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(Phys Org2)   Higher education isn't for everyone, Cletus   (phys.org) divider line 225
    More: Obvious, higher educations, income families, variable costs, throw in, U.S. Department of Education  
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13163 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Feb 2013 at 12:30 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-15 01:47:30 PM
You can't handle the truth!

estb.msn.com

Son, we live in a world that has morons, and those morons have to be taught by men with academic credentials. Who's gonna do it? You? You, kwame? You, WhippingBoy? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom! You weep for little snowflakes and you curse the tenured professor. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that dropping out of school, while tragic, probably saved money. And my entitled existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, is pretty sweet! You don't want the truth, because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me behind that podium! You need me behind that podium! We use words like "peer reviewed", "vacation time", "office hours", "teaching assistants". We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending my job. You use them as a punchline! I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very education that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said "Thank you," and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a pencil, and grade a report. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think I am entitled to!
 
2013-02-15 01:48:06 PM

FreetardoRivera: Colleges exist to make money and more students equals more buckos.


Name one public institution that has posted a profit in the past 25 years.  The purpose has never been to make money.

bdub77: Class size in first year college math and science programs is a very real problem. Those programs actively try to weed out students, not on the basis of 'academic ability' - whatever the fark that means - but because they don't have enough people capable of teaching the higher level courses and because they can get kids to pay the same amount of money for liberal arts courses that are cheaper to teach. So they purposely make the courses more challenging than they have to be, with course texts that are as dry and terribly written as they are expensive.


The problem with what you think here is that if students pass low level math courses and go on to enroll in upper level math courses, that creates additional tuition money, which opens up funding to hire more people.  You've got some kind of insidious institutional plan to crush students academically, and it's not true.  There are definitely professors who think their personal charge is to guard the gates to knowledge, but there are far fewer of those people than you think.
 
2013-02-15 01:49:13 PM

kwame: You have a large number of imaginary people as a sample group?  That's not very sound science.


He also complaints about physicists based on imaginary versions of them. Then he backtracks his ranting at clouds by imagining a different group it is pointed out how stupid what he said was.

Valiente:I was using "physicist" in the sense of a trope (a kinda English-major word) to express a "Big Bang" type of scientist who is great on theory and poor in practice. I should have used "cultural studies M.A.".
 
If these anti-education threads aren't full of trolls, then there are an awful lot more "so I told that teachin' lady the only letters I need to know are U, S, and A" folks than I ever realized.
 
2013-02-15 01:49:16 PM

p the boiler: Since we like to generalize here on Fark about the failings of Liberal Arts majors, I think I will throw out how at least we got laid in college and will have gotten more tail than you oh so intelligent STEM majors.

Some of us petty LA majors do happen to also find well paying careers, and we tend to be a lot more attractive than you trolls - so we both have the opportunity to get attractive spouses (yours solely due to sugar spouses wanting to cash in). Since ours tend to find us attractive and also see that we aren't needy little biatches our significant others are less likely to cheat on us compared to you fat little tech geeks.

Generalizations, how do they work?


Dude, why did you go to Purdue to major in LA?  If you'd gone to IU you could have gotten more and better tail.
 
2013-02-15 01:49:22 PM
bdub77:
Class size in first year college math and science programs is a very real problem. Those programs actively try to weed out students, not on the basis of 'academic ability' - whatever the fark that means - but because they don't have enough people capable of teaching the higher level courses...

Professors aren't teachers!

By the time you enter college, you should have the skills to learn on your own.  Your professors are there to structure the curriculum, to make sure all students are exposed to certain predetermined topics, and to assess how well you've learned the material.  They are not there to teach.

Professors are valuable because they have expertise in their fields, but they are not teachers.

\if you need someone to "teach" you when you're in college, you either need to hire a tutor or you're just too dumb for college
 
2013-02-15 01:50:15 PM

Nurglitch: Carn: limeyfellow: mamoru: ajgeek: UberDave: Many students learn over the course of their studies that college is not a good match for them academically...

...So they go on to major in Business.

/Runs from thread.

Or English, Liberal Arts, and for the ladies, Women's Studies.

/stands defiantly.

Or psychology. That was the big one for a lot of the dolphin huggers that dropped their marine biology major after discovering that it's actually science and actually hard. ;)

Don't be silly. Biology isn't real science. Only physics and chemistry is.

Biology is chemistry, chemistry is physics, physics is math, and math is boring.

/math and computer science

Assume a spherical computer science student...


Round is a shape!
 
2013-02-15 01:50:28 PM

kwame: WhippingBoy: Bravely ran away, away!

OK, fine.  What is it you were planning to debate with me that you never actually came out and said?

johnny_vegas: because that process and the associated (and diverse) points of view usually cause the most discussion (or angst maybe)

I'm opposed to tenure because of the way it can be abused.  That said, there's something kind of fun about a crotchety old chemistry professor who will tell the provost to kiss his ass.


You said "What's cute is how you don't even understand the number of things wrong with that comment." and then failed to provide a single example of anything that was "wrong".

That's all I was getting at.
 
2013-02-15 01:51:56 PM
As someone who has some weird, fricken crazy problem remembering whatever I'm reading from books, I am *NOT* getting a kick out of these replies.
 
2013-02-15 01:53:27 PM

UberDave: Many students learn over the course of their studies that college is not a good match for them academically...

...So they go on to major in Business.


tvmedia.ign.com
 
2013-02-15 01:54:09 PM

Rapmaster2000: p the boiler: Since we like to generalize here on Fark about the failings of Liberal Arts majors, I think I will throw out how at least we got laid in college and will have gotten more tail than you oh so intelligent STEM majors.

Some of us petty LA majors do happen to also find well paying careers, and we tend to be a lot more attractive than you trolls - so we both have the opportunity to get attractive spouses (yours solely due to sugar spouses wanting to cash in). Since ours tend to find us attractive and also see that we aren't needy little biatches our significant others are less likely to cheat on us compared to you fat little tech geeks.

Generalizations, how do they work?

Dude, why did you go to Purdue to major in LA?  If you'd gone to IU you could have gotten more and better tail.


I always loved the university - Purdue also has a highly regarded Communications program

Com VistaIn August 2008, Com Vista, a guide to programs of study in communication-related departments, ranked Purdue's Department of Communication No. 2 in health communication and No. 4 in interpersonal and organizational communication. The rankings are based on faculty's publications in the 50 journals related to the field.

Purdue's communication department also placed in the top 10 for specific areas of study, including No. 1 (tie) in the area of narrative and No. 2 in the area of communication and emotion.
 
2013-02-15 01:55:18 PM

Rapmaster2000: p the boiler:

Dude, why did you go to Purdue to major in LA?


I know someone who majored in English at Georgia Tech.  Made no sense to me at all.
 
2013-02-15 01:55:26 PM

p the boiler: Rapmaster2000: p the boiler: Since we like to generalize here on Fark about the failings of Liberal Arts majors, I think I will throw out how at least we got laid in college and will have gotten more tail than you oh so intelligent STEM majors.

Some of us petty LA majors do happen to also find well paying careers, and we tend to be a lot more attractive than you trolls - so we both have the opportunity to get attractive spouses (yours solely due to sugar spouses wanting to cash in). Since ours tend to find us attractive and also see that we aren't needy little biatches our significant others are less likely to cheat on us compared to you fat little tech geeks.

Generalizations, how do they work?

Dude, why did you go to Purdue to major in LA?  If you'd gone to IU you could have gotten more and better tail.

I always loved the university - Purdue also has a highly regarded Communications program

Com VistaIn August 2008, Com Vista, a guide to programs of study in communication-related departments, ranked Purdue's Department of Communication No. 2 in health communication and No. 4 in interpersonal and organizational communication. The rankings are based on faculty's publications in the 50 journals related to the field.

Purdue's communication department also placed in the top 10 for specific areas of study, including No. 1 (tie) in the area of narrative and No. 2 in the area of communication and emotion.


I had no idea.  I only left the engineering lab to go to the bar.
 
2013-02-15 01:55:32 PM

johnny_vegas: You can't handle the truth!

[estb.msn.com image 400x300]

Son, we live in a world that has morons, and those morons have to be taught by men with academic credentials. Who's gonna do it? You? You, kwame? You, WhippingBoy? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom! You weep for little snowflakes and you curse the tenured professor. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that dropping out of school, while tragic, probably saved money. And my entitled existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, is pretty sweet! You don't want the truth, because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me behind that podium! You need me behind that podium! We use words like "peer reviewed", "vacation time", "office hours", "teaching assistants". We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending my job. You use them as a punchline! I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very education that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said "Thank you," and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a pencil, and grade a report. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think I am entitled to!


*stands and salutes*


/would have used "up in that ivory tower" rather than "behind that podium."
 
2013-02-15 01:55:41 PM

FizixJunkee: Professors aren't teachers!


Do they teach?

If so, they are teachers.

All the courses in my major were taught by professors.

FizixJunkee: By the time you enter college, you should have the skills to learn on your own.


True.

FizixJunkee: Your professors are there to structure the curriculum, to make sure all students are exposed to certain predetermined topics, and to assess how well you've learned the material.


So they should, in your opinion, just hand you a curriculum and then test you once at the end of the semester? 

Because lectures, class discussions, and labwork are all teaching, whether you want to admit it or not.

If all students needed was a curriculum and testing, professors wouldn't be required at all.
 
2013-02-15 01:56:27 PM

WhippingBoy: You said "What's cute is how you don't even understand the number of things wrong with that comment." and then failed to provide a single example of anything that was "wrong".

That's all I was getting at.


It's mostly because this statement gets tossed around in every higher education thread.

I'll address the only one I do every time.  The rest I'm tired of posting.  "Liberal arts" encompasses chemistry, math, anthropology, economics, physics, history, and many more.  To claim that's where academically incompetent students run is really ignorant
 
2013-02-15 01:57:06 PM

dittybopper: ne so, albeit when I was kid.   I can't think of a way that my life would be measurably worse without a computer.  I'd have to do calculations by hand.  So what?  I've got a few slide rules around, and I've built mechanical calculators out of LEGOs.   I've even got a manual typewriter:


1. No Fark (that'd kinda suck)
2. No way to verify the news you are reading without just taking the words of those on your local TV station (that would kinda suck)
3. If you were driving around late at night, and needed gas, you'd be SOL without a computer operating the debit/credit card machine on the pump.
4. Finding your friends/family/etc would be extremely expensive, so you would probably not keep track of them (Facebook, pipl, etc.)
5. Driving directions would be without a GPS (and we know how horrible driving directions from a random idiot can be).
6. No MRIs, CT scans, or medical imaging of any real use outside of X-rays.
7. Probably no oil as the computational power needed to find it wouldn't exist.
8. Most cars now have computers built into them for debugging, etc.
9. Building, bridges, and infrastructure are better designed now due to CAD.
10. Taxes by hand would be a huge pain and would probably require you to hire an accountant who knew the laws.
11. Probably the most important for those on Fark... little to no access to porn.

etc. etc. etc.

Next time you meet an IT guy... hug him, and thank him for giving you access to porn.
 
2013-02-15 01:57:11 PM

FizixJunkee: By the time you enter college, you should have the skills to learn on your own.


Which happens to be the exact opposite of what is taught for 12+ years of primary education.
 
2013-02-15 01:57:30 PM

FizixJunkee: Rapmaster2000: p the boiler:

Dude, why did you go to Purdue to major in LA?

I know someone who majored in English at Georgia Tech.  Made no sense to me at all.


Well, I suppose that if you're a chick at GT then you have your pick of men.  They're engineers, but still... men.

That or you could wander over to GSU and check out the ridiculous amount of trashy women there.

/mba from gsu
 
2013-02-15 01:57:56 PM

Wadded Beef: This article focuses on lower-income kids, but when I was in college I had some roommates my freshman year (we all shared a suite in the crappy dorm basement) that came from some serious wealth and were actually only there for the bong action and skiing. Their study habits were below zilch. Not exactly a shock when they didn't make it back after winter break and we never saw them again.


Had a roommate freshman year who was damn near nocturnal. He'd be rolling in from the night when I was leaving for class in the morning and I wouldn't see him again until the next morning. Anyway, he came from money. His dad had given him $10k of spending money for our first term, which was roughly Sept-Dec. He managed to spend it on all booze, drugs, and musical equipment for the "band" he was starting by early November. He didn't make it back after winter break.
 
2013-02-15 01:58:16 PM

johnny_vegas: palelizard:
If we don't support those degrees, how can I expect my coffee to be served with an unordered side of smug superiority and condescension?  Who will explain to me the power dynamic artificially represented by the tip jar is really just an extension of the philosophies behind Vaclav Havel's greatest works, and like all true absurdist situations, reflecting the opposite of reality to indicate that I, the advanced math degree consumer, am truly the powerless one, not only in the relationship between the barista and I, but in all subjective realities (as objective reality is a thought-construct of the powerless)?

Who will judge me?  I don't want it to be amateurs.


[25.media.tumblr.com image 480x360]


Well f'in done.
/awesome


"Praise the humanities, my boy. That'll make them think you're broadminded!" -- Winston Churchill
 
2013-02-15 01:58:30 PM

Rapmaster2000: I had no idea.  I only left the engineering lab to go to the bar.


I met my wife at Jakes - Purdue did a lot of great things for my future
 
2013-02-15 02:00:00 PM

p the boiler: Rapmaster2000: I had no idea.  I only left the engineering lab to go to the bar.

I met my wife at Jakes - Purdue did a lot of great things for my future


I worked at Yacht Club and Tom's.  If those still existed when you were there.

I met my ex-wife at Yacht Club or as the people who went there called it - Stacks.
 
2013-02-15 02:00:35 PM

FizixJunkee: I know someone who majored in English at Georgia Tech. Made no sense to me at all.


Because a school with a reputation like Georgia Tech can still pull in accomplished faculty, even in fields that aren't engineering.  Because he/she wanted to go to Georgia Tech but English was the right degree for him/her.   There are tons of reasons.  It's a personal decision.  That said, I don't see where they offer a degree in just English.
 
2013-02-15 02:01:31 PM
Hey I resent that remark, subby!
 
2013-02-15 02:02:23 PM

kwame: WhippingBoy: You said "What's cute is how you don't even understand the number of things wrong with that comment." and then failed to provide a single example of anything that was "wrong".

That's all I was getting at.

It's mostly because this statement gets tossed around in every higher education thread.

I'll address the only one I do every time.  The rest I'm tired of posting.  "Liberal arts" encompasses chemistry, math, anthropology, economics, physics, history, and many more.  To claim that's where academically incompetent students run is really ignorant


There, that wasn't so hard, was it?

I do see your point. Instead of "Liberal Arts", what should we call the "useless" majors then? (e.g. English Lit, Psychology, Gender Studies, Philosophy, etc.). "Humanities"? "Soft sciences"? "Starbucks U?"
 
2013-02-15 02:02:34 PM

Rapmaster2000: p the boiler: Rapmaster2000: I had no idea.  I only left the engineering lab to go to the bar.

I met my wife at Jakes - Purdue did a lot of great things for my future

I worked at Yacht Club and Tom's.  If those still existed when you were there.

I met my ex-wife at Yacht Club or as the people who went there called it - Stacks.


They were there (Class of '98) - not Greek, so did not do Stacks - Tom's was my place though - Penny beer night with the $5 mixed drink pitchers caused a blackout or two. It wasa sad day when I heard Tom's was being torn down. I also enjoyed the upstairs of Boiler Room
 
2013-02-15 02:02:51 PM
College, sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't.

College was boring to me so I just started contracting in the biz I was studying for.  I love comp sci :D

... it's like a unregulated magical unicorn which if you're good at it, you just get piles of money tossed at you (aka rainbow poop, the only poop you can spend!).
 
2013-02-15 02:04:21 PM

kwame: FizixJunkee: I know someone who majored in English at Georgia Tech. Made no sense to me at all.

Because a school with a reputation like Georgia Tech can still pull in accomplished faculty, even in fields that aren't engineering.  Because he/she wanted to go to Georgia Tech but English was the right degree for him/her.   There are tons of reasons.  It's a personal decision.  That said, I don't see where they offer a degree in just English.


That is one of my two undergrad degrees - it is useful for people preparing for Law School (my original intent) and also those preparing to teach English at a post k-12 level - a lot of marketing copy writers get that degree too
 
2013-02-15 02:05:41 PM

dittybopper: I could live my life quite well without a computer.  In fact, I *HAVE* done so, albeit when I was kid.   I can't think of a way that my life would be measurably worse without a computer.  I'd have to do calculations by hand.  So what?  I've got a few slide rules around, and I've built mechanical calculators out of LEGOs.   I've even got a manual typewriter:

[oi47.tinypic.com image 639x373]


My life would be measurably worse without tradesmen like plumbers, auto mechanics, and the like.  I don't have the skills or the tools to do most repairs on my car, for example.

/Friends with tradesmen.


Me neither, but I can order the tools or look up the skills in a matter of minutes thanks to the transistor. Though, I guess given both of our arguments, that makes the real heroes the tool manufacturing experts. Let's face it: you, me, a professional plumber, a professional mechanic - we're pretty much all farked if we have to make our own wrenches.
 
2013-02-15 02:05:58 PM

FizixJunkee: bdub77:
Class size in first year college math and science programs is a very real problem. Those programs actively try to weed out students, not on the basis of 'academic ability' - whatever the fark that means - but because they don't have enough people capable of teaching the higher level courses...

Professors aren't teachers!

By the time you enter college, you should have the skills to learn on your own.  Your professors are there to structure the curriculum, to make sure all students are exposed to certain predetermined topics, and to assess how well you've learned the material.  They are not there to teach.

Professors are valuable because they have expertise in their fields, but they are not teachers.

\if you need someone to "teach" you when you're in college, you either need to hire a tutor or you're just too dumb for college


Wrong. I don't know what high school you went to, but the purpose of college is to teach kids to learn on their own. High school is a horrible environment for that, for multiple reasons, including the social setting, the ability of most high school teachers, parental discipline (which doesn't always translate to self discpline, even for those whose parents aren't around all the time), not to mention that many who go on to college are bored by how easy high school is and were never challenged.

Professors who can't teach first and second year math because they are 'scholars and aren't responsible for teaching' shouldn't be in the farking classroom.

High school to college is a very difficult year the first year, because of the lack of parental supervision, a new social setting, differences of learning styles and methods from high school to college, diversity, and so on. Colleges should have stronger first and second year programs precisely because of this.

Should colleges molly coddle everyone? No. But they should give students some breathing room. 18-year olds are rarely mature enough to understand the implications of what they are learning.
 
2013-02-15 02:06:06 PM

WhippingBoy: I do see your point. Instead of "Liberal Arts", what should we call the "useless" majors then? (e.g. English Lit, Psychology, Gender Studies, Philosophy, etc.). "Humanities"? "Soft sciences"? "Starbucks U?"


I could go on to list all the productive ways people have made an ass-ton of money and contributed to the world with all of those majors.  There's no such thing as a worthless major, only a worthless job candidate who didn't put his back into his degree.
 
2013-02-15 02:06:40 PM

Valiente: You're right. I was using "physicist" in the sense of a trope (a kinda English-major word) to express a "Big Bang" type of scientist who is great on theory and poor in practice. I should have used "cultural studies M.A.".

Not everyone should be in college, and it is arguable that allowing more people in has not only lowered the bar overmuch in the name of "equality", but has wasted a great deal of time and money that would've been better spent in more productive ways. I only have thousands of embittered and indebted 30 year old liberal-arts-degree-possessing baristas as my sample group, however.


I *Do* agree with this. At the same time, we'd need to pay people who *aren't* college graduates a better wage. I actually have a HUGE degree of respect for anyone who works in the services industry (I could not do that without murdering someone), but they barely get enough to survive as-is, and we as a society tend to look down on folks with technical degrees (for reasons I cannot fathom.)

Not really sure what the fix is. =/.
 
2013-02-15 02:13:42 PM

bdub77: Class size in first year college math and science programs is a very real problem. Those programs actively try to weed out students, not on the basis of 'academic ability' - whatever the fark that means - but because they don't have enough people capable of teaching the higher level courses and because they can get kids to pay the same amount of money for liberal arts courses that are cheaper to teach.


Academic departments generally want to increase upper-level enrollment in their majors, not decrease it.  And departments have plenty of people to teach the higher level courses.  Teaching the gigantic lower-level courses is the problem; they need an army of TAs and graders.

However, most of the students in their first-year service courses are not potential majors in their department.  For example, most of the students in intro math/chem/phys courses are prospective engineers, not prospective math/chem/phys majors.  Whatever "weeding out" goes on in service courses usually affects students who wouldn't have taken the department's upper-level courses to begin with.

So they purposely make the courses more challenging than they have to be, with course texts that are as dry and terribly written as they are expensive.

That's hilarious.  First-year STEM courses are usually ridiculously easy.  They manage to weed lots of students out anyway.  There are plenty of students in calculus-based physics classes who never fully mastered algebra, for example ...

I agree the textbooks are dry, but most of them at that level are decently written.  (The bad texts are upper-level, written by pure researchers.)  And the expense has to do with book publishers, not nefarious university scheming.
 
2013-02-15 02:14:05 PM

kwame: WhippingBoy: Bravely ran away, away!

OK, fine.  What is it you were planning to debate with me that you never actually came out and said?

johnny_vegas: because that process and the associated (and diverse) points of view usually cause the most discussion (or angst maybe)

I'm opposed to tenure because of the way it can be abused.  That said, there's something kind of fun about a crotchety old chemistry professor who will tell the provost to kiss his ass.


I'd rather have the few people that earn tenure and use it later to sit on their laurels a bit prior to retirement, than have a situation in which every professor feels they have to curtail their speech in class to not tick off that new department chair/college dean/university admin/major corporate donor who doesn't think twice about replacing people who think differently or question precious traditions.
 
2013-02-15 02:16:36 PM
It would be nice if public schools stopped demonizing any option other than college.  If a kid is clearly not college material, help him/her find a technical school or certification program.  I see so many women in their late 20s struggling to get their certification for Medical Assistant while holding down two jobs.  If they had gone into that program right after high school, they could have been making a livable wage right off the bat and would be doing much better.  High schools just focus on being able to say they sent a good percentage of their graduating class on to college without considering how many of those students will actually complete their degree vs. how many will be saddled with debt and soul-crushing disappointment.
 
2013-02-15 02:16:41 PM

Gabrielmot: dittybopper: ne so, albeit when I was kid.   I can't think of a way that my life would be measurably worse without a computer.  I'd have to do calculations by hand.  So what?  I've got a few slide rules around, and I've built mechanical calculators out of LEGOs.   I've even got a manual typewriter:

1. No Fark (that'd kinda suck)
2. No way to verify the news you are reading without just taking the words of those on your local TV station (that would kinda suck)
3. If you were driving around late at night, and needed gas, you'd be SOL without a computer operating the debit/credit card machine on the pump.
4. Finding your friends/family/etc would be extremely expensive, so you would probably not keep track of them (Facebook, pipl, etc.)
5. Driving directions would be without a GPS (and we know how horrible driving directions from a random idiot can be).
10. Taxes by hand would be a huge pain and would probably require you to hire an accountant who knew the laws.
11. Probably the most important for those on Fark... little to no access to porn.

etc. etc. etc.

Next time you meet an IT guy... hug him, and thank him for giving you access to porn.


5. Thomas Guide & maps from AAA.  Never got lost before I had GPS in my pocket. :)
10. I hug my tax accountant since he keeps my money where it belongs.  He's like a magical unicorn too that saves me several thousand dollars every year.  Honestly don't know why anyone does their own taxes.

Mine is a fan of the Duke, looks like a piece of leather and has like 50 tool bars on his browser.  Have a late friend who was a master class accountant who couldn't operate a computer to save his life.  Maybe that's the key to finding a good accountant.  Find one who can use their computer *just enough* to number crunch and efile.
 
2013-02-15 02:16:43 PM

kwame: WhippingBoy: I do see your point. Instead of "Liberal Arts", what should we call the "useless" majors then? (e.g. English Lit, Psychology, Gender Studies, Philosophy, etc.). "Humanities"? "Soft sciences"? "Starbucks U?"

I could go on to list all the productive ways people have made an ass-ton of money and contributed to the world with all of those majors.  There's no such thing as a worthless major, only a worthless job candidate who didn't put his back into his degree.


Again, I agree completely.

Instead of "useless majors", I should have said "majors that useless people tend to take". I apologize for any offense.
 
2013-02-15 02:16:56 PM

Ambitwistor: That's hilarious. First-year STEM courses are usually ridiculously easy. They manage to weed lots of students out anyway. There are plenty of students in calculus-based physics classes who never fully mastered algebra, for example ...


YMMV. I never encountered an 'easy' STEM class when I was at college other than maybe Multivariate Calculus, but it was almost 20 years ago.
 
2013-02-15 02:17:26 PM
Man, some people ITT sure have their proverbial panties in a wad.

Education good.

There.  Now calm the fark down.
 
2013-02-15 02:17:40 PM
I'm an English major at an expensive private school, so I'm getting a kick out of some of these comments....
 
2013-02-15 02:17:56 PM

FizixJunkee: By the time you enter college, you should have the skills to learn on your own.  Your professors are there to structure the curriculum, to make sure all students are exposed to certain predetermined topics, and to assess how well you've learned the material.  They are not there to teach.  Professors are valuable because they have expertise in their fields, but they are not teachers.


Professors absolutely are there to teach, and always have been.  Yes, you're supposed to be able to learn things on your own, but that's always true, and doesn't mean you don't need anyone to teach you anything.
 
2013-02-15 02:21:46 PM

kwame: WhippingBoy: You said "What's cute is how you don't even understand the number of things wrong with that comment." and then failed to provide a single example of anything that was "wrong".

That's all I was getting at.

It's mostly because this statement gets tossed around in every higher education thread.

I'll address the only one I do every time.  The rest I'm tired of posting.  "Liberal arts" encompasses chemistry, math, anthropology, economics, physics, history, and many more.  To claim that's where academically incompetent students run is really ignorant


At my school, Mathematics & Sciences had it's own college. Business another. The College of Liberal Arts was your psych, journalism, women's studies, theater & dance, music, philosophy, etc. Outside of graphic design and maybe child development they're weren't terribly useful majors. That said, I don't think they were academically incompetent students; the incompetent ones drop out. Even the least useful fields of study require some minimal competency.
 
2013-02-15 02:21:53 PM

Frank N Stein: I'm an English major at an expensive private school, so I'm getting a kick out of some of these comments....


Based on your profile I have it down to 4 schools - I'll go with NU
 
2013-02-15 02:22:17 PM

bdub77: Ambitwistor: That's hilarious. First-year STEM courses are usually ridiculously easy. They manage to weed lots of students out anyway. There are plenty of students in calculus-based physics classes who never fully mastered algebra, for example ...

YMMV. I never encountered an 'easy' STEM class when I was at college other than maybe Multivariate Calculus, but it was almost 20 years ago.


Well, let's put it this way:  first-year STEM classes are far, far easier than upper-level STEM classes.  Anyone who doesn't make it through a first-year class isn't going to make it through an upper-level class either.  In that sense, whatever "weed-out" role they serve is legitimate:  the people who don't make it through them aren't going to make it through a related degree.
 
2013-02-15 02:23:33 PM

p the boiler: Frank N Stein: I'm an English major at an expensive private school, so I'm getting a kick out of some of these comments....

Based on your profile I have it down to 4 schools - I'll go with NU


Go U!
 
2013-02-15 02:23:48 PM

Ambitwistor: There are plenty of students in calculus-based physics classes who never fully mastered algebra, for example ...


I have been trying to tutor for a student taking Algebra Based Physics, and it is HARD. I honestly believe that Calc based physics is just simply *easier* to teach and comprehend than algebra based, because, well, that's how physics was *derived*.
 
2013-02-15 02:24:32 PM

uncoveror: College has been dumbed down to the point that anyone can get in. They rake in a lot of cash that way, but there are still people who can't graduate. Once it is dumbed down enough even for them, a degree will no longer have any meaning, and we are already stepping down that slippery slope.


A b.s. pretty much has no meaning now. It's the modern day high school diploma.
 
2013-02-15 02:26:42 PM

limeyfellow: mamoru: ajgeek: UberDave: Many students learn over the course of their studies that college is not a good match for them academically...

...So they go on to major in Business.

/Runs from thread.

Or English, Liberal Arts, and for the ladies, Women's Studies.

/stands defiantly.

Or psychology. That was the big one for a lot of the dolphin huggers that dropped their marine biology major after discovering that it's actually science and actually hard. ;)

Don't be silly. Biology isn't real science. Only physics and chemistry is.


You hurt me :(

Sounds like a debate on BBT
 
2013-02-15 02:28:13 PM

utsagrad123: [25.media.tumblr.com image 500x376]

Some foke'll never eat a skunk but then again some fokel, like Cletus, the slack jawed yokel!


or loose a toe
 
2013-02-15 02:28:39 PM
I'm a humanities professor at a state university. My cushy salary is leeched off the tax dollars of you bootstrappy folk with your "useful" degrees and practical hardscrabble wisdom you got from the University of Real Life, etc.

I guess I should defend the honor of the dreaded lllllllibrul arts, but I mostly use Fark to kill time at work, and I'll be damned if I'm going to spend Friday afternoon in my office.

See you guys Tuesday!
 
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