For those of you college-educamated, what comes to your mind when you think of your alma mater? Sure there were some fun times, but I recall tests that were impossible to finish unless you were the robot from Short Circuit, staying up until 2am doing homework with fellow under-sexed workaholics, and shedding that teenage hubris of "Maybe, I'm not as smart as I thought". But, Abraham H. Miller, an Emeritus Professor from somewhere, argues that the whole college experience is phonier than an Iranian election, and, unlike me, he comes armed with more than just personal anecdotes. From PJs:
At the end of four years, many students simply learned how to manipulate the system. Almost anytime I taught a course that required a prerequisite, most of the students did not possess the prior knowledge. The Internet provided a vast array of opportunities for cheating that further compromised learning. And while there is software that checks for plagiarism, students know how to defeat this. Besides, professors want to catch plagiarists as much as sanctuary cities want to arrest illegal aliens. A student can avail himself of a due process system that will consume a professor’s time and end with a slap on the wrist.There's a certain get off my lawn tone here, but maybe he is onto something by suggesting that more folks go to technical school or community college part-time while they learn a real job. Really, how many more fucking lawyers and MBAs do we need?
After all, plagiarism is as common on campus as promiscuity, drugs, and binge drinking. The ukase from the higher administration during finals week usually reminded us what it really was all about: as the campus community embarks on finals week, we encourage the entire faculty to remember our strong and vital commitment to retention.
You didn’t need a Ph.D. to interpret that memo.