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Author Topic: Vampire Literature Class, One Of Many Unique Classes Offered  (Read 2580 times)

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Offline MargueriteTopic starter

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Vampire Literature Class, One Of Many Unique Classes Offered
« on: August 10, 2010, 03:28:20 PM »
This was spoken in the SB and I guess I started it considering this summer I am taking two summer classes. One class is about Human Sexual Behaviors (psychology, social aspect, etc) and my other is Vampire Literature. I am taking the class on vampires because it fulfills the second year of English that did not transfer over when I attended my college in California. Now, I am truly excited about this Vampire Literature class because it brings another level of Sophomore English while incorporating the standards you need in order to pass the class. The "textbooks" used in the class are a bit different considering it is:

Twilight
Penguin Book of Vampire Stories, an anthology of short vampire stories
Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Now, some are going to go straight to the first "textbook" and start arguing. For me, I can see the value now in having it because each of these books were published in a different time period of how vampires were to appear; as well as, play on the societal fears at the given time or to talk about a topic.

The discussion had lead into the cost of paying for such a class and myself, I have paid 200 bucks for the class. I would not pay 200 bucks if I did not feel the class was adequate or worth my time. Now, we can speak about whatever conspired from the SB into this thread. However, if it starts to get snippy and catty, I will shut this thread down so fast it will make your head spin. Thanks and talk.

Offline Keiro

Re: Vampire Literature Class, One Of Many Unique Classes Offered
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2010, 03:35:20 PM »
Scott, as I asked in the SB:

What of those who're disabled? They're usually government sponsored. Are you saying that they can't be sponsored with your comment in the SB?

Offline Lilias

Re: Vampire Literature Class, One Of Many Unique Classes Offered
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2010, 03:35:51 PM »
Vampirism is a theme that has consistently stimulated literary imagination for 200 years now, not counting the centuries of folklore, so a class on analysing the way it evolved makes perfect sense to me. Twilight, dodgy writing and all, is a cultural phenomenon in itself, and I see no reason not to be included.

Does the Book of Vampire Stories include J.S. LeFanu's Carmilla? It may be considered too long for an anthology, but I wouldn't consider any such compilation complete without it.

Offline MargueriteTopic starter

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Re: Vampire Literature Class, One Of Many Unique Classes Offered
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2010, 03:36:55 PM »
Vampirism is a theme that has consistently stimulated literary imagination for 200 years now, not counting the centuries of folklore, so a class on analysing the way it evolved makes perfect sense to me. Twilight, dodgy writing and all, is a cultural phenomenon in itself, and I see no reason not to be included.

Does the Book of Vampire Stories include J.S. LeFanu's Carmilla? It may be considered too long for an anthology, but I wouldn't consider any such compilation complete without it.

Carmilla is included in it but we did not go over the story as much as I wanted to; thankfully, I plan to keep my Penguin book to go through the rest of the stories.

Offline Lilias

Re: Vampire Literature Class, One Of Many Unique Classes Offered
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2010, 03:43:00 PM »
An author who wrote at least two brilliant vampire stories (maybe more, but I haven't been able to search her work as well as I'd want) is C.L. Moore. But she's filed away under science fiction, so neither 'Black Thirst' nor 'Shambleau' are to be found in mainstream vampire anthologies. Definitely worth looking up, though.

The prize for the most original vampire story I've read, however, goes to Deborah Wheeler (now Ross) for 'Transfusion' ;)

Offline MargueriteTopic starter

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Re: Vampire Literature Class, One Of Many Unique Classes Offered
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2010, 03:45:43 PM »
Shambleau is in the anthology textbook but it could also be I bought the earliest version for the class.

Offline Scott

Re: Vampire Literature Class, One Of Many Unique Classes Offered
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2010, 03:54:43 PM »
My point wasn't the class its self, I have no personal issues if they teach "underwater fire prevention" or "modern basket weaving" or any other class modern academia can dream up.

My only issue is that I don't think that students who are receiving government support should be allowed to use that funding for such classes, and should have to pay for these classes entirely on your own (like you did) if he/she decides to take them. I don't mind tax dollars being spent on helping a doctor become a doctor, but cut out the elective academic garbage the tax payer has to assist him in paying for to become one.

I hate to think that a person working in a factory, or on a farm in the hot sun to support their families has to spend one additional second in those environments so some kid on a government scholarship can solidify his or her belief that he or she is a member of Team Edward, or Team Jacob. The farmer or factory worker is on "Team Feed Their Kids" and "Team Keep Their House".

It's not fair.

I'm proud for you that you paid for the class out of your own pocket, and I'm glad you could take the class. I'm even more glad that myself and the majority of the people I know who work for a living didn't have to pay for it.   

 

       

Offline Scott

Re: Vampire Literature Class, One Of Many Unique Classes Offered
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2010, 03:58:03 PM »
Scott, as I asked in the SB:

What of those who're disabled? They're usually government sponsored. Are you saying that they can't be sponsored with your comment in the SB?

Define "disabled" first, there are many kinds. I'll give you my opinion, but "disabled" is a little bit of a broad spectrum. 

Offline Keiro

Re: Vampire Literature Class, One Of Many Unique Classes Offered
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2010, 04:03:02 PM »
I'm aware that there's multiple levels of disability, as it were.

I used it in the general sense because really, there's too many disabilities to list them all, so... >_>;

But let's use just one, for the sake of the argument, at least, for the moment.

Hearing impaired or deaf people.

Prior to you asking me for a second time, I'd wondered what you meant by your statement until I saw your response to the question I asked.

Which makes some sense, though your statement makes it somewhat moot if extra classes are needed for a given person to attain that profession.

Unless you meant that you'd prefer students pay for classes that the schools force onto a student that really aren't necessary for that person to attain their desired profession, while those who're on government support simply has their desired profession classes paid for?

Offline MargueriteTopic starter

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Re: Vampire Literature Class, One Of Many Unique Classes Offered
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2010, 04:13:23 PM »
Scott, I doubt you can be proud of me anymore since those 200 dollars were paid out of pocket because my financial aid was not able to cover the class for the summer. Yes, I admit to being on financial aid but you need to know the circumstances of the individuals who pay for these classes. Not everyone can take the regular classes because they get filled up and instead have to go for another class like 'Harry Potter 101' in order to complete their GE or Major requirements. At my college, there is a list of who gets to go first in applying for classes. Along with budget cuts, half of those classes are canceled or only offered during certain semesters on a first come basis.

Now, to further make you think about things, those factory workers and hard working individuals you talk about includes my parents who are migrant workers and wish they could support me. My mother works in a canary and my father is a migrant truck driver and both support my decision to take these unique classes. Each bust their behinds and each were actually disappointed to not be able to cover my tuition and hated to ask the government to help out.

I am supported by the government financial aid and loans I personally took in my name because I chose not to put the burden of co-signing a loan in my parents names. In fact, I work two jobs in order to help them out and pay for my stuff where my financial aid does not cover it. Likely, I am just one person who has their circumstances to be on the government's list to be helped out and for the tax payers to keep me from not completing an education.

I am not trying to make you feel bad or say you are wrong because I can agree with you on certain aspects. I do agree that individuals should not try away the scholarship money or not take their college classes seriously. However, I want you to think there are reasons why these unique classes pop up in order to supplement the first classes that were taken off the roster or too full.

Offline Scott

Re: Vampire Literature Class, One Of Many Unique Classes Offered
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2010, 04:51:35 PM »
Which makes some sense, though your statement makes it somewhat moot if extra classes are needed for a given person to attain that profession.

Unless you meant that you'd prefer students pay for classes that the schools force onto a student that really aren't necessary for that person to attain their desired profession, while those who're on government support simply has their desired profession classes paid for?

No, I think that they should do away with requiring classes on their degree programs that are unrelated to the degree the student is attempting to attain. It's never been the student, but college is a business, and a big one. I don't think educating students is their priority anymore. If it was class sizes would be ample so that a degree program could go through uninterrupted. But no, they limit the class size to cut out some students that need these classes, they have to stick them somewhere, so put them in a twilight class and let them pay twice? which makes the taxpayer pay twice? that's a load of crap.

As far as disability goes:
If the disabled person is going to become employable after the degree is attained, then contribute back to the pool that funded their degree then yes.

If the disabled person is still not going to be able to work after the degree is attained, and they still won't be able to contribute back to the pool that funded their education, then what was the point of educating them in the first place? A library card would be much cheaper.

Offline Scott

Re: Vampire Literature Class, One Of Many Unique Classes Offered
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2010, 05:07:01 PM »
Scott, I doubt you can be proud of me anymore since those 200 dollars were paid out of pocket because my financial aid was not able to cover the class for the summer. Yes, I admit to being on financial aid but you need to know the circumstances of the individuals who pay for these classes. Not everyone can take the regular classes because they get filled up and instead have to go for another class like 'Harry Potter 101' in order to complete their GE or Major requirements. At my college, there is a list of who gets to go first in applying for classes. Along with budget cuts, half of those classes are canceled or only offered during certain semesters on a first come basis.

Now, to further make you think about things, those factory workers and hard working individuals you talk about includes my parents who are migrant workers and wish they could support me. My mother works in a canary and my father is a migrant truck driver and both support my decision to take these unique classes. Each bust their behinds and each were actually disappointed to not be able to cover my tuition and hated to ask the government to help out.

I am supported by the government financial aid and loans I personally took in my name because I chose not to put the burden of co-signing a loan in my parents names. In fact, I work two jobs in order to help them out and pay for my stuff where my financial aid does not cover it. Likely, I am just one person who has their circumstances to be on the government's list to be helped out and for the tax payers to keep me from not completing an education.

I am not trying to make you feel bad or say you are wrong because I can agree with you on certain aspects. I do agree that individuals should not try away the scholarship money or not take their college classes seriously. However, I want you to think there are reasons why these unique classes pop up in order to supplement the first classes that were taken off the roster or too full.

It's never been about you directly, I'm more angered at the school for not providing enough teachers so that you HAVE to take classes like that as a GE... GE just means free money to a college. They don't seem to care anymore about getting you in and getting you out to be a working tax payer. They seem more concerned with getting you in and keeping you there as long as possible to drain every avenue of funding you have available until you either acquire your degree, or go broke, and they don't care which happens first. If they cared so much about your education they would take the professor that teaches Twilight and put them in a literature classroom full of people that needed the literature class.

And don't even get me stared on text book prices. Ink is Ink, and paper is paper, and if they can make a trash novel for 2.00 in a grocery store rack, then they can make a biology or literature book for the same price. Oh but wait, then they couldn't charge you... which indirectly charges taxpayers 200.00 for a book? That's just craziness on their part.

Offline MargueriteTopic starter

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Re: Vampire Literature Class, One Of Many Unique Classes Offered
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2010, 05:20:52 PM »
Hell even now I might have to stay an extra semester since some of the classes I need interfere with other classes I really need.

-Shakes head-

Which is why I buy textbooks online or from craigslist. People now are telling you never to buy new since the buy back price for a new back is half of what a used book is worth.

Offline Will

Re: Vampire Literature Class, One Of Many Unique Classes Offered
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2010, 01:03:58 AM »
Hell even now I might have to stay an extra semester since some of the classes I need interfere with other classes I really need.

-Shakes head-

Which is why I buy textbooks online or from craigslist. People now are telling you never to buy new since the buy back price for a new back is half of what a used book is worth.

That's actually a really good point; those laborers' taxes go to pay for books too, and the prices for them are unreal. : /

I don't see any reason not to study Twilight in a class about vampires, honestly.  As Lilias said, no matter how bad the writing may be, it's still hugely popular.  It's no less legitimate than any other book or legend about vampires; after all, vampires aren't real,  so there's no definitive/true idea of what one should be.  It also shows a version of vampires that differs greatly from the other class texts, so if you want to study how vampires have evolved over time, it's perfect.

You can say the writing is terrible (I haven't read them, so I have no idea), but I've had to read and discuss lots of terribly-written literature in college.  We studied it not because it was quality writing, but because it was relevant to the topic.

Offline Ket

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Re: Vampire Literature Class, One Of Many Unique Classes Offered
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2010, 08:51:18 AM »
I don't mind tax dollars being spent on helping a doctor become a doctor, but cut out the elective academic garbage the tax payer has to assist him in paying for to become one.

The thing is, most students are required to take some sort of elective course(s). It's normally not just pick whichever course you want, there is a select sub-group to pick from, but many times it has nothing to do with their degree. Classes fill up quick, so ofttimes students are left with a short list to choose from and have to take oddball classes to fulfill the credit requirement.

I have to get a physical education credit. There isn't much in terms of physical education offered at my school, so I'm taking yoga. Yoga - in and of itself - has absolutely nothing to do with accounting, which is my major. Yet, by taking the class, I'm sure I will learn better breathing techniques and relaxation skills that can help me not only in the rest of my college courses as they become more difficult and more stressful, but also throughout my life.

So while some of these elective classes may seem rather idiotic in the way they are titled and the course material they require, they really do serve a purpose. College is not just about teaching a skill - that's what vocational school is for. College is also about teaching a student to think creatively in all areas and to understand diversity.

Offline Scott

Re: Vampire Literature Class, One Of Many Unique Classes Offered
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2010, 11:25:17 AM »

So while some of these elective classes may seem rather idiotic in the way they are titled and the course material they require, they really do serve a purpose. College is not just about teaching a skill - that's what vocational school is for. College is also about teaching a student to think creatively in all areas and to understand diversity.

Honestly Ket, I see your point, but I don't agree with it. They cut 27% or so out of my paycheck check every week in taxes, I don't know what % of that goes to education, and something like 70% of my property tax goes for education (I've seen that breakdown). Now exactly what makes it fair to me, that I and the rest of the taxpayers should have to pay for some twilight class or Yoga or whatever crazy class a college offers because they are just too sorry to hire the adequate amount of professors so that a degree program could be followed uninterrupted.

That money could stay in the taxpayers pocket, and this is going to sound harsh, but I'd rather see a working tax payer be able to fed his family more or better, or catch up on his mortgage, than see a class of college kids sitting around cross legged in leotards learning to breathe deeply using their diaphragm trying to relax. When they could just as easily be in a real class that relates to their major, that they are going to have to take anyway and they could graduate sooner and become less of a burden to the tax pool.

I just think the fluff classes needs to be cut out.   

 

Offline Neroon

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Re: Vampire Literature Class, One Of Many Unique Classes Offered
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2010, 12:22:41 PM »
OK, being an educational professional, I'm going to be biased here.  So take that as your fair warning.

Arguing from the purely abstract point of view, I would like to ask why should education and it's funding be linked to employability?  The origins of the term come from the Latin verb educare meaning "to draw out of".  The whole point of education is to draw from the person educated more of their potential than would otherwise be forthcoming.  Those who are educated are generally more employable not because their education has been designed to make them fit for the word of work but rather because employers value the sort of people wide ranging education produces.

If we link education solely to what might be in demand, then the result will be a stagnation in the economy.  Vibrant economies need innovators.  An educations system that is focussed on what employers need is always at least two years behind the times and more acurately about five years so, once you factor in the time taken to change the curriculum.  So a country that adopts such an educational model will be five years behind the times and the products of such an educational system will lack the very adaptability that will be necessary to adapt to changing circumstances and so companies will lack the very workforce they need.

Offline Scott

Re: Vampire Literature Class, One Of Many Unique Classes Offered
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2010, 01:41:44 PM »
OK, being an educational professional, I'm going to be biased here.  So take that as your fair warning.

Arguing from the purely abstract point of view, I would like to ask why should education and it's funding be linked to employability?  The origins of the term come from the Latin verb educare meaning "to draw out of".  The whole point of education is to draw from the person educated more of their potential than would otherwise be forthcoming.  Those who are educated are generally more employable not because their education has been designed to make them fit for the word of work but rather because employers value the sort of people wide ranging education produces.

I see your point, but if that wide range education is taking money from people that have more important bills to pay, and that funding being taken from them is being used for a yoga class, or a fictional vampire study, than there is something very wrong with the whole process.

I am not apologizing or changing my thoughts that keeping money in a workers pocket that he can use to feed and house his or her family, is more important than teaching a yoga class to a student that just want to learn to breathe better.
         
I still say a library card is much cheaper.

If we link education solely to what might be in demand, then the result will be a stagnation in the economy.  Vibrant economies need innovators.  An educations system that is focussed on what employers need is always at least two years behind the times and more acurately about five years so, once you factor in the time taken to change the curriculum.  So a country that adopts such an educational model will be five years behind the times and the products of such an educational system will lack the very adaptability that will be necessary to adapt to changing circumstances and so companies will lack the very workforce they need.

Education HAS to be based on or at least in-tune with what employers need. The whole point of earning a college degree is to earn a better starting salary when you graduate at your first job. Sitting around thinking about stuff, and telling yourself your so smart doesn't pay very well, or put food in your stomach. The rubber has to meet the road somewhere, and spinning your wheels in Twilight 101 isn't getting anyone, except the colleges bank account anywhere. 
 
   

Offline Lilias

Re: Vampire Literature Class, One Of Many Unique Classes Offered
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2010, 02:54:17 PM »
Education HAS to be based on or at least in-tune with what employers need. The whole point of earning a college degree is to earn a better starting salary when you graduate at your first job. Sitting around thinking about stuff, and telling yourself your so smart doesn't pay very well, or put food in your stomach. The rubber has to meet the road somewhere, and spinning your wheels in Twilight 101 isn't getting anyone, except the colleges bank account anywhere.

I don't know where your impression of college comes from, but my own experience was an exercise in humility, certainly very far from telling myself (or anyone else telling me, for that matter) I'm so smart. My degree didn't do squat in giving me a better salary - it just allowed me to get into the line of work I wanted. You can't get into teaching without college, and there are some things you just can't skimp on. My classmates who couldn't be bothered to 'sit around thinking' now work shop counters, and while some of them may make more money than I do, they're as good as oxen tied to the well pump. It all boils down to what one wants to do with their lives and their priorities.

Is it the content of the particular literature class you object to or its mere existence? Because if it's the former, the written word evolves and everything, apart from a few universal classics, becomes irrelevant after time, though the particular choice is spot on if you consider the 'trend of the times' factor. And if it's the latter, you simply show yourself narrow-mindedly assuming that what once worked for you should still work for everyone.

Offline Neroon

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Re: Vampire Literature Class, One Of Many Unique Classes Offered
« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2010, 03:24:21 PM »
With respect, that's extremely short sighted and, moreover, a distortion.  Who is to decide, for society, which bills are more important?  If the lack of appropriately qualified personnel means that companies have to outsource their operations to  third world country, in which more people have college level educations, then those people whom you suggest want to say other things are more important may well find themselves out of work and unable to pay any bills.  OK that's a stretch, but you see my point.

It is for society, through government, to decide what is more important, and a government that negelcts education is negligent in its duties.  One might as well say, "I'm a pacifist, so I think that we shouldn't spend any money on the military, because I have more important things to spend my money on".  Just as that view is incredibly short sighted, so too is your analysis of education.

As I pointed out, earlier, the reason that employers value graduates is because their education makes them adaptable.  Limiting it to the what is seen to be economically important now precludes that adaptability. That adaptability comes from range.  Saying that "Vampire Literature" just means "Twilight" is like saying that wine is limited to Liebfraumilch.  The subject is so much more and does not just include consuming said items (either the fiction or the alcohol) but also looking at society's attitudes and responses to them also.  That is the effective lesson there: to evaluate how society responds to a product.  That sort of critical thinking is something that is very valuable in all sorts of job.

Where education can save the tax payer money is cutting out sports' scholarships, giving places on courses to those less academically gifted but stronger in the arm and paying for those students to train, just so the college can boast a good sports team.  The fact that public money subsidises professional teams by virtue of the fact that the colleges pay for the initial training of most of their players and not the team itself and that those teams go on to make obscene amounts of money thereafter is a far more egergious problem.

Offline Ket

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Re: Vampire Literature Class, One Of Many Unique Classes Offered
« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2010, 03:48:12 PM »
It's also not as easy as just hiring more teachers. To teach at the college/university level, at least a Master's degree is required, if not a doctorate. Not only that, but there is more licensing required on the individual state level than there is to teach at the high school level.

When the economy is down, people flock back to school. Yet you still have pretty much the same amount of instructors as before. A large portion of my school's teaching staff consists of adjunct professors. Adjunct professors are typically part-time, non-salaried, and non-tenured. Many working at my school right now are working more than they ever have in the past, simply because they are needed, and it's most likely the same across the country. The wanted list for professors at my school is quite long, but it's not always easy finding someone who can do the job. It's not like elementary school or middle school where one teacher can cover a broad range of topics. College instructors have to be extremely knowledgeable and up-to-date in their field.

So, yes, while the simple answer to getting rid of "fluff" classes is to hire more professors to teach the required core classes, it's not an easy route. In order to do that you have to have qualified people to hire. And if you've hired everyone who is qualified, you have no one left to hire.

Besides, as it's been stated before, seemingly "fluff" classes do have value. Are the Twilight books nothing more than literary crap? Sure, I'll agree with you on that one. But, that doesn't mean they don't have value in teaching someone the difference between literary crap and what really is of value out there.


Offline Scott

Re: Vampire Literature Class, One Of Many Unique Classes Offered
« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2010, 04:11:04 PM »
Ok, I read everything all of you have said, I just disagree with it.

I am one of the narrow minded oxen pulling the well pump though, and I think the water's being wasted. 

I love y'all, and I'm sorry if I've angered you.     

Offline Trieste

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Re: Vampire Literature Class, One Of Many Unique Classes Offered
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2010, 06:31:35 PM »
You haven't angered me, Scott, but apparently you don't understand something.

The government makes money off of student loans.

Yes, you read that right. They operate like a bank. And student loans don't disappear if you declare bankruptcy. You can negotiate and lower your payments and try to shift things around and do this and that but the fact that you owe Uncle Sam never. goes. away. Until you pay it. So the taxpayer money is getting a return from students, so that more students can go to school, and pay more taxes. Instead of staying undereducated, underemployed underachievers. I have to pay nearly every red cent that's spent on so-called bullshit classes, required or not, back.

So pardon me, but I'll take whatever damn classes I want.

My apologies, Marg, please continue.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 06:34:56 PM by Trieste »

Offline MargueriteTopic starter

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Re: Vampire Literature Class, One Of Many Unique Classes Offered
« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2010, 06:48:56 PM »
Uncle Sam is already asking me to pay interest on one of the loans I took out this past year. I am going to owe Uncle Sam approximately thirty thousand dollars two years from now. I already took out 15,000 for the year on loans alone and another 15,000 due to the price hikes in California. Hell, I think I may owe even more because of interest rates but it shows I am going to be paying back that huge amount of money once I graduate. If I plan already to pay it back, might as well take a few courses which interest me like Vampire Literature or even Peer Advising in order to become a peer advisor for upcoming psychology majors.

Offline Jude

Re: Vampire Literature Class, One Of Many Unique Classes Offered
« Reply #24 on: August 12, 2010, 03:35:05 PM »
Education certainly isn't solely about preparing for future employment.  When in college, I took many classes which had nothing at all to do with my degree but made a lasting impression on me.  I wouldn't spend time at E, for one, without the creative writing class I took, or all of the general ed English courses that forced me to learn how to be a better writer.  Coming out of high school I was convinced that was an average writer, but it took taking college level classes to realize how utterly wrong I was.

College was partly an exercise in humility that taught me to respect the opinions of experts who have studied material for many years of their lives.  Some of the most basic, seemingly worthless areas of study have a lot of interesting, non-intuitive applications.  Furthermore, no matter what the class is, they all hone certain logical skills:  reading comprehension, vocabulary, contextual clues, deduction, induction.  As much as I would've liked to skip all of the general ed classes I took, in retrospect I've realized that a lot of the modes of thinking that I utilize now I learned from them, and not my mathematics courses.  I can't honestly say they were a waste, because I am now certain that they were not (despite how it seemed at the time and how it seems now from a glance).

However, it is not the responsibility of government to enrich the lives of individuals.  Government offers educational services and assistance because an educated populace is necessary for the maintenance of liberty (that's almost a direct quote from Thomas Jefferson).  We educate to give people the skills necessary to be a part of our society, and yes, a portion of that includes the ability to perform complicated tasks according to formal instruction in exchange for a wage:  i.e. employment.  Government assisted loans are offered to this end, on the premise that the country's expenditure is a form of investment.

There are certainly some classes of dubious worth (Vampire Literature Class chief amongst them), but I don't think it's fair to consider it a complete waste.  Literature classes tend to contextual literary movements and themes in terms of societal forces that make popular literature popular; I have a feeling that while taking the Vampire Literature Class they'll delve into themes of Victorian sexual repression, resurgence of such ideas in modern society, and ultimately end up showing just how derivative, uninspired, and poor Twilight is as a work of fiction (if it's part of the material covered).  It may not be teaching someone how to make their first Hello World program in Java, but I'm willing to bet it'll be an exercise in thought none the less.  Just as jazzercizing may not be the best way to slim your waistline but it still has a positive effect, Vampire Literature Class has some positive things to offer I'm sure.

That isn't to say I disagree with some of your thoughts, Scott.  College certainly has numerous problems, and it would be nice if there was a way so that Government could focus on assisting people who are seeking employment training primarily, while still allowing individuals access to these enlightening, liberalizing (and I don't mean that in a political sense) experiences.  It's largely a problem of finding the barrier and coming up with a schema to determine what is and isn't worthwhile:  Neroon hit the nail on the head in his post, educational adaptability relies on having far too open standards.  Some of the waste is a necessary evil.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2010, 03:38:59 PM by Jude »