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Higher Education - How can we make it suck a little less?

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Posts

  • devCharlesdevCharles Registered User regular
    shryke wrote:
    And the number of people who think they know what they want, but don't actually/can't hack it is also very large.

    40% retention rate for engineering at my school from freshmen year to getting the BS, but if you didn't have above a 3.0 GPA after the first semester, most degree programs wouldn't accept you. Basically, it was a big time risk to go into the engineering program at my school because if you didn't get above that 3.0 if you realized it wasn't for you, you were essentially locked in to try and finish it out, or, more often, you just dropped out.

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Shit, it took me 2 years at University and some working in the real world to realise I had no interest in doing computer development for the rest of my life.

  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    Yea, I wound up changing majors three times. Started in the sciences and finished in Theatre.

    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • SpeakerSpeaker Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote:
    Richy wrote:
    Books! Why does a textbook cost $Texas?
    Welcome to the world of textbook pricing, where, it would seem, the usual market forces don't apply. The textbook market in no way resembles the trade book market, in which the same person - the consumer - desires the book (the new War and Peace, the latest diet guide or whatever), acquires it, and pays for it, so that price points and competition are crucial. What the textbook market resembles most is the market for health care, in which one entity (the physician/the professor) desires - that is, assigns or prescribes - the product, a second entity (the patient/the student) consumes it, and a third set of entities (insurance companies/parents) foot the bill. Spiraling prices for textbooks, like spiraling medical costs, seem to be the inevitable result. A General Accounting Office report in 2005 noted that textbook prices rose 186 percent in the U.S. from 1986 to 2004, compared to only a 3 percent rise in other prices over the same period and a 7 percent rise in average college tuition and fees. The seemingly out-of-control price increases have prompted laws in six states and pending bills in at least four others - plus a measure passed by the House of Representatives on Feb. 7 - that aim to regulate the way in which textbooks are marketed so as to lower costs to students.

    In other words, the invisible hand of the Free Market is busy sticking its fingers in the urethras of people who need to spend money (for school) to make money (to get a degree for a job).

    I felt I should talk about this. While university textbook prices are climbing, textbook editors are not rolling in dough. Quite the opposite, in fact, their profits have been going down. Why? Two reasons: photocopying and used bookstores.

    One key difference between reading a textbook and reading a regular book is that in the textbook case, you're surrounded by people reading the same textbook as you. It's easy for someone to borrow the textbook and make a bad but readable photocopy. And it's impossible for textbook companies to compete with the price of 5¢ per two-page and free labour. It's not legal, but when has that ever stopped anyone?

    The second difference is used bookstores. And I don't mean students selling their books to other students, I mean campus stores. A growing number of them are genuine businesses. Ever wondered how they seem to have shelves full of copies of the same textbook in new condition? Well, they figured out that when a new edition of a textbook comes out, they can buy up all the copies of the old edition for cheap and sell them as new-quality used books at nearly full price. They have books for years to come while sales of the new edition slump.

    As a result, textbook editors find that their sales are much below what they should be. Their textbook can be required for a class of 150 students and they'll be lucky to sell three copies. This is not the oil industry, that's making record profits quarter after quarter while still raising their prices to gouge on customers and demanding tax breaks and bailout money from the government. This is an industry that is genuinely struggling right now.

    I don't know about other schools, but every professor I had always "required" the newest edition, and that's all our bookstore would stock. The student bookstore couldn't/wouldn't guarantee enough used copies of the old edition for every student, so every time a new edition came out that meant students holding the old edition got fucked...assuming they didn't want to keep them. The only books I sold back, of course, were those from my gen-eds; engineering majors tend to keep all their books.

    Our bookstore was pretty demanding on their book buyback, though, so publishers were still always guaranteed a fairly steady stream of new books sales regardless. Any marking, highlighting, or excessive wear and tear and they'd reject it...they really did want their used copies to look pretty new. That, and new faculty would often choose new books to teach from. So even with the student bookstore acting as a hub for used sales, it's not like they'd never sell a book again without resorting to shenanigans.

    Shenanigans, you ask? Yes, when the only fucking thing you change in the new edition is the homework problems, that's fucking shenanigans. Giving away a "free" logon for the online course content (that the professor requires) with a new copy and charging as much as the new book if you want to buy it separately? That's shenanigans.

    When I was in school I joined the student senate the last semester and made them spend money to buy nice hardcover books for the western civ I and II classes (cost around $100). They lend them to the students every semester and then get them back at the end.

    I was visiting one of my old professors a few weeks ago and apparently they are still using them. That's like a $30,000 aggregate student savings since I left school.

    I felt good about that. I could never figure out why more classes didn't work that way.

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    Nor days of gloom, nor darkness -
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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    devCharles wrote:
    shryke wrote:
    And the number of people who think they know what they want, but don't actually/can't hack it is also very large.

    40% retention rate for engineering at my school from freshmen year to getting the BS, but if you didn't have above a 3.0 GPA after the first semester, most degree programs wouldn't accept you. Basically, it was a big time risk to go into the engineering program at my school because if you didn't get above that 3.0 if you realized it wasn't for you, you were essentially locked in to try and finish it out, or, more often, you just dropped out.

    Yikes...I never thought of that. I think at my school you'd at least have a shot of getting a provisional acceptance into another program, but otherwise yeah that's fucked. I guess you could just go undeclared/general studies for a semester to get your GPA back up, assuming that your financial aid didn't require satisfactory progress evaluations?

    I think our attrition rate (at least in EE) was higher than that. I wonder if it was a matter of people thinking they'd want to be engineers, and discovering they don't...or more a matter of people choosing a major based on employment prospects, and realizing they either weren't cut out for it or hate it enough that it's not worth it.

  • devCharlesdevCharles Registered User regular
    I would guess the latter. There were ways around the gpa thing, but you really had to have above 3.0 gpa by sophomore year or you weren't allowed in a lot of programs. It was one of the bigger causes of attrition. In engineering, there was common attrition within the program to industrial engineering which was a combo of business and engineering, cutting out some of the more hardcore upper level courses. You still had to make it through the normal weedout classes.

    The Florida scholarship program cut off if you went below a 3.0 though, so that was an added layer to be concerned about.

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  • Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited July 2011
    sanstodo wrote:
    Fizban140 wrote:
    That whole idea of find what you love to do sounds like bullshit to me. Out of all the people I know, maybe one of them is doing a degree that they "love". Everyone else isn't sure what to do so they majored in or are getting a major in a job that has decent pay. It is impossible to find out what you are passionate about anyways until you actually work the job.

    I think you're misunderstanding. Finding what you love does not mean that you should go into that specific field, or that it's the only thing you're going to do. Again, liberal arts schools are not technical or vocational schools.

    Your goal should be to find what skills you like to use. For some, it's critically analyzing texts and writing; for other's, it's statistical analysis. The possibilities are endless. If you work hard on honing those skills, then you'll have a ton of options that leverage your abilities.

    Careers are no longer straight lines. If you think in terms of skills sets and not strict job titles, then finding what you love to do should make more sense.

    But the degrees are usually pretty specific, civil engineering, some really specific business degree that I know nothing about, some really specific science degree. There really aren't a lot of broad degrees that are employable. Maybe I just feel this way because I am stuck working on a transfer degree with no idea what I want to do and basically disliking everything I have tried. I have tried pretty much everything.

    Fizban140 on
    533570-1.png
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    I was a completely different person in high school.

  • DrukDruk Registered User
    I'm not sure high school can really give people a good impression of what they want to do with their lives. How much choice are you seeing people get for high school classes anyway? I don't remember choosing anything other than whether I wanted to do the honors course or the regular course for each subject -- but I still had to take specific subjects that I had no control over.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Druk wrote:
    I'm not sure high school can really give people a good impression of what they want to do with their lives. How much choice are you seeing people get for high school classes anyway? I don't remember choosing anything other than whether I wanted to do the honors course or the regular course for each subject -- but I still had to take specific subjects that I had no control over.

    Yeah, high school doesn't give you nearly enough latitude in your course choices (nor do most kids have enough latitude in their life choices...parents and all) to get any realistic idea of what direction you should head in. Which is why so many people wind up changing majors within a year or two of hitting college (because so many come straight from high school).

  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Oddly enough I had a very good idea what I wanted to do (Foreign language) and my school did nothing but get in the way since it wasn't science/math based.

  • lonelyahavalonelyahava Mortius is correct Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    Skoal Cat wrote:
    Yea, I wound up changing majors three times. Started in the sciences and finished in Theatre.

    This.

    So this.

    I started in Science, ended up in English, and almost all of my electives were in theatre. The group of us (5 in total) Actually made up our own Technical Theatre Minor. We did special classes near every semester. makeup, lighting, scenic, costume designs. scenic painting. We got credits for those, and credits for working on the University shows. Almost half my graduating credits were in the theatre in some way shape or form.

    I figured out from the theatre just how organized a person I could be. And I'm pretty damned good with some creative stuff too. I could probably do some sections for the plays we've done just by memories. Oh and thrifty? That's me. Let me tell you, if you can figure out a way to save your employer money, it's a good skill.

    Take summer classes if you can. adventure out into the side semesters and take classes that you never would. I had to take a second psych class. everybody else picked "Psychology of Sex", I took "Psychology of Marriage and Family". awesome fucking class. 7 students, all the time in the world. I needed a linguistics class. Took the summer session one instead (cause i wanted to avoid the faculty linguistics prof like the plague), It ended up being a course examining all the different accents/dialects in the states and how and why and where they developed. Fuckawesome class.

    Seriously, have fun, explore, and try new things. You will never get the chance to do this again. Once you leave school, finding time enough to sit and read a book is going to be murder, let alone do theatre. Or whatever you want.

    and you'll get friends for at least most of your life and skills you can use for all of your life.

  • L|amaL|ama Registered User regular
    Fizban140 wrote:
    That whole idea of find what you love to do sounds like bullshit to me. Out of all the people I know, maybe one of them is doing a degree that they "love". Everyone else isn't sure what to do so they majored in or are getting a major in a job that has decent pay. It is impossible to find out what you are passionate about anyways until you actually work the job.

    I just stuck with physics and chemistry because I liked them in high school, then stopped doing chemistry when I ran out of spaces for the classes. It's pretty much a bonus that it's one of the higher paying degrees on average. Sorry for your loss?

  • L|amaL|ama Registered User regular
    In high school here we basically have it how I understand general requirements work in US universities (we don't have them at all in university here): You've got a fair bit of choice in your courses, but you have to do a certain amount of each category. In 1st and 2nd form (start of HS) you have to do everything, and have about 6 weeks of the less than core courses (english, maths, etc are year-round) so that you have a decent idea of what you choose to do, and then you have to do say an arts course, a language, and one "technical" thing (arts were music/art/history, languages french/japanese/maori, technical was woodwork/electronics/graphics) or at least something like that, and then it gets a bit more relaxed each year until in 7th form I just did calculus, physics, chemistry, stats, and biology. You get a little less breadth in what you study but I think there's a lot more depth (for example, even though I hated the teacher I think my history education was really good. Covered things from NZ history to Israel/Palestine, Russian revolution, vietnam, black civil rights, Indian independence and some other stuff. Most Americans that I've talked to without a specific interest in history have, frankly, a fucking woeful education in non-US history and US history since the 1930s).

  • KistraKistra Registered User regular
    I am one that also has always known what I wanted to do and am doing it and loving it. My husband and I have had several very strange conversations because I just don't understand how he didn't grow up with some idea of what he wants to do and he doesn't understand how I can be happy doing what I wanted to do when I was 3.

    Did you guys that didn't get any choices in high school go to really small schools? At my school we had to take 4 years of english, 4 years of social studies, 3 years of math and 3 years of science. The only subject you didn't get to choose what to take was math, there you just took the next classes in your sequence and could choose to take stats instead for one of the years. For the rest we had a lot of choices for english we could take things like technical writing or fiction writing or journalism or AP classes. For social studies we had choices between political classes or history classes or whatever. For science we had the normal things like bio, chem and physics, but we also had Molecular and cellular biology and astronomy and botany and oceanography (can you tell I'm a science person? I know we had lots of choices in the other subjects, but I filled my schedule with extra science classes and just took the AP english and social studies classes).

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  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    I went to a decent sized but by no means huge high school, and while we didn't have those Science options, I did take a jewellery/metalsmithing, CAD, and auto tech class though.

    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • DrukDruk Registered User
    How would you define small? I went to a few different high schools, the biggest was around 3k students for grades 9-12.

    mcdermott hit another important point, which is that parents are another big obstacle to choice. Instead of choosing an elective, many students (myself included) were forced by parents to play in the band.

  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    Richy wrote:
    I felt I should talk about this. While university textbook prices are climbing, textbook editors are not rolling in dough. Quite the opposite, in fact, their profits have been going down. Why? Two reasons: photocopying and used bookstores.

    One key difference between reading a textbook and reading a regular book is that in the textbook case, you're surrounded by people reading the same textbook as you. It's easy for someone to borrow the textbook and make a bad but readable photocopy. And it's impossible for textbook companies to compete with the price of 5¢ per two-page and free labour. It's not legal, but when has that ever stopped anyone?

    The second difference is used bookstores. And I don't mean students selling their books to other students, I mean campus stores. A growing number of them are genuine businesses. Ever wondered how they seem to have shelves full of copies of the same textbook in new condition? Well, they figured out that when a new edition of a textbook comes out, they can buy up all the copies of the old edition for cheap and sell them as new-quality used books at nearly full price. They have books for years to come while sales of the new edition slump.

    As a result, textbook editors find that their sales are much below what they should be. Their textbook can be required for a class of 150 students and they'll be lucky to sell three copies. This is not the oil industry, that's making record profits quarter after quarter while still raising their prices to gouge on customers and demanding tax breaks and bailout money from the government. This is an industry that is genuinely struggling right now.


    I just so happen to have a textbook from last semester on my desk.
    Systems Analysis and Design with UML v2.0 by Dennis, Wixom, and Tegarden.

    Chapter 9 begins on Page 320 and ends on page 357. In those thirty seven pages there are 27 fucking diagrams and NINE "Your Turn" excercises that take up a quarter page yet all pretty much read "Now that we've covered X in figure 9-XX, why don't you create an X using the design data in figure 9-YY"

    I paid $128.15 for this useless five hundred page tome o' fluff tree murder exhibit. I bought it USED.

    I won't cry half a tear for the poor textbook editor. Fuck that guy. Fuck the textbook company. Fuck the book store. There are no heroes in this story.


    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • DanWeinoDanWeino Registered User regular
    I always felt age was a big hinderence here in the U.K. We pick our GCSE's at 14, these generally decide our A-level subjects (not likely to be allowed to do an A-level without having a relevant GCSE at least in my school. Then our A-levels determine what degree courses we apply to. Basically if you choose poorly at GCSE level, it can impede you for a while.

    I was an idiot at 14 and chose poorly. I picked subjects I was good in, not the ones I enjoyed. I even ended up dropping I.T at A-level because it was so stupid, but now 20-something me wishes 17 year old me wasn't such an idiot and stuck with, saving me a few years. A degree in history later and I'm now nearly finishing an MSc in computer science thanks to a conversion course.


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  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    Druk wrote:
    How would you define small? I went to a few different high schools, the biggest was around 3k students for grades 9-12.

    mcdermott hit another important point, which is that parents are another big obstacle to choice. Instead of choosing an elective, many students (myself included) were forced by parents to play in the band.


    My high school Wiki lists student population at 2300-2800 so that's where I'm coming from.

    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades 地獄のようにかわいい あなたは嫉妬深いかRegistered User regular
    Deebaser wrote:
    Richy wrote:
    I felt I should talk about this. While university textbook prices are climbing, textbook editors are not rolling in dough. Quite the opposite, in fact, their profits have been going down. Why? Two reasons: photocopying and used bookstores.

    One key difference between reading a textbook and reading a regular book is that in the textbook case, you're surrounded by people reading the same textbook as you. It's easy for someone to borrow the textbook and make a bad but readable photocopy. And it's impossible for textbook companies to compete with the price of 5¢ per two-page and free labour. It's not legal, but when has that ever stopped anyone?

    The second difference is used bookstores. And I don't mean students selling their books to other students, I mean campus stores. A growing number of them are genuine businesses. Ever wondered how they seem to have shelves full of copies of the same textbook in new condition? Well, they figured out that when a new edition of a textbook comes out, they can buy up all the copies of the old edition for cheap and sell them as new-quality used books at nearly full price. They have books for years to come while sales of the new edition slump.

    As a result, textbook editors find that their sales are much below what they should be. Their textbook can be required for a class of 150 students and they'll be lucky to sell three copies. This is not the oil industry, that's making record profits quarter after quarter while still raising their prices to gouge on customers and demanding tax breaks and bailout money from the government. This is an industry that is genuinely struggling right now.


    I just so happen to have a textbook from last semester on my desk.
    Systems Analysis and Design with UML v2.0 by Dennis, Wixom, and Tegarden.

    Chapter 9 begins on Page 320 and ends on page 357. In those thirty seven pages there are 27 fucking diagrams and NINE "Your Turn" excercises that take up a quarter page yet all pretty much read "Now that we've covered X in figure 9-XX, why don't you create an X using the design data in figure 9-YY"

    I paid $128.15 for this useless five hundred page tome o' fluff tree murder exhibit. I bought it USED.

    I won't cry half a tear for the poor textbook editor. Fuck that guy. Fuck the textbook company. Fuck the book store. There are no heroes in this story.


    The strange thing to me is that there are a lot of good books on difficult subjects that aren't textbooks, but they are pretty reasonably priced. Textbooks are unique in their obscenely high prices (even used) and low resale value. I used to work at Half Price Books, and every time a student came in with textbooks to sell I had to dash their hopes by saying we could barely pay anything for them at all, since we weren't set up to resell them. We'd buy stacks of textbooks, like 3 years worth, for about $5. Most of the time we'd toss them right in the recycling bin after the seller left, unless there weren't any generic chemistry books up on the shelf. Then we'd slap a CLEARANCE $1 sticker on it and shelve it next to the used, non-textbook chemistry books going for $25.

    What I don't understand is why, when the used textbook stores buy a book back for $10-15 that used to cost $200, do they reshelve it at $187.50? Is it because if they shelved it at $30-40, nobody would ever buy any new textbooks, or because they know they have a captive audience in students and so they know they'll pay whatever they need to avoid failing their class?

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  • Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    I'll get to this point first then get to your previous points:
    Fizban140 wrote:
    But the degrees are usually pretty specific, civil engineering, some really specific business degree that I know nothing about, some really specific science degree. There really aren't a lot of broad degrees that are employable. Maybe I just feel this way because I am stuck working on a transfer degree with no idea what I want to do and basically disliking everything I have tried. I have tried pretty much everything.

    I find it hard to believe that you tried EVERYTHING. What is your favorite subject? Forget about degrees and such. I'm asking you a simple subject, what is your favorite thing to study?
    That whole idea of find what you love to do sounds like bullshit to me

    No, its not. It may not have worked for you, but I should have gone with my instinct instead of trying to make money by going into IT. I for one am GLAD that it got shipped overseas and I found my calling. Cubicle sitting is not my cup of tea at all.

    And this should have been figured out in high school. Their choices of classes should reflect what they want to do in high school. If you took a majority of say math course because you enjoyed math and learning about it, hey there is the goal, go for Math.
    Everyone else isn't sure what to do so they majored in or are getting a major in a job that has decent pay

    That is the WORST idea EVER and I speak from experience. Education in my opinion isn't about making money, its about actually "LEARNING" something you can use in life. If you go with the attitude, hey I want to become a zillionare and not actually learn or enjoy and do it for the heck of it, then I'd suggest they stop. Higher education in my view is for the use of actual skills you learn, not for jobs.
    It is impossible to find out what you are passionate about anyways until you actually work the job.

    Wrong. It isn't. It can be gleamed from hobbies, interests and most importantly high school. I suggest there should be a another year of high school so people figure this out. There is no way to just wing it without giving it a lot of thought. This way of thinking leads to a dead end job you hate and $30 grand in debt with you hating life.
    I don't want to make this into a thread about me so I will try and avoid that. Anyways I know a lot of people in high school who just quit trying, they got bored of it. Teachers that didn't care, classes they didn't care about, asshole jocks, douchebags everywhere. School was just something you had to do and you looked forward to leaving every day, it was that way for most people I knew. I hated every subject except my computer related classes like HTML, A+, and java. I also love video games, so I thought video game design was an obvious choice. I tried programming and I hated it, will never do that again. I am not artistic either. I know a lot of people like this though, they have no passion or anything they are just going to school for a business degree. High school taught them nothing.

    As to my favorite subject, I honestly have no idea. I like math sort of but it is very frustrating to me. That is about it I guess, the rest of the classes I only enjoy because of the person teaching it. In high school I quit taking math classes because I didn't enjoy sitting in a 90 degree room in the dark for an hour, so I slept and failed. I went to a pretty big school (3k people) and they didn't have too many options, I had to take art and shop classes and I disliked all that. I hated English class because of how boring they made it, but I usually do like to read but hate writing. I hated our science classes, they made them boring as well and I learned nothing.

    I feel like this is pretty standard, I don't know who went to some magical school where all the teachers were amazing and cared but the majority of my teachers were just trying to get people to come to class and not be disruptive. In college the teachers are just trying to get people to come to class and not drop out. I feel like I have tried most everything I can at a community college, and I didn't really feel like I enjoyed any of it much more than any other class.

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  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    The strange thing to me is that there are a lot of good books on difficult subjects that aren't textbooks, but they are pretty reasonably priced. Textbooks are unique in their obscenely high prices (even used) and low resale value. I used to work at Half Price Books, and every time a student came in with textbooks to sell I had to dash their hopes by saying we could barely pay anything for them at all, since we weren't set up to resell them. We'd buy stacks of textbooks, like 3 years worth, for about $5. Most of the time we'd toss them right in the recycling bin after the seller left, unless there weren't any generic chemistry books up on the shelf. Then we'd slap a CLEARANCE $1 sticker on it and shelve it next to the used, non-textbook chemistry books going for $25.

    What I don't understand is why, when the used textbook stores buy a book back for $10-15 that used to cost $200, do they reshelve it at $187.50? Is it because if they shelved it at $30-40, nobody would ever buy any new textbooks, or because they know they have a captive audience in students and so they know they'll pay whatever they need to avoid failing their class?

    In the case of Chemistry, I will admit that I don't know dick about chemistry beyond what I've seen on Breaking Bad, but I really doubt the field of chemistry has changed so much in the past ten years to justify three different editions of an intro undergraduate textbook.

    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • DemerdarDemerdar Registered User regular
    It's hard to tell if you are going to enjoy something until you are at least half way through it. Hell, I wasn't so sure I'd enjoy Mechanical Engineering (but was just doing it cause I was capable) and eventually found out that Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics were some fuck-awesome subjects, and I've gotten to do a lot of science-y stuff that I really enjoy.

    y6GGs3o.gif
  • hippofanthippofant ティンク Registered User regular
    Deebaser wrote:
    The strange thing to me is that there are a lot of good books on difficult subjects that aren't textbooks, but they are pretty reasonably priced. Textbooks are unique in their obscenely high prices (even used) and low resale value. I used to work at Half Price Books, and every time a student came in with textbooks to sell I had to dash their hopes by saying we could barely pay anything for them at all, since we weren't set up to resell them. We'd buy stacks of textbooks, like 3 years worth, for about $5. Most of the time we'd toss them right in the recycling bin after the seller left, unless there weren't any generic chemistry books up on the shelf. Then we'd slap a CLEARANCE $1 sticker on it and shelve it next to the used, non-textbook chemistry books going for $25.

    What I don't understand is why, when the used textbook stores buy a book back for $10-15 that used to cost $200, do they reshelve it at $187.50? Is it because if they shelved it at $30-40, nobody would ever buy any new textbooks, or because they know they have a captive audience in students and so they know they'll pay whatever they need to avoid failing their class?

    In the case of Chemistry, I will admit that I don't know dick about chemistry beyond what I've seen on Breaking Bad, but I really doubt the field of chemistry has changed so much in the past ten years to justify three different editions of an intro undergraduate textbook.

    As an academic field of study, isn't Chemistry basically a dead science? There haven't been any new ideas or bits of knowledge since what, Molecular Orbital theory?

    I mean... they could be writing BETTER textbooks, I suppose, but it's not like there's been any content-driven renewal of Chemistry textbooks for years...

  • sanstodosanstodo Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Fizban140 wrote:
    I don't want to make this into a thread about me so I will try and avoid that. Anyways I know a lot of people in high school who just quit trying, they got bored of it. Teachers that didn't care, classes they didn't care about, asshole jocks, douchebags everywhere. School was just something you had to do and you looked forward to leaving every day, it was that way for most people I knew. I hated every subject except my computer related classes like HTML, A+, and java. I also love video games, so I thought video game design was an obvious choice. I tried programming and I hated it, will never do that again. I am not artistic either. I know a lot of people like this though, they have no passion or anything they are just going to school for a business degree. High school taught them nothing.

    As to my favorite subject, I honestly have no idea. I like math sort of but it is very frustrating to me. That is about it I guess, the rest of the classes I only enjoy because of the person teaching it. In high school I quit taking math classes because I didn't enjoy sitting in a 90 degree room in the dark for an hour, so I slept and failed. I went to a pretty big school (3k people) and they didn't have too many options, I had to take art and shop classes and I disliked all that. I hated English class because of how boring they made it, but I usually do like to read but hate writing. I hated our science classes, they made them boring as well and I learned nothing.

    I feel like this is pretty standard, I don't know who went to some magical school where all the teachers were amazing and cared but the majority of my teachers were just trying to get people to come to class and not be disruptive. In college the teachers are just trying to get people to come to class and not drop out. I feel like I have tried most everything I can at a community college, and I didn't really feel like I enjoyed any of it much more than any other class.

    This is going to sound dickish, but it's still true. You didn't try at all in high school. You slept through classes, quit subjects before you really got into them, and never fought through the uninteresting parts of subjects to get to the good parts.

    The reason higher education didn't work for you is because you weren't ready. You had no usable knowledge or skill base to improve on. You can't move onto high level thinking unless you've mastered lower level thinking.

    This wasn't entirely your fault; high school is a tough environment for most. This isn't meant to pick on you because I am sure that there are plenty of others on this forum who feel the same way as you do. But do you see why you haven't learned anything interesting?

    You haven't given any subject a chance. My girlfriend is a theater PhD candidate and she spends much of her time reading and writing things that do not interest her. However, that's part of the process and the price everyone has to pay to work on things that do interest them. Plus, there are some things you can only learn through boredom, through sustained concentration on minute details over long periods. Actually, (self promotion here), my last post on my blog deals with boredom in the context of David Foster Wallace's "The Pale King".

    In other words, as my girlfriend noted, the world is only as interesting as you make it.

    Edit: Also, you're hardly screwed forever. My brother's wife did not have a college degree for a long part of her 20s but wound up with a hugely supportive boss (and, of course, husband) who pushed her to finish her degree. She is finishing her degree and is now seriously considering further education with a career shift in mind. You have some makeup work to do but you also have plenty of time to find what you love, if you're willing to endure boredom and difficulties along the way.

    sanstodo on
  • YarYar Registered User regular
    The best part is when you notice that the required $200 latest edition was written by the Prof. himself.

  • Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    sanstodo wrote:
    Fizban140 wrote:
    I don't want to make this into a thread about me so I will try and avoid that. Anyways I know a lot of people in high school who just quit trying, they got bored of it. Teachers that didn't care, classes they didn't care about, asshole jocks, douchebags everywhere. School was just something you had to do and you looked forward to leaving every day, it was that way for most people I knew. I hated every subject except my computer related classes like HTML, A+, and java. I also love video games, so I thought video game design was an obvious choice. I tried programming and I hated it, will never do that again. I am not artistic either. I know a lot of people like this though, they have no passion or anything they are just going to school for a business degree. High school taught them nothing.

    As to my favorite subject, I honestly have no idea. I like math sort of but it is very frustrating to me. That is about it I guess, the rest of the classes I only enjoy because of the person teaching it. In high school I quit taking math classes because I didn't enjoy sitting in a 90 degree room in the dark for an hour, so I slept and failed. I went to a pretty big school (3k people) and they didn't have too many options, I had to take art and shop classes and I disliked all that. I hated English class because of how boring they made it, but I usually do like to read but hate writing. I hated our science classes, they made them boring as well and I learned nothing.

    I feel like this is pretty standard, I don't know who went to some magical school where all the teachers were amazing and cared but the majority of my teachers were just trying to get people to come to class and not be disruptive. In college the teachers are just trying to get people to come to class and not drop out. I feel like I have tried most everything I can at a community college, and I didn't really feel like I enjoyed any of it much more than any other class.

    This is going to sound dickish, but it's still true. You didn't try at all in high school. You slept through classes, quit subjects before you really got into them, and never fought through the uninteresting parts of subjects to get to the good parts.

    The reason higher education didn't work for you is because you weren't ready. You had no usable knowledge or skill base to improve on. You can't move onto high level thinking unless you've mastered lower level thinking.

    This wasn't entirely your fault; high school is a tough environment for most. This isn't meant to pick on you because I am sure that there are plenty of others on this forum who feel the same way as you do. But do you see why you haven't learned anything interesting?

    You haven't given any subject a chance. My girlfriend is a theater PhD candidate and she spends much of her time reading and writing things that do not interest her. However, that's part of the process and the price everyone has to pay to work on things that do interest them. Plus, there are some things you can only learn through boredom, through sustained concentration on minute details over long periods. Actually, (self promotion here), my last post on my blog deals with boredom in the context of David Foster Wallace's "The Pale King".

    In other words, as my girlfriend noted, the world is only as interesting as you make it.
    Well I joined the military after high school and took college (some) classes while I was in. When I joined I was pretty much set on a game design degree, which was really stupid. Now I have no idea what I want to do but I am not just some kid out of high school. I have worked and know what I don't want to spend the rest of my life doing.

    533570-1.png
  • sanstodosanstodo Registered User regular
    Fizban140 wrote:
    sanstodo wrote:
    Fizban140 wrote:
    I don't want to make this into a thread about me so I will try and avoid that. Anyways I know a lot of people in high school who just quit trying, they got bored of it. Teachers that didn't care, classes they didn't care about, asshole jocks, douchebags everywhere. School was just something you had to do and you looked forward to leaving every day, it was that way for most people I knew. I hated every subject except my computer related classes like HTML, A+, and java. I also love video games, so I thought video game design was an obvious choice. I tried programming and I hated it, will never do that again. I am not artistic either. I know a lot of people like this though, they have no passion or anything they are just going to school for a business degree. High school taught them nothing.

    As to my favorite subject, I honestly have no idea. I like math sort of but it is very frustrating to me. That is about it I guess, the rest of the classes I only enjoy because of the person teaching it. In high school I quit taking math classes because I didn't enjoy sitting in a 90 degree room in the dark for an hour, so I slept and failed. I went to a pretty big school (3k people) and they didn't have too many options, I had to take art and shop classes and I disliked all that. I hated English class because of how boring they made it, but I usually do like to read but hate writing. I hated our science classes, they made them boring as well and I learned nothing.

    I feel like this is pretty standard, I don't know who went to some magical school where all the teachers were amazing and cared but the majority of my teachers were just trying to get people to come to class and not be disruptive. In college the teachers are just trying to get people to come to class and not drop out. I feel like I have tried most everything I can at a community college, and I didn't really feel like I enjoyed any of it much more than any other class.

    This is going to sound dickish, but it's still true. You didn't try at all in high school. You slept through classes, quit subjects before you really got into them, and never fought through the uninteresting parts of subjects to get to the good parts.

    The reason higher education didn't work for you is because you weren't ready. You had no usable knowledge or skill base to improve on. You can't move onto high level thinking unless you've mastered lower level thinking.

    This wasn't entirely your fault; high school is a tough environment for most. This isn't meant to pick on you because I am sure that there are plenty of others on this forum who feel the same way as you do. But do you see why you haven't learned anything interesting?

    You haven't given any subject a chance. My girlfriend is a theater PhD candidate and she spends much of her time reading and writing things that do not interest her. However, that's part of the process and the price everyone has to pay to work on things that do interest them. Plus, there are some things you can only learn through boredom, through sustained concentration on minute details over long periods. Actually, (self promotion here), my last post on my blog deals with boredom in the context of David Foster Wallace's "The Pale King".

    In other words, as my girlfriend noted, the world is only as interesting as you make it.
    Well I joined the military after high school and took college (some) classes while I was in. When I joined I was pretty much set on a game design degree, which was really stupid. Now I have no idea what I want to do but I am not just some kid out of high school. I have worked and know what I don't want to spend the rest of my life doing.

    "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." Thomas Edison

    Stop thinking about jobs and start thinking about what excites you. What part of math do you enjoy? Why do you like video games? Why do you like reading?

    If you can answer those questions, then you are closer to finding which fields might be good fits. Again, this is about skill sets and modes of thinking.

    Another possibility is to look up the resume/CV of someone whose job/life path you'd like to have. See what they did and then find out how you can do the same things (with improvements, if possible).

    Higher education isn't about giving you answers. It's about finding the right questions and having the skills to answer them yourself.

  • YarYar Registered User regular
    Maybe you aren't the type who just knows exactly what they want to be and how to get there. As long as you're always striving for the job at your workplace that's slightly more interesting than the one you have, or an employer/job available nearby that's slightly more interesting, you'd be surprised how quickly you'll find things you like to do, and form compelling direction and goals that will allow you to do them more and get paid more for it.

  • Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    I mean I agree with what you are saying but very few people have the time or the money to explore, most people I know work more than they go to school and they are still in debt going to school.

    533570-1.png
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    My department was crazy hard on kids. 3.7 requirement in all non elective classes. During critiques teachers would routinely call out kids for anything bordering on terrible.

    I recall multiple times professors telling kids in front of the whole class that they need to reconsider their major.

    The last day of our senior class the department head is all like "no you guys are usually great, we're just assholes to you so you're ready for it in the industry".

  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    My department was crazy hard on kids. 3.7 requirement in all non elective classes. During critiques teachers would routinely call out kids for anything bordering on terrible.

    I recall multiple times professors telling kids in front of the whole class that they need to reconsider their major.

    The last day of our senior class the department head is all like "no you guys are usually great, we're just assholes to you so you're ready for it in the industry".

    A manager who belittles their employee by berating them for having a novel, well thought out but bad idea is doing the company incalculable economic damage.

    I mean it's one thing to call someone out for presenting a half-baked, poorly conceptualized idea, but it's something else entirely for attacking someone for being wrong with the correct method.

  • DivideByZeroDivideByZero Social Justice Blackguard Registered User regular
    Skoal Cat wrote:
    Druk wrote:
    How would you define small? I went to a few different high schools, the biggest was around 3k students for grades 9-12.

    mcdermott hit another important point, which is that parents are another big obstacle to choice. Instead of choosing an elective, many students (myself included) were forced by parents to play in the band.


    My high school Wiki lists student population at 2300-2800 so that's where I'm coming from.

    Coming from another angle, my high school had 500 students across 4 years (public school in a district of maybe 10-12,000 total population). We did not have many options for electives; the biggest choice you made was whether you wanted to take band, chorus, or art. There were normal and honors classes for all the core subjects but not many college level AP courses (maybe five total, and not all of them were offered every year. I had to sign a contract when I took AP Bio my junior year, that I would pinky-swear to pass Physics next year since it was technically a pre-req; but AP Bio and Chem were only offered on alternating years). You could pick a foreign language (Spanish, Italian, or French) but that track was also linear and there wasn't always enough interest to offer a full four years in each language. There were very few true electives and all vocational studies were farmed out to a county program.

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKERS
  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    Robman wrote:
    A manager who belittles their employee by berating them for having a novel, well thought out but bad idea is doing the company incalculable economic damage.

    I mean it's one thing to call someone out for presenting a half-baked, poorly conceptualized idea, but it's something else entirely for attacking someone for being wrong with the correct method.

    Unfortunately there are a lot of awful managers out there. I've had quite a few in my professional life. I kinda hit the manager lottery with my current one.

    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Skoal Cat wrote:
    Druk wrote:
    How would you define small? I went to a few different high schools, the biggest was around 3k students for grades 9-12.

    mcdermott hit another important point, which is that parents are another big obstacle to choice. Instead of choosing an elective, many students (myself included) were forced by parents to play in the band.


    My high school Wiki lists student population at 2300-2800 so that's where I'm coming from.

    Coming from another angle, my high school had 500 students across 4 years (public school in a district of maybe 10-12,000 total population). We did not have many options for electives; the biggest choice you made was whether you wanted to take band, chorus, or art. There were normal and honors classes for all the core subjects but not many college level AP courses (maybe five total, and not all of them were offered every year. I had to sign a contract when I took AP Bio my junior year, that I would pinky-swear to pass Physics next year since it was technically a pre-req; but AP Bio and Chem were only offered on alternating years). You could pick a foreign language (Spanish, Italian, or French) but that track was also linear and there wasn't always enough interest to offer a full four years in each language. There were very few true electives and all vocational studies were farmed out to a county program.
    I don't think many high schools offer more than 3 years in a language anyways. Mine only offered 3 in spanish and I think the other language classes dies after 2.

    533570-1.png
  • DivideByZeroDivideByZero Social Justice Blackguard Registered User regular
    In my district the language program started in middle school, you picked a language in grade 7 or 8 and continued it in HS. I got on board the first year French was offered, so that might be why it stopped abruptly at grade 10; the Spanish/Italian programs were more established and you could continue through grade 12 if you wanted.

    Off the top of my head the only real electives were creative writing, journalism, 2 semesters of mechanical drafting... it was pretty bleak actually.

    tangential anecdote: my class was the first to break down into double-digits, graduating only 99 seniors. Most Likely to Succeed? Pregnant at graduation. Good times.

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKERS
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    The whole concept of "doing what you love" is something I still find stupid. There's too many theater majors already, and they're not very employable.

    I think more people need to find things they are good at, find ways to monetize them in a way that they don't hate, and then learn to take pleasure from doing their jobs well and being successful. When you think of all of the work that needs doing, and the types of work there are, people just aren't going to match up to truly being passionate about much of it. Yet people who want to be successful and make a decent amount of money are going to find a way to be happy with that success. I think it's a failing of our education system that I know so many theater/art history/English majors. Those are things it's EASY to get passionate about, and while they have some general job skills, they don't make you as competitive as other things you could be pursuing.

    What is this I don't even.
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