This post is a provocation with the aim to stimulate private discussions about college, and, what qualities of colleges [or a college] are so cherished.
With increasing growth of interest in higher-learning (being an academical) across much of the world and United States, I prompt students’ examination for reasons for feeling a need to be college enrolled. That seems in today’s world, a “way-out-in-left-field” pondering. Wouldn’t everyone go if they could? And, by no means do I take my own education without gratitude. But, just why is enrollment so important to so many? Many of our ancestors did not go to college. But, yes, it was through their labor, sacrifice, and tenacity, that an American society could support the building of universities. Visionaries had to be put in place as well. Along with “Yankees” who waged war against Mexicans – also indigenous Native Americans, European conquistadors and prospectors bringing disease and fine spices new to the US territory, harvesters of native gold, Scandinavian explorers and Englishmen, religious missionaries, traders, Chinese laborers, refugees, asylum seekers, political prisoners, explorers & “Yankees” (many of whom enslaved and imported native Africans and Latins to clear land and harvest upon), so too did European immigrants participate in this nation building, enamored with the budding promise of religious freedom and abundant quality of life. The “schooling”, would come to produce the large buildings that would house teachers and pupils, in these “schools” we today still hold so dear to us. Just whose blood and gold paid for these schools? Maybe we’ve arrived at the day where can say… “We all built them”. And, some of us, more indigenous than others, come together in this magical way, to learn on this land where much blood was shed. Our nation was able to support institutional operations that last still through to today, with gold (much of it imported), printed currency, government, churches, trade, military; and yes, even gangsters and criminals, as foundation. Certainly, the coal mines and steel mills during the American industrial revolution were no place for higher learning philosophes and authors (but in some capacity they ran it or fostered the growth, not to forget to mention wrote about it)… but our country looks quite better today, thanks to them all. The poor… they too built this country, by enduring, long after 1776. So what place does college study have for us today? With a sustained upward trend of more competition with one another for patents etc. within a college environment, one should give pause (after graduation) to give some thought, as to the investment made, of hard-earned family income and time. One should reflect, on being exposed to the learnings attained in an eco-system that is a college community campus, in which there really is little minority of “ancestral diversity”. Our success has been riding on a meeting of multitude of culture. As was said by other(s): through “compassion”. On graduation day, are you still just “a number” to be exploited by a company? Are your chances for further investment truly good? Or are you still no more immune from ridicule, from slavery, in the knowing that you could be replaced by an NYU, Columbia, or Harvard grad the very next day, in the blink of an eye? Maybe your employer is threatening you for sexual favors, keeping secrets, engaging in corruption? Is the purpose of education, to distinguish yourself as a more valued intellectual asset from the others? Is it to find collaboration with perceived equals? Is it a place to gain wisdom and social direction? Is it a place to emancipate yourself? Is education about trade specialty? Is it about “cross-platform” applications of multiple-discipline. Is it about charity? Is it about learning tact? Is it about learning tact-ic? Is it? Is it? Is it? Ask yourself. Is it about the broader appreciations and learning gratitude – ie. learning to take pause, to experience joy, to laugh and cry, to not just create arts, but consume arts (visa versa), to experience culture and respect for that of others? If it’s just about getting your pay check, have you applied your studies to afford listening, cooking, taking up a hobby, dating, or learning more of what spikes your curiosity? Have you learned how to pick up the slack where others lack? In general… have you learned how to enjoy the progress that we have made on the backs of our ancestors? Would they be proud with how you have applied your knowledge?
Education should be desired for giving us the tools to defend the most precious of our personal beliefs-with the insight on how to distinguish and respect that (uniquely and separately from our collective beliefs – where we can come together with less controversy). Do colleges teach values of love? How do our schools nurture values in all students, that preserve our individual existence and freedoms, if Christianity is blotted? That is like trying to put grass on a torrential river – it just won’t stick! Christians are ruled by love! And those of other religions who are ruled by love, have much to offer colleges. We must speak out for one another. In the hungry quest for knowledge and exploration, is our goal simply to search out revenue streams to establish social dominance? Or, do we actually learn to enjoy what we do, for the sake of the other end? To take one subject alone without prejudice (since any subject could be used to illustrate this): science, it can and is applied to better life, for instance by life saving surgery… but are we being compassionate, when we attempt to extend life beyond natural living years, for the sake of profit? In college research, are we using our findings to be in discord with religious Christian belief? Are we researching only for reward, recognition, and personal feelings of accomplishment, praise and personal enrichment? There, in the physical halls of study, is one learning what to do with the education paid for – or acting, as extensions and slaves of political ideology of the day? Are your tuition dollars reinvesting in you? Or, in the needs of a larger state economy? Ideally it should teach you how to form belief, to learn integrity, and how to best apply your knowledge to serve you and others. But is that what is really happening? Maybe so. But you need to ask yourself that. When you graduate, will you really have graduated to be free to exercise and apply your learnings? Are your peers or teachers harvesting your creativity – ultimately for their profit and comfort? Are you finding financial well-being & remuneration? Put your learnings to shake-up or outright oppose the status quo. In some form, take a risk. Maybe, many risks. If you’re reading this, maybe you are thinking: I want to take a risk that I have not yet. Do it! Recognize your limitations, certainly don’t blame everyone but yourself; engage and squarely blame where it belongs! You have to start somewhere with how you are going to utilize what you’ve learned.
These are things all students of life should consider. Learning in a “fish bowl” does stimulate innovation, supplies state and federal revenue, gathers some of the most ambitious persons, groups the most promise; and in exchange, one garners time and safety to afford research, build relations with fellow students, and also relations with teachers who in their own manner, benefit from you. And, not only in terms of their salary, benefits and pensions. Colleges invest their time and money, in doing the best they can, to educate. They are inspired, and inspiring at best.
So, why not take a little bit of time, to find your allies. To find your comfort that will supply your endeavors. To trust in the process of finding answers to your questions, as opposed to the questions put forth to you by someone else. Be careful not to just be there for those who pick your grapes… who publish your innovation, before you can bottle the wine.
The analogy leads me to this blog. In a way, this blog is my soil – my vineyard.. and I invite you to taste. I write posts without pay, and I also pay to write. It’s not all that I do. And, you’re always free to “spit”. I know I’ve said before, that I would supply certain data in the future to my readers. And, I truly thank you for your interest. It’s a fantastic personal endeavor from which I enjoy teaching. But I need you to spread the word, to bring in registered readers, so that advertising dollars sustain me. In terms of being a trustworthy source, I don’t shy away from imparting knowledge. And while feedback in most operations is helpful, in this one, it’s poison. Because, feedback potentially alters what needs to be read at this point. I am censoring feedback that would otherwise potentially silent me. I care too much about what I write to you, to let that happen. And instead, rely on particular professional sources and private sources, to guide my postings.
This coming Nov. election cycle, and the next one, I was planning to impart politicians’ names of those who vote a particular way. Maybe I still will. But, I’ve reconsidered. No, not in order to appease the wishes of anyone who might be dissatisfied with my opinion, or who might feel threatened by my potential to controvert; rather to encourage you, as you read this, to do your research of candidates and issues. The most basic of civil right requires that you are informed, socially engaged, and vigilant. By finding personal information made known publicly of candidates… searching for reasons why they believe as they do on a particular issue… looking at voting records if possible, fighting voter fraud by supporting laws that bolster fairness, and investigating if their plans suit you – you get to decide rightly. Why go to college, if you don’t even bother to do this simple thing? It’s your brain and your life! The research would supply you with vision and understanding of whether or not these leaders (who really do impact our lives greatly by their successes and failures) envision the same future as you do. Does their agenda even have a role for you to play a part in? Is it fair to you?
So in summation, if you feel that others are getting rich, and you are getting poor. And if you find that you’re conventional education is helping others more than it is helping you, speak up! Tell your boss, your friend, whomever, what you’ve done for him or her. Don’t get lost in the pile of CV’s, only to be judged as inferior in the eyes of the company mission, as you interview. We are a bright young generation, with much to give. And time moves quickly. We get old fast. No generation is dispensable. Seek equity. Value your work. Trust in your talents (“we all have at least one”). And, be gracious and respectful of authority that supplies. Be kind to those who work hard. Reward integrity over ability. Replace your incompetence with questions.
So as you read this, and as individuals plot to undermine property value, I can suggest one group that will supply the names on my and your behalf, of those politicians who have yet to, but will have voted to increase your tax burden. That’s “Howard Jarvis”. I’ve mentioned “hjta.org” before. Howard Jarvis’ group, defends ardently against massive theft. It may seem trivial an issue to some, taxation… “who doesn’t want newly paved roads, clean streets, public squares?” Of course, we need taxes to supply those things that we all want and need. But if we steal each other’s property, to pay for “free” education “for all”, education will have failed to teach us how to protect what we value. And so I caution… don’t get lost in the lofty and ambitious promises made, in passionate speeches, which claim that people like me are trying to keep you down in a social ladder. The fact of the matter is, some politicians are keeping all of us down. What would this theft of your property, promise for you? It is personal. So, vote with your brain, and not with your heart. The heart will be happy, once the brain thinks smart.