Today, I’m feeling once again minimized, like my efforts to educate people in my community, to try and instill in them not just skills but a love for learning and a desire to be a lifelong learner, to be a thinker, is seen by some people in power to be a waste of people’s time, that College Transfer Programs leading to four years degree are at best excessive and at worst wasteful.
So I come back to my office feeling a little depressed–go figure. Most people have gone home, but I have to type up a reading comprehension test for one of my classes tomorrow. I hate giving reading comprehension tests, but see, my students don’t read their assigned texts–as a whole they don’t do anything unless they get a grade for it. They don’t understand what it means to be educated and very few have any desire to be. I don’t blame them. They are products of a society that has people in power who seem to think that all education needs to be directly measurable, so they naturally do not understand what it means to read something because it will help them understand the material better, because it will help them write their papers better if they apply what they read. Oh no, if the reading does not have the price tag of a grade, then few students will do it. The idea of learning for learning’s sake is alien to them because it is alien to most of the people all around them, a product of the instant world to which they’ve become accustomed.
Anyway, so I haven’t started that quiz yet. Why? In my inbox was this wonderful article by Tom Hanks appearing in the New York Times that made me feel so much better. Did you know that Tom Hanks got a really good liberal arts education at a community college? Yep. So here it is: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/14/opinion/tom-hanks-on-his-two-years-at-chabot-college.html?emc=edit_ty_20150114&nl=opinion&nlid=69971608
Read it and then hear me saying, “What he said.” That’s my blog for today.