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Do Americans generally take education for granted?

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Lifer
Sep 15, 2002
12,145
0
71
Yes, I am a prime example. However, alot of it has to do with some family problems and my job...

My Grades...

Cisco B - Got a 87.5 on my Final
English D - My schools grading is scale for english is 64-73-83-93. I would have got a C if it wasnt for the grading scale. I doubt my parents would care, however I am taking it in the summer.
Resource - I've got ADD :p
Algerbra II - F or D I didnt start caring for the class soon enough, I did bring it up from a 33% to a 61%.
Bus Tech - B got a 88.75 :(
Econ - C

My cumlative GPA is going down :( I had a 2.89

 

mugs

Lifer
Apr 29, 2003
48,900
14
81
I take for granted that most Americans I encounter are poorly educated.
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,150
2
0
I said no, but really because between it and Yes I couldn't choose "sometimes". AT probably has a slightly higher than average education level than the general public, so the answers will be skewed according to this.

My brothers and I went to university. For us it wasn't a question. We simply were going to go. My parents enrolled us in private school, even though it cost them TONS of money over the years. I hated it, but in recent times have appreciated moreso the sacrifice they made, and with my own children if it's between private school & me driving an old car, or them going to an "ok" public school but I get a new car, well the answer is obvious. An education positively shapes a person in almost all aspects of their life, from social interaction, to career, to their understanding of the world. It's of the utmost importance. A good education's goal is not simply to make a lot of money, although without one you stand at a gross disadvantage to those who are trying to make it.

The more upper class one is the more likely they are to realize the importance of education because a) it's a great help in maintaining stature, and b) having such stature is statistically likely to have resulted from a good education vs. a bad one.

If you had a good education you will realize the benefits of one. If you had a bad you may or may not, but nobody with a good education is going to tell you that it doesn't matter - because if they do tell you this, they had a bad education :) Education is the ultimate tool for life :D

I agree wholeheartedly with dullard's first post. One has to question what sort of a parent these spoiled brats will become? My guess: not a great one. My generations have mirrored his first paragraph closely. My grandparents were poor, and my parents both had to eat some foods I would gag at (how's toast with fat spread over it sound for dinner?). My parents are both hard workers and acheivers and have risen career-wise higher than I'm likely too. My brothers and I were fairly spoiled, although my father did discipline us more than many and I can appreciate that now. My older brother is still trying to "find himself". I can't put a finger on it but I've done pretty well IMO - better in fact than every single one of my childhood friends. My best friend growing up makes jack, wasted time at university, is up to his ass in debt, and lives with his parents in some pathetic job. He'll be with them for god knows how long. Another good friend got his university degree and then got his masters in pot smoking, living also with his parents well into his 20's. I always hated school and generally didn't do well because of that, but apparently the continual screaming at me about wasting my potential did have some impressions on me because if I was doing what some of my old childhood friends seem relatively content doing I'd be pissed!
 

volcom2003

Junior Member
Aug 13, 2003
13
0
0
it's not the fact that we take it for granted, it's the fact that we have such a poor education system. spend time at any public school in an "average" dwelling location and it is a harsh reality. i have spent time volunteering in los angeles city schools and it a horrible site to see. the teachers are more concerned with keeping the kids quiet and keeping them in the classroom then trying to teach. you see 10th graders that have the reading ability of a 2nd grader, teachers have to pass them because the city officials can't have kids held back because there is no room in the classrooms coming up.
 

bozack

Diamond Member
Jan 14, 2000
7,913
12
81
My college was a large party school and that was one of my main motivators in attending, in retrospect I really wish I had rethought that decision....I was constantly exposed to people who did take advantage of their situation and didn't get the most out of their education whereas in contrast I also knew many bright individuals....seemed that those who came from money didn't strive as hard to succeed as those who were less fortunate and really had to work to be there, ironically though most of those who came from money that I know have excellent jobs through the networking of their parents whereas those who excelled in school are either doing somewhat well or rather poorly...

I think overall many here take college for granted...but from my own experience the teachers didn't really seem to care, I fondly remember the classes where the teachers were engaging and think if I had more teachers that were interested in what they were doing then I might have been more engaged myself, I wonder if the same goes on in many universities with only the best schools having truly amazing teachers in the US, whereas in other countries since admittance is much more difficult there is a higher chance of getting better teachers.
 

iliopsoas

Golden Member
Jul 14, 2001
1,844
2
0
Originally posted by: wyvrn
Originally posted by: iliopsoas
Originally posted by: wyvrn
I could go on and on about this subject. I have done research and have personal experience. Basically, most immigrants are from mid-upper to upper income families. Even though they are poor when they get here, they weren't when they left. Their families had a history of higher income, business, and investing. So you are comparing apples to oranges.
Dunno where you get your info...but based on my experience as an immigrant (most of my friends are first-generation immigrants as well), we come from all walks of life. Pretty similar to the class structure here. Some were wealthy. The majority were dirt poor.

The reason we value an education is because it's considered a privilege. In our homeland, only the wealthy or the very brightest get to attend college.

In the US, the current generation of non-immigrants, for the most part, had everything handed to them. No famine. No major wars (as compared to many country constantly embroiled in civil war or previous world wars). We live in an era of relative peace and affluence. Basically, the current generation never had to fight to EARN their way of life.
I get my information from statistics compiled by the government and studied in my government class. My professor, with a doctorate in political science, concurs with her own research. I put that up against your anecdotal evidence anytime ;)
If you have the links, I'd like to look at those studies. I seriously have my doubts about those conclusions. In a third world country that has been ravaged by war, even their middle class is a lot worse off than the lower class here. Of course, there are some people who are filthy rich too.

 

StinkyPinky

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2002
6,579
497
126
I'm a college dropout and I've managed to do well without a degree. A strong work ethic and intelligence is more important than some piece of paper anyway.
 

wyvrn

Lifer
Feb 15, 2000
10,074
0
0
Originally posted by: iliopsoas
Originally posted by: wyvrn
Originally posted by: iliopsoas
Originally posted by: wyvrn
I could go on and on about this subject. I have done research and have personal experience. Basically, most immigrants are from mid-upper to upper income families. Even though they are poor when they get here, they weren't when they left. Their families had a history of higher income, business, and investing. So you are comparing apples to oranges.
Dunno where you get your info...but based on my experience as an immigrant (most of my friends are first-generation immigrants as well), we come from all walks of life. Pretty similar to the class structure here. Some were wealthy. The majority were dirt poor.

The reason we value an education is because it's considered a privilege. In our homeland, only the wealthy or the very brightest get to attend college.

In the US, the current generation of non-immigrants, for the most part, had everything handed to them. No famine. No major wars (as compared to many country constantly embroiled in civil war or previous world wars). We live in an era of relative peace and affluence. Basically, the current generation never had to fight to EARN their way of life.
I get my information from statistics compiled by the government and studied in my government class. My professor, with a doctorate in political science, concurs with her own research. I put that up against your anecdotal evidence anytime ;)
If you have the links, I'd like to look at those studies. I seriously have my doubts about those conclusions. In a third world country that has been ravaged by war, even their middle class is a lot worse off than the lower class here. Of course, there are some people who are filthy rich too.
It's was my govt book. It's the same book used by most University of Texas system government students for the last couple of years (they may have changed by now, who knows). Unfortunately, I do not have said book now as I sold it to another student. I will see if I have my old syllabus from that class and post it, though it is doubtful. I do not lie, however, and I encourage you to do your own research one way or the other and stop accepting anecdotal or "common" knowledge as the answer. There is nothing more annoying than someone who refuses to accept facts over opinions :)

Cheers!
 

iliopsoas

Golden Member
Jul 14, 2001
1,844
2
0
Originally posted by: wyvrn
Originally posted by: iliopsoas


It's was my govt book. It's the same book used by most University of Texas system government students for the last couple of years (they may have changed by now, who knows). Unfortunately, I do not have said book now as I sold it to another student. I will see if I have my old syllabus from that class and post it, though it is doubtful. I do not lie, however, and I encourage you to do your own research one way or the other and stop accepting anecdotal or "common" knowledge as the answer. There is nothing more annoying than someone who refuses to accept facts over opinions :)

Cheers!
That's why I was asking for your source. I wanted to read it and evaluate it for myself. Doh!
 

BD2003

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
16,815
1
76
Originally posted by: bozack
My college was a large party school and that was one of my main motivators in attending, in retrospect I really wish I had rethought that decision....I was constantly exposed to people who did take advantage of their situation and didn't get the most out of their education whereas in contrast I also knew many bright individuals....seemed that those who came from money didn't strive as hard to succeed as those who were less fortunate and really had to work to be there, ironically though most of those who came from money that I know have excellent jobs through the networking of their parents whereas those who excelled in school are either doing somewhat well or rather poorly...

I think overall many here take college for granted...but from my own experience the teachers didn't really seem to care, I fondly remember the classes where the teachers were engaging and think if I had more teachers that were interested in what they were doing then I might have been more engaged myself, I wonder if the same goes on in many universities with only the best schools having truly amazing teachers in the US, whereas in other countries since admittance is much more difficult there is a higher chance of getting better teachers.
I hear that. One of my prime motivations to go to college was to get the hell out of my parents house. I was already going to city college on their dollar, but I made the choice of paying for school so I could transfer and go to a better school and live in a dorm. I dont so much regret not working hard enough as I do my choice of major. I learned a lot from studying psychology, but I also learned that they dont know jack about psychology, and I thought I would be taking a science and with a few exceptions, ended up studying a lot of assumptions and a lot of failed theories. Go into a bio and chem class, and you get taught knowledge, even if there are still questions. Go into a psych class, and learn "perspectives", only to find out that theyre wrong, and why they cant be totally right.

Anyway, aside from that, regardless of my quality of education, I did learn a LOT in college. Funny now that I have the degree, Im not really putting it to much use. I cant think of anything that would interest me enough that Id want to dedicate my life to it. And any chances of going back to school and getting a second bachelors in a different field are pretty much out of the question right now. I simply cant afford it. I live well below my means and save a decent chunk every month, and I suppose I am doing better than everyone else I know, but it still feels like Im not going to meet my full "potential".

Both my parents never finished high school, and my brother never went to college. Im the only one in my family who graduated, and had to do it mostly on my own. My parents had delusions of what college is really like, and expected me to be an astrophysicist on my own accord. Now that Ive been through college and been on my own for a while and I have a different perspective, if I had the chance I just might go back to school and work hard. I did just fine studying psych, graduated with a good GPA, I wouldnt go as far as to say it was easy, but if youve got a good memory you can mostly blow off class and learn from a book. I used to go to class, but the professors would do nothing but reiterate what was in the books, so there was no point.

But the most discouraging thing is exactly what you said. The rich people and middle class keep it in the family, and in the class. My mom was an immigrant, and my dad was kind of a loner, self employed, worked alone. Both are retired now. I have no extended family. I have no connections to speak of, and never have. My roomates and girlfriends would get jobs like its nothing because they always have a parent or uncle or parents friend or some other "hook them up". I know I could learn any job well enough to do it well, but the job either goes to a hookup, or to someone with more experience or education than me. Never get a chance to get some experience without already having experience. Ive had many a job before, but the only really good one came through a one time hookup.

I dont think the biggest problem is so much that this generation takes education for granted, but that they dont know how to handle money. No one, no household, who earns 50g a year combined should be financially struggling. There is no excuse for it. If my parents could raise two kids on 20g a year, and still save and invest enough to have over half a mil, then anyone can. Instead of saving, people go into debt. Its so backwards.
 

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