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Eureka: 20 things I don't like about today's universities
by Jay Gutman
2018-05-06 09:50:56
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To me universities are like marriage. People go there because everyone else is going there. At universities people expect to gain a ton of knowledge the same way men who get married expect to have sex at least twice a day. People who go to universities expect lots friendship and a quiet life, the same way people in a marriage expect romance and stability. For some people univeristy's a great experience, just like for some people marriage can be a great experience. But here are 20 generalities I find annoying about universities. For many today universities kind of work like a marriage: you go into debt, it sucks out all your money, you argue a lot, are constantly late with your tasks and you border on alcoholism.

1- You buy a lot of books you'll never read. Maybe professors should encourage students to pick their own books and read them for pleasure.

2- You write a lot of papers about concepts you have no interest in. Perhaps professors should encourage students to investigate areas that the students are interested in, not that the professor is interested in.

3- Your opinions are repressed. Life is about having opinions, it not just the facts.

unis00001_4004- No one teaches you how to write a paper. You can either intereview people, dish out surveys, make an experiment or analyze documents. No one teaches you how to do that in a lot of cases.

5- Totalitarian management. You want to take a class you have to hand in papers. You want to audit a class you have to hand in papers. You want to create a club you have to hand in papers. You want to join a club you have to hand in papers. The increasing trend is to have “supervising professors” who have to say OK to what classes you take, what clubs you join and what activities you do.

6- Thin-skinned authoritarianism. Professors and administration don't like it when you disagree with them or even hint at challenging their authority.

7- MLA, Chicago style, footnotes and endnotes: professors care more about the style you write in than about what you have to say.

8- Professors don't care about your research. A lot of times they only care about theirs.

9- Grades. You might as well play the lottery. Sometimes you hand in a great paper and get a C, other times you hand in a crappy paper and get an A+. Go figure.

10- Discipline. If you want to play games in class, that should be the student's problem. A lot of times professors get involved in that.

11- High ambitions. Sometimes professors want you to write a book or to solve particle physics problems that would win you the Nobel prize.

12-  Professors who think you'll learn everything they teach you. Like they think your memory is a tape recorder.

13- Professors with foreign accents and foreign ways. Don't bother telling them you don't understand a word from their lectures and that their ways are not the local way.

14- Social justice. I think social justice is important. But a lot of the companies who hire college graduates don't care about social justice.

15- Worthless students. If you want the students to get jobs, you need to treat them in ways that will hint at their market worth. Organize conferences, recommend them for jobs and internships, give them freelance work.

16- Sex, drugs and rock n' roll. Given all the wild parties and raves organized by universities, I'd be worried about my children going there.

17- Tattoos, piercings, plastic surgery, abortions, freezing eggs, STDs and Vds and other BS. I thought universities were about reading books and writing papers and working on projects.

18- Slavery's bad and Einstein's smart. The feeling I get is that's all a lot of students can remember from their college years.

19- I got a degree in French but can't speak French. I got a degree in accounting but can't work out a balance sheet. I got a degree in nuclear physics but can't figure out space geometry. Wanna go for a drink?

20- If you decide to go to college, please do so with a scholarship. Doesn't matter if you're 25 or 35 when you get started, at least you won't have to force yourself into debt. College is a lot of work. It only makes sense to me that it's either free or that you get paid to attend it.

Of course all universities are different and not all students are the same, not all professors are the same. But some trends are emerging. Why do you want to go to college? Because you like reading books. You can read all the books you want while working a full-time job. Because you want a better job? Take some time off and learn on your own, or go to a company and say: I want on the job training, teach me how to get the tasks done. You want a piece of paper? Trust me, it will stay in your closet for the rest of your life. You want to make friends? Go to the local pub, or join an association. You want to network with people? You don't need to go to college for that. You want to learn a wide variety of stuff? The internet is full of free online courses. The job you're aiming for requires a university degree? If you're really good, they should hire you without a degree. But if you're not that good, they won't hire you, even with a degree. You feel inferior to people who have university degrees? You can't get the same education or better just by subscribing to a library and reading a some of the books they claim to read.

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