Education About Education

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

education

Today a little education about education.

First I’ll crunch some numbers, as I like to do.

4,726 = the number of colleges and universities United States.

$589 billion =  the amount spent by students annually.

Of that figure,

$393 billion = tuition fees, and

$196 billion = expenses like travel and housing.

538% = the percentage increase of the cost of a college education over the past three decades.

4.5 = the number times more expensive it is to go to college today than it was back in 1985, even allowing for inflation.

So is the cost worth it?

Does the education system make sense?

The vast majority of Americans never even consider these important questions. They are fixated on their kids going to college – end of debate.

Whether they have the ability or not, or whether it is the right career path for them or not, if the parents can afford it and/or the kids can get a student loan (which they usually can) then they go to college.

But there is a heavy cost to pay, as we have just seen above. By the time they graduate 70% of students are lumbered with a loan balance averaging $28,400. Nationwide in the US, student loan debt now sits at a staggering $1.2 trillion, which is nearly 50% higher than all the outstanding auto-loan debt, and almost double credit card debt.

student loan debt

While it is true that college graduates have more opportunities to earn more than those without a degree, the number of those good paying jobs is limited. Most college graduates have to settle for a lot less that they were planning for when they started that expensive college education.

What is often forgotten is that there are many other opportunities out there in the workplace for someone who spends their time and money learning a trade or a skill. A friend of mine who is a plumber earns many times more than many of his contemporaries with college degrees and office jobs.

In fact, since more and more young Americans are turning their noses up at manual type jobs and opting for expensive colleges, there will soon be a shortage of essential trades such as plumbers, electricians and so forth, making those jobs even more lucrative than they are now.

Food for thought for the future perhaps.

FoodForThought

.

=================================

.

Did You Know? Another Fact Finding Mission Is Underway!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Another fact finding mission has been undertaken on your behalf and here are this week’s results.

The usual random mixture, so hopefully something interesting will be in there for you.

Enjoy.

.

did you know2

.

Cashews are actually a fleshy fruit.

The nut that we eat is the seed that

grows on the outside of the fruit.

cashews

.

.

There have been 14 vice presidents who have

become President of the United States.

vice-president-of-the-us-seal-plaque

.

.

Thamsanqa Jantjie, the embarrassing sign language interpreter

at the Mandela Memorial who doesn’t know any sign language,

is also alleged to be a murderer.

He was among a group of people who accosted two men found

with a stolen television and burned them to death

by setting fire to tires placed around their necks.

Thamsanqa-Jantjie

.

.

Outside North and South America,

the only alligators found in the wild are in China.

alligator

.

.

Thomas Edison was a great inventor,

but not so good at putting his inventions into practical business use.

For example, despite having the contract to supply cement

for the original Yankee Stadium,

the Edison Portland Cement Company went bust

because it insisted on producing concrete everything,

including cabinets, pianos, and even entire houses!

Yankee Stadium

.

.

Gureng-gureng, Gabi-Gabi, Waga-Waga, Wemba-Wemba, and Yitha-Yitha

are all names of native Australian languages.

Gurindji-yurrk

.

.

Some Americans disagreed with the United States’ initial refusal

to enter WWI and so they joined the French Foreign Legion

or the British or Canadian armies.

A group of U.S. pilots formed the Lafayette Escadrille,

which was part of the French air force and became

one of the top fighting units on the Western Front.

Escadrille Lafayette Banner

.

.

The horse race normally called the Belmont Stakes

also goes by name of the Run for the Carnations.

Belmont Stakes

.

.

Golf legend Jack Nicklaus didn’t earn his nickname,

the Golden Bear,

because of his size, his demeanor, or his hair.

It was the name of his high school mascot.

david-okeefe-golden-bear-2

.

.

The term “Continental breakfast” was coined to

differentiate itself from an English breakfast.

The fried eggs, bacon, and beans of an English morning

are quite distinct from the dainty pastries, coffee, and juice

offered throughout the rest of Europe.

English Continental Breakfasts

.

.

Beowulf is the longest Old English manuscript in existence

and contains about a tenth of all known Anglo-Saxon poetry.

beowulf

.

.

After Leonardo da Vinci’s death,

King Francis I of France hung the Mona Lisa in his bathroom.

(There’s critics everywhere!)

mona-lisa-article-english

.

.

One type of hummingbird weighs less than a penny.

hummingbird

.

.

The letter “J” was the last letter added to the English Alphabet.

Before that, the letter “L” was used in its place.

“U” was the second to last letter added,

and was usually replaced by V.

old-english-alphabet

.

.

Norman Mailer coined the word “factoid” in his 1973 biography Marilyn,

BUT it wasn’t just another word for “trivia”

– he actually meant something that seems like a fact but isn’t actually factual

– and that’s a fact….. or a factoid…. or…. er.

quote-factoids-that-is-facts-which-have-no-existence-before-appearing-in-a-magazine-or-newspaper-norman-mailer

.

========================================

.

Those Of A Nervous Disposition Should Look Away Now

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

 .

Yes, those of a nervous disposition should indeed look away now, because today we have the penultimate list of irrational fears and phobias that seem to afflict certain members of the population. How and why they develop such curious mental afflictions I don’t. They are real to them, but foolish and amusing to the rest of us.

Today is ‘Q’, ‘R’ and ‘S’.

Enjoy.

.

scared 3

.

Quadraphobia ……….fear of the number four.

 

Quadriplegiphobia ……….fear of quadriplegics or fear of becoming a quadriplegic.

 

Quintaphobia ……….fear of the number five.

.

Radiophobia ……….fear of radiation, x-rays.

 

Ranidaphobia ……….fear of frogs.

 

Rectophobia ……….fear of rectum or rectal diseases.

 

Rhabdophobia ……….fear of being severely punished or beaten by a rod, or of being severely criticized. Also fear of magic.(wand)

 

Rhypophobia ……….fear of defecation.

 

Rhytiphobia ……….fear of getting wrinkles.

 

Rupophobia ……….fear of dirt.

 

Russophobia ……….fear of Russians.

 

Samhainophobia ……….fear of Halloween.

 

Sarmassophobia ……….fear of love play. (Malaxophobia)

 

Satanophobia ……….fear of Satan.

 

Scabiophobia ……….fear of scabies.

 

Scatophobia ……….fear of fecal matter.

 

Scelerophibia ……….fear of bad men, burglars.

 

Sciaphobia or Sciophobia or Sciaphobia ……….fear of shadows.

 

Scoleciphobia ……….fear of worms.

 

Scolionophobia ……….fear of school.

 

Scopophobia or Scoptophobia ……….fear of being seen or stared at.

 

Scotomaphobia ……….fear of blindness in visual field.

 

Scotophobia ……….fear of darkness. (Achluophobia)

 

Scriptophobia ……….fear of writing in public.

 

Selachophobia ……….fear of sharks.

 

Selaphobia ……….fear of light flashes.

 

Selenophobia ……….fear of the moon.

 

Seplophobia ……….fear of decaying matter.

 

Sesquipedalophobia ……….fear of long words.

 

Sexophobia ……….fear of the opposite sex. (Heterophobia)

 

Siderodromophobia ……….fear of trains, railroads or train travel.

 

Siderophobia ……….fear of stars.

 

Sinistrophobia ……….fear of things to the left or left-handed.

 

Sinophobia ……….fear of Chinese, Chinese culture.

 

Sitophobia or Sitiophobia ……….fear of food or eating. (Cibophobia)

 

Snakephobia ……….fear of snakes. (Ophidiophobia)

 

Soceraphobia ……….fear of parents-in-law.

 

Social Phobia ……….fear of being evaluated negatively in social situations.

 

Sociophobia ……….fear of society or people in general.

 

Somniphobia ……….fear of sleep.

 

Sophophobia ……….fear of learning.

 

Soteriophobia ……….fear of dependence on others.

 

Spacephobia ……….fear of outer space.

 

Spectrophobia ……….fear of specters or ghosts.

 

Spermatophobia or Spermophobia ……….fear of germs.

 

Spheksophobia ……….fear of wasps.

 

Stasibasiphobia or Stasiphobia ……….fear of standing or walking. (Ambulophobia)

 

Staurophobia ……….fear of crosses or the crucifix.

 

Stenophobia ……….fear of narrow things or places.

 

Stygiophobia or Stigiophobia ……….fear of hell.

 

Suriphobia ……….fear of mice.

 

Symbolophobia ……….fear of symbolism.

 

Symmetrophobia ……….fear of symmetry.

 

Syngenesophobia ……….fear of relatives.

 

Syphilophobia ……….fear of syphilis.

. 

=========================

.

Even Dumb And Dumber Are Beginning To Look Reasonably Smart

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

 

“Education is light, lack of it darkness.”
–Russian proverb

 

Teaching is a great vocation and a vitally important one for society. It’s a pity that the politicians didn’t realize that and devote a bit more of their time and our money towards improving the salaries of the teachers and raising the level of education of the pupils.

I know a lot of people would say what use is learning stuff like history or economics or having to read some high-brow literature in which you have little or no interest. But learning is, or rather used to be, about discovering how to think, how to retain information and how to apply what you have retained in other situations.

In other words developing a bit of common sense and the ability to think you way out of or around problem situations. The brain is like a muscle, the more exercise it gets and the more you use it the more efficient it becomes.

Sadly, we have reached the intolerable stage where, instead of the logical progression of standards being set just a little bit higher each year, the very opposite is occurring. Educational standards are dropping every year, and not by a little either.

Exam passing statistics have become a worthless joke. University degrees have been similarly devalued.

Nowadays, if you’ve got money and no brains you’ll get all the degrees and qualifications you want. If you got brains to burn and no money then the educational establishments don’t want to know you. If you get anywhere you have to rely on getting a scholarship to a good school, or working two or three jobs to gather up the money.

A few years ago I was having a meal with a Professor of mine from University days. “How are things with you?” I asked casually as you do, expecting to hear the standard answer like “Fine, what about you?”.

But instead I got a heartfelt reply that went like this.

“Things are terrible,” he started. “The kids these days don’t seem to want to learn anything. They, or their parents pay a lot of money to send them to college and they just don’t seem to care any more. Thank goodness I have only a few more years to go until I can retire. It’s just not the same any more. You have no idea how the standards have dropped. There is no comparison to when you were there.”

On further inquiry I found out that it was not just the kids, the Universities themselves were partly to blame. Everything now was money driven. There were not the same government assistance programs, the standard of the students being accepted was declining rapidly, very few of them even had the basics of a good education any more and the emphasis was on attracting overseas students, many of whom could only speak a little bit of English and could write even less –  because the fees the Universities could charge them were a lot more than for the indigenous variety.

If you think about it, it is a self-defeating spiral downwards. Teaching standards get lowered  –  students get a poorer education  –  some of them become teachers themselves  –  they know less than their predecessors  –  their pupils therefore can only learn less  –  some of them become teachers  –  etc., etc., etc.

I’m wondering now if it can actually reach the stage where nobody knows anything, but when I think about some of the stuff in this blog, maybe we’re already getting close, too close???

Need more proof?

Try this lot of answers from the British GCSE. This is an examination given to sixteen year olds, who by that age should know at least the basics of things. Judge for yourselves from these answers (the spelling mistakes are all theirs):

 

 

Ancient Egypt was inhabited by mummies and they all wrote in hydraulics. They lived in the Sarah Dessert and traveled by Camelot. The climate of the Sarah is such that the inhabitants have to live elsewhere.

 

 

The Bible is full of interesting caricatures. In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis, Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. One of their children, Cain, asked, “Am I my brother’s son?”

 

 

Moses led the Hebrew slaves to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread which is bread made without any ingredients. Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandments. He died before he ever reached Canada.

 

 

Solomom had three hundred wives and seven hundred porcupines.

 

 

The Greeks were a highly sculptured people, and without them we wouldn’t have history. The Greeks also had myths. A myth is a female moth.

 

 

Actually, Homer was not written by Homer but by another man of that name.

 

 

Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock. After his death, his career suffered a dramatic decline.

 

 

In the Olympic games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled the biscuits, and threw the java.

 

 

Eventually, the Romans conquered the Greeks. History calls people Romans because they never stayed in one place for very long.

 

 

Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides of March murdered him because they thought he was going to be made king. Dying, he gasped out: “Tee hee, Brutus.”

 

 

Nero was a cruel tyranny who would torture his subjects by playing the fiddle to them.

 

 

Joan of Arc was burnt to a steak and was cannonized by Bernard Shaw. Finally Magna Carta provided that no man should be hanged twice for the same offense.

 

 

In midevil times most people were alliterate. The greatest writer of the futile ages was Chaucer, who wrote many poems and verses and also wrote literature.

 

 

Another story was William Tell, who shot an arrow through an apple while standing on his son’s head.

 

 

Queen Elizabeth was the “Virgin Queen.” As a queen she was a success. When she exposed herself before her troops they all shouted “hurrah.”

 

 

The French Revolution was accomplished before it happened and catapulted into Napoleon. Napoleon wanted an heir to inherit his power, but since Josephine was a baroness, she couldn’t have any children.

 

 

The sun never set on the British Empire because the British Empire is in the East and the sun sets in the West.

 

 

Queen Victoria was the longest queen. She sat on a thorn for 63 years. She was a moral woman who practiced virtue. Her death was the final event which ended her reign.

 

 

The nineteenth century was a time of a great many thoughts and inventions. People stopped reproducing by hand and started reproducing by machine. The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers to spring up. Cyrus McCormick invented the McCormick raper, which did the work of a hundred men.

 

 

Louis Pasteur discovered a cure for rabbis. Charles Darwin was a naturalist who wrote the Organ of the Species. Madman Curie discovered radio. And Karl Marx became one of the Marx brothers.

 

 

It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenberg invented removable type and the Bible. Another important invention was the circulation of blood. Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented cigarettes and started smoking. And Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100 foot clipper.

 

 

The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespeare. He was born in the year 1564, supposedly on his birthday. He never made much money and is famous only because of his plays. He wrote tragedies, comedies, and hysterectomies, all in Islamic pentameter. Romeo and Juliet are an example of a heroic couplet. Romeo’s last wish was to be laid by Juliet.

 

 

Writing at the same time as Shakespeare was Miguel Cervantes. He wrote Donkey Hote. The next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote Paradise Lost. Then his wife died and he wrote Paradise Regained.

 

 

The First World War, caused by the assignation of the Arch-Duck byan anahist, ushered in a new error in the anals of human history.

 

 

During the Renaissance America began. Christopher Columbus was a great navigator who discovered America while cursing about the Atlantic. His ships were called the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Fe.

 

 

Later, the Pilgrims crossed the ocean, and this was called Pilgrim’s Progress. The winter of 1620 was a hard one for the settlers. Many people died and many babies were born. Captain John Smith was responsible for all this.

 

 

One of the causes of the Revolutionary War was the English put tacks in their tea. Also, the colonists would send their parcels through the post without stamps. Finally the colonists won the War and no longer had to pay for taxis. Delegates from the original 13 states formed the Contented Congress. Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin, and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin discovered electricity by rubbing two cats backwards and declared, “A horse divided against itself cannot stand.”. Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.

 

 

Soon the Constitution of the United States was adopted to secure domestic hostility. Under the constitution the people enjoyed the right to keep bare arms.

 

 

Abraham Lincoln became America’s greatest Precedent. Lincoln’s mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves by signing the Emasculation Proclamation. On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show. The believed assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a supposedly insane actor. This ruined Booth’s career.

 

 

Meanwhile in Europe, the enlightenment was a reasonable time. Voltaire invented electricity and also wrote a book called Candy.

 

 

Gravity was invented by Issac Walton. It is chiefly noticeable in the autumn when the apples are falling off the trees.

 

 

Johann Bach wrote a great many musical compositions and had a large number of children. In between he practiced on an old spinster which he kept up in his attic. Bach died from 1750 to the present. Bach was the most famous composer in the world and so was Handel. Handel was half German half Italian and half English. He was very large.

 

 

Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this.