I can’t tell which one is the scam. That higher education is big-business, or that higher education is big-business. Read again, you’ve read it right. And on the left, hungering ominously towards self-cannibalism, is the notion that an education is about education. In the end, it’s not. Unless you happen to be an academic, and live your life in the institution of higher education. It took me approximately ten years to earn a bachelor’s degree. And eleven years to learn that my degree was essentially worthless, although I wouldn’t want to express this fact to Sallie Mae.
Albert Einstein famously said, “Education is what remains after you’ve forgotten everything you learned in school.” A comfort and yet not. The paradox of our time is to have so many educated people unencumbered by the possibility of gainful employment. People left to grunting work hauling about on sticks and stones just outside the margin of poverty. Competing with those who eschewed higher education for training in the trades. Or dancing athletically with signs on a street corner, human advertisements for tanning salons called “The Tannery.” For insight on this insight, consult http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanning.
For a person whose craft is the art of communication, it’s maybe ironic that I decided against a degree in “Communications.” Yet I’ve come to learn that the jobs I seek, those that might offer me a daily opportunity to forge and ply and whet my craft, these jobs expect more out of my education. But to me, they seem to expect less. They seem to expect me to be already trained, and not educated. I should have come out of my schooling prepared for a career. But if I’d done that, I would be unprepared to think.
Forgive me if I seem to sob. I mourn my palsied employability. I’ve been taught in thought too much for trades; as time moves on my learning fades (relatively speaking). It’s possible I reach too high. After all, it’s only a bachelor’s. Purchased by the lint in my pocket, and paid for by carpentry. For the time being.