June 5, 2000
Graduation - Where do we go from here?
by mike <email@example.com>
I recently had the distinct honor of watching my girlfriend of two and a half years gracefully walk across the stage, receive her hard-earned high school diploma and return to her seat a high school graduate. I love her to death and plan to marry her, but still, in that fleeting moment, I could only help but wonder: What's the big deal?
I graduated from high school two years ago, in the beautiful spring of 1998. Where did it get me? I have yet to see the new wealth of opportunities a diploma is supposed to grant. A diploma give me nothing other than at least four more years of schooling to get yet another kind of diploma - a college degree.
These days, education has gone so far down the crapper that a high school diploma today is equivalent to what 8th grade students got before they went to high school. My elders keep telling me that today's master's degree is what a baccalaureate degree used to be. What's going on?
In order to get a non-"Would you like fries with that?" job these days, you have to have at least a college degree, with graduate work (master's or Ph.D) preferred. Even in medical school admissions, where you're seeking an advanced degree, applicants already posessing one are given preference. Is this to discourage young, aspiring doctors-to-be? No. It's to keep out the hicks.
Any Joe-Bob or Mary-Jane-Nancy from Kentucky or Tennessee can go to their local 'learnin barn' for a year or two and pick up a basic college degree in "farmin'" (Agricultural Science) or "butcherin'" (Food Science). Do you really want these people performing delicate coronary bypass surgery on you? They'd probably stop halfway through for a pork belly break.
Education has not become easier, really. It has been modified so Tennesseans can get decent jobs, but will never get a license to practice medicine on any human being. I kind of like it this way.
Published: June 5, 2000