Monday, December 21, 2009

Today's rant

All hail the myth of the lazy ass American student. Reading this article, I couldn’t help but think, that yes, there are lots of college students who spend too much time with their x-box hoohaa gadgety things and stay up late and party and don’t study like they should.

Then again, I’m sure some harried college professor could have written this same article in the 1950s and simply replaced x-box with crazy Elvis Presley rock and roll LPs. Do the foreign students who come to American colleges outperform American students and show more interest? I don’t necessarily doubt that. But that is not the same as saying that all foreign students outperform all American students. After all, the very small percentage of foreigners who are educated in the US are making tremendous sacrifices, traveling thousands of miles from home, often learning a new language and plopping themselves down in a foreign culture. Are the study habits of these very committed students the same as those who travel a couple of miles from the suburbs into St. Petersburg or Ho Chi Minh City Community College? If we take the reverse case, and look at the American students who travel to foreign countries to go to school, are they still the lazy video game players who can’t get shit done on time, or are they the ones who are dedicated and taking advantage of a rare opportunity?

Through the magic of Facebook, I am friends with two people who I have never met in person, who are probably on different ends of the political spectrum and live on different sides of the country. What do they have in common? They both teach at the college level? What else have I noticed about the two? They are both filled with praise for their students at the end of each semester.

Now I don’t doubt that all students could benefit from studying more, better time management, and a little time away from the beer and video games, but using a lame, age-old argument that’s probably been around since they popped the cork on the first keg of ale back in Harvard in 1640 is not going to convince me that the country is going to hell in a handbasket.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like this article. I myself am a former college drop-out.(I am back now after 3 years) I think part of the problem is that the American student can't just move out of mom and dad's house, become a productive member of society, and go to school. It's hard work, and not everyone's parents pay for them to go. We live in an age where poverty is rampant, and even if those impoverished students get scholarships(like I did), they still have to pay for food, housing, and necessities. It's really hard to live on your own. I'm not saying it's everyone's problem, but it was mine.

5:34 PM  
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