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Posted: 9/9/2010 9:45:36 AM EDT
Underwater basket weaving, 19th century French poetry, and Gender and Sexuality Studies majors turn out not to be so useful in the real world, infested with rich white people

(Note: if you're wondering WTF a Gender and Sexuality Studies major is, ignore the author's protests and read that as the equally worthless but slightly less trendy majors Women's Studies and Gay and Lesbian Studies)

I have a lot of regrets about my college education.

I regret that tuition was $40,000 a year, so that my classmates were mostly rich, white kids. I regret that I am paying back thousands in student loans. I regret that my journalism program forced me to take an introductory class on reporting, even though I’d already written articles for my hometown newspaper for two years. I regret that I took two different photography classes, but haven’t snapped a single freakin’ photo since. I regret that I wasted time, money, and precious sanity on a required math class that gave me the anxiety attacks of your worst nightmares.

And most of all, I regret that I took as many gender and sexuality studies courses as I did.

Gender and sexuality studies classes ostensibly teach you to analyze the world with a critical lens, focusing on how one’s gender or sexuality impacts their life. Some classes deal with theoretical issues; others focus on literature, history or religion. Lots of gender and sexuality studies students go on to work in law, labor organizing, or social work. (“Women’s studies” is a slightly different field of study, as is “gay and lesbian studies,” but the career paths are basically the same.) The Gender & Sexuality Studies Department at New York University has been revamped since I attended from 2001 to 2005, so I can’t speak for the quality of the current education. However, my transcript from that time includes gems like the History of Prostitution, an introduction to grassroots organizing, and a class about pop culture where we talked about Eminem, O.J. Simpson, and the 1992 Watts riots.

I did learn stuff, of course: The history of prostitution class taught me about sex work, the grassroots organizing class educated me about labor abuse, and the pop culture class exposed me to the work of Anna Deavere Smith, who wrote a one-woman play about the riots. I can say it was all interesting.

But I could have benefited from more politics, history and literature classes—to learn more about the world in general, rather than one tiny little sliver of the world. There’s a difference between what I thought was “cool” to learn about at the time and what has actually proved useful in life. The lowbrow-yet-stylish topics we discussed — whether or not Eminem is sexist and racist, for example — will be out of date 10 years from now. I probably could have learned a lot about sex work and labor abuse by reading magazine and newspaper articles on the subjects. But learning more about colonialism? Globalization? The World Wars? Important books? Religion? Supreme Court decisions? That knowledge would have provided such a better foundation for me as a writer than what I think I received from gender studies classes.

Maybe this is just a case of the grass being greener elsewhere. In any case, I can’t very well go back to 2001 and change how I spent my money and my time. Today I just find myself playing catch-up, reading the great books and researching great moments in history that I should have learned in school.


Oh, and screw math.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 9:47:22 AM EDT
My sister is elbow-deep in debt for her degree in "Women's Studies". She very much regrets it, and is back in school to become a math teacher.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 9:48:15 AM EDT
The cold, unforgiving fist of reality craters the gut of another incompetent loon.

_MaH
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 9:52:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mhoffman:
The cold, unforgiving fist of reality craters the gut of another incompetent loon.

_MaH

I love watching reality choke, throat punch, and eventually curb unsuspecting idiots.

It is somewhat of a voyeuristic passion of mine.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 9:54:07 AM EDT
Stupid should hurt. That is a special kind of stupid, so it should have a special kind of hurt attached to it. Say north of 150K in secured student load debt that she will pay off over the next 20 years or so.

<Red Foreman voice> "DUMBASS!"
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 9:54:40 AM EDT
Once again, I refer you to my niece, with her NYU BA in "Collecting and Displaying Cultural Objects" degree. About $100,000 debt, and slinging hash in Brooklyn.

Link Posted: 9/9/2010 9:56:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/9/2010 9:56:55 AM EDT by stockshift]

I regret that tuition was $40,000 a year, so that my classmates were mostly rich, white kids.


For a segment of society that supposedly cares so much about equality, why are they the ones always bringing up race and class warfare?

Hypocrites. All of them.


Link Posted: 9/9/2010 9:58:20 AM EDT
I for one am glad there are degrees in things like this. Let's employers know who went to college to get an education vs. those who went to college to be indoctrinated in liberal socialist theology.

My degree says "Electronics Engineering". Even if I'm interviewing outside my field, people know I'm capable of understanding and achieving something complex and difficult.

If your degree says "Gender Studies", that tells a potential employer a LOT about you.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 9:58:42 AM EDT
Don't you hate it when colleges and universities force you to take classes at gun point?
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 9:59:11 AM EDT
I am glad someone like her gets priority hiring over someone like me with a AAS in machine tool
for something completely OJT
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 9:59:54 AM EDT
why go into debt for an education?
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:02:43 AM EDT
I regret that tuition was $40,000 a year, so that my classmates were mostly rich, white kids.


There has to be a better way to write that statement. You would think a journalism major could write more clearly.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:02:53 AM EDT
How could you expect to earn a college degree without having to take a single math class?
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:02:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/9/2010 10:04:33 AM EDT by mhoffman]
Originally Posted By HommieDaKlown:
why go into debt for an education?


So you can get a better paying job!

So you can... pay... more taxes... on that higher income...

And afford to pay back all that money you borrowed, to pay more in taxes...

And to pay for all those materialistic status symbols you financed out the ass for the rest of your life...

Fuck it. You're right. I'm gonna go beg.

_MaH

ETA: And my post is something that the author of that article, with her illustrious college education, probably considers to be a term for a leg-humping follower of a former Governor of Alaska –– PALINDROME!
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:03:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/9/2010 10:04:21 AM EDT by eodtech2000]
This reminds me when I was in the Army and got to go Central Washington University with a Army recruiter. God it was beautiful, the recruiter was having a killing there. About a dozen kids with those "underwater basket weaving degrees" came up to get the ball rolling on how to join the Army and have Uncle Sam pay $50,000 of student loans off. They had come to the realization that they were never going to get a job. My buddy and I laughed our asses off, quite a few these kids were going to have a rough time in the Army.

It was nice gig for a few days, quite a few hotties to be seen there.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:06:17 AM EDT
I will not pay for a liberal arts degree for my children.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:07:48 AM EDT
Degrees like that can still be useful as stepping stones to advanced degrees - provided you have an excellent GPA in the end.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:10:33 AM EDT
I run a gender and sexuality corporation and we're hiring. We're laying off in our Hindu Studies division though. Been a tough year for those guys.

Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:14:16 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Danner130:
Once again, I refer you to my niece, with her NYU BA in "Collecting and Displaying Cultural Objects" degree. About $100,000 debt, and slinging hash in Brooklyn.


I need to ask you a question, got her number?
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:15:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/9/2010 10:15:48 AM EDT by dravisar]
Originally Posted By eodtech2000:
This reminds me when I was in the Army and got to go Central Washington University with a Army recruiter. God it was beautiful, the recruiter was having a killing there. About a dozen kids with those "underwater basket weaving degrees" came up to get the ball rolling on how to join the Army and have Uncle Sam pay $50,000 of student loans off. They had come to the realization that they were never going to get a job. My buddy and I laughed our asses off, quite a few these kids were going to have a rough time in the Army.

It was nice gig for a few days, quite a few hotties to be seen there.


I went for a couple quarters. Tons of tail! Also, lots of pale skinny kids in ROTC or whatever the hell they were running around campus in BDUs for.

I dated a girl who was a social work major. Shes now going to Eastern for her Masters in social work, because the original degree was only landing her 14/hr jobs. Smart, more debt for a degree that isn't paying off
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:20:45 AM EDT
Originally Posted By HommieDaKlown:
why go into debt for an education?


If you are developing a skill, then it's investing for your future. $80-100K in the hole is no big deal if it gets you six+ figures and a good lifestyle down the road.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:21:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/9/2010 10:22:13 AM EDT by Peacemakerx]
live it's full of compromises, there are careers that may sound fun and interesting, but reality if you spending 150k + on a degree to be making 20-30k your are doing something wrong...


Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:23:59 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Angelshare1:
I run a gender and sexuality corporation and we're hiring. We're laying off in our Hindu Studies division though. Been a tough year for those guys.



I can imagine that off-shoring to actual Hindus willing to work for less is a killer.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:25:39 AM EDT
Too many people confuse hobbies with careers. College is to teach you the road to a career. That other fluff and bullshit is called a hobby and you shouldnt be paying to learn about it.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:26:09 AM EDT
College is and was a JOKE.

The only think good about college is that it helps show character that you can start something long-term and finish it. (this statement excludes real technical degrees but even those are loaded with liberal arts classes that are required by the system)

I hate college requirements.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:28:25 AM EDT
Originally Posted By XCRmonger:
My sister is elbow-deep in debt for her degree in "Women's Studies".


What? You can get a degree in cooking and cleaning now? Who would have thought!


(Sorry, I couldn't resist.)
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:29:21 AM EDT
Whole lotta fail going on there. $150K in debt for a minimun wage earnings potential? I wouldn't pay for college for my children either if they wanted a liberal arts degree. I would tell them you might as well get a degree in shining shoes or making burgers because thats all your hippy degree is gonna be worth.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:30:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mhoffman:
Originally Posted By HommieDaKlown:
why go into debt for an education?


So you can get a better paying job!

So you can... pay... more taxes... on that higher income...

And afford to pay back all that money you borrowed, to pay more in taxes...

And to pay for all those materialistic status symbols you financed out the ass for the rest of your life...

Fuck it. You're right. I'm gonna go beg.

_MaH

ETA: And my post is something that the author of that article, with her illustrious college education, probably considers to be a term for a leg-humping follower of a former Governor of Alaska –– PALINDROME!

Tyler Durden, is that you?
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:34:27 AM EDT
I tried my darndest to get into a "History of African Dance" class for an elective. It always filled up before I could register.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:34:37 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Bones45:
Degrees like that can still be useful as stepping stones to advanced degrees - provided you have an excellent GPA in the end.


And depending what advanced degree you are after. My BS in physics is potentially a stepping stone to just about any advanced degree.

The women studies garbage (etc) is mostly good for getting a grad degree and eventually becoming a prof at some school, teaching the same crap to others. But that means you must continue to believe the crap into adulthood, or lose your career. And while in theory you can move to a more respectable field such as history, you will be at a disadvantage compared to real history majors and pretty much anyone with a degree based upon the reasoning of dead white men.

Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:35:40 AM EDT
This pretty much sums up a Woman's Study curriculum.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:37:33 AM EDT
Originally Posted By TheCanuck:
Don't you hate it when colleges and universities force you to take classes at gun point?


Getting a college degree is a club that you are forced to join. . .

It is a joke, and what makes it even more bitter: When I was unemployed, several positions would not even consider me because I have no college degree. . . never mind that I had several decades of experience. . . you know, actually DOING stuff. . . .

My son is now in his last year of college. He was trying for nursing, but the chemistry and other technical stuff was just too much for him. . .so I told him "Just get a degree in SOMETHING!" Unless you are going into the trades (which more young people should consider––-damn the popular culture and their biases against this type of work!) you MUST have that piece of paper or you will have a difficult time just getting considered for a job. . . It stinks, but it's the way of world today.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:37:45 AM EDT
Originally Posted By david_g17:
I tried my darndest to get into a "History of African Dance" class for an elective. It always filled up before I could register.



I once signed up for an anthro class on witches at UCSD. Then I dropped it before it began, and tried to add it the first day of class. But it was full, filled with local witches and lots of women with the crazy eyes. I really regretted dropping that class.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:39:20 AM EDT
I am paying 40 dollars in tuition this semester. Before the budget crisis in Arizona, I was paid to go to school.

I am an economics major. I'm taking all the hard math I can. I had no idea I was good at math entering college, or I might have chosen engineering of some type instead. That said, I'm happy where I am. It just sucks that to do anything worth while, I need to spend another 5 years in college, and be referred to as Couch-Commando-prof and tell goose stories.

Actually, I love school so that doesn't suck. I hear a PhD is a prerequisite to being a GD moderator...
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:41:48 AM EDT
What annoys the crap out of me is how they market these useless degrees. Posters on the wall that say "What can you do with a ______ degree?" Then they list off a whole pile of jobs that some schmuck, at some point in time, happened to luck into, frequently after further education.



Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:43:47 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Hamel:

Originally Posted By mhoffman:
Originally Posted By HommieDaKlown:
why go into debt for an education?


So you can get a better paying job!

So you can... pay... more taxes... on that higher income...

And afford to pay back all that money you borrowed, to pay more in taxes...

And to pay for all those materialistic status symbols you financed out the ass for the rest of your life...

Fuck it. You're right. I'm gonna go beg.

_MaH

ETA: And my post is something that the author of that article, with her illustrious college education, probably considers to be a term for a leg-humping follower of a former Governor of Alaska –– PALINDROME!

Tyler Durden, is that you?


I'm more like the bastard love-child of Tyler Durden and Joanne Galt.

_MaH
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:45:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/9/2010 10:47:50 AM EDT by NoStockBikes]
What annoys the crap out of me is how they market these useless degrees. Posters on the wall that say "What can you do with a ______ degree?" Then they list off a whole pile of jobs that some schmuck, at some point in time, happened to luck into, frequently after further education.

"Oh wow, if I get this degree, I can become a Supreme Court Justice."

ETA: edit/quote, tomato/tomahto

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:45:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/9/2010 10:47:02 AM EDT by mhoffman]

Originally Posted By NoStockBikes:
What annoys the crap out of me is how they market these useless degrees. Posters on the wall that say "What can you do with a ______ degree?" Then they list off a whole pile of jobs that some schmuck, at some point in time, happened to luck into, frequently after further education.



Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile

"What do you do with a BA in English?"



_MaH
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:50:31 AM EDT
Foreigners come here and study engineering and science and get good jobs.

The only thing these dummies are going to be learning in the future is how to pay back their college loans with their $9/hour job.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:52:00 AM EDT
I actually got a lot of good education out of college... I could not do my job today without that experience. It was not liberal arts. Suckers.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:52:07 AM EDT
I don't agree with all the hatred of liberal arts degrees. Yes, the basket-weaving and gender-studies degrees are jokes. But true liberal arts schools, St. John's College (where I went), Thomas Aquinas in California, and a few others truly "educate" people, not just train them for a career. Training for a career does not make someone educated. Learning to think and immersing yourself in the great minds and works of your culture - philosophy, literature, math and science - is what makes someone educated. Yes, someone with a liberal arts degree will have to get an advanced degree to train for a career, but its worth it to be not only trained, but educated.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:52:35 AM EDT
Originally Posted By mhoffman:

Originally Posted By NoStockBikes:
What annoys the crap out of me is how they market these useless degrees. Posters on the wall that say "What can you do with a ______ degree?" Then they list off a whole pile of jobs that some schmuck, at some point in time, happened to luck into, frequently after further education.



Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile

"What do you do with a BA in English?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4GwrEuULwY

_MaH


Plenty

For one, a Rifle Company Commander
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:53:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Ranchitecture:
I actually got a lot of good education out of college... I could not do my job today without that experience. It was not liberal arts. Suckers.

Well, color me surprised




Link Posted: 9/9/2010 10:57:45 AM EDT
Originally Posted By mhoffman:
Originally Posted By HommieDaKlown:
why go into debt for an education?


So you can get a better paying job!

So you can... pay... more taxes... on that higher income...

And afford to pay back all that money you borrowed, to pay more in taxes...

And to pay for all those materialistic status symbols you financed out the ass for the rest of your life...

Fuck it. You're right. I'm gonna go beg.

_MaH

ETA: And my post is something that the author of that article, with her illustrious college education, probably considers to be a term for a leg-humping follower of a former Governor of Alaska –– PALINDROME!


I had to borrow just under 40k for my education also but I paid it all back over 10 years after graduation. Some things you simply have to do. I remember receiving a beautiful letter after I completed paying mine off. It thanked me and said that only a fraction of people ever pay their's off so I should be proud. I guess I was/am. I didn't take stupid classes that lead to no where though. Only took what I needed and moved on as fast as possible.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 11:00:35 AM EDT
Originally Posted By AR-180:
I regret that tuition was $40,000 a year, so that my classmates were mostly rich, white kids.


There has to be a better way to write that statement. You would think a journalism major could write more clearly.


you can't turn a sow's purse into a silk ear, or something like that...
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 11:00:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By NoStockBikes:
I will not pay for a liberal arts degree for my children.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile

that's a shame––i personally like the idea of children who are actually educated, instead of merely being fed into the apprenticeship system of trade schooling.

the liberal arts:

-grammar

-rhetoric

-logic

-arithmetic

-geometry

-musical theory

-cosmology

to which is commonly added:

-literature

-history

-philosophy

-life and earth science



without a basic study of these things, one can hardly consider himself to be educated. well-trained, perhaps, but certainly not prepared for life in the same way that...say...the founding fathers were.

a trained person is a tool.

an educated person is his own master.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 11:01:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Danner130:
Once again, I refer you to my niece, with her NYU BA in "Collecting and Displaying Cultural Objects" degree. About $100,000 debt, and slinging hash in Brooklyn.


She should have opted for a minor in Puppetry so she would have more opportunities.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 11:09:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/9/2010 11:10:16 AM EDT by Katana16j]
Originally Posted By sirensong:

Originally Posted By NoStockBikes:
I will not pay for a liberal arts degree for my children.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile

that's a shame––i personally like the idea of children who are actually educated, instead of merely being fed into the apprenticeship system of trade schooling.

the liberal arts:

-grammar

-rhetoric

-logic

-arithmetic

-geometry

-musical theory

-cosmology

to which is commonly added:

-literature

-history

-philosophy

-life and earth science



without a basic study of these things, one can hardly consider himself to be educated. well-trained, perhaps, but certainly not prepared for life in the same way that...say...the founding fathers were.

a trained person is a tool.

an educated person is his own master.


Wow, that is very insightful.

Would you mind telling me where you work so I could stop by. It would be nice to have a waiter that can carry on a good conversation for a change.
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 11:15:33 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Katana16j:
Originally Posted By sirensong:

Originally Posted By NoStockBikes:
I will not pay for a liberal arts degree for my children.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile

that's a shame––i personally like the idea of children who are actually educated, instead of merely being fed into the apprenticeship system of trade schooling.

the liberal arts:

-grammar

-rhetoric

-logic

-arithmetic

-geometry

-musical theory

-cosmology

to which is commonly added:

-literature

-history

-philosophy

-life and earth science



without a basic study of these things, one can hardly consider himself to be educated. well-trained, perhaps, but certainly not prepared for life in the same way that...say...the founding fathers were.

a trained person is a tool.

an educated person is his own master.


Wow, that is very insightful.

Would you mind telling me where you work so I could stop by. It would be nice to have a waiter that can carry on a good conversation for a change.


Link Posted: 9/9/2010 11:19:02 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/9/2010 12:03:17 PM EDT
Originally Posted By XCRmonger:
My sister is elbow-deep in debt for her degree in "Women's Studies". She very much regrets it, and is back in school to become a math teacher.


I remember hearing a piece on NPR a few years ago, where it had dawned on some professors in Black Studies and Women's Studies that the only jobs their students were qualified for was...teaching Black Studies and Women's Studies. They were basically a self perpetuating, isolated program, whose only real purpose was to serve as a PC fig leaf for the college and create replacements for retiring professors.
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