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  1. #51
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    I think I've talked to LL several times on my viewpoints on college. It's a business. Nothing more, nothing less.

    The professors are a joke. The grades depend heavily on the professors, and it's a money transaction at every turnpoint so as long as they're paid it doesn't matter. Have a professor that teaches one way and makes a test an entirely different way? Oh well. Have a professor that hands you your grade without covering material you'll need next semester? Oh well. Or what about those professors that have the theory that A's should be an unattainable goal and students should be satisfied with whatever grade they decide to hand out??

    Their systems are a joke. Wonder why they drop you the moment you don't have every little detail done? Because they don't care if you actually go to college, they care if you paid to go. So if you didn't have all your pays and papers done, they have no moral qualms in dropping you without ever really advising you.

    College advisors are a joke. I could do better advising now than the head of the department.

    Textbooks are a joke. They're even requiring classes that traditionally don't need things like textbooks (aerobics, etc.) to incorporate the textbook so that the students HAVE to buy it.

    Infact, the only thing that isn't a joke is the fact that every rich person, and every extremely poor person can go to college, so anyone else has to get a degree to catch up in this shit job playing field.

    The only places I think actual learning occurs is in continuing education-style courses and vocational institutions or programs.
    I find myself both agreeing and disagreeing with this. From a top level "this is how the university sees it" viewpoint, I totally concur. However, having attended two liberal arts school and one technical school, each of those institutions made efforts, and sometimes quite extensive efforts, to interface with students and get feedback and to try to meet the needs and desires of the students within the limits of the curriculum and any given class. Also, for my undergrad, on average 80% of the physics students go onto grad school, and barring those who want to be HS teachers and the like, I believe a similarly high number applies to the math majors. I had profs that made extensive efforts to be available and assistful to students. Fwiw, my 2 LA schools seemed MUCH better about stuff like that than did my technical school.

  2. #52
    Ruler of the Stars Asterion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blanclait View Post
    ^
    bit unrelated but reminds me of my textiles lecture. We have 1 lecture every 2 weeks, so when midterm was in, half the students didn't get the lecture notes until after the exam.


    Anyways,

    Thank you for everyone who posted, it helped me understand the "true nature" of what college/university is.
    I guess my rant was out of extreme disappointment because this wasn't the college Ive been working toward all these years.

    Anyways, enough of that crap,
    I have a question for anyone who attended those prestige school, or w/e they are called these days.

    Is the education better in prestigious universities? I been thinking about getting MFA at Yale for Fine arts in the future.
    But this is under the assumptions that these universities have:
    *good professors, that are open minded
    *good curriculum that brings out people's potential and not about making them an average working class robot
    * quite the number of brilliant students (not studious)

    Right now I'm thinking they are not that much better, but what is only being upgraded is the connections, which i think is quite important as well.
    Keep in mind, this is graduate school. Or is there really no difference b/w the two... ?
    I'm not from America and all, but within my state, I've been to two of the three unis . The first I went to is considered prestigious, costs you a good 10% + more to go there and all that. The second was somewhat rural.

    prestigious uni:
    - More classes, including summer classes
    - Better (looking ) facilities, that are upgraded reasonably often
    - Arrogant students are abundant, most are pretty good
    - More students, busier lecturers, which makes them hard to see

    less prestigious uni:
    - equipment is slightly older, some buildings look worn down, others brand new
    - more distance between buildings (kind of uni dependent I think)
    - Very interactive lecturers, the students rely on them more, and it's awesome that way
    - ambiguous instructions... beware of open packet.
    5 3 9

  3. #53
    Reptilian Snuggletron's Avatar
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    For me, college is just something to help put off the major decisions. I'm not really going to school for me at this point in time, so it is not satisfying. The only thing I like about it so far is looking back on some of the experiences I've had. A lot of them just being me independently going to and from school. I find myself drawing in my notes a lot more than me actually going back and reading them. So Right now I'd say college is for:

    1. keeping me on my parents insurance
    2. delaying career/life choices
    3. because it's what you 'should' do
    4. grades
    5. learning

    I do not support that order, I'm only stating that is truthfully why I'm going to school now. The experiences and memories are probably the only good part I'm seeing in retrospect so far. And I'm not even partying or meeting a lot of new people, most of it is just alone time.

  4. #54
    Systematic chaos Cenomite's Avatar
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    For me, college has been more about developing a mindset rather than learning specific things.
    The probability that I was procrastinating when I was typing this post:

    P(have big assignment due) = 0.6
    P(posting on TypoC) = 0.2
    P(having big assignment due | posting on TypoC) = 0.7

    P(posting on TypoC | having big assignment due) = .......


    Eh, I'll finish it later.

  5. #55
    Striving for balance Little Linguist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ragingkatsuki View Post
    @Little Linguist: I certainly understand what you mean LL but there are certain jobs that are the dreams of these students. And the only way they'd be able to achieve it is to go through the college for it. What most people are doing are looking at the negatives of college which of course brings them to the conclusion that college isn't for learning. They talk about the bad professors... what about the good ones? Why don't they get any credit for actually properly teaching the students what they need to know about their future profession. (I know you're not saying this. I just wanted to put it in)

    Very true. Many flaws about college doesn't allow the student to reach their full potential. But I wouldn't think that would matter as much once they get the degree. This is because if they are indeed a bright students people will look at them for their work experience rather than what college they were in after a number of years of work experience. They would learn everything to their full potential during their work. And they would shine in their work if they are in fact good in what they do.
    Sure - it's not fair that education gets a bad reputation; after all, for all the asshole teachers out there, there are those of us who really DO care both about the subject and about the students.

    Indeed, I had some professors who really, really helped me through an extremely difficult phase in my life. If it hadn't been for them, I probably would have ended up doing some shitty job I hated for the rest of my life.

    In fact, I think it is rather because of these inspirational people that I got into academia in the first place.

    Furthermore, you are correct when you say that after a while, people look at the abilities of individuals rather than the nitty gritty about this or that aspect of education. Even in Germany, where you really cannot achieve anything without the right stamp and documentation for everything, people are willing to turn a blind eye to certain things and make exceptions for people who can really do a good job. (Okay, it is partially due to the fact that they have no choice. HAH!)

    All in all, I have to say I am grateful for the education that has allowed me to follow my dream career. However, I do not think that should preclude anyone from analyzing the weaknesses of the educational system and reforming/improving it.
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  6. #56
    Listening Oaky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Linguist View Post
    Sure - it's not fair that education gets a bad reputation; after all, for all the asshole teachers out there, there are those of us who really DO care both about the subject and about the students.

    Indeed, I had some professors who really, really helped me through an extremely difficult phase in my life. If it hadn't been for them, I probably would have ended up doing some shitty job I hated for the rest of my life.

    In fact, I think it is rather because of these inspirational people that I got into academia in the first place.

    Furthermore, you are correct when you say that after a while, people look at the abilities of individuals rather than the nitty gritty about this or that aspect of education. Even in Germany, where you really cannot achieve anything without the right stamp and documentation for everything, people are willing to turn a blind eye to certain things and make exceptions for people who can really do a good job. (Okay, it is partially due to the fact that they have no choice. HAH!)

    All in all, I have to say I am grateful for the education that has allowed me to follow my dream career. However, I do not think that should preclude anyone from analyzing the weaknesses of the educational system and reforming/improving it.
    True. The system that is made isn't perfect so we can't expect everything we want to come out of it. We can only try to improve it.

  7. #57
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    University is not exclusively about providing education or getting people to learn. At least the case is such in the United States. In the United States, the University must offer the kind of services that the public will be willing to pay for, otherwise it would not survive as the government is not willing to offer ample support for such an institution.

    What is the majority of the public in the United States willing to pay for? Obviously for whatever they deem to be important. What exactly is it that they deem to be important? That is what Keirsey may describe as SJ values. First of all making money, having a high status in society. In order to do that, genuine and deep learning is not necessary. What is necessary is having some very basic skills and knowledge that will make it believable to most superficial, ordinary people that you are quite skilled and knowledgeable. By the standards of the contemporary society, having genuine knowledge isn't important, it is only important to ensure that other people think that you do.

    Since the students make the payments that keep the Universities in business, it is important to provide the kind of a program that they will want to enroll in. That is, one that does not lead them to do any genuine learning but only forces them to learn to do things in a one simple, straight-forward way. This is desirable by the students because it will convince most people that they are knowledgeable.

    Today, most people are not accustomed to learning, they would much rather memorizes a number of rules regarding how to do things and mindlessly implement them till the very day that they retire. (No wonder so many seniors in this country suffer from the Alzheimer's syndrome) Since these people are the ones who are calling the shots with respect to what must taught at the Universities, there is no reason to expect for such institutions to be devoted to learning.

    Most institutions are mere bureaucratic organizations as most people find them easy to deal with. To do away with bureaucracy means to force people to think for themselves. No-one is ready for this. If you want an institution that is devoted to learning, start a private school of your own. You are not going to have an easy time finding a University where learning is one of the main institutional purposes. Making a genuine effort to get people to think for themselves is a subversive and a revolutionary proposition at this point. Most Deans would find the suggestion of making people learn instead of earning an income for the institution or making the public happy by giving them the educational program that they want earnestly baffling.

    Although man has the capacity for rational though, it is not a rational animal as learning and critical thinking cannot be regarded as his salient attributes. Why would they? We have just recently evolved from monkeys whose primary purpose on Earth was to climb trees and propagate their species. Wait several billions of years when our descendant species evolve, perhaps they will find learning to be quite natural.

    The bottom line is, the activities of the University cannot be focused primarily on learning because if they were, the overwhelming majority of the public would not want to have anything to do with it. Most people find it much more natural to climb trees and propagate their species than to read. Certainly we have evolved from the point where our monkey ancestors were, yet not far. Sensorial activities dominate our culture. Monday night football, mindless soap operas, gangsta rap performers, Britney Spears, the Fear Factor and so on and so forth will acquire 10 times as many people who are willing to attend their performances more than any contemporary academic.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  8. #58
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Most likely your shortest post. And one of the few where I genuinely agree with every point. College is a business, not a place for learning. Well said SW. I'm still laughing that you wrote "gangsta rap".

    I do ask the question that Raging asked me though, do you count vocational learning institutions in your analysis (Such as a school's only purpose being to teach mechanics how to fix cars) or do you think of college in it's university form like I refer to it as? Or do you count both in this?

    Mayhap I have a most optimistic view than you do, but our conclusions on college are the same.
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  9. #59
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    I find myself both agreeing and disagreeing with this. From a top level "this is how the university sees it" viewpoint, I totally concur. However, having attended two liberal arts school and one technical school, each of those institutions made efforts, and sometimes quite extensive efforts, to interface with students and get feedback and to try to meet the needs and desires of the students within the limits of the curriculum and any given class. Also, for my undergrad, on average 80% of the physics students go onto grad school, and barring those who want to be HS teachers and the like, I believe a similarly high number applies to the math majors. I had profs that made extensive efforts to be available and assistful to students. Fwiw, my 2 LA schools seemed MUCH better about stuff like that than did my technical school.
    I'm not saying there are never good people in the system, nor do I think that students don't learn anything at all. I believe learning takes place as you experience life. It's impossible to attend a math class and not take something back with you. But these rare occasions are subject to chance. A student must stumble upon a nitch of good among a sea of uninspired business-oriented garbage.
    Kantgirl: Just say "I'm feminine and I'll punch anyone who says otherwise!"
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  10. #60
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    As a math and physics double major, with lots of friends who studied engineering, I can not concur with the above. Chemistry has a reputation for being FAR "easier" and less mathematical [and also intense and cerebral] than does physics. People always talk about how hard quantum mechanics is, not how easy it is. I've never heard anyone say "Gosh, physics is SOO easy. I need something that is actually challenging!"
    What is your objective for university--is it to obtain a good job and career, or to gain knowledge for knowledge's sake? You mention engineering friends, but this is not university studies as per the definition I used in what you quoted me, that is vocational training that occurs under the umbrella of a university institution.

    Those are two very different aims with two very different definitions of learning. How do you define learning? In undergraduate (I was only talking about undergraduate) studies, science and math students tend to learn what is put in front of them, whereas liberal arts students generally get a lot more free reign with the papers they choose to go into depth about. When you go exploring on your own, you generally retain far more understanding 20 years later because you were interested and formed a complex mental schema (structure).

    This doesn't mean that liberal arts students learn more or less, it's just a different goal. Aside from a few upper level courses, I've never heard of an undergraduate math or physics major getting to choose the direction of their studies (i.e. their marks are based off of midterm and final exam performance, based off of what the prof deems is important for the whole class). When you're following someone else's decisions on what to learn, then it is more business-y and you're less likely to retain this knowledge unless you're applying it in your vocation. (This is why I wasn't including graduate studies--because then students get to choose their interests instead of meeting the predetermined expectations for an undergraduate degree.)
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