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The Richness of Learning

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  • <dianne.chidester@...>
    A good word for anthropology. The Washington Post, May 27, 2013 The Richness of Learning By Richard Cohen President Jones, members of the faculty, assorted
    Message 1 of 3 , May 28, 2013
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      A good word for anthropology.


      The Washington Post, May 27, 2013
      The Richness of Learning
      By Richard Cohen

      President Jones, members of the faculty, assorted notables, proud parents and financially indebted graduates. I come before you on this auspicious day to say something about the degree you have just been awarded. You have been told it is not worth the papyrus it is printed on. I am here to tell you it is worth a fortune.

      In preparing for this commencement speech, I assembled a file of newspaper stories about the cost of college, the burden of student debt and how much you can expect to earn in your first year after graduation � assuming, of course, that you can even find a job. The numbers are daunting. Unless you are graduating from one of those name-brand elite institutions � Harvard, Yale, etc. � you�re probably not going to make much your first year out. In fact, we now have many examples of community college graduates earning more than those with bachelor�s degrees. In Virginia, the difference can be $20,000 a year.

      What�s more, people often come out of school burdened with debt � about $24,810 on average, but an astounding $41,230 in Washington, D.C., where many residents have advanced degrees. This is hardly small change, of course, but aside from Washington, we are talking the price of a new car � without the premium package. This is a debt your average young person gladly takes on without whining to Congress. I add that just to provide some perspective and get you riled up.

      The figures concerning salaries and debt are not to be dismissed. But they, too, need some perspective. College, after all, is not solely about earning power � although you are forgiven for not knowing this. College, believe it or not, is about education � and that, boys and girls, is not something you can put a number on. Let me give you a word: anthropology.

      This is a word I�m not sure I ever heard in high school. But when I got to college, I had to take a year of it to satisfy a science requirement. I did one semester of physical anthropology and one of cultural � and about 40 years of both ever since. I became enthralled with the study of evolution, with paleontology, with my pal Australopithecus africanus and with the �sexing� and �racing� of skulls. Give me a good skull and to this day I can give you the sex and the race of the dearly deceased. I was CSI Cohen before there was CSI anything.

      I still keep up with anthropology. I try to stay somewhat current in sociology and psychology, my major and minor before I lost my way and took up journalism � and I do these things not for credit but for fun. College taught me how to have fun with knowledge. It enriched my life in ways that cannot be quantified. I came out of college with a debt, but my real debt was to my professors.

      When I wanted to become a writer, I found teachers who showed me how. One of them, John Tebbel, a former newspaperman turned author, took me aside. He praised. He criticized. This is how it�s done, kid. The man changed my life.

      See, this is the part of college no one talks about anymore. It�s all about numbers � what it costs and what you can earn. It�s all about a financial investment � how much in and how much out, as if value is always about money. But there�s value in the discovery of fine art or cinema or literature or . . . anthropology. And � very important � you will get an overview of the world, not just your little area but all the rest. This will make you a better citizen, which is nice, and will give you greater control of your life, which is also nice.

      About a month ago, a hostess at a dinner party asked the table what college had done for them. Absolutely nothing, one person instantly responded. I braced for a cascade of negativity, but to my surprise it never came. Guest after guest praised their education and how it had made them a richer, happier person. I was gratified.

      I know what you�re thinking: It�s fine for you to say, Cohen. You�ve got yours. You�re not poor and scratching for a job. True enough. But you will find truth in the cliche that money cannot buy happiness. This has been the case for thousands of years � or, as I like to put it, since Australopithecus africanus.

      You can Google that.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/richard-cohen-the-richness-of-learning/2013/05/27/bd6078cc-c49e-11e2-914f-a7aba60512a7_story.html


      This electronic mail message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message. To the best of our ability and knowledge, this mail message has been scanned and is free of viruses and malware.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Lloyd Miller
      Dianne, thanks for posting this. We hear far too few of these from prominent people outside of academe. Lloyd
      Message 2 of 3 , May 28, 2013
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        Dianne, thanks for posting this. We hear far too few of these from prominent people outside of academe.
        Lloyd


        On May 28, 2013, at 2:13 PM, <dianne.chidester@...> <dianne.chidester@...> wrote:

        > A good word for anthropology.
        >
        >
        > The Washington Post, May 27, 2013
        > The Richness of Learning
        > By Richard Cohen
        >
        > President Jones, members of the faculty, assorted notables, proud parents and financially indebted graduates. I come before you on this auspicious day to say something about the degree you have just been awarded. You have been told it is not worth the papyrus it is printed on. I am here to tell you it is worth a fortune.
        >
        > In preparing for this commencement speech, I assembled a file of newspaper stories about the cost of college, the burden of student debt and how much you can expect to earn in your first year after graduation ˜ assuming, of course, that you can even find a job. The numbers are daunting. Unless you are graduating from one of those name-brand elite institutions ˜ Harvard, Yale, etc. ˜ you‚re probably not going to make much your first year out. In fact, we now have many examples of community college graduates earning more than those with bachelor‚s degrees. In Virginia, the difference can be $20,000 a year.
        >
        > What‚s more, people often come out of school burdened with debt ˜ about $24,810 on average, but an astounding $41,230 in Washington, D.C., where many residents have advanced degrees. This is hardly small change, of course, but aside from Washington, we are talking the price of a new car ˜ without the premium package. This is a debt your average young person gladly takes on without whining to Congress. I add that just to provide some perspective and get you riled up.
        >
        > The figures concerning salaries and debt are not to be dismissed. But they, too, need some perspective. College, after all, is not solely about earning power ˜ although you are forgiven for not knowing this. College, believe it or not, is about education ˜ and that, boys and girls, is not something you can put a number on. Let me give you a word: anthropology.
        >
        > This is a word I‚m not sure I ever heard in high school. But when I got to college, I had to take a year of it to satisfy a science requirement. I did one semester of physical anthropology and one of cultural ˜ and about 40 years of both ever since. I became enthralled with the study of evolution, with paleontology, with my pal Australopithecus africanus and with the „sexing‰ and „racing‰ of skulls. Give me a good skull and to this day I can give you the sex and the race of the dearly deceased. I was CSI Cohen before there was CSI anything.
        >
        > I still keep up with anthropology. I try to stay somewhat current in sociology and psychology, my major and minor before I lost my way and took up journalism ˜ and I do these things not for credit but for fun. College taught me how to have fun with knowledge. It enriched my life in ways that cannot be quantified. I came out of college with a debt, but my real debt was to my professors.
        >
        > When I wanted to become a writer, I found teachers who showed me how. One of them, John Tebbel, a former newspaperman turned author, took me aside. He praised. He criticized. This is how it‚s done, kid. The man changed my life.
        >
        > See, this is the part of college no one talks about anymore. It‚s all about numbers ˜ what it costs and what you can earn. It‚s all about a financial investment ˜ how much in and how much out, as if value is always about money. But there‚s value in the discovery of fine art or cinema or literature or . . . anthropology. And ˜ very important ˜ you will get an overview of the world, not just your little area but all the rest. This will make you a better citizen, which is nice, and will give you greater control of your life, which is also nice.
        >
        > About a month ago, a hostess at a dinner party asked the table what college had done for them. Absolutely nothing, one person instantly responded. I braced for a cascade of negativity, but to my surprise it never came. Guest after guest praised their education and how it had made them a richer, happier person. I was gratified.
        >
        > I know what you‚re thinking: It‚s fine for you to say, Cohen. You‚ve got yours. You‚re not poor and scratching for a job. True enough. But you will find truth in the cliche that money cannot buy happiness. This has been the case for thousands of years ˜ or, as I like to put it, since Australopithecus africanus.
        >
        > You can Google that.
        >
        > http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/richard-cohen-the-richness-of-learning/2013/05/27/bd6078cc-c49e-11e2-914f-a7aba60512a7_story.html
        >
        >
        > This electronic mail message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message. To the best of our ability and knowledge, this mail message has been scanned and is free of viruses and malware.
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
        > ------------------------------------
        >
        > Find out more at our web site http://saccweb.net/ Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
      • Tim Sullivan
        Thanks for sharing this Dianne. It made my day! Tim Timothy L. Sullivan, Ph.D. Professor of Anthropology Richland College 12800 Abrams Rd. Dallas, TX 75243
        Message 3 of 3 , May 28, 2013
        • 0 Attachment
          Thanks for sharing this Dianne. It made my day!
          Tim
          Timothy L. Sullivan, Ph.D.
          Professor of Anthropology
          Richland College
          12800 Abrams Rd.
          Dallas, TX 75243

          972-238-6959
          tsullivan@...
          >>> 05/28/13 2:13 PM >>>
          A good word for anthropology.


          The Washington Post, May 27, 2013
          The Richness of Learning
          By Richard Cohen

          President Jones, members of the faculty, assorted notables, proud
          parents and financially indebted graduates. I come before you on this
          auspicious day to say something about the degree you have just been
          awarded. You have been told it is not worth the papyrus it is printed
          on. I am here to tell you it is worth a fortune.

          In preparing for this commencement speech, I assembled a file of
          newspaper stories about the cost of college, the burden of student debt
          and how much you can expect to earn in your first year after graduation *
          assuming, of course, that you can even find a job. The numbers are
          daunting. Unless you are graduating from one of those name-brand elite
          institutions * Harvard, Yale, etc. * you’re probably not going to make
          much your first year out. In fact, we now have many examples of
          community college graduates earning more than those with bachelor’s
          degrees. In Virginia, the difference can be $20,000 a year.

          What’s more, people often come out of school burdened with debt * about
          $24,810 on average, but an astounding $41,230 in Washington, D.C., where
          many residents have advanced degrees. This is hardly small change, of
          course, but aside from Washington, we are talking the price of a new car
          * without the premium package. This is a debt your average young person
          gladly takes on without whining to Congress. I add that just to provide
          some perspective and get you riled up.

          The figures concerning salaries and debt are not to be dismissed. But
          they, too, need some perspective. College, after all, is not solely
          about earning power * although you are forgiven for not knowing this.
          College, believe it or not, is about education * and that, boys and
          girls, is not something you can put a number on. Let me give you a word:
          anthropology.

          This is a word I’m not sure I ever heard in high school. But when I got
          to college, I had to take a year of it to satisfy a science requirement.
          I did one semester of physical anthropology and one of cultural * and
          about 40 years of both ever since. I became enthralled with the study of
          evolution, with paleontology, with my pal Australopithecus africanus and
          with the “sexing” and “racing” of skulls. Give me a good skull and to
          this day I can give you the sex and the race of the dearly deceased. I
          was CSI Cohen before there was CSI anything.

          I still keep up with anthropology. I try to stay somewhat current in
          sociology and psychology, my major and minor before I lost my way and
          took up journalism * and I do these things not for credit but for fun.
          College taught me how to have fun with knowledge. It enriched my life in
          ways that cannot be quantified. I came out of college with a debt, but
          my real debt was to my professors.

          When I wanted to become a writer, I found teachers who showed me how.
          One of them, John Tebbel, a former newspaperman turned author, took me
          aside. He praised. He criticized. This is how it’s done, kid. The man
          changed my life.

          See, this is the part of college no one talks about anymore. It’s all
          about numbers * what it costs and what you can earn. It’s all about a
          financial investment * how much in and how much out, as if value is
          always about money. But there’s value in the discovery of fine art or
          cinema or literature or . . . anthropology. And * very important * you
          will get an overview of the world, not just your little area but all the
          rest. This will make you a better citizen, which is nice, and will give
          you greater control of your life, which is also nice.

          About a month ago, a hostess at a dinner party asked the table what
          college had done for them. Absolutely nothing, one person instantly
          responded. I braced for a cascade of negativity, but to my surprise it
          never came. Guest after guest praised their education and how it had
          made them a richer, happier person. I was gratified.

          I know what you’re thinking: It’s fine for you to say, Cohen. You’ve got
          yours. You’re not poor and scratching for a job. True enough. But you
          will find truth in the cliche that money cannot buy happiness. This has
          been the case for thousands of years * or, as I like to put it, since
          Australopithecus africanus.

          You can Google that.

          http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/richard-cohen-the-richness-of-learning/2013/05/27/bd6078cc-c49e-11e2-914f-a7aba60512a7_story.html


          This electronic mail message is for the sole use of the intended
          recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information.
          Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited.
          If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by
          reply email and destroy all copies of the original message. To the best
          of our ability and knowledge, this mail message has been scanned and is
          free of viruses and malware.


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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