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12 minutes ago, dudacek said:

My daughter, a 20-year-old poli-sci student, and my sister, a 38-year-old mom who has gone back to university for her teaching degree, both agree with @Fishtree's general sentiment. Learning from home has not been an upgrade.

Both say the experience varies from class to class. Both would be more than happy to continue with the current situation if it meant more money in their bank accounts.

The idea of "going away to college" seems to  be a treasured American cultural experience. It seems to be powered more by tradition than maximizing opportunities to educate.

My wild (and not fully fleshed out) idea for college is that we should split it into more defined steps and then nationally standardize a base level. The way I see this working is such:

College Level 1: Core classes. Everyone who wants to go the college route out of high school starts here, regardless of the path they want to take. Offer 100 level classes for various majors, but nothing higher. You learn writing, math, and research skills here, and also study the humanities (because I think we don't do enough of that in the US). You can do this level either in a classroom OR online, and the curriculum and course offerings are exactly the same nationwide. It's also free. The idea here is that a lot of students entering college actually need to get to a certain baseline because of how variable our education standards are from state to state, and the country as a whole benefits from everyone being able to get to this level of education. Anything after that is up to you, but nationally we should want as many people as possible to get to this baseline. And if you want that "going away to college" experience, you can get it. You could spend each semester in a completely different state if you wanted! It would allow young people to experience new places, people, and ideas without shackling them to a bunch of debt and any specific career path. I think this level would take 2 years to complete.

College Level 2: If you complete Level 1 then you may move on to Level 2 colleges. These are your degree programs and professional certifications tracks. This level is not free, BUT, the costs should be lower because these colleges should be more specialized and streamlined; we reduce redundancies in the system. You've already taken care of the core stuff, you've done some exploring, you've matured and you're ready to get serious. These colleges are going to require more in person learning; you wont be able to do them fully online. But we would treat them the way some Master's programs are right now: a lot of online courses, and then you have set periods of time where you have to come to campus to do work, maybe a week or two at a time. You could study the non-classroom stuff from anywhere in the country, you just have to get to in person stuff a few times a year.

College Level 3: These are your advanced degrees and extremely scholarly institutions. Doctorate level stuff. Only at this point should you be reaching a Harvard or a Princeton. There would be more of these types of institutions than there are now, but they would be smaller. This would bring back some of that prestige as well as allow all those "useless" majors to have less costly homes.

And reduce the drinking age to 18.

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28 minutes ago, Broken Ankles said:

#2 -  your take is in line with one Carl Icahn.   Amazing what Wall Street will create for investments. 

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/13/icahn-reveals-his-biggest-short-position-amid-market-turmoil-commercial-real-estate.html

 

Ol’ Carl. A hero, a villain.  His is the face I saw when Michael Douglas said, “Greed, is good.”

https://www.americanrhetoric.com/MovieSpeeches/moviespeechwallstreet.html

 

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5 minutes ago, Neo said:

@darksabre ...  thoughtful reform. I prefer this to more resources without reform.

We need reform somehow. I just want to find a way to strike a balance between education being about ROI and education being about curiosity, exploration, fun... 

This idea of "useless" majors makes me crazy. Learning is good! Not everything has to be about financial gain! 

We can do both, I believe. 

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23 minutes ago, Neo said:

Ol’ Carl. A hero, a villain.  His is the face I saw when Michael Douglas said, “Greed, is good.”

https://www.americanrhetoric.com/MovieSpeeches/moviespeechwallstreet.html

 

One the greatest monologues in cinematic history.   Well written, and performed even better.  He won the 1988 Academy Award for that role. Brilliant!   Thanks for sharing. 

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1 hour ago, darksabre said:

We need reform somehow. I just want to find a way to strike a balance between education being about ROI and education being about curiosity, exploration, fun... 

This idea of "useless" majors makes me crazy. Learning is good! Not everything has to be about financial gain! 

We can do both, I believe. 

For the record ....  this liberal arts educated person is all against labeling anything a USELESS major.   I am with you.  My advice to my kids was “study what you love, commerce takes care of itself”.  I would add, though ... “don’t borrow more than you can afford to do it”.

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12 minutes ago, Neo said:

For the record ....  this liberal arts educated person is all against labeling anything a USELESS major.   I am with you.  My advice to my kids was “study what you love, commerce takes care of itself”.  I would add, though ... “don’t borrow more than you can afford to do it”.

This is one of the big problems I think we need to solve. Our system is set up to encourage 17-18 year olds to borrow money at levels they aren't experienced enough to comprehend, and by the time they do understand it they're already trapped in the system. It's predatory. This is why I want young adults to be able to go out and get some education, get some world experience, before they start spending unearned money on "future considerations". I feel like a 20 or 21 year old, who has grown up just a bit more, might be better able to decide whether student loan debt is a worthwhile investment for them. A high school kid simply has no idea what the real world is like, and that has pretty much always been true. It just used to be a LOT cheaper to figure it out as you went along.

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13 minutes ago, darksabre said:

This is one of the big problems I think we need to solve. Our system is set up to encourage 17-18 year olds to borrow money at levels they aren't experienced enough to comprehend, and by the time they do understand it they're already trapped in the system. It's predatory. This is why I want young adults to be able to go out and get some education, get some world experience, before they start spending unearned money on "future considerations". I feel like a 20 or 21 year old, who has grown up just a bit more, might be better able to decide whether student loan debt is a worthwhile investment for them. A high school kid simply has no idea what the real world is like, and that has pretty much always been true. It just used to be a LOT cheaper to figure it out as you went along.

I would caution against further nerfing the world for 18-21 year olds.  One of the problems we already have is that we don't let teenagers be teenagers (or indeed younger children) the way we used to, which is one of the reasons why they don't understand some things at 18.

Edited by Eleven
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22 minutes ago, Eleven said:

I would caution against further nerfing the world for 18-21 year olds.  One of the problems we already have is that we don't let teenagers be teenagers (or indeed younger children) the way we used to, which is one of the reasons why they don't understand some things at 18.

I don't think this makes any sense. Letting kids be teenagers used to mean letting them drop out of high school. That would certainly let them understand some things better, but...

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19 minutes ago, darksabre said:

I don't think this makes any sense. Letting kids be teenagers used to mean letting them drop out of high school. That would certainly let them understand some things better, but...

Not what I meant.  I don't want a return to the 1920s where kids are working and not going to school.  (Only one of my grandparents was able to finish high school.)

We used to pay kids to mow lawns, shovel snow or use snowblowers, and deliver newspapers.  That doesn't happen anymore.  Too dangerous.  The kid doesn't learn the value of a buck.

We used to give trophies to children's sports teams only when they earned them.  That doesn't happen anymore.  Too psychologically tragic.  The kid doesn't learn that you don't win all the time.

We used to let teenagers drink, and we kept an eye on them.  That doesn't happen anymore.  Too dangerous.  Now we ship off kids to college, they find alcohol, and have no way of dealing with it responsibly.

Are minors even allowed to open bank accounts anymore without a parent cosigning?  I honestly don't know the answer to this one.  I had a bank account when I was 13, for the newspaper money.  Parents weren't involved and didn't even know I had it until I used an ATM in front of them once.

Do schools make kids repeat classes anymore or is that too financially taxing on the school system and/or detrimental to the kid's psyche?  I don't know the answer to this one, either.

As for the broader statement regarding colleges and universities, I don't know when we switched the purpose of higher education to vocational training rather than the pursuit of knowledge, but that was a mistake, too.  

Edited by Eleven
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4 hours ago, darksabre said:

My wild (and not fully fleshed out) idea for college is that we should split it into more defined steps and then nationally standardize a base level. The way I see this working is such:

And reduce the drinking age to 18.

I’m not going to comment on the rest, but what remains is, in my belief, the sole reason why our sexual assault statistics tend to be higher than other countries. Children need adult supervision and an 18 year old is most certainly still a child in many respects. There’s studies to support, but I’m too lazy right now to go digging. I can later if anyone needs them. 

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1 hour ago, Eleven said:

Not what I meant.  I don't want a return to the 1920s where kids are working and not going to school.  (Only one of my grandparents was able to finish high school.)

We used to pay kids to mow lawns, shovel snow or use snowblowers, and deliver newspapers.  That doesn't happen anymore.  Too dangerous.  The kid doesn't learn the value of a buck.

We used to give trophies to children's sports teams only when they earned them.  That doesn't happen anymore.  Too psychologically tragic.  The kid doesn't learn that you don't win all the time.

We used to let teenagers drink, and we kept an eye on them.  That doesn't happen anymore.  Too dangerous.  Now we ship off kids to college, they find alcohol, and have no way of dealing with it responsibly.

Are minors even allowed to open bank accounts anymore without a parent cosigning?  I honestly don't know the answer to this one.  I had a bank account when I was 13, for the newspaper money.  Parents weren't involved and didn't even know I had it until I used an ATM in front of them once.

Do schools make kids repeat classes anymore or is that too financially taxing on the school system and/or detrimental to the kid's psyche?  I don't know the answer to this one, either.

As for the broader statement regarding colleges and universities, I don't know when we switched the purpose of higher education to vocational training rather than the pursuit of knowledge, but that was a mistake, too.  

I think there's a lot of hyperbole here. I don't think kids aren't learning lessons or taking responsibility for themselves. The participation trophy thing is a veritable myth. Those things you talk about, mowing the lawn, delivering papers, have been pushed out by all of the school work and extra-curricular activities kids have to be involved in now in order to pursue college educations.

The paper route is replaced with volunteering, the lawn mowing is replaced with mountains of homework. I don't know if that's a bad thing. I had plenty of time to "be a teenager".

I come from the generation most burdened by this and "learning the value of a buck" is not the problem. I worked during high school. I had a bank account as soon as I could get one. And a credit card my parents didn't monitor because they trusted me. But that didn't help me understand the significance of student loan debt any better, because it's something that is simply too convoluted for a teenager to really grasp. Especially when you're being told "you just have to do it" by the adults you trust.

Until you're paying rent, maintaining a car, trying to keep health insurance sorted out, and so on, there's really nothing that can put student loans in context.
 

14 minutes ago, #freejame said:

I’m not going to comment on the rest, but what remains is, in my belief, the sole reason why our sexual assault statistics tend to be higher than other countries. Children need adult supervision and an 18 year old is most certainly still a child in many respects. There’s studies to support, but I’m too lazy right now to go digging. I can later if anyone needs them. 

There are studies in the criminal justice world that argue men don't really get their sh*t together mentally until like...26. So I believe you.

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2 minutes ago, darksabre said:

I come from the generation most burdened by this

Oh, give it time.  You should see what the Zoomers are up to.  And then there's the generation behind them.  I think they have to wear helmets just to solve math problems.

I'm with you on the student loan thing, btw.  I would have no problem if millennials' loans are forgiven even though mine weren't.

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1 minute ago, Eleven said:

Oh, give it time.  You should see what the Zoomers are up to.  And then there's the generation behind them.  I think they have to wear helmets just to solve math problems.

I'm with you on the student loan thing, btw.  I would have no problem if millennials' loans are forgiven even though mine weren't.

Again, this is weird commentary. Maybe it's because I'm younger than you and spend a little more time in the social spaces occupied by Gen Z, but they seem way more hardnosed than my generation...

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15 minutes ago, darksabre said:

Again, this is weird commentary. Maybe it's because I'm younger than you and spend a little more time in the social spaces occupied by Gen Z, but they seem way more hardnosed than my generation...

It's hyperbole for the sake of humor, but the way my niece (11) and nephew (9) are monitored is scary to me.  And the participation trophy thing is real.

Also, kids were pushed out of those jobs because of perceived harm, not because they needed extracurriculars for college resumes.  Colleges look at jobs as positives.

I also go to school with mostly Gen Z ers and until everything shut down, I was living with them.  And before that, I was dating one.  They definitely do not seem too hard nosed.  But that could be my perception because I'm twice their age.

Edited by Eleven

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18 minutes ago, darksabre said:

Again, this is weird commentary. Maybe it's because I'm younger than you and spend a little more time in the social spaces occupied by Gen Z, but they seem way more hardnosed than my generation...

Interesting you say that.  An intergenerational researcher, Jason Dorsey of the Center for Generational Kinetics, would agree with you about that.  

His research on the differences between the generations and how they interact with each other is fascinating.

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21 minutes ago, Eleven said:

It's hyperbole for the sake of humor, but the way my niece (11) and nephew (9) are monitored is scary to me.  And the participation trophy thing is real.

Also, kids were pushed out of those jobs because of perceived harm, not because they needed extracurriculars for college resumes.  Colleges look at jobs as positives.

I also go to school with mostly Gen Z ers and until everything shut down, I was living with them.  And before that, I was dating one.  They definitely do not seem too hard nosed.  But that could be my perception because I'm twice their age.

I don't think kids were pushed out of these things because of perceived harm, they were simply excused for a number of reasons. The job market, for one, is not accommodating to kids working temp jobs anymore. Adults make livings mowing lawns now, adults make livings delivering papers, working fast food jobs, working at golf courses, working at grocery stores. These jobs that used to fall to teenagers are often being taken up by the underemployed.

But that's also because, like I said, those jobs have been vacated by teenagers because they simply do not have the time with all the work they're being asked to do to prepare for college. If you're on a college track you really don't have time for anything so trivial (in the big picture) as a part time job. That's the thinking of most parents, and they're probably right. I don't think colleges could care less about a kid working some job at a pizza place. They want good GPAs, extracurriculars, good SAT scores, and a sign on the dotted line for those student loans.

Unless things have changed drastically since the early 2000s, when I was in high school, the only kids who work (during the school year) are kids who aren't going to college.
 

9 minutes ago, Taro T said:

Interesting you say that.  An intergenerational researcher, Jason Dorsey of the Center for Generational Kinetics, would agree with you about that.  

His research on the differences between the generations and how they interact with each other is fascinating.

I'll have to check that out.

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Nice to see the donation. Still haven't paid their workers. Looking at them and Boston. 

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