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Honored Advisor

Re: Useless College Majors

The more you tell me about your family, the more I feel we were separated at birth, but several decades apart.  You just have the same sense of what is important as Mike and I do. 

 

He really wanted me at home with our three, too.  My degree was gained debt-free, and we lived a conservative lifestyle, so it was manageable. 

 

Now, with our grandson spending his mornings with me, so our daughter can get out a couple of hours to work with Mike on the farm, which she very much wanted to get back to as soon as she could, we are repeating a pattern.  He stands by her needs and the baby's attachment to her, and has assured her that she can stay home any day she needs or wants to...he will manage. 

 

I am sure there are some women who have to work away from home to stay sane.  Some have to work to keep theri children fed.  In between, there are a lot who are trapped in the ratrace that your wife's friend has gotten caught up in. 

 

It is sad, and as much as I feel for the unhappy adults, it is the kids who really pay the price of this lie.  I was in the first generation of females that were told we could have it all...of course we can, just not all at once. 

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Useless College Majors

The saddest, are the mothers who work, so they can buy their kids 'things'.  Yesterday, I had my 3 year old helping me in the shop.  We made a game out of who could find the grease fittings on the loader and feedwagon the fastest.  About the time we got done & I had to start feeding the cattle, she was getting cold, so it worked out well, but you should have seen how proud she was, to be the one to find that last grease zerk that daddy knew was on the wheel, but just couldn't find.  Almost brings tears to my eyes, knowing that some people will never experience things like that.

"The Cat's in the Cradle" by Ricky Skaggs really hits home, now that I have kids....

 

Also, since my brother got hurt, I almost can't listen to Garth Brook's "The Dance", and my SIL can't, at all.

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Contributor

Re: Useless College Majors

I never regretted going to college, but I was pretty choosey about what courses I took and where I spent the time and money. I have always LIKED being educated a little beyond what it took to do my job. There is nothing wrong with an engineer taking an Art History class or an Ornamental Horticulture class; just to have that in the background. It took me five years to get everytuing all done because I took so many classes that I wanted, but weren't on the major list. The worst classes I ever took were the ones where the unshaven teaching assistant came in and basically spent the class time smoking cigarettes and insulting students. Luckily, in the early sixties that was the exception at UC Davis, a really good, Ag oriented school.      A couple of years ago I attended a graduation in Illinois at a college that specializes in cranking out what I can only describe as future environmental whackos; except these people will be PAID environmental whackos whose job will be to stop anything and everything from being built or mined or drilled; the same bunch that just stopped the big pipeling project. The professors and staff at that college seemed to be about as FAR removed from reality as could be, and I could see how that could be possible if they stuck close to that campus their entire lives. The MOST USELESS major of all is LAW. Each year the colleges crank out thousands of new lawyers whose future depends on being the best parasite they can be; suing anyone for anything. Last year i was sick for about seven weeks and was exposed to large doses of daytime TV. YOW! The number of ads from shyster, personal injury lawyers was just unbelieveable. Even if it is YOUR FAULT, we'll get you MONEY.   I feel fortunate to have graduated from college before so many schools became bastions of liberal ideology. My daughter is a Harvard professor and I can really see the effects of her being in the academic womb for all these years.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Useless College Majors


@Kay/NC wrote: 

 

I have said that the pigs don't care how educated I am...and this is quite true.  Having a broader background, no matter what you do in life, is a plus, not a minus.  Very few people end up doing what they thought they wanted to do at 18-20 years of age, when a college major is usually selected,  anyway. 


You are correct about the pigs but it can help the bottom line if you have training in several areas to produce more pigs, faster, cheaper, healthier and bigger plus understand economics enough to manage finaces too.

 

You are also quite correct about what people do as compared to their education field.

Go to a school reunion a nuber of years later and just see what your classmates ended up doing for a living even when you went to a school that specialized in Ag only.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Useless College Majors

Yes that student debt can be a real burden.

Part of the problem there is cultural and people making a personal choice, probably a choice without a good grounding in economics or managing their own finances.

We have a daughter who went trhough university without any debt.

She worked in high school and saved.

She worked weekends and the occasional evening while in University.

She stayed in residence her 1st year but came home on weekends so she could work (and spend time with her hometown boyfriend).

Last 3 years she drove an old car dad and mom gave her. Not fancy like many in the parking lot but got her the 45 minute drive to school and back with little expense.

So she graduated with no debt, her boyfriend and her were able to buy a house shortly after her graduation with their combined savings and then get married that same summer (inexpensive wedding too).

House was fully paid for in 10 years.

It is the mindest of the 2 of them, they do not spend on needless things and they now have 3 daughters and have added enhancements to the house with savings not debt.

It is unfortunate that young people are encourage to go into debt instead of saving and spending wisely.

And as Hobby farmer pointed out maybe the big education is not necessary, 2 more of our kids spent 2 years in university and then landed summer jobs that turned into full time jobs.

Advancements since then have them both earning equal or better salaries than their sister the University grad.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Useless College Majors

Your post teared me up a bit, Daddy. 

 

Ever child I have ever known would rather work with an adult who makes them feel important for doing so, than play in a wonderland all day long.  Children's toys were traditionally miniatures of adult tools, and some still are.  

 

Garth did sing some pretty profound lyrics.  Among them my favorite is "Unanswered Prayers". 

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Honored Advisor

Re: Useless College Majors

The difference between me and a lot of people I talk to about learning is this: Most people think of their education as having ended when they reached graduation.  I figure that most of the really important things I know came after "Pomp and Circumstance." 

 

One of my most enjoyable aspects of our lifestyle now is that I can find courses in so many truly intriguing areas of study, and take them at one of the several comunity colleges within an hour's drive of the farm.  I have just marked on the calendar three workshops, encompassing four or five spring weekends, in historic preservation technology continuing ed program. 

 

Do I need to study blacksmithing as I approach my seventh decade of life?  Probably not, but who knows?  Every class or workshop I engage in gives me a greater understanding of the world, our culture and its history, and human nature.  I have never taken a wasted class. although it may have taken twenty or thirty years for me to see the value in a few of them.

 

I am starting to look into some of the Great Courses for a broader offering...astronomy is one I have always wished I had taken college.  They have another one in Mental Math that looks like a good way to exercise the mind, and I lean towards knowing more about great composers and a couple of more typical liberal arts curriculum parts, too.   

 

The main thing is to view one's education not as a past tense activity, but to always be learning in the  present, with an eye to the future.   

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Senior Advisor

Re: Useless College Majors

Education is a one of many tools in a chest---the lacking of application of "common sence" ingrediant can have a significant effect on the events in the future---one example being the  centers  on the east coast known as the finical district  or the beltway---plenty of sheep skins on the wall with lack luster results for their clients--- example of spilling a overturned container of sugar most of the contents can be be retained although the result with differ trying to capture the same "sugar water" ---    

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Honored Advisor

Re: Useless College Majors

There are all sorts of examples of absentminded professors and academics otherwise disconnected entirely from common sense.  There are also some people whose intellect in a select area is developed in such a way as to be an override to every other mental process, to the degree that they literally need a keeper. 

 

If you assume thta every academically adept person is devoid of common sense, though, you perpetuate a stereotype that simply is no better than any other prejudice.  I've seen all types...and an uneducated person has no better chance of having common sense that an educated one. Fortunately, it's possible to have both types of intelligence resident in one mind. 

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Senior Advisor

Re: Useless College Majors

Point being everyone is not predisposed to have a desk occupation---so what do we do with the rest of the population that enjoy a manual type of labor fit besides out source their qualities---continuing education is a great option if one has the available time and drive to accept the knowledge---holding the students hostage to unsustainable debt obligations is a whole other theater if there isn't an employment option after the fact  ---nursing careers around here is one thing that comes to mind ---primary care for a patient is one thing although using up these hours shuffling paperwork into a electronic device  for another to review does not complete the original task--- maybe stone soup comes to mind ---  

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