Jane Haddam’s WordPress weblog

Just a Few Things

with 8 comments

And not very coherent.

First, Mike–college loans may be a Republican plot, but the situation that got us there was squarely a project of Democrats. 

It was liberals, not conservatives, who wanted “everybody” to graduate from high school, and liberals–and liberaly theory–that responded to the fact that not everybody was doing that (and some minorities were not doing it in higher percentages than whites) by dumbing down standards to make the “goal” possible.

If high school graduation standards were now what they were in 1950, we wouldn’t need to be having a discussion about college loans.  Most people would not go to college, but they would reach the same skill levels most of them do now by going to high school with no out of pocket expense.

Employers would not need a college degree to have of hope of getting somebody literate, since a high school diploma would already guarantee that.

And since people would graduate from high school at the same rates they now graduate from “college,” there would not be a tidal wave of high school “graduates” to weed through when trying to fill a position.

I really, really, really don’t want the federal government paying for college, and I don’t much want the state governments to do it either, except for the state university systems. 

Centralization means standardization.   He who pays the piper calls the tune.

And I want lots of alternatives to the present state of university “education” in the US, because it is not, by and large, education.

Second, Robert–alas, you’re a good two decades out of date on college fees.

Tuition, room and board  for the University of Connecticut this year comes to $21,198. 

Granted, that’s better than a private college, but it’s still not low enough to make it possible for most people to work their way through the way they did in my father’s time.

Of course, you could reduce your costs even further, by doing two years at a community college and then two at one of the lower level state university campuses, like Wesconn or Southern.

The problems with this are two fold.

First, employers and graduate and professional schools tend to read community college as “so bad in high school he couldn’t get in anywhere else.”

And second, the fields you can “major” in are limited, and largely restricted to the vocational.  If you want an academic degree, you’re largely out of luck.  But even if you want something more substantive than “business administration” on any level, you’re largely out of luck.

If you want teaching or nursing, though, you’re golden.

The third thing has to do with something completely off the wall, but I couldn’t help noticing it.

Charlie Sheen seems to be going completely nuts, but on one level I sympathize with his rants.

I don’t know how Alcoholics Anonymous and 12 Step Programs because “accepted science” and people who specialize in them became “addiction specialists,” but when you’ve got “doctors” who fail to fix 95% of all the patients they “treat”–a number, by the way, that represents exactly the percentage of people who kick their addictions with no help at all–I think it’s breathtaking we call them experts in anything.

And now, I’m likely to be off the blog for a day or two. 

I just got a phone call from my mother’s nursing home, and she died at 3:45 this morning.

I’ll talk to everybody when I can breathe again.

Written by janeh

March 1st, 2011 at 7:23 am

Posted in Uncategorized

8 Responses to 'Just a Few Things'

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  1. I’m so sorry to hear about your mother. By all means, take all the time you need before you post again.


    1 Mar 11 at 7:52 am

  2. I am very sorry to hear about your mother. Losing a parent is always hard.


    1 Mar 11 at 10:38 am

  3. I’m sorry to hear about your mother. Take care.


    1 Mar 11 at 1:48 pm

  4. I’m very sorry to hear about your mother. Take all the time you need. There is nothing else I can say, words never help.


    1 Mar 11 at 1:58 pm

  5. You’ll be in our thoughts as you deal with what you need to, Jane. And we’ll be glad to see you when you feel ready again. Take care of yourself, first. Everything else can wait.


    1 Mar 11 at 2:05 pm

  6. I’m very sorry for your loss.

    Only 10 years behind in Indiana, by the way. I ran the numbers in 2001. However we appear to have caught up. Using the current tuition and estimated expenses for IU, and figuring half-time during the school year and full time each summer, a student would finish up $40,000 in the hole. That’s main campus, of course. If he lived at home and attended a local extension he’d about break even, but he’d have to have a family willing and able to support him. From my recollection, minimum wage is about five or six times what I started at–but tuition is fifteen times what I paid.

    It is worth noting that GI Bill is vastly improved (twice) over the VEAP of 1983. As the Education Office once explained to me “The bad news, Sarge, is the Army don’t owe you a dime in education benefits. The good news is the only thing you ever potentially could have qualified for was our worst program.”

    As for what’s available off the main campus and what it’s worth, I can’t speak for Connecticut. I got my BA in History without ever attending main campus, and last time I checked the IU/PU Fort Wayne History faculty was still the same size–in fact, mostly the same professors. And as we used to say, the diploma doesn’t say “Fort Wayne Extension.” Neither does the GRE. Main campus was where you went to be a jock or a frat boy, or to attend games. To get an education, you went to the extensions.

    Of course, last time I caught up with campus news, IUPU-FW had athelitic teams and was talking about building dormitories, so students could have the joys of drunken weekends without the trouble of driving to Bloomington or Lafayette.

    We seem to be propagating the wrong parts of the education system.


    1 Mar 11 at 6:47 pm

  7. My condolences, Jane. We’ll be here when you’re ready to come back.


    1 Mar 11 at 9:51 pm

  8. My deepest sympathies, Jane. It’s always hard to lose a parent, even when you know it’s coming. I still miss my mother and I lost her 30 years ago.

    Kathie Goblirsch

    1 Mar 11 at 11:57 pm

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