if you make bomb ass pancakes, you are an option for my life partner. i wish i were joking, but i'm just not.

 

College is a waste of time.

This 19 year old boy dropped out of college during his first year claiming it was not a place of collaboration, a place of self motivation, or a place of true learning. He is now leading an entire movement called “UnCollege” which is essentially meant to deter youth from higher education.

First, let me just say: liberal arts.

Now, I know that liberal arts institutions such as my own are not in reach for everyone because of cost… I’m lucky enough to have a great financial aid package that allows me to attend for about the same cost as it would be for me to attend University of Maryland. However, many states HAVE public liberal arts colleges. St. Mary’s College of Maryland is one. The College of Charleston in South Carolina is one. These colleges are better options for students not wanting a factory approach to education, students wanting to truly learn.

Second, this kid claims to be self-motivated, an entrepreneur. If that’s the case, then he could have gotten MUCH more out of college. Any decent college will have a library with thousands of resources at its students’ disposal. You can learn whatever you want whenever you want. Sounds like a better deal than the generally questionable resources you can find on the internet.

And honestly, the problem is less with colleges than it is with how our entire society views education. It is a means to an end rather than an enriching part of life. To know things and understand the way things actually work through in-depth study is probably one of the more fulfilling things I’ve felt in my life, and I’ve only been in college for a year. Our country instead views education as just something you have to do to get a high paying job. While this is the case, education is so much more than that, so much more exciting. Yet from the time kids start school in kindergarten, education is a chore. Going to school is a nuisance. The love of learning is lost on the United States.

I’m not suggesting that college is for everyone. Trade school might be the best option for some, apprenticeship for others, and entrepreneurial business ventures might suit a small fraction. Ultimately, however, I believe that with the right outlook, a college education at a college that allows you to study in many areas can benefit anyone.

I don’t need you and your misplaced prepositions!

Young Gus (Psych)

Year-round school.

How about this? How about instead of making kids go to school year round, the government stops shitting around, raises taxes for the wealthy, and puts their fucking funding into education instead of wars and breaks for corporations and prisons full of people on marijuana charges? How about instead of funding senators’ summer vacations to Fiji and making sure the lawn of the White House is perfectly trimmed and covered in chemicals, they think about the kids who are trying to grow up to function in this society?

It’s not how long these kids are in school. It’s what is done with them while they are. Of course a public school in a low-income area is a dropout factory… they sit in an ugly, ill-equipped classroom all day with an underpaid teacher who is teaching them material for an utterly useless standardized test that has pretty much no relationship to future success. Honestly, who wouldn’t drop out? That sounds completely boring and a waste of my time.

And how about instead of loading kids up with hours of homework every night, extending the school day so that classes can be longer, more in-depth. Part of the reason we are so behind is that all we teach kids is the surface. Solve this math equation, read this book. What about concepts? How can you apply this math equation to the real world, to a problem you’ve never seen before? THAT’s how they do it in places like Finland. Don’t just learn how to solve the problem, learn how to use the concept. If anyone expects a kid to be able to do that in a fifty minute class session, they’re crazy.

These days, you have to spend the first 25 to 30 years of your life in school to get anywhere. And if that’s what it takes to compete with other nations, then fine. But I don’t think America is about “innovation.” What happened to the “American dream,” the hardworking middle class, baseball, apple pie? There will always be outstanding Americans in the academic sense. There will always be progress made in this country. But is that what we really want to define us? And if so, is taking away summer really the way to achieve that?

Summer is sacred. It’s the reason that we’re not just a bunch of robots. I think there is something to be said about the skills that can be learned from playing alone in a stream, or gathering with a bunch of friends for a frisbee game. These things just aren’t possible during the school year, especially considering the current structure of our education system. I agree, something needs to change. But don’t blame the kids for what our government is doing wrong. Let them play.

All this birther stuff is making me angry.

First of all, it makes me angry that any of this is an issue in the first place. The Supreme Court and the State of Hawaii, along with (I’m sure) numerous other committees and judicial bodies have confirmed that the short form of Obama’s birth certificate is valid. Were Obama to be white, or if he perhaps had a less “suspicious” name, I’m certain that nobody would question his citizenship. It’s obviously racial, and completely uncalled for.

But what really makes me angry is how much people are focusing on the issue in general. I know I am focusing on it now, which may seem hypocritical, but it does have a larger point.

How are people failing to see that things like this are the root of the problem with the way America works. Our entire nation is so petty and selfish, so focused on beating others down for personal gain rather than building up for the gain of the nation. I think this has, in many ways, been created and exacerbated by the bipartisan system, and it’s scary to think that perhaps we are in too deep to realize what’s happened. We’ve lost our focus on things that are significant and are willing to nitpick at the opposing side in an effort to make them fall. We have essentially created two Americas, and neither one is very appealing.

Were I to define myself, I would say that I was a democrat. I find the political philosophy of the democratic party far more appealing. But at this point, I really don’t want to define myself. I don’t want to be labeled as a Republican-bashing-homosexual-American-dream-hating-firearm-enforcing-baby-killing liberal just because I prefer democratic politics.

My ultimate point being, it seems that we are far more willing to slap labels on people and focus on how we can best rather than addressing the real issues that will help our nation as a whole. There are some people that do discuss these issues, but it seems that a great deal of people have resorted to inane pandering on internet message boards, calling Obama all kinds of unhelpful names. Or calling Republicans all kinds of unhelpful names. And all it is is a great big heap of unhelpfulness.

This article I’m reading about rap music just totally shit on America.

"Many mainstream blacks and whites persist in categorically negative appraisals of rap, refusing to distinguish between enabling, productive rap messages and the social violence that exists in many inner-city communities and that is often reflected in rap songs. Of course, it is difficult for a culture that is serious about the maintenance of social arrangements, economic conditions, and political choices that create and reproduce poverty, racism, sexism, classism, and violence to display a significant appreciation for musical expressions that contest the existence of such problems in black and Latino communities."

I wish I could hug this man right now. Like could he have hit the nail any harder on the head?

(Source: “The Culture of Hip-Hop” by Michael Eric Dyson”)