Weekly Commentary - 06/07/01

by Jaime Lawler

This weekís commentary is focused on the University System. Did you ever wonder how such a system not only came to be in the first place, but how it became so popular in the process? This just doesnít make sense to me. I pay thousands of dollars to have some professors lecture to me what I could have read almost word for word out of the book. (I might add that instead of buying this book here at school, I could instead have borrowed it from a library.) I suppose that universities think that in this way, I have the opportunity to personally interact while learning, so that I can ask questions and stuff like that. Iím sure that my professors have all the time in the world set aside to answer the questions of all the 400 students I have in my biggest lectures. The fact is that they donít and thatís why they have TAís to help them out. This works really well, especially since about half of my TAís are unable to speak enough English to properly communicate with me. I also happen to think that the breadth requirement system is rather ridiculous. Seriously, how effective can it be to have a meteorologist waste time and money learning a foreign language? The only reason I can come up with for this is so that I can better talk to my TAís. And while weíre on the subject, I have to wonder why I am required to learn a foreign language while lacking the opportunity to learn sign language in order to speak to those who are limited by means beyond their control to this form of communication. But, thatís another story I guess. Maybe Iím wrong, but I was under the impression that college was an opportunity to specialize in a particular field of study so that I can make a career out of it. I was never told that it was actually a highly expensive extension of high school. Yes, I understand that itís important to be a well-rounded person, but I thought that was what high school was for. As for pursuing all of my interests, that was my intent upon entering college. Iíd also like to mention that the system does no part to make meeting the breadth requirements an easy task when every class I try to take happens to be full, so instead I end up taking something like biblical archaeology. Donít get me wrong, this would be a great class for a biblical scholar, a sociologist, or an archaeologist, but not for a meteorologist. This system, to me, seems to be a small step up from the typical scam. I may be young and inexperienced, but I am certainly not ignorant. There must be a better way. I want to add up the total value of the credits that Iíve spent money on by the time I graduate. Then I want to subtract the value of all the unnecessary credits I was forced to take after declaring my final major. I then think that I should be able to apply for a refund for this amount. In closing, I want to add that as they grow, more and more kids are encouraged to attend college so that they can live more comfortably in the future. This is just a thought, but a personís level of comfort will always be relative to the standard of living we set.