16 January 2009

the education pill

on the tv news this morning between long segments explaining that "it's cold," they showed a clip of a recently unemployed trailer factory worker (27 years) who was having difficulty getting his paperwork in order to attend college as part of a state program.

he filed the paperwork (probably late), signed up for classes (probably later), and was told that there may be problems keeping him in classes because the state money hadn't been credited to his account yet. "that's fair," he said sarcastically. the news people were on the scene to investigate this crisis.

the same sense of news that drives young reporters to throw cups of boiling water into the air to show how cold it is (saw it on two different channels this morning), drives their senior colleagues to be shocked that government money is slow and that colleges expect payment for their services. journalism school also teaches them that organizations are always at fault and individuals, especially the "disadvantaged" are never to blame for their own problems.

they missed the story. the real story. the guy was dressed for the trailer factory, had a giant fuzzy camo hat squashed over his mullet, spoke poorly, and mentioned he was going back to school to get a job in "business."

people think that education is doled out like a certificate of brains from the wizard of oz. if one pays and attends, anything is possible. this is simply not true. not everyone is suited for everything. we understand this in sports better than we understand this in education.

there are no brain steroids. education is not a brain transplant. false hope is unethical.

to prove my point, i am determined to go to basketball school tommorrow, and then promptly not get a job with the pistons. worse yet, i will go to barber college (one of my past dreams) and see what damage these shaky hands are horrible eyes can inflict upon america.

p.s. it's cold.


Candy's daily Dandy said...

So-like-are you saying the dude wasn't cut out for the college gig??
Yeahh, you're probably right. but stories like that arent gonna pay the network's bills and the fat cats at the top dont want to deal with all the grief that special intrests are going to spew at them for reporting what is an unpopular truth in journalism.
Blame it on the government and cash the check. Cha ching.

Candy's daily Dandy said...

Oh yeah, and good luck on that job as a center with the pistons.

Richard Melendez said...

i have no love for television news, so i agree with your comments about their inane coverage.

but as far as the guy who wanted to go to school... so is the guy just supposed to think to himself that he's not cut out for the college thing and just resign himself to crap jobs for the rest of his life? why is his pursuit of higher education a problem? why denigrate the guy for wanting to advance in life? the guy is seeking out an education, yet you want to look down your nose at him because he "speaks poorly" and has a mullet. i don't understand that.

and to run with your metaphor, you may not be cut out for the pistons, but if you really want to do something involving basketball, you may find a minor league team to play on, or even get a job as a coaching assistant or at a community gym or something. the guy on the news probably won't be a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, but maybe he'll start his own small business. maybe he'll be a damn good manager at a factory. we can't fault the guy for wanting to improve his lot in life, no matter where he actually ends up.

sorry for the rant, but i just thought your commentary was a bit insensitive.