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Global Skywatch

gotta get a college education

“Colleges are a great repository of wisdom. The incoming freshmen bring a little with them, and the graduating class take none when they leave.” — anonymous

I’ve been cogitating on how to express it, but lately wanting to rage at the rage of sending absolutely everyone to “get a college education”.  Those in the know call it extended indoctrination, but the ruling class has been smashingly successful at selling it as a brass ring rather than the brass farthing it actually is.

trimming thoughtsWhat far too many college graduates end up with nowadays at the end of four or more years out of the prime of their lives are huge inescapable debts and employment at entry level jobs requiring an elementary education … assuming they find employment at all.

Who benefits from college? … and who doesn’t?

Elizabeth Holmes owns 50% of her company, Theranos, and has become the youngest billionaire. Elizabeth left Stanford University at 19 with a plan to start her own company. For money, she cashed out the funds her parents had saved for tuition. Now, she counts billionaire Larry Ellison as an investor and has former secretaries of state on her board.

Bill Gates is another famous dropout. So is Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, who dropped out of Harvard in his sophomore year to complete his project. Steve Jobs dropped out of college after six months. The list goes on an on.

Einstein-ImaginationThe question we should ask: Why does formal education turn-off creative people? Answer: they are non-conformists. Imagination is more important than an MBA. Never forget that. If your child does not conform and has ideas, encourage them. They grow up to be the people who change the world.

I started working on this post yesterday – just assembling a couple of quotes and posters for use when my creative brain was ON. This morning I was greeted with the headline below. It was just too good in this context to pass up.

University of Texas loses 100 brains
Reuters 03 Dec 2014 at 06:36 ET

The truth in the headline. beyond the actual story. is the loss of 10,000 free-thinking minds per year in just that one University … out of 4,600 colleges and universities in the USofA.

Granted, many college students become trained in some field where technical knowledge they learned in classrooms and labs are productively applied according to rigid requirements of some trade or tasks. But few jobs today are the same as they were yesterday. The change is called “innovation”, and THAT doesn’t come from following orders, read-recite training, memorization or conformity.

In 1900, Latin, Calculus and logic were taught by 8th grade, homework was household chores in the practical world, the raw materials of teaching were a few books and a lot of minds.

In 2000 the most popular classes for college freshmen were remedial English, remedial math, homework was an extension of classroom lessons, piled on to all but eliminate independent thinking time and the book volume of data to be memorized made large, heavy backpacks ubiquitous.

College educations a century ago were funded by students and families who demanded strong, direct, rapid returns on investment. They were intensely focused on particular knowledge and skill sets, tailored for people who knew exactly what they wanted. They had neither time nor money for social conditioning. They were taught by experts in fields that required strong expertise.