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Rowen

Back to School: 2010

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Originally Posted By: Enraged Slith
A little off topic here, but am I the only "adult" here who isn't in, hasn't gone through, or isn't planning on going through grad school?
Never went, nor have plans to go. I've never given it a second thought--or a first one for that matter, until now.

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Originally Posted By: Enraged Slith

A little off topic here, but am I the only "adult" here who isn't in, hasn't gone through, or isn't planning on going through grad school?

I am an adult who has completed only one semester of undergrad. While it is not impossible that I will go back, it has been nearly 5 years, and I have not felt the urge. Even if I do go back and earn an undergrad degree, the odds of me progressing on to grad school are slim to none.

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*bump*

 

CH 201 - Ancient and Medieval Culture

CHE 102 - Introduction to Chemical Engineering II

CHEM 202 - General Chemistry for Scientists and Engineers II

MATH 283 - Calculus III

PHYS 180 - Physics for Scientists and Engineers

PHYS 180L - Physics Laboratory

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Seminar: French Monarchy and Empire

Directed Independent Study: Early American History

Thesis-writing credit hours

Thesis Defense

 

smile

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CMPUT 654: Online Learning

CMPUT 657: Heuristic Search

THES 903: [Placeholder course to keep full-time status]

STRESS 101

PANIC 101

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SPAN 306: South American Literature

SPAN 411: Chicano Literature

ECON 202: Retake

MS 101 and lab: Military Science and getting yelled at

ENG ???: Study of modern writing.

Core 163: Globalization and its negative affects

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Yay I can finally contribute in an on-topic way!

 

-16th Century Literature

-Introduction to Drama

-Reading Local Literature

-Black British Writing

 

(slightly off-topic: I enrolled yesterday, and sheesh, one of the worst experiences of my life. Not because the modules I wanted were taken - I didn't get a choice because the University is only offering these whilst it switches to a new set of modules - but the insane queues and lack of organisation by pretty much everybody. Here I was thinking it'd be a breeze because there were only a fraction of students starting in January - I'm dreading September!)

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Currently im only taking 2 online courses. I'll take more next year.

 

-Overview of the Colorado Plateau

-Intro to Psychology

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Originally Posted By: Nikki.
- but the insane queues and lack of organisation by pretty much everybody.

I've often said the only thing college taught me was how to stand in line.

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Originally Posted By: Randomizer
Originally Posted By: Nikki.
- but the insane queues and lack of organisation by pretty much everybody.

I've often said the only thing college taught me was how to stand in line.


Not, say, how to poison your liver? You must have had a boring college experience...

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Originally Posted By: Rowen

MS 101 and lab: Military Science and getting yelled at

New cadet?

Originally Posted By: Nikki.
Yay I can finally contribute in an on-topic way!

-16th Century Literature
-Introduction to Drama
-Reading Local Literature
-Black British Writing

(slightly off-topic: I enrolled yesterday, and sheesh, one of the worst experiences of my life. Not because the modules I wanted were taken - I didn't get a choice because the University is only offering these whilst it switches to a new set of modules - but the insane queues and lack of organisation by pretty much everybody. Here I was thinking it'd be a breeze because there were only a fraction of students starting in January - I'm dreading September!)

It's rough wherever and whenever you go. Tell me how it works out for you when they start asking you to sign up for Summer/Fall semester months before you even want to think about them.

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Originally Posted By: Dantius
Originally Posted By: Randomizer
Originally Posted By: Nikki.
- but the insane queues and lack of organisation by pretty much everybody.

I've often said the only thing college taught me was how to stand in line.


Not, say, how to poison your liver? You must have had a boring college experience...


I drank religiously. The drinking age was 19 back then, but I never got carded until I was well past that and the guy checking my ID knew me from school.

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Since I don't remember the class numbers:

 

Intro to Computer Science

Biology of Plants

General Chemistry II

Calculus III

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Originally Posted By: Dantius
Originally Posted By: Randomizer
I've often said the only thing college taught me was how to stand in line.


Not, say, how to poison your liver? You must have had a boring college experience...
I never poisoned my liver all that much when I was in college; the novelty of alcohol had long since faded before I ever set foot on campus.

And for me, the only thing I learned in college is how many severely overpriced books I was forced to buy each semester, and then couldn't sell any of them back because they're switching to a newer edition of the book.

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Originally Posted By: The Mystic
I never poisoned my liver all that much when I was in college; the novelty of alcohol had long since faded before I ever set foot on campus.


I can't say the novelty has completely faded but I've been legally allowed to drink for over 5 years now, so it's lost its lustre somewhat.

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Let's see...

 

Wildlife Management (which I'm currently in the middle of and is awesome)

Statistics for Research

Short Story Cycle

Voices from American Literature

 

Dikiyoba.

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Mathematical Analysis 1B

General Chemistry 2

General Phsysics 2

Statistics and Probability

 

Should have taken Chemical Analyis too, but I'm finishing in 4 years onstead of 3 anyway, so theres no hurry right now.

I always sucked at math, so I don't know why I decided to take a BS degree that requires lots and lots of math heavy subjects, but it's going well enough for now.

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Originally Posted By: Dikiyoba
Let's see...

Wildlife Management (which I'm currently in the middle of and is awesome)
Statistics for Research
Short Story Cycle
Voices from American Literature

Dikiyoba.


What program is this part of, Dikiyoba? It's an unusual mixture.

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This minors thing sou nds interesting. I guess the extra year in high school comes instead of that. I gather you can pick any two subjects you want?

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Originally Posted By: Dikiyoba
Conservation biology major plus creative writing minor.

Dikiyoba.

Drat, I was going to say ecoterrorist out to write a truly stirring manifesto. smile

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Originally Posted By: Droid
I gather you can pick any two subjects you want?

Pretty much, yeah.

Originally Posted By: Tirien
The minor makes me wonder if we should expect the Dikiscripts to start again?

See, now I have to reset the countdown and start all over again.

Dikiyoba hopes you are ashamed.

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@Droid: I'm not sure the existence of 'minor' concentrations has much to do with high school duration. North American BSc degrees, or BA with Honors, normally take four years. Only about half your courses are supposed to be directly in your main subject. So you could devote the rest to a shotgun blast broad education of random electives, or you could concentrate them a bit more, and get a 'minor' credential for doing enough of this. Some schools even allow you to do certain pairs of subjects as a double major.

 

As far as I know it's only the UK that does three-year BSc degrees, and to achieve this, UK secondary education is more specialized than anywhere else. It's purely a cost-cutting measure, designed to pump formally qualified graduates out the door one year sooner. And it's a strategy viewed with skepticism internationally — be warned. UK degrees are generally considered at a slight discount.

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Most Australian universities offer three-year BSc degrees, although for anyone planning on a career in academia an additional Honours year is pretty much essential.

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Originally Posted By: Student of Trinity
Some schools even allow you to do certain pairs of subjects as a double major.

The two subjects don't even have to relate, really. As long as you meet the requirements for both, you get both degrees. My brother will be graduating this year with a bachelors in both music (I forget the specific area) and economics.

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My youngest brother got a degree in mechanical engineering, with a minor in philosophy. Because of the difficulty in finding philosophy courses that would fit his full engineering course schedule, he wound up becoming a minor expert in lesbian ethics. This seemed amusing at the time because he was the epitome of the macho, hard-drinking engineer, to the point of being an army reserve infantry sergeant as his summer job. He can now design you a machine to measure liquor, or lucidly explain several viewpoints about how male-to-female transsexuals who are sexually attracted to women are regarded within lesbian communities. And what he actually does for a living is sell billion-dollar mass transit systems to nation states around the world. Neither of his academic qualifications is terribly relevant to his work, but it's a bit of a toss-up which one is less relevant.

 

My other brother did a double major in math and psychology, and then got a B.Ed. He did a bit of supply high school teaching, but he's been riding herd on large corporate databases for the last ten years or so. I think half his DNA is in Perl by now.

 

I feel I'm a sort of family black sheep for actually working in the same field I studied. But as a student I seriously considered taking a minor or even a second major in English. I wound up in a super-heavy physics concentration that didn't allow enough electives for either, but I was able to work my way up to upper-year English seminars by narrowly specializing in Milton. I can yak on for quite a while about Paradise Lost. And I'm still happy about this.

 

Bottom line: the absurd breadth of North American higher education is maybe the least broken thing about it.

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Originally Posted By: Student of Trinity
It's purely a cost-cutting measure, designed to pump formally qualified graduates out the door one year sooner. And it's a strategy viewed with skepticism internationally — be warned. UK degrees are generally considered at a slight discount.

 

Whilst I don't quarrel agree with the conclusion (as posted on another thread) I'm not familiar with what evidence there is for the comment about it being due to cost-cutting measures. Degrees in England have been of three years' duration for around 50 years, I admit I don't know the detailed history but I've never heard that they were cut from 4 to 3 due to budget cuts. If you have a reference I'd be interested to see that (mainly curious which government did it!)

 

But anyway, the overall conclusion is sound: English educational courses are too narrow and of uneven quality at best. In England it takes 7 years to get to PhD, as compared to 9 years in other countries. Indeed, the latest government inspired idea is 2 year foundational degrees (pretty soon it'll be 6 weeks and you get a certificate).

 

Edit: Oh yeah, edit because I don't want this to be entirely discouraging, to Nikki or any others just starting. Even in England you're still better off with a degree than not, mainly because if you are actually interested in your subject then you don't have to let the system hold you back. At university you get access to all the libraries and journals, which are pretty amazing, plus qualified and interested staff who will help you to make the best of them. And actual time to study.

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I guess I don't really know that cost-cutting was the explicit motivation for the streamlining of British education. But it certainly does cut costs: a shorter term of study means a smaller student population that requires fewer teachers.

 

And this is bound to be a limitation on any efforts to change the system. No government wants to face voters after denying some of them access to university when they had expected it based on previous standards. So it's very hard to simply give broader and longer education at the same cost by kicking out some students. But expanding education for everyone, instead, costs a lot of money.

 

I'm guessing that the peculiarly British education issue is that there's a long history of very good higher education in the country, but it's a very elitist tradition. That excellent education was reserved for the fortunate few. After WW2 the UK began trying to expand its education system dramatically. It did so, in part, by making it more specialized.

 

And what Micawber says is true: university is what you make it. The resources are there if you reach for them, even if the system fails to stuff them down your throat. And even if there is any perceived deficiency in British qualifications, a good interview would erase the issue.

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Originally Posted By: Student of Trinity
how male-to-female transsexuals who are sexually attracted to women are regarded within lesbian communities


the answer is often "poorly" btw

and the relation between lesbian communities and FtMs somehow manages to be even weirder

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Originally Posted By: Student of Trinity
My youngest brother got a degree in mechanical engineering, with a minor in philosophy. Because of the difficulty in finding philosophy courses that would fit his full engineering course schedule, he wound up becoming a minor expert in lesbian ethics. This seemed amusing at the time because he was the epitome of the macho, hard-drinking engineer, to the point of being an army reserve infantry sergeant as his summer job. He can now design you a machine to measure liquor, or lucidly explain several viewpoints about how male-to-female transsexuals who are sexually attracted to women are regarded within lesbian communities. And what he actually does for a living is sell billion-dollar mass transit systems to nation states around the world. Neither of his academic qualifications is terribly relevant to his work, but it's a bit of a toss-up which one is less relevant.

My other brother did a double major in math and psychology, and then got a B.Ed. He did a bit of supply high school teaching, but he's been riding herd on large corporate databases for the last ten years or so. I think half his DNA is in Perl by now.

I feel I'm a sort of family black sheep for actually working in the same field I studied. But as a student I seriously considered taking a minor or even a second major in English. I wound up in a super-heavy physics concentration that didn't allow enough electives for either, but I was able to work my way up to upper-year English seminars by narrowly specializing in Milton. I can yak on for quite a while about Paradise Lost. And I'm still happy about this.

Bottom line: the absurd breadth of North American higher education is maybe the least broken thing about it.

I double-majored in Classical Languages (i.e. Latin and Greek) and Astrophysics. I intend to work in neither.

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A classmate of mine double majored in physics and music. He became a science consultant for Star Trek: The Next Generation and the later series. Then they let him write and promoted him to an executive producer position. He's spending his life in television.

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Originally Posted By: Student of Trinity
Bottom line: the absurd breadth of North American higher education is maybe the least broken thing about it.

I don't think there is anything wrong with the wide breadth of our system, some people (me included) like to get a taste of everything.

Also, regarding these wonderful stories of starting one place and ending up on a whole different planet, I don't think that's related so much to the education system as it is to the nature of life. Things change.

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No offense intended to anyone personally: but the fact that people think that their fancy for "getting a taste of" one thing or another thing should be a serious consideration in how major elements of society are structured, rather than keeping in mind how we can help those in serious need by dealing with poverty, hunger, violence, and so on, is a problem in itself.

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Originally Posted By: CRISIS on INFINITE SLARTIES
No offense intended to anyone personally: but the fact that people think that their fancy for "getting a taste of" one thing or another thing should be a serious consideration in how major elements of society are structured, rather than keeping in mind how we can help those in serious need by dealing with poverty, hunger, violence, and so on, is a problem in itself.

It seems as though you're saying that people shouldn't be able to learn about a wide range of topics because it's such a great expense and so taxing on our educational system that it's preventing people from dealing with poverty, etc. Maybe you're being so vague that I'm misunderstanding you, but that sounds pretty ridiculous on the face of it.

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Originally Posted By: Kelandon
It seems as though you're saying that people shouldn't be able to learn about a wide range of topics because it's such a great expense and so taxing on our educational system that it's preventing people from dealing with poverty, etc. Maybe you're being so vague that I'm misunderstanding you, but that sounds pretty ridiculous on the face of it.


I read it as saying that people shouldn't be required to learn about a wide range of topics because it makes courses longer and more expensive, which makes them more inaccessible to the poor.

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Originally Posted By: Lilith
Originally Posted By: Kelandon
It seems as though you're saying that people shouldn't be able to learn about a wide range of topics because it's such a great expense and so taxing on our educational system that it's preventing people from dealing with poverty, etc. Maybe you're being so vague that I'm misunderstanding you, but that sounds pretty ridiculous on the face of it.


I read it as saying that people shouldn't be required to learn about a wide range of topics because it makes courses longer and more expensive, which makes them more inaccessible to the poor.


I agree with that interpretation, although I couldn't get to it on my own. Gen. Ed. requirements should be kept to public primary and secondary education (before college/university for those not in the States). While there are benefits to Gen. Ed., the costs outweigh the benefits if there are more than just a few simple requirements.

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How onerous are the requirements? Core curricula and distribution requirements are widespread, but how heavy is the burden of fulfilling the requirements, and how much do they contribute? Proponents of liberal arts have claimed that broad study contributes to better and more flexible thinking, and at least some (problematic) studies have borne out their claims. If America's edge in higher education really is breadth, which comes with cost, what's the solution?

 

Education without that requirement is likely to end up looking a fair amount like community college: an à la carte term of study with depth, breadth, and duration left to the determination of the student.

 

—Alorael, who also considers to what extent requiring breadth keeps the whole system running. Putting more students in classes, especially classes that many might avoid, keeps faculty employed (not that they always enjoy that part of their work), and keeps some departments funded. Would language departments collapse without requirements? What about English departments? (Probably not; universities without requirements do fine.)

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My Computer Systems/Cisco class was dropped this year, but they told me it would come back next (2011-2012) year. Now i'm hearing rumors that it won't be picked up due to (more) budget cuts. And yet the Athletics Department is getting more money in the budget.

 

last time i checked schools exist to teach people...

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Originally Posted By: Sylae Corell
My Computer Systems/Cisco class was dropped this year, but they told me it would come back next (2011-2012) year. Now i'm hearing rumors that it won't be picked up due to (more) budget cuts. And yet the Athletics Department is getting more money in the budget.
Yeah, unfortunately, that sounds about right. It seems like the better a potential student is at some type of sport, the more a school is willing to spend to recruit him/her. And the sad thing is that every athlete I've ever met, on campus or off, has had less brains than the average clump of dirt.

Quote:
last time i checked schools exist to teach people...
Looking back on my school years, I learned very little beyond the "three R's" that was useful outside a classroom setting. In my opinion, true education starts well after the point where schools leave off.

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It depends upon your school. Most serve as a place for professors to work at bringing in research grant money which the school gets a share for the overhead costs of maintaining the school. Teaching is secondary and partially to get a supply of cheap labor for the professors.

 

Stanford got caught back in the 90s spending government research money for the school's boat, wood paneling for the administration, and other questionable expenses. They forgot to reallocate money to keep the books "clean."

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Originally Posted By: Randomizer
Stanford got caught back in the 90s spending government research money for the school's boat, wood paneling for the administration, and other questionable expenses. They forgot to reallocate money to keep the books "clean."


so you can tell who was on the stanford admin staff back in the 90s from the fact that they're covered in wood?

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*bump again*

 

(School doesn't start until tomorrow, though)

 

CH 202 - Modern World

CHE 232 - Principles of Chemical Engineering

CHEM 341 - Organic Chemistry for Scientists and Professionals I

MATH 285 - Differential Equations

PHYS 181 - Physics for Scientists and Engineers II

PHYS 181L - Physics Lab

 

I lucked out: I don't have any classes that start before 11:00 AM. Last semester I had a math class at 8:00 AM--I am not a morning person.

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Originally Posted By: Enraged Slith
I fived the AP Physics exam and my first Physics course in College was a breeze, so I think it did a pretty good job preparing me for the subject, but I guess that probably plays into your second point. College has become more accessible to the masses over the years, but it hasn't become any less expensive. I think that there's probably some correlation there.

A little off topic here, but am I the only "adult" here who isn't in, hasn't gone through, or isn't planning on going through grad school?


I didn't even finish high school, so uni is completely ruled out for me.

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If I didn't know any better, I would have thought that post was completely random.

 

Almost amusing in a way, really.

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