Hello Profane Existence-ers! How the heck have you been doing? It seems like it was only yesterday that I was blabbing at you with glaring typos and dangling participles. And, I’m sure you can’t wait for more. So, without further adieu (oui oui!), let’s get some Anti-Christy column shit going…
Let’s talk about higher education…ermm, yeah, let’s go there. Is it just me or do you, too, oftentimes feel like a tutu-wearing circus dog jumping through an endless line of hoops? Okay, maybe it is just me, but I’ve been struggling with the system of college for more years than I’d like to admit. The thing is, I LOVE learning. I’m quite fascinated by new information, old information and increasing my band of knowledge. And, as many of you already know, it comes at a price. No need to discuss the abundance of debt that I’ve acquired and continue to augment. However, if you’d like a visual representation, go to this YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=9CJ9EDtZ2p8 It’s a scene from an 80’s movie called “Money Pit.” At around 2:26 minutes, Tom Hanks eloquently acts out the feelings residing deep within me. Bathtub=my school debt. Just go to that link. It will all make sense, I promise.
Now that we have my feelings on the table, imagine that that’s your metaphorical bathtub. Picture it; one, heavy-ass clawfoot bathtub filled to the top with, let’s say, quarters. But, instead of the quarters being worth twenty-five cents, they’re worth twenty-five dollars. That’s some heavy shit, huh? I carry this weight on my back, as I know many of you do, too. So, what are we going to do about, my fellow broke-ass peeps? Well, I have been brainstorming, oh yes I have and here is a list of my ideas:
1. Look in the mirror, and bitch about it. You may feel better and it gives you a chance to practice that furrowed brow look.
2. Hang out with a group of friends that can empathize with your plight and bitch to them. If they are you true friends, they’ll know exactly when to tell you to shut the F up. Commiserate and understand that you are not the only one feeling the heavy hand of higher education.
3. Keep going to school and get that degree. If you drop out (like I did before) because being in thousands and THOUSANDS of dollars in debt terrifies you…keep going! Don’t give up! You never know what could happen. For example, the U.S.’s economic structure could completely collapse upon itself and student debt may be wiped out, dissipating in a sheet of rumble. Or, students could be bailed out of student debt like airline companies and major corporate banks have experienced (BWWAAHAHAHAAAAAAA! That will never happen, but it is a funny joke, no?). Too, you can hope that your future employer will absorb that debt for you. Nothing is a guarantee and that’s why it could work to our advantage.
4. Get free education. And, education SHOULD BE FREE. Everyone should have the opportunity to learn and gain valuable skill sets. So, what does that mean? It means that the money-sucking machine that is called ‘U.S. College’, is going to get pissy, and rightfully so because we are going to start of revolution of free education (in fact, it’s already begun). Okay, prepare to take notes because this is where it gets interesting. Did you know that in the U.S. we spend over $4 billion dollars on textbooks, every year? That’s some whack shit! Never pay full price for a textbook because there is no need to. Here are some alternative considerations: upload books at a fraction of the price, i.e. Amazon via Kindle; buy used books and old editions anytime you can; and, this website http://www.ck12.org/flexbook/ offers free curriculum textbooks for high school, middle school, and honors classes (I hope colleges follow suit).
But, guess what! Some colleges are following suit. Some accredited colleges have added their courses online, free to anyone, anywhere with an internet connection. Hell yeah, free education, here we come!!!! MIT–you know, that college in Massachusetts where all the smart nerds go–has raised eyebrows and dropped jaws. It’s called ‘opencourseware.’ Here is the link to MIT’s website of free education: http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm. It may not have your desired course of study, but I feel that other colleges will follow in MIT’s pioneering footsteps. Just keep looking!
With free education there’s no excuse why we all can’t become well-informed and knowledgeable world citizens. Knowledge bridges the gaps of minds and geography. Do you understand how huge this notion is? If we educate ourselves, outside of the grasping and clawing talons of the greedy money-sucking institutions, we can gain freedom from debt, freedom from control and regain a stance of intellectual autonomy, just to start. Really, this could be the tip of an iceberg (those still exist, right?) Go out there and get what’s rightfully yours!