From the Greek meaning 'heavy with wine'
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Written after a glass or two of Pinot Noir.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Good Bye University

This is a YouTube video of a student, ABillyRock, saying goodbye to the University of Utah.  I don't understand her.  She complains that the university "bills itself to be a world-class university," yet she has presumably spent the last four years there.  She derides her Theatre department as "third world class."  She spent four years there despite it being "waste of my time and a waste of my money."  She whines, "I'm so sick of paying for it."

Here's how I see it.  ABillyRock may have wasted her money, but she wasted mine, too.  The University of Utah uses both state and federal taxes to subsidize her education.  She seems that she didn't take advantage of opportunities afforded her nor did she appreciate them. 

I really don't get people of this ilk.  They complain about the American education system all the while being a part of it.  ABillyRock had other choices.  There are plenty of private institutions - why didn't she choose NYU, Northwestern, Stanford, USC, Tufts, or Yale.  All highly rated theatre departments.  Later in the video, she reveals her politics.  Once she did, I wondered why she didn't attend a for-profit institution such as the University of Phoenix.  [For the record, Phoenix don't offer a theatre degree.]

Courtesy of the University of Utah
She goes on to "commiserate with any of you who have ever gone to or are currently attending public university."

"Public education from primary all the way through university - for the most part, in my opinion - is complete bullshit."

"It is a factory turns out statists by the millions."

Did you see/hear that?  Statists.  Simply put, a statist is a believer in a government that has substantial centralized control like a federal style government.  Like the United States of America.

The only people I have ever heard use the term statist are right-wingers.  If I remember my US history courses correctly, we tried a non-federal system.  Remember learning about the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union?  It states "Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated." The US's first government was so weak, the founders knew they had to replace it with a much stronger, more centralized, federal one.  I would ask her if she would prefer going back to the confederation, but her history courses were probably a waste of her time, too.

Then we get her philosophy of education.  "I favor how we used to learn trade.  Apprenticeships, that sort of thing.  How you actually learn a trade.  Not sitting in a class hearing about how Karl Marx is Jesus."

She means neither apprenticeships nor trades.  Usually a trade refers to a job requiring expert manual skills.  Examples of trades include electrician, plumbing, and carpentry.  In many trades, aspects of the apprentice program has been replaced by on-the-job training and vocational programs at community colleges or for-profit institutions like DeVry.  Theatre has never been considered a trade; it is an art.

She may be referring to mentoring.  The mentor relationship, an experienced person counseling and training someone new, is important in academia, the arts, and business.   Unfortunately, ABillyRock probably never tried to develop a relationship with one of her professors and so deprived herself of the very thing she desired, a mentor.

"Karl Marx is Jesus." I'll give her the benefit of the doubt here.  I assume somewhere, sometime in her 16 years of public education a teacher explained hyperbole. 

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