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College does not prepare for real life
Bowling Green News ^ | 5/2/05 | Amanda Hooper

Posted on 05/04/2005 8:15:16 AM PDT by qam1

As I watch my classmates graduate it seems many of them are less sure of their purpose then when they began college. College used to be where young adults went to find themselves and then pursue their passion. It was a luxury for the crem de la crem of society. It wasn't long ago that most children knew their place in society by adolescence and were resigned to that fate.

Now with the plethora of choice, instead of college opening amazing new opportunities and fulfilling our wildest dreams, it has left us unprepared for the real world and paralyzed by the paradox of too much choice. Four years of college and are we really any better off for it?

There is no denying it; the pressure looms from all corners. At most suburban high schools the guidance counselors aren't asking if you are going to college, they are asking where. Parents aren't wondering if they are going to help pay your ever-increasing college tuition, they are wondering how.

So, teenagers are shuffled off to college by overbearing pressures and then languish in an academic environment that they don't really desire or feel passionate about. Sometimes they make it through the four years, sometime they don't. Many of those who do, find themselves degree in hand with no more of an idea of what to do with their life then four years earlier.

Perhaps we should stop and consider that a four-year college right out of high school isn't the right choice for everyone. Perhaps college isn't the place to "find yourself", especially to the tune of over 15 grand a year.

A third of college students do not qualify for a degree in six years and just because you don't graduate, doesn't mean you don't have to pay back student loans.

Since when is a college degree all that counts in the job market? The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics' estimates of the fastest-growing occupations between 2002 and 2012 show that six of the top 10 don't require bachelor's degrees.

On the job training, vocational and technical degrees can lead to successful careers. Let's face it, for many occupations, a year of on the job training would prepare you much better then wading through philosophy, ethnic studies, astronomy and all those other gen eds that bog down students and stretch out our education to four years and beyond.

Admittedly, much of the college education process is a product of our societal conceptions of what determines success and job preparedness. It is also a great ploy by the universities to reel in those middle class baby boomer dollars by convincing mom and dad that a pricey degree is the only thing separating their baby from comfy suburban bliss and destitution.

True, some jobs require a four year degree before they will even look at your application, regardless of your other skills, talents and life experiences. However, often hard work, ingenuity, charisma, tenacity and a lot of character qualities that aren't exclusive to a degree are what really translate to a good employee.

As college tuition skyrockets, perhaps this college model needs reevaluated and transformed into a more efficient and effective system that actually teaches people usable skills. There are signs that this shift may already be under way. Community and technical college enrollments are rising. States, like Ohio, are recognizing this and shifting funding in that direction.

Sure college can be a great community and social environment, but if you spend more hours at the bars then in class you probably aren't going to come out of here with much more then a beer belly. Paying this kind of tuition money to have friends and a social life is like joining an expensive country club without the free golf.

Even if you do make it to and possibly enjoy class remember; a lecture and a textbook isn't the only way to learn by the way. You would be amazed what a library card and a passport can offer.

Let's face it, the college environment is a sandbox compared to the beach we face when we get out of here. The vast shores are intimidating and unexplored, but the possibilities really are endless. I'm just not so sure playing for four years in the sandbox gets us ready for the adventure.

Don't be too sad, Amanda will be back in the fall. In the meantime you can e-mail her at ahooper@bgnet.bgsu.edu


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: academia; college; genx; geny; highereducation; poorwritingskills; wasteofmoney
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1 posted on 05/04/2005 8:15:27 AM PDT by qam1
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To: qam1; ItsOurTimeNow; PresbyRev; tortoise; Fraulein; StoneColdGOP; Clemenza; malakhi; m18436572; ...
I normally wouldn’t do an Xer Ping on this subject, but in a recent previous ping this subject came up and this article perfectly nails it.

Xer Ping

Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effect Gen-Reagan/Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.

Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.

2 posted on 05/04/2005 8:20:31 AM PDT by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: qam1
I'm of the growing opinion that I would do FAR better by my kids to either send them to a post high school trade college / program than traditional college. I'm also thinking that they will get a far better education starting their own business.
3 posted on 05/04/2005 8:21:01 AM PDT by taxcontrol (People are entitled to their opinion - no matter how wrong it is.)
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To: taxcontrol
College is definitely worthwhile, but make sure that they have a vision of what they want to do there. The world could use more engineers, but has a surplus of English majors.
4 posted on 05/04/2005 8:23:47 AM PDT by Zeroisanumber
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To: taxcontrol

Four years in the military after high school will not only help pay for college, it will grow a kid up enough to be serious about it when he/she gets there.


5 posted on 05/04/2005 8:25:38 AM PDT by Thrusher (Remember the Mog.)
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To: qam1
I'm born in 1958. I've been working since I was 15 (workers permit). I have supported my mother and father, and my own family, saved, planned and do not intend to have generation X or Y pay for anything in my retirement. SS will be gone or a fraction of any benefits that it is giving to the "greatest generation" or the gimme generation.

This little tune regarding 'baby boomers' is beginning to sound a little whiny to me. Just my 2 cents!
6 posted on 05/04/2005 8:26:11 AM PDT by poobear
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To: qam1
College does not prepare for real life

Gee, no sh . . . er, kidding!!
7 posted on 05/04/2005 8:26:41 AM PDT by DustyMoment (FloriDUH - proud inventors of pregnant/hanging chads and judicide!!)
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To: taxcontrol

So much depends on where you send them to college, what they study (and if they study), and other non-school-related factors. I think I was well-prepared for work when I graduated, but I didn't spend all of my time at frat parties like many people do. I had fun, but I did the work, too. My parents and I didn't spend upwards of $100,000 for me to go to a big-name school, yet I am now working with (and earning the same amount as) many people with huge student debt. And I had a strong background from my parents that prepared me to think logically and work hard, no matter what else I learned at college. College is important and necessary for certain careers, and plenty of people in my generation have come out of college with legitimate knowledge and skills.


8 posted on 05/04/2005 8:27:00 AM PDT by VRWCisme
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To: qam1
OTOH, college can be a launching pad for future leaders like Sen. John Blutarski...

9 posted on 05/04/2005 8:27:57 AM PDT by TheBigB (Can we shave some fuzz off these woofers?)
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: Thrusher

Right on!


11 posted on 05/04/2005 8:30:29 AM PDT by ContraryMary (God bless Benedict XVI)
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To: DustyMoment
Klintoon said everyone that wants to go to college should be able to?

(wadever happened to: Half the peole you meet today are BELOW average?)

And we wonder why even college grads can't write a paragraph??????

12 posted on 05/04/2005 8:31:22 AM PDT by litehaus
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To: Tarheel1

Depends on what you do with the year. Spending another year living off mom and pop isn't going to make a kid more mature.


13 posted on 05/04/2005 8:33:25 AM PDT by ContraryMary (God bless Benedict XVI)
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To: taxcontrol

If I had teen-age kids I'd seriously push them towards trade school if they had no career plans that required a college degree. I graduated from college in '98 (I was an older returning student) and I can honestly say that at least 50% (probably more) of the students at my alma mater had no business being in there.



On another note: Young Amanda wrote a great essay, but it could use a little editing (especially in the comma department).


14 posted on 05/04/2005 8:34:33 AM PDT by randog (What the....?!)
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To: qam1

I went on to college but neither of my children did. I find that they are very late to the organization/discipline/structure part of "life". Just my personal observation.


15 posted on 05/04/2005 8:35:19 AM PDT by sarasota
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To: Zeroisanumber

There's nothing wrong with a surplus of English majors if they are taught something worth learning in their major. A good background in English Lit is a great way to learn how to think. Exposure to the liberal arts is what education was supposed to be about at one time. I'm sorry we've gotten away from it. The problem is what is now being taught. Too often, it's not really worth anything. A real national, cultural and societal tragedy. I have a daughter in college and I'm glad she's there. But she's living at home and that gives us a chance to deal with the junk she occasionally has to put up with. And we're not paying tuition. If we were, I might think differently. I would send her to community college. I've taken classes there and some are excellent.


16 posted on 05/04/2005 8:36:10 AM PDT by twigs
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To: ContraryMary
a bachelors degree is the equivalent of what a high school diploma USED to be, but as a result of the dumbing down of the high schools to make minorities feel good, the first four years of college now act as high school.

If you really want to be prepared for a job in your given field, you need to get (a least) a masters degree.
17 posted on 05/04/2005 8:38:30 AM PDT by Nyboe
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To: qam1

Not true in our family. We don't pop for College
Tuition unless the kiddoe knows of two possible
vocations he/she's interested in. And they sign
up for those courses after basics are finished.

Have a grandson now finishing his Junior year at
ASU Flagstaff. He played football through high
school and his Freshman year at college. Then
he decided to go into Sports Physical Therapy.
A great choice. He's already completed all his
Science requirements and several therapy courses.
He'll stay one extra year picking up a double
Masters in that field along with History. And
do his student teaching. He expects to start
out teaching High School with Social Studies/Sports
Coach Asst/Therapist. His goal is to get into the
Collegiate Sports Arena. Sounds like a Plan to me!

It's true re your statement about many kids not
having a clue as to what they want to do. But
that in part is the parents fault. Too often
they send their child off to college on the premise
"he will find himself." That happened years ago
in Kindergarten! At today's tuition prices, he'd
better damn well show more enthusiasm about his
potential slots in life.


18 posted on 05/04/2005 8:38:44 AM PDT by Grendel9
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To: Tarheel1

I agree with that.


19 posted on 05/04/2005 8:39:49 AM PDT by Grendel9
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To: Zeroisanumber

That's why I are becoming an enginerd. I'm good with math, like science, and have an oh-so-sparkling personality. :-) That, and a semi-twisted mind helps, too.


20 posted on 05/04/2005 8:40:39 AM PDT by Andonius_99
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To: Tarheel1

Many schools now encourage students to spend at least one semester abroad. My daughter is now in Italy. She's learned a lot being there (but I'm looking forward to her coming home). I think that helps give students a "gap year" type experience, and does it within the framework of education. Otherwise, I'm not sure kids running around the world on their own is a good idea. Children today tend not to deal well with unstructured time.


21 posted on 05/04/2005 8:41:03 AM PDT by twigs
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To: qam1
I'm not disagreeing with everything the girl says, necessarily, but this same screed seems to appear in just about every college newspaper around this time of year. There's nothing new under the sun.

It was a luxury for the crem de la crem of society.

I suggest Amanda stay in school long enough to learn to spell a few French expressions, at any rate. Heaven knows she'll need to know such important stuff when she finally gets out in that infamous "real world."

22 posted on 05/04/2005 8:41:12 AM PDT by mountaineer
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After going around the block a few times, I have compiled a short list of things a person can do to enhance themselves much better than going to college. Here goes:

1. Sell Real Estate for a few years - great overall education in finance, contracts, sales, teamwork, etc.

2. Read, re-read and keep re-reading the book of Proverbs.

3. Study a martial art from an accomplished master. You will learn how to learn.

4. Read, re-read and keep re-reading the 'Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus'. You will then understand that you aren't nuts.

Please feel free to add to my list. Serious entries only, please.

23 posted on 05/04/2005 8:42:23 AM PDT by bankwalker (You get what you believe.)
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Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

To: twigs
"my daughter is now in Italy. She's learned a lot being there"

ROFL

I'm sure those little socialists in Italy are teaching her tons !

Probably come back home and say "I finally know what I want to be ! "A Greenpeace activist, so I can make a difference!"
25 posted on 05/04/2005 8:45:09 AM PDT by Nyboe
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To: sarasota

I'm not sure if this is what you meant when you said your kids are late in realizing the discipline and structure of life, but I think that there can be a benefit to a college student living away from home for those years. I know too many people who lived at home during college, so mom or dad was doing the laundry, cooking, and cleaning and paying the bills. Living away from home can help teach a young person about managing their time and money (assuming mom and dad aren't giving them whatever they want, another common problem I've seen), taking care of their own chores, and so on. My parents paid some but not all of my bills, so I had to work if I wanted to eat out, go to the movies, etc. If I didn't do my own laundry, it didn't get done. If I didn't get myself up on time for class or work, no one was going to make me get up. Obviously responsibility can be learned in other ways, but college doesn't have to be a waste of time--it can provide a good education and a time to grow up.


26 posted on 05/04/2005 8:46:00 AM PDT by VRWCisme
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To: qam1
Four years of college and are we really any better off for it?

If you're going there to learn a trade, fine. If you're going there to pursue the truth, better. If you're going there to learn religion, even better.

But for most kids, it's four years older and deeper in debt.

27 posted on 05/04/2005 8:47:08 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: Thrusher
Four years in the military after high school will not only help pay for college, it will grow a kid up enough to be serious about it when he/she gets there.

Amen. If I had it to do all over again, this would be the way.

Although I thought I knew what I was doing, 18 years old was just too young to decide on a major and career direction.

28 posted on 05/04/2005 8:47:57 AM PDT by AngryJawa (Will Work For Ammo)
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To: qam1

College graduates as a whole make more money, have lower divorce rates, and probably a bunch of other good things. A degree isn't a ticket to skate through life. A whole lot of work is still required.


29 posted on 05/04/2005 8:48:15 AM PDT by Moonman62 (Federal creed: If it moves tax it. If it keeps moving regulate it. If it stops moving subsidize it)
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To: macaroona
The most nefarious thing that college does is take young people at a vulnerable age and at their first real separation from their families and familiar structures and values and pump them full of liberal nonsense about how they should live their lives or how society should be run or changed. Most people outgrow this to some extent after exposure to the real world, but I think the effects remain in people's minds like a low grade infection, particularly around many social issues such as single parenthood, the gay lifestyle, etc.

And don't forget the education in vice. College is the devil's playground, by and large.

30 posted on 05/04/2005 8:51:24 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: qam1

I've gone through several semesters at a community college (the first couple paid for by my parents, the last couple paid by me out of pocket) and while some of the programs are worthwhile, a lot of what is taught is useless. The only good classes I've had were in the history, political science and economics departments (though the liberal bias is astounding). I think I'm going to give an EMT-B certification a try and then consider moving on to paramedic later on (at least they won't be out-sourced LOL)


31 posted on 05/04/2005 8:51:45 AM PDT by sc2_ct (Veritas Aequitas)
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To: taxcontrol

"I'm of the growing opinion that I would do FAR better by my kids to either send them to a post high school trade college / program than traditional college. I'm also thinking that they will get a far better education starting their own business."

You are SO right! I was on the "college track" all through high school because I wanted to go to college, and I did. My brother, on the other hand, attended a vocational high school. He would have dropped out if it hadn't been for the vocational option. He became a machinist, worked for Boeing for a while, then started his own business. He has always made more money than my husband and me! Kids today are done a great disservice by keeping them in academic high schools when a vocational high school would be a better option. At least they would have marketable skills when they graduated.


32 posted on 05/04/2005 8:52:35 AM PDT by Polyxene (For where God built a church, there the Devil would also build a chapel - Martin Luther)
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To: Nyboe

>>Probably come back home and say "I finally know what I want to be ! "A Greenpeace activist, so I can make a difference!"<<

Actually. . .

Probably come back home and say "I finally know what I want to be ! "A trans-gendered, Chomsky-spewing, Greenpeace activist, so I can make a difference!"


33 posted on 05/04/2005 8:52:55 AM PDT by Gunrunner2
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To: Moonman62
College graduates as a whole make more money

There's a difference between causation and correlation. The same can be said about kids who fly a lot at a young age. That doesn't mean that we should start putting kids on planes.

34 posted on 05/04/2005 8:53:42 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: Zeroisanumber
As college tuition skyrockets, perhaps this college model needs reevaluated and transformed into a more efficient and effective system that actually teaches people usable skills.

If we dumped half of the professors in the country, would anybody know the difference?

Answer-Yes, we would gravitate to a more mature society, as high school grads learn the meaning of sink or swim.

35 posted on 05/04/2005 8:54:56 AM PDT by D Rider
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To: qam1
College, like everything else in life, offers as much as you wish to take from it. If you think that you will graduate and be King, then you are going to fail.

But if you use it for what it is, and understand that it is only a stepping stone, then you will be on your way to success.

36 posted on 05/04/2005 8:55:25 AM PDT by ContemptofCourt
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Comment #37 Removed by Moderator

To: Nyboe

She's no socialist. But how can you not learn art when you're surrounded by the treasures of the Renaissance? Her classes are often out in the city and the museums. You could almost get an art education there by osmosis!


38 posted on 05/04/2005 8:57:11 AM PDT by twigs
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To: Thrusher

T,
That's no sh*t, neither. Did the trick for me.


39 posted on 05/04/2005 8:57:53 AM PDT by Gefreiter ("Are you drinking 1% because you think you're fat?")
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To: mountaineer
It was a luxury for the crem de la crem of society.

I suggest Amanda stay in school long enough to learn to spell a few French expressions, at any rate. Heaven knows she'll need to know such important stuff when she finally gets out in that infamous "real world."

I'd suggest she stay in school long enough to learn correct English:
"...but if you spend more hours at the bars then than in class you probably aren't going to come out of here with much more then than a beer belly.

"...a lecture and a textbook isn't aren't the only ways to learn by the way.

40 posted on 05/04/2005 8:58:12 AM PDT by JMK (One of the lucky few -- escaped from NJ during the Florio years!)
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Comment #41 Removed by Moderator

To: qam1
Many good engineering schools have project driven curriculum's. My company has numerous college project teams in at any given time doing real work for us. The student gets college credit, learns a new subject matter and how to practically use the knowledge in a commercial environment and they receive leadership from our managers. My company gets quasi free labor and a real good look at the talent pipeline we can grow from.

It is a truly symbiotic partnership.
42 posted on 05/04/2005 8:58:51 AM PDT by IamConservative (To worry is to misuse your imagination.)
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To: twigs

Our daughter wants to do this; and I would love to know more about the program your daughter is in, if you are willing. We don't want her running around Italy on her own.


43 posted on 05/04/2005 8:59:24 AM PDT by Red Boots
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To: ContemptofCourt

C,
I couldn't agree more.

Alot of folks treat their early college years as 13th and 14th grade. They miss out on alot.


44 posted on 05/04/2005 9:00:01 AM PDT by Gefreiter ("Are you drinking 1% because you think you're fat?")
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To: qam1
College does not prepare for real life

I didn't think it was supposed to. It may help, though.

45 posted on 05/04/2005 9:00:19 AM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: mountaineer
It was a luxury for the crem de la crem of society.

I suggest Amanda stay in school long enough to learn to spell a few French expressions, at any rate. Heaven knows she'll need to know such important stuff when she finally gets out in that infamous "real world."

Too be fair, The font for this on the article was screwed up and it didn't transfer over to Freerepublic so she might have had it right

46 posted on 05/04/2005 9:01:29 AM PDT by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: qam1

As someone still in college (and a history major, no less) I can relate with this article. Yet, I am now convinced that college is one of the best choices I've made, hands down.

The major thing for kiddo's to realize is that they have to focus on something. This is true for anything in life, not just college.

One more issue I take with the article "Six of the top 10" don't require degrees....this may be so but would you really be hurting yourself in the long run to get a degree?


47 posted on 05/04/2005 9:02:00 AM PDT by JakeWyld (Howie Dean -- the little king of the DNC. @ssclown!)
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To: Aquinasfan

That's true. It could be that people with degrees also tend to have a better upbringing.


48 posted on 05/04/2005 9:05:20 AM PDT by Moonman62 (Federal creed: If it moves tax it. If it keeps moving regulate it. If it stops moving subsidize it)
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To: Zeroisanumber

My daughter majored in building construction. She makes more on her first job than I do.


49 posted on 05/04/2005 9:05:26 AM PDT by js1138 (e unum pluribus)
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To: macaroona
College, unless it's for technical studies, has had a terribly negative impact on this country for the past 40 years at least.

It took me years to overcome mine. Thankfully, I went to engineering school, which kept me from completely losing my mind. I knew I couldn't survive in a PC liberal arts school. Although I never worked as an engineer, it may have been a life-saving decision.

50 posted on 05/04/2005 9:05:35 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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