Ultimate Random Chat Thread [URT] v4

  • #13822
    Grades are inflated and I wish I could tell you it were not systemic, but it most certainly is the case for most every secondary school and especially those with rather open acceptance policies. I refused to take part in the generous curving process in my career and it slowed the process of my becoming tenured in a very dramatic fashion. Administrators the country over (possibly the world over, but I've only worked in the US with a brief stint in the UK) have gone from academics to financially driven managers. School at some point in the 80s underwent a very obvious metamorphosis from process of enrichment to method of rubber-stamping socio-economic status. Wealthy kids get the inside-road to ivy league institutes and attain the highest stamp. Relatively poor first-generation college students in community schools attain the lowest stamp.

    So the education becomes more widely desired. Everyone wants that rubber stamp to riches. Public education accelerates the mythos that if everyone simply got more education then nobody would be poor. We would simply automate all the jobs we didn't want and the world would be populated by a bunch of highly intellectual engineers, doctors, and the like. Obviously utopia failed to emerge. What did emerge; however, by the 90s was a post-secondary system in high-gear flooding the job market with over-trained and under-evaluated individuals. There were not enough specialist jobs to give out and even if there were, nobody was going to hang the new bridge-building project over to an architect from DeVry who got his degree in a year over chatroom lecture.

    It's hard to say exactly how this process will reverse itself or simply evolve the education and job training systems we now take for granted into something more efficient (or less, parish the thought), but I will re-iterate that it is of the utmost importance to like what you do for a living. Chances are it will not pay dividends. Chances are you will not become rich. Chances are you will be quite poverty stricken at some point in your life. These are not simply hand-waiving claims, they are statistical and economical realities. The more one is willing to either hang onto their beloved niche and make it into a steady living, the better off they are.

    Never for a moment listen to the fatuous and self-serving employers who tell everyone going into college to become "flexible," and to attain all the wondrous serf-like traits that they so desire in a peasant employee. There is something to be said for a career change and there is certainly a comfortable safety in having a back-up plan or new experience, but simply chasing the almighty dollar from one hack job to the next is a means of gaining life-long depression, not wealth.

    Oh, and to hit on the specific point of writing. If indeed that is your passion, I would recommend you subscribe and submit regularly to some form of periodical. Print media may be a dying breed, but it is certainly a more effective way of being discovered for a paying job than is plastering your work across the internet by way of blog (although this has been the success of some). As the late, great Christopher Hitches would say; however, a writer is not one who simply likes or loves to write. A writer is one who simply cannot imagine life without writing. I wish you the best of luck in that career path, for it is fraught with much more uncertainty than most. I won't be the first or last to admit that it was my dream too to become a writer and I ended up with a teaching job to keep a roof over my head. ;)
  • #13823
    Quote from Daemaro

    Don't you guys know the more money you pay for that piece of paper, the more you know, and the more you will make?! It works exactly like that. No exceptions.

    If only.

    Tell that to the masses of people with college education who are out of work.

    I also remember reading some interesting statistics about the average GPS shooting way up over the years. This wasn't the exact source but it looks about right compared to what I remember.


    Source: http://flowingdata.c...rade-inflation/

    It was basically just illustrating the fact that the percentage is much much higher than in the past.

    So then you have to ask yourself, are people REALLY getting that much smarter, or are the grades being inflated in order to draw in more "customers" basically.


    I think those grades are fairly accurate actually. I do think the average GPA of college students is rising. In this economy over the past 10 years with the inflating prices of college education the people that are able to go to college take it more seriously and want to pass. In the past when prices were down people cared less about doing well.

    College is expensive, even community college. Money is short and everyone knows it, even teenagers who aren't footing the bill. People are just taking it more seriously because of this. Just my opinion though.
  • #13824
    Quote from proletaria

    -snip-


    The thing about college that bothers me the most I guess is that it is looked at a lot from a business standpoint. The more people you round up and get to believe college will solve all their problems then the more loans are taken out and the more money people can make from the students.

    Debt has always been something that you incur rather early on in life but at some point the average goal switched from finish highschool settle down and buy a house and fall into debt, to finish high school go directly to college and into debt, then after years of paying that back attempt to get a house and get put into more debt.

    It just seems like you're expected to be in some form of debt nearly every day of your life. Medical, housing, school, credit cards, there's always something.
  • #13825
    I've heard people say that college is a debt sentence. When my parents and I were talking about college, they said that they'd take out loans and the such and I would have to move back in to help pay them off. I was okay with that, but it definitely went against what people expect of a twenty-five year old just coming out of college. The facade is that college is a golden ticket to prosperity and happiness; sometimes it is, but just because you put in money doesn't mean that you aren't going to have an extremely depressing life trying to pay all that off. I wanted to live my life debt-free which, in the beginning, turned me away from college.

    I think the most efficient propaganda used is the idea that if you don't go to college, then you're sentenced to a life in a trailer park, working a shitty job, and never finding happiness. They hype up college to be the remedy to all those possible consequences. Then they talk about the "college experience" and they hype up the "value of knowledge" to make the idea of modern day colleges something more than the degree mills that they actually are. They make it out to be like a piece of paper symbolizes prosperity in life.

    I just think that people need to rethink what an "education" really is. Once you assign a monetary value to something as ethereal as "education," its value diminishes. Education is a time investment and should have never been about money in the first place. Taking away the money aspect of it all, students put in time and effort to gain knowledge (in a perfect world). Students have to pay money in order to obtain the mere privilege of putting in time and effort. There's something wrong with that.

    And, in my opinion, a GPA hardly means anything nowadays, not with what No Child Left Behind did to school curriculums. A GPA means something if you took AP classes or something marginally more difficult than basic algebra, history, and science. My senior year classes consisted of AP US government, AP literature, AP calculus, and advanced chemistry. If I had gotten a good GPA (which I didn't), I would've been viewed as a viable candidate for many scholarships. However, I didn't put in much effort to do all my homework and it reflected. I think I graduated with about a 2.5 or something.

    I learned from those classes. Oh yeah. The idea that GPA reflects knowledge learned is a complete farce. There are people out there who don't care to do their homework because they think it's a waste of time. I was one of those people. I retained the knowledge I gained, but I couldn't give a shit about the work unless it was a big assignment or project. I did all my packets, essays, and all those huge projects that were grade-makers. I wrote beautiful essays, did very well on tests, and ended up getting 3s on my AP government and AP literature tests (I feel I did way better than that, but whatever). I learned something. A bad GPA doesn't reflect a person's capacity to learn. Anyone can take shit classes, do all the cute homework assignments, and walk out of the PBS equivalent of high school with a 4.0, get scholarships because of that GPA, and get into a very good school based on that alone.

    The K-12 school systems are heavily flawed. Unless kids are offered better classes that have the freedom to form their own curriculum, our collective intelligence isn't going anywhere. And we need better teachers. I've had terrible teachers over the years and that's not just my opinion; when I look at how that teacher performed compared to a teacher who actually knew what they were doing, the difference is night and day. Some people were born to be teachers. Some people were born to give out assignments.

    /rant

    I hate the way you cling to ignorance and pass it off as innocence
  • #13826
    Quote from Daemaro

    The thing about college that bothers me the most I guess is that it is looked at a lot from a business standpoint. The more people you round up and get to believe college will solve all their problems then the more loans are taken out and the more money people can make from the students.


    In a word, yes. As I said, the administrators now are not former professors, but rather trained business administrator types specifically driven to see the profitability of their institutions rise. Like many other boom industries over the years, this one is reaching meteoric heights on some rather spurious assumptions: The value of education is nearly infinite.

    Quote from Daemaro

    Debt has always been something that you incur rather early on in life but at some point the average goal switched from finish highschool settle down and buy a house and fall into debt, to finish high school go directly to college and into debt, then after years of paying that back attempt to get a house and get put into more debt.

    It just seems like you're expected to be in some form of debt nearly every day of your life. Medical, housing, school, credit cards, there's always something.


    And I'm quite sure banks and various other lending institutions are thrilled by this; however, I wouldn't draw the unnecessary connection between financial industry and education sector. As far as I can discern there isn't a collusion between the two, but rather an unhealthy symbiosis developed over many years.

    Quote from Azriel

    I've heard people say that college is a debt sentence. When my parents and I were talking about college, they said that they'd take out loans and the such and I would have to move back in to help pay them off. I was okay with that, but it definitely went against what people expect of a twenty-five year old just coming out of college. The facade is that college is a golden ticket to prosperity and happiness; sometimes it is, but just because you put in money doesn't mean that you aren't going to have an extremely depressing life trying to pay all that off. I wanted to live my life debt-free which, in the beginning, turned me away from college.


    Well, there are ways to minimize the debt burden on yourself and your family. I don't think the obviously over-sold notion that college is an automatic ticket to a comfortable middle-class job is true, but it certainly isn't impossible to make something of a degree either. Ultimately, if you want to be completely debt-free at all times, you will have to do some seriously hard work either earning scholarship/grant money or taking on two and three part-time jobs at once to save up the necessary funds.

    I went through school (all of a dozen years to the PhD) with a series of scholarships and one or two part-time jobs at all times, so it can be done, although you will not get much sleep.


    Quote from Azriel

    I think the most efficient propaganda used is the idea that if you don't go to college, then you're sentenced to a life in a trailer park, working a shitty job, and never finding happiness. They hype up college to be the remedy to all those possible consequences. Then they talk about the "college experience" and they hype up the "value of knowledge" to make the idea of modern day colleges something more than the degree mills that they actually are. They make it out to be like a piece of paper symbolizes prosperity in life.


    Depending on how well connected and evaluated the specific college of a specific university is, there are some which do grant a better chance at prosperity than others. Most of the students who take a general studies degree at community college aren't getting a thing; however, a graduate from the prestegious engineering program at a well-known science and technology university are quite likely to find an opportunity awaits the completion of their course work. The problem is that college in general is over-sold, but the larger issue is that any degree from any school is FAR over-sold.

    As a potential writer you will find that a common practice is to only hire those with some kind of degree in hand. That isn't to say it is impossible to get a foothold without one, but you happen to have selected a genre of career that does not really lend itself to bypassing the post-secondary education rout. I would advise you look into schools with a strong journalism, editorial, creative writing, or literature program. I would also strongly advise you prepare to move a lot and quite probably pick up a new language or two.


    Quote from Azriel

    I just think that people need to rethink what an "education" really is. Once you assign a monetary value to something as ethereal as "education," its value diminishes. Education is a time investment and should have never been about money in the first place. Taking away the money aspect of it all, students put in time and effort to gain knowledge (in a perfect world). Students have to pay money in order to obtain the mere privilege of putting in time and effort. There's something wrong with that.


    Well, I think describing anything as "ethereal," is rather nonsensical. Even something as abstract as education carries with it some cost. Our society is not entirely socialist enough to grant post-secondary training as a right of all citizens, so there will be monetary concerns in lieu of such a break-through. After all, we professors might be over-paid (although administrative costs dominate the inflation of tuition price), but we still need to eat.


    Quote from Azriel

    And, in my opinion, a GPA hardly means anything nowadays, not with what No Child Left Behind did to school curriculums. A GPA means something if you took AP classes or something marginally more difficult than basic algebra, history, and science. My senior year classes consisted of AP US government, AP literature, AP calculus, and advanced chemistry. If I had gotten a good GPA (which I didn't), I would've been viewed as a viable candidate for many scholarships. However, I didn't put in much effort to do all my homework and it reflected. I think I graduated with about a 2.5 or something.


    The admission rubric does take into account the difficulty of advanced course work. To the best of my knowledge a 2.5 with AP classes would be weighted more highly than a 3.0 without. I will concur; however, that "no child," really benefited from that failed policy and in-fact many were left behind as they were shuffled up the grade latter in a rather dispassionate move to make the nation look smarter than it is.


    Quote from Azriel

    I learned from those classes. Oh yeah. The idea that GPA reflects knowledge learned is a complete farce. There are people out there who don't care to do their homework because they think it's a waste of time. I was one of those people. I retained the knowledge I gained, but I couldn't give a shit about the work unless it was a big assignment or project. I did all my packets, essays, and all those huge projects that were grade-makers. I wrote beautiful essays, did very well on tests, and ended up getting 3s on my AP government and AP literature tests (I feel I did way better than that, but whatever). I learned something. A bad GPA doesn't reflect a person's capacity to learn. Anyone can take shit classes, do all the cute homework assignments, and walk out of the PBS equivalent of high school with a 4.0, get scholarships because of that GPA, and get into a very good school based on that alone.


    I think you may be quite shocked to find this out, but gpa is not the end-all statistic you're making it out to be. In-fact I have several students (and graduate students) who did not attain the almighty 4.0 and still earned several lucrative scholarships. If you are indeed capable of writing an eloquent essay, the attainment of such a grant of aid should be quite trivially easy. There are literally thousands of groups with cash-in-hand, waiting to read just such an honest appeal.


    Quote from Azriel

    The K-12 school systems are heavily flawed. Unless kids are offered better classes that have the freedom to form their own curriculum, our collective intelligence isn't going anywhere. And we need better teachers. I've had terrible teachers over the years and that's not just my opinion; when I look at how that teacher performed compared to a teacher who actually knew what they were doing, the difference is night and day. Some people were born to be teachers. Some people were born to give out assignments.


    I find it difficulty to take the notion that students could design their own grade-school curriculum seriously. As you mentioned on more than one occasion thus-far, you were not particularly fond of homework or studying (many students are of like mind on this - as I'm sure you're aware). I think it would be tragic to see students allowed to take a bunch of nonsense physical education courses while being allowed to bypass literature, history, mathematics, sciences, etc.

    As for the performance of teachers, I think there is a very nasty tendency for administrators, parents, and students alike to shuffle most of the blame onto regular educators. Yes, I have seen and been under the tutelage of some very obviously "bad," teachers in my lifetime; however, I would not use this as a write-off to excuse poor policy, lack of parenting, and systemic lack of resources. Many of the best teachers in grammar school lack the funding to be supplied with chalk and printed copies of their exams. You honestly have to love the job in some form or fashion to take on such a burden.
  • #13827
    Ne frustra vixisse videar.
  • #13828
    I'm never snapping my fingers again.
  • #13829
    Oh, balls, that's a lot to reply to.

    I've looked at the acceptance rates of most Washington state universities and a 4.0 is a shoe in regardless of the classes taken. I know that the admission essay is weighed along with the classes you took and the background you provide; I'm not saying that colleges are denying anybody. I'm just trying to say that there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding the value of the GPA and what college may or may not provide in the long run. I'm sure I could get in to University of Washington or Central Washington University if I really wanted to. I've talked to my career counselor extensively on getting accepted and he said that my GPA may make it a little difficult for me to get in to a 4-year. He also said, however, that the classes I took reflect more than I may realize.

    Professors need to be paid, that is an indisputable fact. I could care less about how much professors are paid because I know they've well earned to be in the spot they're in today. And, as you said, administrative costs are what's driving up tuition rates.

    I'm just giving my view on what I've heard many of my former classmates say; college makes everything better. That may hold some truth, but it's not a guarantee. I don't mind paying for an education. I do mind, however, the promise made with no guarantee. If I'm going to put my time, money, and effort into something, I want to make sure that I get back what I put in. That's what an investment is.

    I hate the way you cling to ignorance and pass it off as innocence
  • #13830
    Quote from Azriel

    I'm not saying that colleges are denying anybody. I'm just trying to say that there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding the value of the GPA and what college may or may not provide in the long run. I'm sure I could get in to University of Washington or Central Washington University if I really wanted to. I've talked to my career counselor extensively on getting accepted and he said that my GPA may make it a little difficult for me to get in to a 4-year. He also said, however, that the classes I took reflect more than I may realize.


    I think that misconception has been more widely dispelled in the academic world than you realize. I would also suggest that your choice of career (again) heavily depends upon you getting some kind of liberal arts education at a university, if at all possible. You should be looking for schools with a well rounded liberal arts program and preferably some way in which to seek a working experience in tandem. In that vein I would suggest writing centers, libraries, newspapers, or even marketing type positions. Many of these can be found through school systems themselves and can provide foot-in-door access.

    Quote from Azriel

    I'm just giving my view on what I've heard many of my former classmates say; college makes everything better. That may hold some truth, but it's not a guarantee. I don't mind paying for an education. I do mind, however, the promise made with no guarantee. If I'm going to put my time, money, and effort into something, I want to make sure that I get back what I put in. That's what an investment is.


    There is never any guarantee in today's world. And while this might sound a touch hypocritical given my original rant, I have to stand up for the liberal arts since that is what you've communicated to be your choice. You do seem to have an adequate notion of what you want out of your education and that, I think, is what is most important in order to make that informed decision (or investment, as you put it). I won't lie to you and say that getting into Washington or any other college, working at a paper, or even publishing a few articles is a fool-proof way of making it into the writing world; however, I can very much confirm for you that not doing any of those things will not allow you the opportunity at all.

    As far as I can discern from the information given, you have two choices: Follow your ambitions, take the gamble, and seek your education. Or you can simply find another interest with a lesser opportunity cost and hopefully find the time to return to your passion at a later date. I won't claim to have the answer to the arithmetic of potential debt vs. potential reward, but I would have to doubt your enthusiasm for the profession of writing if you don't find the first choice the most compelling by far.

    Edit: I hope all that didn't sound too demagogic or critical. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors either way. :)
  • #13831
    I am nearly finished my playthrough of Knights of the Old Republic. This is the first time in a long ass time I've actually played the same game all the way through without taking any kind of a break to play something else in my free time. My dedication has payed off, and I plan to continue this strategy with every game I play in the future (providing I actually like the game).
    Jurassic World – 2015
  • #13832
    So my laptop came in the mail on Friday. It is -AWESOME-. Quad core Hyperthread i7, two video cards, Beats(R) Audio, 1600x900 resolution, I am in love. <3!!!!

    It's a chicklet keyboard, but that doesn't really matter much, I can type just as well on it as I could on the previous laptop.

    I swear, games like SC2 on Ultra look SOOOOO much better then on Low....
  • #13833
    Managed to do a full clear of act 4 and killing diablo with 5 nv today :)

    http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/profile/Jamoose-2376/hero/611749

    Awesome build, awesome sword xD
    .
  • #13834
    Quote from GeNMaKB

    I am nearly finished my playthrough of Knights of the Old Republic. This is the first time in a long ass time I've actually played the same game all the way through without taking any kind of a break to play something else in my free time. My dedication has payed off, and I plan to continue this strategy with every game I play in the future (providing I actually like the game).

    You might wish to pick up KotOR 2 then (released on Steam recently). While the gameplay is essentially the same, I personally like the story much more as it is much more complex. If you do, however, don't forget to pick up the Restored Content Mod since Obsidian was forced to release a fairly unfinished game. Especially the droid factory is not to be missed.

    On a completely unrelated note: I just found 2 rare staffs with the exact same properties and name. I guess I somehow tricked the RNG. Or managed to dupe the staff by simply picking it up.
    I'm on Twitter.
  • #13835
    Ne frustra vixisse videar.
  • #13836
    That is a masterful shot in more ways than one.
  • #13837
    Evergreen State College is one of the most prominent liberal arts colleges in the NW. It was my original choice and, if I were to go anywhere, it's still the place I want to go. They have so many writing programs, it's just baffling how accommodating that college is.

    I mean, really, it's definitely worth looking up. They're notorious for their protests too.

    I hate the way you cling to ignorance and pass it off as innocence
  • #13838
    Quote from Angzt

    Quote from GeNMaKB

    I am nearly finished my playthrough of Knights of the Old Republic. This is the first time in a long ass time I've actually played the same game all the way through without taking any kind of a break to play something else in my free time. My dedication has payed off, and I plan to continue this strategy with every game I play in the future (providing I actually like the game).

    You might wish to pick up KotOR 2 then (released on Steam recently). While the gameplay is essentially the same, I personally like the story much more as it is much more complex. If you do, however, don't forget to pick up the Restored Content Mod since Obsidian was forced to release a fairly unfinished game. Especially the droid factory is not to be missed.


    I already have KotOR II because I picked up the Knights of the Old Republic Collection at my local EB. I won't dismiss the restored content mod but I'd like to play through vanilla first. I would never play a mod my first time through a game! That's just the way I am I guess...
    Jurassic World – 2015
  • #13839
    hmm just got alienware laptop for wedding gift.... shiney!
    Playing Diablo since 97. I know nothing and having nothing good to say, I be a troll.
  • #13840
    Lucky...

    Yes, I know how much the Alienware name is alone.

    Edit: Spider cat will get you.

    Just as the Scorpion hunts...
    Silently Lurking...

    "Nothing is True. Everything is Permitted." ~ Ezio Auditore de Firenze
  • #13841
    Delete this post please.
    Just as the Scorpion hunts...
    Silently Lurking...

    "Nothing is True. Everything is Permitted." ~ Ezio Auditore de Firenze
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