Friday, May 16, 2014

The Dream Crusher

During an interesting conversation that I had with a wonderful co-worker of mine (Hey Bestie!) about work, and college, and basically the way that we wound up in our current situation of employment, came the inspiration for my next post (rant). College. College was supposed to be this huge opportunity to get a big girl job in the "real world" with better pay, and benefits, and a new car, and a house, and puppies, and a man that gets you a big rock (still gunnin' for that one btw *wink wink nudge nudge*). Basically, a College education was supposed to pave the way for a better life and and great opportunities in the shiny new world. However, nothing was ever shiny (you can't stop the signal...).

Our current economic state is...well...less than optimal. With unemployment rates and a job market that has essentially hit the proverbial iceburg, were all going down on this ship. (you said you'd never let go Rose!).

Back in February of 2012, i was fresh out of Hood College's graduating class of 2011. Everything was full of opportunity and excitement. I had graduated in May, worked a summer job, took off a couple of months, then moved to be with my Mr. Tactical. I had hopes of a job in my field, that field being Psychology. I had always wanted to work with PTSD patients and returning soldiers and was confident my BA would get me there. 7 months later, after hundreds of applications, multiple job interviews and many stressful weeks of nothing, I finally got a a temporary a customer service call center. Now don't get me wrong, I am grateful every day for my job (now full time). However, this was not my dream. No one wants to look back on their life and really took a lot of calls...

A breakdown of college tuition at my school, Hood College, proceeds as follows:
Tuition: 33,620
Comprehensive Fee: 500
Room (with two people...mine was an Obama Voter): 6,080
Board (wtf is a vegan brownie?): 5,530
TOTAL: 45,730 for someone staying on campus.

For four years, my parents sucked up 127,190 in college debt with some help from my scholarships and grants. Not to mention the thousands of dollars spent on textbooks that might have been opened about 4 times. I am grateful that they were willing to do this for me, but that is a lot of student loan debt for them and for those that have to pay their own way through college. Then after that, to not be able to find a job, it's almost impossible to pay it off and very disheartening.

Some new legislation has also been allowed in some states with support from other states on giving undocumented immigrants the ability to qualify for in-state tuition fees. The same as a resident of the state. Now tell me how that seems right? I had to pay out of state tuition fees to attend my college. Someone who is not even legally in this country will have the ability to get lower tuition than a citizen (wonder if they can use EBT cards for that...)

So currently, unemployment is at it's highest point since 1982. During that time where I was searching for a job, I fell within the 6 million workers out of work for at least 6 month and had looked for a job within the last 30 days (try about 40 jobs or more per month). College grads are over qualified for most jobs, but under qualified for the ones they want, leaving them monkey in the middle (worst. game. ever. for short people).

I'm not sure how any of this can be solved. The price of living has gone up, pay has stayed the same, and jobs are few and far between. I feel like something drastic has to happen in order for the system to be reset. One of these days, I'm going to pray for apocalypse so that I no longer have to worry about my car payment, or the grocery bill....bills in general...

Anyone wanna build a cabin???

Vix out.


  1. "How can this be solved?" you ask. I have a solution, but I am positive it will never happen, unfortunately. First, the CEO's of large corporations need to realise that, after a certain point, they have enough money. They need to give their employees at least a good enough wage to live comfortably on, and maybe put a little away for emergencies. Second, students need to be taught life skills, rather than something like Algebra, that they will likely never use. Making school so hard that a lot of students resort to cheating is only giving them bad habits, that will not serve them, in real life. Third, unfortunately, a lot of people do not feel the need to earn their wage, and the cheating to get by comes into play. I worked on a crew, for several years, which included more than as few workers who spent hours per day on the internet. Then, they usually required assistance to properly respond to plant problems, but still got offended at suggestions that they use their spare time to learn their jobs better. As far as the outlandish tuition charged by Universities, I have never been, so I cannot comment of the worth of the lessons learned, there, but the fact that there are so many unemployed college graduates makes me think not much. Plus, when I see the fancy buildings at a lot of Universities, I am a bit suspicious of where those high tuitions goes.
    Anyway, another great post. I think you nailed it, when you said that the system needs to be reset. Thank you.

  2. A question from a different perspective on this subject that may give insight into a workable solution might be: "What is the purpose of education (primary, secondary, and higher)?"

    Years of formal schooling do not ensure the graduated student has any particular skill. It should, however, teach the aspiring student how to think. Unfortunately, since the adoption of the Prussian system of education in the US at just after the turn of the 20th century, it's goal has been to teach the students what to think and to extend childhood. Recommend John Taylor Gatto's book, "The Underground History of American Education" for detailed information. It has been stated that George Washington only had 52 weeks of formal schooling spanning a period of approximately 14 years. He knew Trigonometry; he was a surveyor; he knew History; he was the first president elected under a much more stringent process than we have today. His 'formal' education taught him how to think; he took it from there. His schooling taught him how to think.

    Here's a contemporary example that outlines the difference between knowing how to think and what to think: The notion that 'CEO's' make too much much and should 'give' their workers a wage comes from the perspective of entitlement. It does not come from the perspective of self-accountability: 'What can I do here to make myself more valuable to the employer?' or 'Can I find some other employer (no matter where) that values my skills and abilities more than they are valued here?' and then making that happen.

    Entitlement mindsets are the result of collectivist indoctrination, pure and simple. And as such, it dismisses the part of the equation the person employed needs to understand from being hired: The "job" belongs to the company owner. The employee is trading his or her time, skill, and intelligence for an agreed upon compensation of wages or salary. Anything above and beyond what is agreed to upon agreement of employment from the employer is a bonus for the employee, typically provided for merit. The trick is to get the employer see that the employee in question performs so well that it is in the interest of the employer to keep and promote (more compensation for time, skills and intellect) the employee. That's how one 'gets ahead'.

    The system does, in fact, need to be reset, and, in my opinion (FWIW) the first thing to go should be the US Department of Education, then the National Teacher's Union, and then national education standards. Why? Two words: Common Core.

    My .02