Tuesday, August 3, 2010

P.S. 247 and the absurdity of the idea that college is a necessity

For a speech I am giving I was looking for a picture of the man who was principal of my elementary school many years ago. So, I went to the P.S. 247 (Brooklyn) web site and discovered that it is now a "New York City College Partnership Elementary School." When I finished laughing, I started to wonder when this "everyone must spend their entire childhood worrying about getting into college" nonsense would end.

Then I saw a very nice article called "7 Reasons not to send your kid to college" by James Altucher:


which I recommend to anyone who wants to think carefully about this issue. Of course it is followed, in the mode of the day, by the usual vitriolic comments about how he is an idiot and how college must have taught him to be able to write his column. This again had me in fits of laughter as I recalled how I had to teach writing to Ivy League graduates who were my PhD advisees because they had never learned to write in college.

In any case, I agree with the writer. College has become, in people's minds, something it was never intended to be: a job training ground, and it fails miserably at that, since professors don't give a damn about job training.

P.S. 247 was not a great bastion of learning nor a fun place in the 1950's, and I can only imagine how awful it is now.