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Thursday links


  1. rochesterveteran
    rochesterveteran July 13, 2017 7:20 am

    College is not for everyone. The debt alone can saddle a young person for years to come and is one of the reasons why many Millennials opt to live with their parents as they can’t afford to be on their own. My two oldest kids went to the local community college and incurred very little debt and they eventually found decent paying jobs and are doing well. My youngest did go to a regular 4 year college and although half of his tuition, room and board were covered by a football scholarship, he still ended up with a $70,000 debt. He and his wife are into the living frugal lifestyle and he made it the top financial priority to pay that student loan off as quickly as possible and did it in 3 years and is now debt free.

  2. Claire
    Claire July 13, 2017 7:51 am

    Sounds like you really raised that boy right, RV!

    I agree that college is not for everyone. Between soaring debt, plummeting standards, dismal results, and increasingly brownshirt atmosphere, it’s no surprise that college is soon going to be for even fewer.

  3. Comrade X
    Comrade X July 13, 2017 9:33 am

    My daughter got an associate degree from the local CC and then went to the local liberal arts college for a few years without getting a degree there, couldn’t find a decent job like many (degreed or not) but then took an accounting course on line and went through the CPA tests, passed them all first try, got her CPA and is now the Controller of a major school district in her state.

    One of my sons was in the Bio/chemistry Honors program at a major university, but dropped out after a few years, went to work for me as a trainee, participated in an on line program at a major university which issued a certificate after completion but not a degree and is now the Operation Manager of a major corporation in a major city in the US.

    Getting a real job and making real money IMHO is not as much related to having some initials behind your name as it is about who you are and your self determination.

    This whole concept of getting the blessing of those who run our education programs in this country to become a successful person in business or life IMHO is a loser equation to start with. It’s don’t take a village, it’s take an individual and their will to get it done.

    Having self worth & success in life is not tied as much to what you do as it is to how you feel about doing what you do; IMHO also. That goes for anyone from the seamstress to the senator.

  4. Desertrat
    Desertrat July 13, 2017 1:31 pm

    I read of degree plans in many of today’s colleges and I’m reminded of late 1950s when we Seminoles and Gators joked about the University of Miami as a program for degrees in Underwater Basketweaving. They give degrees in what seem to me to require at most one semester of a Liberal Arts curriculum–and then the graduates wonder why there are no jobs for them.

    Debt can be a tool if used properly. E.g., borrow the money to start a lawn maintenance company, or a small-engine repair service. Granted, those require some time as an employee of such a concern, and some study of appropriate manuals. Unrepayable debt for a college degree in Unknown Studies or Weird Culture is criminally foolish.

    Colleges are places where the students are supposed to become familiar with competing ideas, whether philosophical or technical. They are the last places where “safe spaces” should be considered other than foolish.

    In a bigger picture, there should be no need for remedial courses for those who did not learn the basics in K-12.

  5. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty July 13, 2017 1:36 pm

    Depends… I knew from an early age that I was going to be a nurse. I knew that there was no way to get there except to get at least one college degree. Took several in the long run to get where I wound up. My mother told me from the start that “school” was just a convenient place to learn the vocabulary … but that the real education was everything else you learned on your own in the meantime. Experience being the ultimate part of that. I ignored pretty much everything the “teachers” and professors said, especially anything that didn’t have to do with actual nursing and science. I read the books and did the lab work. I don’t regret going to college. It would have been a great deal more efficient use of time to have a basic apprenticeship to start with instead, but that hasn’t been available in most professions for a long time.

  6. larryarnold
    larryarnold July 13, 2017 2:31 pm

    Anyway, my own view on all the student-protest excess is … they’re students. Sometimes they go too far.
    “Dear Mr. Westneat;
    Yes, sometimes students go too far. That isn’t what’s bothering us. The problem is they are getting away with it, indeed they seem to be getting encouragement from the adults supposedly acting “in loco parentis.”
    The students aren’t the problem, the grownups who should be running the colleges are.”

  7. Pat
    Pat July 13, 2017 3:10 pm

    There once was a time when I thought everyone needed at least one, preferably two, years in college just to see how other people lived and what they were thinking. Nowadays I suspect that academia, which doesn’t think at all, would do more harm than good.

    The “basic apprenticeship” of nursing used to be the 3-year hospital diploma program. Somewhere in the 60s that changed, and the BS college program for nurses took over. The social sciences were all the rage, and somehow sociology became more important in the course of learning anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, etc. There are very few diploma programs available in the U.S. today, and most of them are connected to some level of further study in at least a community college, if not a university.

    Most of the college programs are for the purpose of turning nurses into managers, rather than teaching them how to take care of patients. It’s as if the patient shouldn’t be touched, and many young nurses are shocked to discover the amount of contact they need. (I’ve heard them admit as much.) They quickly become disillusioned about nursing and the amount of physical work they must put in. As a result, they are dropping out of the business much faster than they once did.

    I don’t think college nursing programs are very realistic in their teaching; there is a large gap between theory and practice that the nursing educator doesn’t understand, and thus does not teach. This may be equally true in other fields of study today, I don’t know.

  8. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty July 14, 2017 4:02 am

    Pat, I taught nursing at a community college in the 1980s. As far as I know, there were zero diploma programs left by then. All state boards of nursing require at least an associate of science degree in a nursing curriculum in order to take the state boards for RN. There were some different programs for LVN. Don’t know about now, of course, but back then the community college curriculum for nursing was already pretty screwed up. All of the faculty for the nursing subjects were working RNs then, but we were not allowed to teach what we knew from experience. Actually prevented from doing so as much as possible. Long story short, we were expected to assign the required reading in outdated texts, then stand in front of the class and READ the damned thing to the students! I set mine in a big circle and required them to actually know the material and discuss it. (With me pointing out things that were no longer common practice, or giving them resources to find the latest research available.) I was told that I was making it “too difficult” after some students complained. I resigned in disgust.

    Current nursing “education” consists of rote learning, and “cookbook” decisions. Even in 1985, the students were not being taught (and had not usually previously learned) any real measure of critical thinking, analytical thinking that would allow them to take multiple facts, accurate evaluation of signs and symptoms, and come to a rational conclusion for action. In fact, most of them couldn’t write a complete sentence or have a basic grasp of grammar. They couldn’t even spell or use common punctuation well. They were generally not life long readers either. So, no matter how good they might be otherwise, or dedicated to patient care, they were not ready to do any kind of college study. And faculty was not allowed to do much to change that.

    Enter a hospital now and face serious risk. You had better have someone with you who can act as your advocate, making sure they understand what is being done before allowing it (I didn’t). The “nurses” may well be sweet as pecan pie, but they don’t necessarily know what the hell they are doing… and the patient won’t know if they do or don’t. That’s what I ran into the last time I was hospitalized… in 1995, and it scared me half to death. I wound up going into surgery with serious dehydration and wacky electrolytes because the pre-op nurse didn’t know what the hell she was looking at in the lab reports! My surgeon canceled the surgery and sent me back to the floor. I was there an extra day while he flogged everyone to get it right.

    Thank heavens I had a doctor who knew his head from a hole in the ground… there aren’t too many of those left now either, I’m afraid.

  9. Comrade X
    Comrade X July 14, 2017 9:37 am

    I avoid hospitals because people die there.

    I look at a doctor the same as I look at my auto mechanic, if they have enough experience & smarts they MAY make the right decision but the final decision is mine because it’s my vehicle/body and I’m the one that has to live with their screw ups, not them.

  10. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty July 14, 2017 10:52 am

    Amen, Comrade… but you can’t do your own surgery, so that’s why you need an advocate if that’s what you wind up with. I needed emergency gall bladder surgery, and the delay darn near killed me. Even with the delay, I was in such poor shape (several factors there including asthma) that my lungs partially collapsed on the operating table, and I was very lucky to live through it. The fact that I had an excellent doctor probably made all the difference. You can’t control everything yourself, unfortunately, especially in an emergency. And you can replace the auto fairly easily.

  11. Shel
    Shel July 14, 2017 12:31 pm

    I think Comrade X’s auto mechanic analogy is excellent. Clinical medicine (as opposed to research) is simply repair work. Sometimes the work makes things better, sometimes it makes no difference, and sometimes it makes it worse. As ML says, having an advocate makes all the difference.

    I know I keep mentioning his essay, but one of Glubb’s symptoms of end stage civilization is proliferation of universities. See p.9 (his numbering) “The Age of Affluence” and p.10 “The Age of Intellect.”

    The Cops and Dogs story truly is disheartening. I chose, for my own sanity, not to watch the video.

  12. Comrade X
    Comrade X July 14, 2017 1:04 pm

    Thanks Shel , BTW I’ve read Glubb & believe him to make a great deal of sense.

    ML, I agree with you completely methinks you may have noticed also that a lot of my logic has a foundation of the tongue in the cheek therefore a grain of salt to season it may be required.

  13. Comrade X
    Comrade X July 14, 2017 2:25 pm

    Maybe there is some hope yet when it comes to medical care;

    “Let’s imagine a scenario where you no longer need to use insurance for health care. No more calling on pre-approval for services or fighting over the phone with monotone customer service reps over denied claims. No more lack of transparency on the price of services or procedures. No more worrying whether your insurance covers a service or procedure. No more paranoia over losing your subsidized insurance if you get laid off. Imagine being able to sit with a doctor for more than ten minutes and feeling like they have the time and patience to really understand your needs and are not compelled to shuffle you out the door to meet their patient quota. Imagine an affordable, transparent, monthly rate to pay for health care.

    This all sounds rather hypothetical, huh? Would you be surprised to find out that this sort of health care model not only already exists but that it is growing? It is called the Direct Primary Care model and it is the free market healthcare solution the country needs more of…..

  14. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty July 15, 2017 5:45 am

    The problem, Comrade, is that I am a very literal thinker. All my life I’ve had trouble seeing sarcasm, irony and so forth in text. I’ve worked hard to overcome that, but probably will never be any good at it. 🙂 Without cues such as the emoticons, a lot of it goes right over my head. 🙂

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