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Re: [SACC-L] The Richness of Learning

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  • Lloyd Miller
    Dianne, thanks for posting this. We hear far too few of these from prominent people outside of academe. Lloyd
    Message 1 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
      >
      >
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      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------
      >
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      >
    • 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 2 of 3 , May 28, 2013
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        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


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