20 January 2009

Rite of Passage College: Where Adolescents Go To Binge, Fornicate, and Get an Indoctrination

College has become a rite of passage for adolescents, but in preparation for what? Ritual binge drinking has become not only a rite, but a right. The most worrisome thing about sex on campus is becoming: "where to do it?" Colleges are spending more time and resources assuring students are indoctrinated into political correctness, than in helping students learn to think and learn for themselves.

Parents contemplating mortgaging their lives to send an adolescent to university might think long and hard about whether an 18 year old has a mature enough frontal cortex to deal with the institutional and peer pressure that will be pushing his mind toward mediocrity and conformity on campus. A better way of showing your child that you love them might be to prepare them better to face the world on their own terms, rather than throwing them to the wolves -- albeit at ruinous expense to your own finances. If a parent makes sure that a child's formative years are well-spent, by the time the child is 18, he should have the skills to create his own path.

Many quality schools offer online degrees, but most youngsters will not need to be in big hurries to get a degree. Al Fin has posted links to MIT's Open Courseware project, and other great online educational opportunities. Here is another good link to quality online educational materials: Lecture Fox. Lecture Fox includes MIT lectures along with lectures from many other fine universities on multiple continents.

Government schools have become taxpayer-funded babysitting institutions, so it is up to parents to expose their children's minds to the concepts that will allow them to be successful in tomorrow's world. If you are not already familiar with MERLOT, you should take a good look. Also check out Textbook Revolution for free online source materials for advanced independent classwork.

The number of online resources to facilitate home education for learners of all ages is multiplying beyond the ability of websites to keep up. But we will continue to try to update this information.

Rites of passage are meant to be initiations into a person's future as an adult. Today's colleges are instead initiations into a perpetual mindless adolescence and lobotomised dependency on authority. A large part of society's cluelessness in the face of modern economic problems can be traced to the academic lobotomising of students that has gone on in universities since roughly the late 1970s.

There is nothing wrong with sex when the participants understand what is happening and know what they are doing. There is nothing wrong with alcohol or occasional experimentation with recreational drugs if those involved know how to handle themselves, and know when to stop and "sleep it off" without endangering others. There is nothing wrong with professors presenting a point of view, as long as students are also exposed objectively to competing points of view, and are not penalised for expressing viewpoints that clash with those of the professors.

There is one good thing that universities provide besides good training in technical and professional areas: the opportunity for students to network with future colleagues and associates, and to begin creating a networking community for their futures. It is possible to create something similar online, but face to face contact is extremely valuable. Virtual reality and telepresence, in the future, will help.

More later.

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Blogger Bruce Hall said...

Uuuuhhhhhhhhhh, not exactly.

Certainly some of that goes on and probably concentrated in some colleges and disciplines more than others. But, as with any endeavor, it is up to the individual.

Having sent 3 sons to college [and paid for it], I believe they and I got my money's worth. Their expectations were set long before they ever entered the university and they knew what our expectations were as well.

Parties? A new level of personal relationships? Sure. But quite secondary to the purpose for which they attended... and they always kept that in the forefront.

Are there young people who have no business or focus on being students attending college? Of course. But my experience in staying close to what was occurring in the 11 consecutive years during which I paid for their education showed me that most students were there for the academic education, not the peripheral nonsense you describe.

The results of my sons' experiences bear that out.

Tuesday, 20 January, 2009  
Blogger al fin said...

Bruce, your experience is just that: your experience. One parent out of millions. Given your thoughtfulness and scrupulous attention to detail when blogging, I expect you applied the same care to the process of raising your sons and seeing to their education. You are to be congratulated.

Do I consider you a typical parent? Hardly. And given that apples typically fall not far from the tree, your sons are not likely to be typical either.

Many students are dedicated to obtaining an education, particularly in the technical fields, scientific fields, and the professions. Those areas are rigorous enough so that few people take them for fun and games.

But a huge portion of a large university's resources these days goes to non-rigorous areas of academia, where students can receive social promotions and grade inflation. Times have changed.

It is not just a few people in 4 year colleges who don't belong. It is a substantial number, my estimation is at least 40%. Again, I am not talking about the technical, scientific, or professional departments.

Tuesday, 20 January, 2009  
Blogger randy said...

al fin,

I would agree with you that Bruce sounds exceptional. I have been in the business of assisting families launch their adult children for over 30 years. I know that 60% of college graduates move back in with their parents and about 20% of young people entering college actually finish. Plus, of the ones that finish, only about 20% of them actually go into the field they studied for. The number of 25 to 34 year olds still depending on their parents for support in the United States is in the millions.

The theme that I am hearing from young people is they do not want to be considered "an adult". This is a death sentence in many of their minds. I believe that one of the biggest problems is that we have so many "patho-adolescents" parading as adults. These are folks 30 and older who are lost inside. There life is a reaction to family and culture and ego is more the guiding principle than the frontal lobe or a sense of purpose.

Young people are afraid to look inside and they are afraid to be connected at deep levels, especially with adults: and unfortunately, we have few Elders (lots of olders) for anyone to mentor under.

I believe that the first answer is for adults to seek meaning and purpose in their lives; to access whether their life is worth emulating. This will give us more "adult parents" like Bruce sound like he might be. Then these young people will have environments where they can actually make it through the human developmental phases so they are ready for adulthood, ready for college and ready to be a pro-active contributor to a healthy culture and healthy planet.

Randy Russell


Wednesday, 21 January, 2009  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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