Skip to main content

View Diary: A Blue-Collar Girl in a White-Collar World (105 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Going to college won't help much with that novel (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leftyparent, pundit

    but I think it is extremely valuable all the same.

    I'm a firm believer in unschooling. I homeschooled, on and off, my two daughters, and I've seen a lot of people learn a lot without formal schooling.

    I think that its possible to go to college as an unschooler and I think that the college experience can be much more satisfactory that way, at least for many people.

    What I mean is that college should be treated as what it once was, a place to get new experiences, to meet lots of difference kinds of people, and to learn all kinds of interesting things. This is, I believe, the essence of unschooling, and, strangely enough, the essence of going to college.

    If you are young, that probably sounds like an extremely strange characterization of college. Today, it's about getting “skills” and a degree that is prerequisite for a “good job”.

    But it doesn't have to be that way at all. If you are working part time, you could probably take a course here and there. You could start in a JC because there are generally no requirements for admission. There are lots of interesting classes at JCs, which are basically what corresponds to what is called the “Lower Division” at a college or university, plus what used to be called “Trade School”. If you run out of things that interest you there, then if you have a reasonably good record, you could probably either enroll in a college or university, or take classes there through “university extension” or similar programs.

    If you ever get interested in a field, you could go for a degree in it; if not, you would still gain quite a lot, I think, from those experiences. In my case, I got interested in a random field I'd never heard of before starting college, and went all the way to a PhD in it, although it took me quite a bit longer than most (about 17 years from graduating from high school to the PhD).

    So, in conclusion: yes, going to college to get job skills, that can be a total crock for a lot of people (people who aren't already dedicated to a specific plan for their lives). But that doesn't mean that college is always a waste of time, even for an unschooler.

    •  Yours are good points that echo my experience... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, antirove

      Particularly when you say..

      college should be treated as what it once was, a place to get new experiences, to meet lots of difference kinds of people, and to learn all kinds of interesting things. This is, I believe, the essence of unschooling, and, strangely enough, the essence of going to college.
      But now college has become so expensive since there is much less taxpayer money subsidizing, that the investment of money and time in college, for many, has to have an economic bottom line or it may not be worth it.

      Cooper Zale Los Angeles http://www.leftyparent.com

      by leftyparent on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 03:34:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I totally get your point... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      reconnected, leftyparent

      And have definitely learned a lot through enrolling in UCLA's Writer Extension Program. Not only did I get a dedicated writing group out of it, I also now have a writing mentor (a published author) whose taught me a ton about novel writing that I'd feel lost without, as I move forward with my own work.

      But I have to echo my dad's reply to this -- it wasn't just about investing the time and accepting the format (lectures, test taking, etc.), it was about the money. I definitely used my college fund to help me pay for my extension courses, but that was about all I could afford if I wanted to keep any of it to be able to write full time at some point (which is what I ended up doing). Sure, I may have been working a part-time job, but just enough to cover basic expenses, not part-time school on top of that. The closest I got was taking french through community college (and going to language school).

      I love the idea of being able to take specific courses to enrich myself, but I either couldn't afford it, or didn't feel like I could afford to give up my time, when I was trying to figure out how to write my novel. That was sort of part of my "blue-collar" experience, and part of what I mean when I said that I got a "glimmer of what it felt like to be disenfranchised". Not that I truly was, by any means, but I had grown up in a world where college was typically handed to you on a silver platter. That wasn't the case for me, so I had to be a lot more picky. Maybe even too picky, because I didn't expose myself to as many things. But that was just the reality of it, for me, and I feel like I took away some valuable life lessons, even if I wasn't quite as "enriched".

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site