A conversation about education was kicked off by a blogger who posted on Facebook. Since I do not post these essays of mine directly there, but on WordPress, I thought I should take some time for a rebuttal about the cost of education and who should pay for it.
My experience with formal education goes back a ways: to 1946.
Grade school, high school and junior college were free.
I guess I got in the habit of thinking it would always be free to me or at least low cost.
I graduated high school in 1957, with a college track set of grades. My science teacher encouraged me to aim high, saying that I had the talent and brains to become a doctor. I knew that was not a choice for me, as I was a poor half orphan, with not even a personal allowance.My part time job at a local dress shop paid 90 cents an hour, and I had saved only $100 by the time it came to pay for books and fees at the junior college.
Education got sidelined anyway when I eloped and got married. During the next 17 years I did get some college, and it was at the reasonably priced state universities and junior colleges in California.
Since my husband’s salary covered raising children and my college costs, it was all very manageable.
I still had to work and plan very carefully, and if I had not budgeted tightly, I never would have made it as far as I did before health issues arose, and I had to drop out my senior year.
Other women may have given up, but I did have a classmate who dropped out of high school to get married, and later went back, got her degree in book keeping, and went off to Kazakhstan to work for Chevron on the payroll. I just had to wait 28 years until all my children were self-sufficient enough that I could get some loans and finish my four year degree.
Then on to library school and more debt, with a MLS degree in Library Science and Information that got me employment in New York.
This degree did not guarantee me a comfortable life, as it costs everything I made just to live in Queensborogh and pay off the student loans of $20,000.
After I had worked for 6 years I was ready to retire. If it had not been for a small family inheritance, I would have ended up with zero savings, and still paying student loans.
It has been claimed by this fellow who blogs about scammers in education that we of the tax paying public are going to be paying for goof offs who expect the government to fund their booze filled college years while they “find themselves”
I could have been one of those people, as I had no idea what I wanted as a career, or what college track to take if I were able to go at the tender age of 18.
Even as I was taking correspondence courses by mail, night classes at local high schools, and doing voracious book reading I did not decide on a major until I was over 50 years old!
Some people just take a while.
Although I was smart enough to be a doctor, and kept up with medical issues, I never really wanted to have a stressful life. Anyone in the medical professions know that whereas the rewards of medicine are great, so are the pains and stress levels. To say nothing of the alcoholism in the ranks.
Some people are swayed into believing that our education system can be “gamed” with young people taking classes just for the party life. Some are long time students in community colleges, with never a degree in sight, but those have been gradually weeded out and made to graduate with their hundreds of credits.
I never in all my years of going to classes ever met anyone who was not serious about getting a degree so that they could get to work for decent pay.
Those who are up against the high cost of college now must find a way to work around this debt, either with family help, or changing tactics in their goals.
Some of my longtime friends from grade school had a minimum of college, and went to work in the mills, but at the same time bought rental property. Some worked at basic minimum wages and health care for years, but since they were land owners and royalty collectors, managed a very comfortable retirement.
Some of my high school class mates became doctors, nurses, lawyers, clerks, home helpers, and engineers.
Some went on to college to spite their teacher’s opinions, some got married and divorced but still went to work and raised children by themselves with the help of Welfare, a government program. Those children went on to be economists, and teachers.
Government help is there to those who need it, and wealthy families may have to pay more to get their children educated, but if a child or adult is determined to get an education, there is always a way.
We should not be scared of the straw men raised by ignorant bloggers. There are very few young people who think that the world and the tax payers owe them a living. All of the people in my family are working hard to get their kids a good education, and are willing to pay a lot to do that.