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Thread: The Higher Education Thread

  1. #241
    Quote Originally Posted by Solon View Post
    Thoughts in favor or against?
    I guess it depends. What is the person going to do during the gap year? Unless there is a concrete plan that is truly meaningful, I vote no. It has to be something enriching and at least partially selfless.

    I went right from college to grad school, and I'm glad I did. As a returned missionary, I'm already old compared to my peers.

  2. #242
    Quote Originally Posted by Solon View Post
    So the gap year ....
    Thoughts in favor or against?
    Great topic!!.......

    Even though Sancho claimed Sitake was an "upgrade" over Bronco, thereby losing all credibility in every topic, ever......it's hard to disagree with anything he's said here.

    Having said that, it would be impossible to answer without the specific circumstance of every person who's considering it. For example, my daughter graduates this semester after five years, then goes on to a four year graduate program. In her circumstance, it would have to be an unbelievably compelling reason to take a gap year(s) as she'll be 27 by the time she hits the work force anyway.

    OTOH, in my wife's case, she worked three years between her undergrad and MBA (maybe you aren't thinking FT employment as the definition of "gap year"?) which made sense because it was basically a requirement to get into the program. She was 28 when she hit the work force for real.

    My hope is all my kids do graduate work, so a "gap year" would have to be pretty compelling. I think a mission and FT employment are the exceptions. Because of my core beliefs I'm supportive of a mission under nearly any circumstance. However, a year hitchhiking in Europe or doing work unrelated to your future might be difficult to swallow. As a parent, I only hope I can influence them to do the right thing for them......and that could be wildly different from kid to kid.
    “Children and dogs are as necessary to the welfare of the country as Wall Street and the railroads.” -- Harry S. Truman

    "You never soar so high as when you stoop down to help a child or an animal." -- Jewish Proverb

    "Three-time Pro Bowler Eric Weddle the most versatile, and maybe most intelligent, safety in the game." -- SI, 9/7/15, p. 107.

  3. #243
    Funny enough, just today, I asked my 20 y/o sophomore how things were going? how were her grades this semester? Still thinking law school? etc..... and she replies she's "thinking about taking a gap year or two" after she graduates -- perhaps working for a non-profit in Europe. She is a steroptype millennial, and given the timing of this thread, made me chuckle.
    “Children and dogs are as necessary to the welfare of the country as Wall Street and the railroads.” -- Harry S. Truman

    "You never soar so high as when you stoop down to help a child or an animal." -- Jewish Proverb

    "Three-time Pro Bowler Eric Weddle the most versatile, and maybe most intelligent, safety in the game." -- SI, 9/7/15, p. 107.

  4. #244

  5. #245
    Other than philosophy and political science, I don’t have a problem with dropping those majors. Not a lot of need for German and French majors these days.

  6. #246
    Quote Originally Posted by Sullyute View Post
    Other than philosophy and political science, I don’t have a problem with dropping those majors. Not a lot of need for German and French majors these days.
    Why are those two exempt? I'd rather work with a language major than a philosophy/poly sci major any day.

  7. #247
    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    Why are those two exempt? I'd rather work with a language major than a philosophy/poly sci major any day.
    The rest of those degrees lead to liberalism. At least a poly sci major has a chance to be a conservative.

  8. #248
    Malleus Cougarorum Solon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    Why are those two exempt? I'd rather work with a language major than a philosophy/poly sci major any day.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sullyute View Post
    The rest of those degrees lead to liberalism. At least a poly sci major has a chance to be a conservative.
    I hope you guys are kidding.

    I don't mind satellite campuses like this one focusing on their regional needs.
    Not every school needs to offer every major. UW students will survive.

    One thing, however, that administrators often overlook is that courses like History and Spanish are much less expensive to offer than some other kinds of courses.
    There's no specialized equipment, no labs, no expensive software. All you really need is just a chalkboard and some desks. Plus, the profs. make less money overall.
    σοφῷ ἀνδρὶ Ἑλλὰς πάντα.
    -- Flavius Philostratus, Life of Apollonius 1.35.2.

  9. #249
    Quote Originally Posted by Solon View Post
    I hope you guys are kidding.

    I don't mind satellite campuses like this one focusing on their regional needs.
    Not every school needs to offer every major. UW students will survive.

    One thing, however, that administrators often overlook is that courses like History and Spanish are much less expensive to offer than some other kinds of courses.
    There's no specialized equipment, no labs, no expensive software. All you really need is just a chalkboard and some desks. Plus, the profs. make less money overall.
    One thing missing in all this is a more comprehensive student perspective. Per the linked article, there is a vocal group railing against these changes. We don't know if they are minority or majority, but in my experience I suspect they are a vocal minority.

    Tomorrow at my institution's Open House, I will fulfill my twice yearly responsibilities to promote and recruit for the programs I teach in and administrate. Many students and parents will attend to ask important questions, as they prepare to make their final choices about which program to enrol in, or whether or not my school is the right one for them.

    Having participated in Open Houses for close to sixteen years, and having access to statistics concerning attendees, between sixty and seventy percent will be students who will be graduating high school this spring. Ten years ago that number was higher (eighty to ninety percent). Of the thirty to forty percent who will also attend are mature students: second career, current dissastified university students, those that took a gap year to work etc. Those numbers could very well be more like 50/50, as it has been trending that way for a while.

    Most of the students will be domestic (our international enrolment is through the roof: thank you for voting Donald Trump into office—he does our recruiting for us!). Of the 30 - 40% who are one, two or many years removed from high school, and who are at the Open House to inquire about my technology focused programs, all of them will be there because they want hard skills that will help them find gainful employment in the job market. We boast an 85 - 90% employment rate for graduates. They have been to university, heard about the irrelevance of what is taught, or have worked in low-paying jobs and are disillusioned.

    Of the 60 - 70% that are there to plan their next step after high school, most will avoid inquiring about those same tech heavy programs I teach in, because they perceive them to be too challenging. In two, or three years, they end up in my program anyways, because there are not many jobs for people with a diplomas in video production and absolutely no jobs for the photography graduates, and the Graphic Designers (I teach in that program as well) quickly hit their salary ceiling unless they dramatically upgrade their coding/programming skills.

    Basically, what I am saying is politicians and administrators are an easy target, but it is the market and pace of technology more than anything that is determining what is happening.

    The world is changed. Automation is here, AI is proliferating, and young people will either learn to make the machines work for them, or they won't work—hence, a $15 minimum wage, or talk of a living wage for citizens:

    https://www.thestar.com/opinion/comm...-movement.html

    McDonalds is losing workers, in part because of a $15 minimum wage, but also because workers find the job too hard ...

    McDonald's workers quitting in droves over 'complicated' technology, new menu items:

    http://business.financialpost.com/ne...new-menu-items

    Thanks To 'Fight For $15' Minimum Wage, McDonald's Unveils Job-Replacing Self-Service Kiosks Nationwide:

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/realspi.../#717a803e4fbc

    Is stem education the answer—not necessarily. The education system is ripe for major upheaval. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next five years.
    Last edited by tooblue; 03-23-2018 at 02:36 PM.

  10. #250
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    "One of the benefits of having been right-of-center in college was that my political and philosophical views were constantly challenged. There was no “safe space” — and I was better for it. I often felt that I received a better education than many of my peers precisely because I was not able to hold unchallenged assumptions or adopt unquestioned premises."

    Analysis: TRUE. For me, anyway.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/03/22/infants-in-college/?utm_term=.63e865b81c3e

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  11. #251
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    "One of the benefits of having been right-of-center in college was that my political and philosophical views were constantly challenged. There was no “safe space” — and I was better for it. I often felt that I received a better education than many of my peers precisely because I was not able to hold unchallenged assumptions or adopt unquestioned premises."

    Analysis: TRUE. For me, anyway.


    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/03/22/infants-in-college/?utm_term=.63e865b81c3e

    Very true for me as well. Especially in law school. I retained many of those beliefs. Some I changed as a result of being challenged.

  12. #252
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    "One of the benefits of having been right-of-center in college was that my political and philosophical views were constantly challenged. There was no “safe space” — and I was better for it. I often felt that I received a better education than many of my peers precisely because I was not able to hold unchallenged assumptions or adopt unquestioned premises."

    Analysis: TRUE. For me, anyway.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/03/22/infants-in-college/?utm_term=.63e865b81c3e
    Quote Originally Posted by Two Utes View Post
    Very true for me as well. Especially in law school. I retained many of those beliefs. Some I changed as a result of being challenged.
    You two are soft: I went to art school. Currently, my former school is indigenizing its curriculum.

  13. #253
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    If this is really how it is now, then I am sad for today's college students.

    HOW A GENERATION LOST ITS COMMON CULTURE


    My students are know-nothings. They are exceedingly nice, pleasant, trustworthy, mostly honest, well-intentioned, and utterly decent. But their brains are largely empty, devoid of any substantial knowledge that might be the fruits of an education in an inheritance and a gift of a previous generation. They are the culmination of western civilization, a civilization that has forgotten nearly everything about itself, and as a result, has achieved near-perfect indifference to its own culture.It’s difficult to gain admissions to the schools where I’ve taught – Princeton, Georgetown, and now Notre Dame. Students at these institutions have done what has been demanded of them: they are superb test-takers, they know exactly what is needed to get an A in every class (meaning that they rarely allow themselves to become passionate and invested in any one subject); they build superb resumes. They are respectful and cordial to their elders, though easy-going if crude with their peers. They respect diversity (without having the slightest clue what diversity is) and they are experts in the arts of non-judgmentalism (at least publically). They are the cream of their generation, the masters of the universe, a generation-in-waiting to run America and the world.

    But ask them some basic questions about the civilization they will be inheriting, and be prepared for averted eyes and somewhat panicked looks. Who fought in the Peloponnesian War? Who taught Plato, and whom did Plato teach? How did Socrates die? Raise your hand if you have read both the Iliad and the Odyssey. The Canterbury Tales? Paradise Lost? The Inferno?

    Who was Saul of Tarsus? What were the 95 theses, who wrote them, and what was their effect? Why does the Magna Carta matter? How and where did Thomas Becket die? Who was Guy Fawkes, and why is there a day named after him? What did Lincoln say in his Second Inaugural? His first Inaugural? How about his third Inaugural? What are the Federalist Papers?


    Some students, due most often to serendipitous class choices or a quirky old-fashioned teacher, might know a few of these answers. But most students have not been educated to know them. At best, they possess accidental knowledge, but otherwise are masters of systematic ignorance. It is not their “fault” for pervasive ignorance of western and American history, civilization, politics, art and literature. They have learned exactly what we have asked of them – to be like mayflies, alive by happenstance in a fleeting present.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  14. #254
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Solon? Thoughts? Would you be able to get a job at UC San Diego?

    Contributions to Diversity Statements

    https://facultydiversity.ucsd.edu/re...diversity.html

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

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