What is higher learning? Higher is supposed to be an adjective meaning to have a great or considerable extent or to reach upward. The keyword in this definition is supposed to be up I am sure and I know that we are all set out to rise above whatever it may be that hinders us and holds us back. What happens when you get so high and then fall? On the other hand, what happens when you reach and you reach and you rise and still just are not high enough to grab what it is you yearn for? Learning is said to be knowledge acquired by systematic study in a field of scholarly application. The amazing thing about both of these words and their definitions; neither of them have the word school in them only scholary.
It seems as if society has confused people and tricked them into thinking that you can only achieve higher learning and continued education by going into debt and giving your money to these educational institutions that only see you as a number. How much do you think these colleges and universities really care about you? All you and ever will be to them is a dollar sign, a number, not even a face or the wrong name, you are money in their pocket. You are a number that they attached to your payment every quarter or semester and what happens when the money stops…so does your education.
Higher learning is not at all in place to help you succeed, it is just another extrinsic business in which their main objective is to suck as much money out of you as possible. They don’t care if it takes you seven years to get a four year degree because they know that no matter what, you will keep paying so that is an extra three years that they get to take your money. How many teachers even actually know your name? I mean really! How many of them can you pick you out of a crowd or would recognize you on the street? You pay to go to this place and you pay to receive this “knowledge” from people who could really care less about whether you lived or died. They still have to look at the attendance sheet to get your name right six weeks into the quarter! If they cannot even care about your name then what makes you think they will or can even begin to care about your future. Because when it is all said and done, that is what it all boils down to: your future.
It all comes down to that that little piece of paper that lets the whole world know that you are able to be conditioned and taught and these colleges and universities know without it…you can not achieve any of the dreams you have set out to accomplish. Especially in our society right now! In 2010, a bachelor’s degree is as good as a high school diploma was twenty years ago. It might get you in the door of a company, but only to where you can peak inside, not to where you can get your hands dirty. Because now a bachelor’s has become expected, a prerequisite to even apply, the norm. Imagine that! Four years of hard work and late night cram sessions is the norm! Running your child from your babysitter to your family just so you can get to class on time is expected! Losing sleep, working two jobs, going from work to class to work is expected! Weeks of eating top ramen and ketchup because one math book is $175 is expected! Broken relationships and broken promises to those you care for because of a project and a paper is expected! This is what we are supposed to expect if we want to make it in your society. We are supposed to sacrifice ourselves and our souls and all we have grown to know and love for a little piece of paper that in today’s society MIGHT get me a career?
Why am I supposed to gamble and take a chance on hope? You pay them two thousand dollars every three months and THEY EXPECT YOU to never be sick, never have court, never be tired, never have a family emergency because God forbid you miss a couple days of the class that YOU are paying for based on life getting in the way. Heaven forbid you miss so many days that you are now dropped from the course that you paid for even though you have still done all the work required and have been able to keep up and stay afloat. It makes sense to me to be reprimanded or counseled by your place of employment if you are absent or tardy, they actually pay YOU to be there and to do your job. It even makes sense in grade school and middle school and high school when you are younger because outside the private schools, you are not paying all that much to go there and you are still learning and being conditioned to be an adult and discipline is needed to adapt and evolve. Nevertheless, as adults, it does not make sense for us to be punished by a place that we are paying to attend. It does not make sense that I am expected to believe that I have a chance to make it with college on my resume when there are more people who look like me and are my age in prison then there are in college. It does not make sense to me that woman get paid seventy-seven cents for every dollar a man makes doing the same job and having the same collegiate background.
The work place, the world, life could really care less about college or not and do you know why I say that? Because when you get to your new career, what is the first thing you do? TRAINING! You literally unlearn everything you were taught at the so-called institute of higher learning that you attended so that you can do it their way. Which is why that little piece of paper does not prove at all how smart you are or how smart other people think you are, all it proves is that you can be a good trained monkey and believe what they say and do what they say when they say it. I was a trained monkey for over five years in the military. I was a number then too. At least then, I was a number that made a difference. I was a number that made a difference between someone dying and someone staying alive. I was the difference between a squadron or a company or a brigade locating a terrorist cell and the terrorist cell locating you or them. I was a number that made a difference in other numbers’ lives by showing them things they never knew before; giving them confidence they never had and helping them to accomplish things they never felt were possible.
The system, much like the many other things in your society is flawed. It is not set up to get you ahead, it is made to set you back: financially and timely, because now you have spent all this money and time just to be back at square one when you graduate. You threw the dice…and now you are waiting to see if it’s going to be a seven or snack eyes all because you’ve been told you have to if you want to succeed. So what happens when have two degrees, one large student loan payment, one big dream, one big hope, yet still no career to show for it? Make sure when you ask them that question, you ask if it has to be expected.