Justifying the Means

My fellow Librarian Bryan’s post “Is College Worth the Effort?” made me really rethink and reconsider if all the hard work, the blood, sweat, and tears, were actually worth the effort. With someone who has a lot on their plate educational-wise, I wonder if I bit more than I could chew. I think this situation is best compared to that of Andrew Neiman’s in Whiplash.

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Photo ©2011 by Betsy Streeter [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

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Is College Worth the Effort?

On my last blog, I vented quite a bit about the competitiveness of college admissions for the University of California system. This week, I would like to take the subject of college in a bit of a different direction. The question, “Is a college education really worth the time, money and effort?”

All of my life I have been told that I need to study hard to get into a good college so that I can have a career that I can support myself with. It has been hammered into my head so long and I never questioned it. Year after year I toil, AP and Honors classes since I was a freshman. I even got a head start on Spanish and math in middle school, taking high school geometry and Spanish I. Now I am taking college classes in high school to get ahead in college.

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Photo @ 2010 by Sean MacEntee [CC by 2.0]

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College Admission

College admission has become ridiculously competitive. High school students are going to greater lengths to out-do their competition. In my parents generation it was enough just to get good grades. Now, not only do we need 4.0+ GPA’s, we need to stand out in ways that seem unnatural for most high school students.

Even if a student manages to do it all and then-some, he may not get into the school he desires. For example, my brother, last year, was ranked #1 in his senior class, was a leader in FVRR, took part in math competitions, was part of numerous clubs, volunteered many hours, started a volunteer musical performance group, had a super-high SAT score, was a National Merit Finalist and National AP Scholar, and even conducted original research at a local university. He applied to Stanford and was flat out rejected. Anyone would think, “If he didn’t get in, why should I even try?”

Photo @2010 by Sean MacEntee [CC BY 2.0]

Photo @2010 by Sean MacEntee [CC BY 2.0]

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Learning and Technology: Friends Yet Enemies

In the post-industrial society we live in today, technology seemingly overruns our lives. From working a stressful job to relaxing on the couch, technology is at the core of everything we do. This stands true for school as well; in fact it is especially prominent in the lives of students. In order for them to write essays or blogs, they need computers and internet. To research for a project, they also need a computer. Although it’s never been officially stated, technology is now a requirement for a successful education and learning experience.

Technology is very useful for students, and is one of the most important tools available to them, if not the most important. Computers provide rapid information with little to no cost or time investment, whereas using a dictionary or encyclopedia would take a good amount of time to pull out and look through. This is very helpful for students that are taking a heavy course load since they need all the time they can get to work.

Photo @2013 by Mervi Eskelinen [CC by 2.0]

Photo @2013 by Mervi Eskelinen [CC by 2.0]

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New Semester

The first semester is over and now its time to write more blogs! We sort of started to lose focus on the blogs because of all of the Great Gatsby readings and questions, but now that’s over. I hope you all did well in the first semester. Now its time for a new one!

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Photo @2015 by Olli Henze [CC BY-ND 2.0]

I am going to discuss two of the things I felt went wrong with first semester and how they can possibly be improved. Warning, this blog features a negative tone. Continue reading