Sunday, April 15, 2012

The cost of higher education

I thought the article in The Times-Dispatch was interesting and slightly alarming. One trillion dollars in debt is considerable. But considering most of the colleges I visited all had huge campuses with several facilities, something tells me that if federal funding was reduced they wouldn't just look around and say, "Welp, guess we'll have to mothball a couple of the departments and slash coaching salaries." Aaaand I think that's a good guess as to why student tuition has increased. But the most interesting point of the article was that the benefit of having an undergrad degree has diminished in that it may not prepare you adequately for a job straight out of college.
I can definitely relate to that. Getting a degree in Biology helped critical thinking skills and problem solving, but working in a lab? Data collection? Statistics that go along with data collection? Designing experiments? Managing a lab budget? Nope. The one thing it did prepare me for, unfortunately, was just going to grad school.
I think it'll be interesting to see if colleges redesign their curriculum or refocus their efforts on better preparation for after college. But the question is, will they do this before or after student debt becomes insurmountable?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Deep Thoughts

Lara and I were in Bon Air's Total Wine the other day with the muzak playing softly in the background. Phil Collins's "Easy Lover" came on and I said to myself, "Finally! It's been so long since I've heard some decent elevator music!"

Monday, April 9, 2012

Haste makes waste

It's an old saw, but it's true. Life has started moving at a slightly slower pace and I'm definitely noticing it. Instead of being given several minutes notice for some ridiculous tasking, only to have me cranking out some ill-prepared product and then be told it's no longer needed, I'm able to approach different problems and determine the best way to go about them. Instead of dreading the commute to work in the morning, I enjoy it and review what I've learned (vacuum tubes were an early way of rectifying currents, overdrive on cars allow their engines to operate at lower rpms). And I'm definitely noticing an improvement in woodworking. I'm better prepared and my technique overall is improving for sawing, planing, jointing, you name it. But it's not limited to just that. I'm no longer making mistakes that require me to go back and rework or start over again.
Sometimes if you want to speed things up, you need to slow things down.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Deep Thoughts

Whenever I drive into work, there's always a large sign with the "e" burned out that says "CONG STION AHD" and I'm always hopeful that it's really just telling me that there's a conga station ahead, but whenever I pass by the construction workers they're usually busy scratching themselves and not forming up into a dance line.
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