Free College?

tuition-costs

I appreciate how stratospheric tuition costs can make higher education out of reach, unless a student is willing to take on massive debt. I blame colleges for the most part. They’ve allowed costs to spiral. They’ve added well paid administrators and programs, (while cutting salaries and benefits) for teachers, more and more of whom work part time because there are few full time positions.

Many politicians are calling for free college. I was with Bernie Sanders when he first proposed this, but I’ve given the issue further thought. I’m now for an alternative — or a few alternatives.

First of all I realize that in the US education is managed more by each state than by the federal government, so I think each state should decide how to provide affordable college options to its citizens. I think the Federal government can come up with some programs, but each state should take responsibility for its own citizens’ education.

For years, students who served in the military through the their service or will serve through the ROTC, get free education. It isn’t free since they do have to work for their education and if they don’t fulfill this obligation, they must pay back the tuition and fees.

A friend of me funded his medical school through a program which required that after graduation, he work in either a rural community or an urban prison.

What I think we should do is to replicate this program through other agencies. A state could find areas where there’s a need for employees. Students could either work part time in a government office while in school or could complete a couple years of work to pay off the money the state has spent on their schooling.

I also believe that since 4 year colleges have gotten so expensive that state governments should offer these programs via 2 years at a community college and 2 at a university. Also, I’d require that the colleges make the most of online education and cut back on extras such as building fancy dorms or state-of-the-art fitness centers. The cutbacks would be done on a school by school basis.

Another option would be for students to work as they do at College of the Ozarks. College of the Ozarks doesn’t charge tuition. Students are required to work for the college, e.g. caring for the landscape, working in an office

I think making higher education something you earn, rather than get for free is a better option. When you’re in college, you’re old enough to work as many do through the private sector, but most of these jobs don’t pay enough to pay all your tuition.  If we made the most of the idea of Work/Study, students would graduate with experience and education. Our state governments services could improve. States could update their antiquated websites (like we have in Illinois). They could offer better customer service so lines wouldn’t take hours at the DMV or other offices people commonly use.

While this is a rough idea, I think the general premise is well worth developing.

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Word of the Week

Ghosting (n.) the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.

Perhaps you’ve learned that people are ending personal relationships by just disappearing, but I was surprised by a BBC article on a new trend of people leaving their job without communicating to their employer. I understand it can be tough to talk with a overbearing boss, but it’s something a mature person recognizes it’s necessary and actually good for him or her to do as it builds courage.

Again, Japan is featured, but I understand that because until now, in Japan you stayed in a job for life so they aren’t used to having to quit and as a vertical society bosses do have a power that they don’t in the West.

I am more surprised by ghosting in the West. Here’s a passage from the article:

Chris Yoko, who runs a web design company in the US state of Virginia, had a bizarre experience with a contractor who was meant to be completing a digital project from home.

“This guy had just started with us – he seemed like a good fit, seemed like a genuinely good guy. We get him started with a pretty simple project by our standards. He agreed, [but] Thursday comes along – there’s nothing there.”

Multiple emails and phone messages got no response. The man missed another meeting on the project. In the end, amid total silence from the contractor, the work was given to someone else.

A short while later, a man purporting to be a friend of the contractor got in touch via email. He said the man had died in a car accident and requested some tax files that the family needed. But something felt off, so Yoko checked the contractor’s Twitter account.

On social media, it appeared the contractor was very much alive. In fact, he’d just responded to a tweet from a cousin about attending a family gathering.

“He replied to this person with a picture of himself with a handle of whiskey in his hand saying: ‘Not only am I coming but I’m bringing this’,” says Yoko. “I screenshotted that and forwarded it to the guy and said: ‘Hey some good news, looks like he’s just fine!’.”

What do you think of ghosting?

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’ve caught a cold and have been mainly staying home, drinking tea, reading a bit and resting.

I did read the selection for this month’s Great Books discussion at the library. We read and discussed Darwin’s Moral Sense of Man, rather a dry read in my opinion. I do accept Darwin’s ideas, which I think are pervasive nowadays, but I’m not all that interested in natural history, which he describes in detail. I did appreciate a woman who clarified the idea of Natural Selection. I mistakenly thought our choices in mates and behavior determined the survival of the fittest, but it’s all about how nature chooses. We’re just little pawns as far as that goes. Our group leader rambled a lot and as has become usual the discussion goes all over the place with tangents like robots and Trump getting mixed in. The Great Books Foundation aims to gather people to discuss an influential text and stick to analyzing it and not roaming all over the place, which is too easy to do.

I ran into a childhood friend’s mother at the library. Her daughter an I were great friends from first to third grade. In fourth grade I changed schools and later I moved so we lost touch. It was nice to hear a little bit about Laura and what she’s doing now. I do hope my old friend drops by one day.

There’s a new opening at my library and Wednesday I’ll interview for this position, which is a step up, but alas still part time. still my fingers are crossed. I haven’t heard from the other library yet about whom they’ve chosen. Skokie’s a well respected library so I know it’s quite competitive.

I’ve been quite disappointed with PBS NewsHour, which I count on as a sound news source, but they were in error twice last week. First they broadcast the Buzzfeed story that Cohen testified that President Trump told him to lie. The Mueller team soon stated that this was not the case. While the story was amended, I’d love to see an apology tonight and a statement that they should have investigated the veracity of Buzzfeed’s report, which was written by a known plagiarizer. Next there’s the mess with the boys from the Catholic school and a stand off involving a Native American man and the Black Hebrews. Originally, the boys were reported to mock the Native American and to be troublemakers. Later a more complete video was shared online and it became clear that the boys weren’t in the wrong. Again, the media, including PBS rushed to boradcast a story before they found out all the facts. It’s disgraceful because these errors impact people’s reputations or understanding of the  government.  With the boys, people have contacted the colleges they applied to and asked that these kids get rejected. They’ve discovered their contact information and have harassed and threatened them and their relatives. A mob mentality has been unleashed and it’s hard to contain it. Again, I hope to see PBS and other channels apologize and vow to adhere to a higher standard.

I got the Moone Boy series DVDs and finally saw the final series. I love this Irish sitcom, about pre-teen Martin Moone and his imaginary friend Sean. It’s not to be missed.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I was delighted that Victoria is back on Masterpiece Theater as of Sunday and that I’m just as delighted that I got the DVDs for the gritty police drama Spiral. I’ll write about both later in the week.

For my weekly classic film, I saw another Japanese one, The Living Magoroku. It wasn’t great, but there are plenty that are better. The pacing was slow and some actors were stiff.

I’d mention that I had a phone interview for another part time library job. This one pays better and should use more of the skills and knowledge I acquired in library school. Tomorrow I have a face to face interview. I’ve done some prep work already. The two jobs’ schedules go together well, except for one overlap.

I was happy to see snow falling on Saturday. We haven’t had any since November and if it’s going to be cold, I’d like to see some snow. It is winter after all. Plus since there’s less people working or going to school on a Saturday, it’s a great time for snow.

I had lunch with my cousin Janice and it was a wonderful time to catch up.

I discovered another YouTube gem in the vein of “Kids Say the Darnedest Things.” It’s Kids Try where kids are given unfamiliar foods and they react to them. The creators picked just the right personalities for this series.

It’s been a rather quiet week, but with work it is harder to find time to write. I did get started on revising my play.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I can’t believe New Years was last Tuesday. It seems like more time than that has passed.

I made a point of seeing another opulent church before the decorations would come down and went to Holy Trinity Polish Mission. Since I was downtown, I also stopped in the Art Institute of Chicago which has a Neapolitan Crèche. Though they acquired this exhibit with over 200 figures in 2013, I hadn’t seen it. I was blown away.

I’ve been working regularly and particularly enjoy helping in the Makerspace. So many patrons come in with creative ideas and leave with great gifts. They feed off each other. Friday was jam-packed as the regulars start their Christmas gifts now and finish by say March. Now I’ve got several ideas buzzing in my head.

I’m learning all about the history of candy by reading Sweet Tooth, a micro-history on sweets. I’ve learned that candy made from sugar was first developed by Saudi’s who used it as medicine. More on this book later.

So 2019 has started off well. It’s been warm here, well over freezing and I’m enjoying meeting new colleagues and learning new skills. It’s melancholy to put away Christmas decorations because I feel that now I have the time to savor them, whereas leading up to Christmas there’s so much frenzy that I don’t. I think I prefer the post Christmas days to early December.

 

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I had a good Christmas. My sister and her two kids came for about a week. After mass at my niece’s high school on Christmas Eve we went downtown for dinner with my dad’s side of the family. Christmas itself started with a special breakfast, opening presents and later finished with a great dinner.

I worked on Wednesday to Friday and am getting a lay of the land. Wednesday I worked at the other branch. It has a completely different vibe. Both are pleasant, but it’s interesting how though they’re so close to each other, there’s a discernible difference. I had more time in the makerspace and I’m finding it quite fun to learn what can be done with the various machines.

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A must-see

I lucked out and got to go to The Woman in Black at the Royal George Theater on Saturday. I got to watch a Humphrey Bogart movie, All Through the Night and Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress I recommend all of these.

Also on Sunday I explored a church from a list of the Must-See Chicago churches. St. Hedwig’s was stunning. It’s wonderful to see that the community supports this treasure.

I’m savoring the hygge and slower pace of the post-Christmas season.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Unawares

hair cut

Each week Cee of Cee’s Photography challenges bloggers with a fun prompt. This week we’re to find photos where the subjects are caught unaware.

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If you want to see more unawares fun fotos, click here.

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