Friday, November 13, 2009

Girlfriends make good mirrors...

An email message I sent to my girlfriend in response to her inquiries about my posts.

NO, NOT AT ALL! :D I love your feedback. Though some of it felt a little harsh, it is justified because of the harshness of my posts. It is important to note that the posts are reflections of how I feel about my life. They aren't necessarily true for everybody and I should be sure to clarify that in the future. Points you have made me reflect on today that I will explore in the near future:

  • Commodification of Education. This is a topic that almost sums up my entire problem with the Higher Education system. Though I still believe the owner/founder of the college should be rewarded, I have a major problem with treating education like a good to be bought, borrowed for, and stolen.
    By a reward for the founder/owner, who could actually be the student body itself, that could mean any kind of kickback. Mostly to cover living expenses and to perpetuate the growth of the college.
  • Academics vs Administrators. This is a big one that I'm surprised I overlooked. I remember many professors that despised the way the system worked and many that hated homework and papers as much as I did. Partly because they didn't want to grade them (ha ha), but also because they felt it didn't contribute to learning. Learning should happen in the classroom. I identify with this a lot and almost feel ashamed that I put the blame on the academics. By academics I really meant the administrators, and those academics that do like the system the way it is because it keeps them their job. So really there would be more than one type of academic and lumping them into one category was a mistake on my part. This will likely be my next blog post and I intend to edit the one where this was posted.
  • Scarcity creates value. It's apparent that this point requires much more conversation. While this principle is a backbone of capitalism it is also entirely true in real life. Remember that capitalism is a system that emphasizes a particular set of physical, social, and theoretical facts that already exist. Capitalism is just the system that takes advantage of certain aspects of our society and world. It doesn't necessarily create them. Scarcity does create value and overabundance creates disinterest. Notice that the world wasn't interested in Global Warming until the polar ice caps started melting. My main point here is that if a large portion of the population went to school for the same degree, like business administration (which is one of the most overpopulated) or psychology (another overpopulated degree) there would be little value in the degree itself (which in these cases is very true) because if a company or an organization doesn't hire you they can just hire the next person. This is what brings me to the idea that it's our personal experiences after college that differentiate us, not the college experience itself. My argument is that, yes there are ways to differentiate yourself in college, but its not the main goal of the current "system". The problem comes with standardization and, as you mentioned, commodification. The market wants everybody to come out the same, but the students all want to come out different. This is a major gap in the education system that really needs to be addressed. And I intend to.

I'm sure there were more, but I have to go get my paycheck and go to work! Love you so much!

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