. That only comes thru education and sadly usually higher Ed. So the lineman, the trash collector etc need a liberal arts Ed just like the rest of us for the good of the country if nothing else.


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  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by pezk View Post
    This is too much of an elitist philosophy. Why shouldn't the lineman for the electric co have a liberal arts education, or the trash collector? Yes, education is expensive, but when you look at the costs of new cars andhowmanypeople think nothing of investing in one every few yrs, the cost of an education is comparable and a lot more valuable.
    A lot of the problems we see in this country are due to tunnel vision. People can' t see outside of their own experience, religion, nationality etc. The art of compromise depends on the ability to see other points of view. That only comes thru education and sadly usually higher Ed. So the lineman, the trash collector etc need a liberal arts Ed just like the rest of us for the good of the country if nothing else.
    Excellent points!



  3. #63
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    You can sell the car and discharge the upside-down loan in bankruptcy, but not the $60K+ from your student loans, no matter how hard you try. In theory, everyone should be able to benefit from a fabulous liberal arts education; in this country we are lucky to enable everyone to get free education K-12, but that is all.


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  4. #64
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    Well, it would be an excellent point if college actually provided value for the money and not just mountains of debt.

    A recent study showed that most students do not become any more educated after college than they were after high school. I believe that to be true. You can lead a horse to water, but if the IQ and the passion for learning are lacking, all you get is big bills and wasted time.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


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  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by pezk View Post
    A lot of the problems we see in this country are due to tunnel vision. People can' t see outside of their own experience, religion, nationality etc. The art of compromise depends on the ability to see other points of view. That only comes thru education and sadly usually higher Ed.
    Apparently Congress didn't go to college? Your theory is not valid. Many, many closed minded, tunnel visioned people (some would call themselves principled or religious) are highly educated.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller



  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by cai View Post
    Has anyone ever read/listened to David Foster Wallace's commencement speech at Kenyon?

    If not, do. It's wonderful: http://moreintelligentlife.com/story...-his-own-words
    Yes! I love DFW (RIP.) But, sadly, I think that in this speech he was telling students what they SHOULD have gotten out of a liberal arts education but did not. The ideas in his Kenyon commencement speech are taken from the ideas of an early to mid 20th century spiritual teacher named G.I. Gurdjieff. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G._I._Gurdjieff
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller



  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    Apparently Congress didn't go to college? Your theory is not valid. Many, many closed minded, tunnel visioned people (some would call themselves principled or religious) are highly educated.
    I disagree. It's "the people" who elect them. If "the people" are not educated, they will fall for any Tom, Dick, or Harry, who validates their life experiences.


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  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    Well, it would be an excellent point if college actually provided value for the money and not just mountains of debt.

    A recent study showed that most students do not become any more educated after college than they were after high school. I believe that to be true. You can lead a horse to water, but if the IQ and the passion for learning are lacking, all you get is big bills and wasted time.
    What yardsticks are you using to judge "educated"?

    The IQ part of your statement is demeaning. At what level of IQ do people deserve a liberal arts education?



  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by pezk View Post
    What yardsticks are you using to judge "educated"?

    The IQ part of your statement is demeaning. At what level of IQ do people deserve a liberal arts education?

    I believe that the study used "knowledge" as the yardstick. Here is a description of the study that I am talking about-

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/0..._n_810224.html

    Oh please, I am not talking about who "deserves" a liberal education. Don't go there. I am talking about who can benefit from it in terms of debt versus income. We have all seen college educated people who still cannot read with comprehension. Again, if someone is going to end up as a McDonald's manager, do you really think that it was worth spending $80,000 on a college education?

    That's my point. Not whether someone "deserves" it.
    Last edited by Eclectic Horseman; Jan. 1, 2013 at 09:45 AM. Reason: add link
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


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  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by pezk View Post
    I disagree. It's "the people" who elect them. If "the people" are not educated, they will fall for any Tom, Dick, or Harry, who validates their life experiences.
    So what does that make the Congressmen like Rep. Todd Akin? Just dishonest? He doesn't really believe the BS that he spouts? It is NOT just the electorate. You can be highly educated and close minded and tunnel visioned. It is just a FACT.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller



  11. #71
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    Not sure its elitist but, whatever, truly not everyone is cut out for a liberal arts education, but it is a nice idea. If the lineman or trash collector or whatever WANT to go for it, by all means, but it should not be sold to them that this is what they NEED or MUST HAVE. That trade school is going to be far, FAR more useful to them. It is highly unrealistic (and unkind) to claim that "everyone should get a liberal arts education" and let those who struggle or who have no earthly need for one believe there is something wrong with them. And really, not related to class, its based on interests - I can think of many kids on the rez who for sure have and are doing very well in college - they want to go on to be psychologists (!!) or lawyers, and my cousin's kid, who basically drank his way through college (which he detested, but was not really given any option) will, eventually, wind up in cooking school (which he does like)

    I think a good, solid, primary education does provide good critical thinking skills, or can, a firm background in how to be a good citizen. Most of the linemen I know are quite able to reason out politics, current affairs, have thoughtful views on contemporary issues . Sadly, many high schools, for a variety of reasons, do NOT provide this and people really are hamstrung by ignorance. Learning disabilitites that should be picked up (a great benefit to primary education) are not, and people can be really crippled for the rest of their lives. A friend of my husbands clearly has a serious reading disability, truly, he can barely read a menu, but he knows math and can read a blueprint, has been a very successful general contractor.


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  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    So what does that make the Congressmen like Rep. Todd Akin? Just dishonest? He doesn't really believe the BS that he spouts? It is NOT just the electorate. You can be highly educated and close minded and tunnel visioned. It is just a FACT.
    I'll get bitten for saying this , but I'm not sure I'd consider Akin "well-educated." Very educated, yes, but I am not confident about the educational path he took. (But I'm biased--never claimed not to be .)
    "And now . . .off to violin-land, where all is sweetness and delicacy and harmony and there are no red-headed clients to vex us with their conundrums."



  13. #73
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    I'm typing on my phone so this won't be as detailed as I'd like it to be, but I'll throw in my two cents.

    I went to an elite liberal arts college and majored in a "soft" subject--history. I had a work study job on campus, graduated with loans (my parents took some on as well) and don't work in my field (not sure what it would be with a mere BA anyway, haha).

    I wouldn't trade my college experience for anything. I was surrounded by a far more diverse group of people than ever before in my life, was challenged by both the intellectual rigor as well as sheer workload, met professors who treated us as fellow minds to explore subjects with, and made lifelong friends. As others have pointed out, I learned to reason, parse complicated subjects, and write and communicate effectively, all of which are valuable job skills in the professional world.

    My first job coming out of school was in the non-profit sector and consequently not terribly well paid. However, while "inconvenient", my loans have never created a financial burden. I don't believe anyone should go 40 or 50 thousand dollars into debt for an undergrad degree because the cost analysis doesn't bear out--and to that, I same shame on parents and college administrators who allow kids to take on that sort of financial burden so early in life. A liberal arts degree definitely isn't for everyone, and isn't worth crippling yourself financially for, but in many cases, mine included, it does bear out to offer both practical and intangible benefits that will last a lifetime.


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  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilitiger2 View Post
    I am a GIANT supporter of public education K-12, huge! THAT is where I think people get their basic civics, cultural norms, and critical thinking skills. And that is where people can develop a love of learning, even if they do not pursue a higher degree.
    I don't think K-12 education does a great job of making good citizens by providing "basic civics," "cultural norms," and "critical thinking skills."

    IME, you live and go to school with people who grew up near you and are lots like you. So, for example, if you spent your formative years in South Boston, how would you ever get to know someone who grew up on an Indian Reservation? If you were like me and grew up in a middle-to-liberal suburb of San Francisco, how would you know jack about what it's like to live in a small town dominate by church life?

    You might learn about the norms and notion of civics local to you, but you'd be sorely mistaken if you thought that extended to all times, places and people. A huge part of my college experience, especially freshman year, was spent learning tons from my new and diverse set of friends.

    And holy mother of God, you can't be serious in your praise for K-12 education's installment of "critical thinking skills." The gap between the kind of writing and thinking most American students are asked to do by the end of high school, the end of their freshman year in college and the end of their senior year in college are each hugely different and each increasingly sophisticated.

    Also, college profs and employers are bitching about the lack of "critical thinking skills" seen in college seniors. Imagine halting the whole effort at the senior year of high school.
    The armchair saddler
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  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by S1969 View Post
    You can sell the car and discharge the upside-down loan in bankruptcy, but not the $60K+ from your student loans, no matter how hard you try. In theory, everyone should be able to benefit from a fabulous liberal arts education; in this country we are lucky to enable everyone to get free education K-12, but that is all.
    So your argument is that the car is the more worthwhile investment because.... wait for it... you can default on the loan?
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    A recent study showed that most students do not become any more educated after college than they were after high school. I believe that to be true. You can lead a horse to water, but if the IQ and the passion for learning are lacking, all you get is big bills and wasted time.
    And what was their definition of "more educated" and how did they measure that?

    Your last point IS one of the reasons to have this conversation. If a generation of folks either "phone it in" with their college education or forego that and live to tell the tale, on what basis would they encourage their kids to develop a passion for learning and not wasting that high IQ?

    I don't know if there has ever been a moment in recent history where a society has had the option of valuing education and decided to reject that. I'm not sure you can get that sensibility back once it is lost. Or if you can do that, there will be a buttload of ill-advised and needless suffering before it happens.

    Truly, you modern Amer'kans: Try living in a place where illiteracy, provincialism and "I'm ok, so screw what's happening elsewhere" and then see how much you miss having an educated populace.
    The armchair saddler
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  17. #77
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    MVP, you may have learned a lot in your middle class liberal area of San Fran, but it sounds like your public high school system didn't work there, which is sad. I have no argument that college is a neat thing - hell, I spent enough time there, and certainly think if someone's interests, finances and career plans involve a liberal arts degree, have at it!! A former partner of mine is Kenyan, raised with basically nothing, but managed to get a scholarship to get to the US for college and grad school and is now a professor. He had the drive, and most importantly, the interest, to make it happen. He came to the US with very good critical thinking skills.

    I don't think anyone would say its not a great experience, as is world travel! Living abroad! I would say living in a third world country is an interesting experience! But hardly a critical rite of passage.

    If we are not doing a great job in primary education, why not? I think its sad that we are saying we will not invest in critical thinking skills or other important skills in primary ed but only in college (that is for many beyond their resources?). I also do not think everyone has the ability for college, but may have great abilities in other areas. Why create an expectation that they have to suffer through a liberal arts degree when they would be really happy doing woodwork?


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  18. #78
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    Thumbs up YES, indeed!

    I VERY MUCH AGREE WITH THIS!
    Quote Originally Posted by pezk View Post
    This is too much of an elitist philosophy. Why

    shouldn't the lineman for the electric co have a liberal arts education, or the trash collector? Yes, education is expensive, but when you look at the costs of new cars andhowmanypeople think nothing of investing in one every few yrs, the cost of an education is comparable and a lot more valuable. I!
    A lot of the problems we see in this country are due to tunnel vision. People can' t see outside of their own experience, religion, nationality etc. The art of compromise depends on the ability to see other points of view. That only comes thru education and sadly usually higher Ed. So the lineman, the trash collector etc need a liberal arts Ed just like the rest of us for the good of the country if nothing else.
    breeder of Mercury!

    remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans



  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilitiger2 View Post
    MVP, you may have learned a lot in your middle class liberal area of San Fran, but it sounds like your public high school system didn't work there, which is sad. I have no argument that college is a neat thing - hell, I spent enough time there, and certainly think if someone's interests, finances and career plans involve a liberal arts degree, have at it!! A former partner of mine is Kenyan, raised with basically nothing, but managed to get a scholarship to get to the US for college and grad school and is now a professor. He had the drive, and most importantly, the interest, to make it happen. He came to the US with very good critical thinking skills.

    I don't think anyone would say its not a great experience, as is world travel! Living abroad! I would say living in a third world country is an interesting experience! But hardly a critical rite of passage.

    If we are not doing a great job in primary education, why not? I think its sad that we are saying we will not invest in critical thinking skills or other important skills in primary ed but only in college (that is for many beyond their resources?). I also do not think everyone has the ability for college, but may have great abilities in other areas. Why create an expectation that they have to suffer through a liberal arts degree when they would be really happy doing woodwork?
    We are not doing a good job in primary Ed because this country has decided to teach to a test. Where is the ability to think and reason if all the student needs to do is regurgitate the info presented?
    Woodworking is not mutually exclusive with a liberal arts Ed. Artistic endeavors are also based on the past. The more an individual knows about the past, art, history, literature, etc ,the more resourceful, creative, and productive a person will be.
    It's creativity that produces jobs. It's a different way of thinking.
    The more a society can encourage their citizens to be creative, the more productive that society will become. You don't get that by teaching to a test.


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  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    So your argument is that the car is the more worthwhile investment because.... wait for it... you can default on the loan?
    Yeah, that's exactly what I meant!

    I didn't quote the previous poster but he/she said education is expensive, but when you look at the costs of new cars andhowmanypeople think nothing of investing in one every few yrs, the cost of an education is comparable and a lot more valuable.

    And that everyone, including trash collectors et. al. should be able to have a liberal arts education.

    My point is that unlike your education, just about every other kind of debt can be *fixed* if you found that you made a bad investment, or a bad choice. Student loans are almost never discharged, even if you decided after the fact that it was a bad investment on your part. Too bad, so sad, pay up. College is a big-time investment, especially private universities, and should not be entered into lightly.

    Obviously there are many ways to get a higher education, including a liberal arts education, than by going to a private, four-year college. However, those high school guidance counselors might not really think twice about pushing their seniors toward the "better" schools instead of the better "investment".


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