Thursday, December 15, 2011

Timeout from the typical

I am going to take a timeout from the typical techno-babble to write about my last semester in review. This semester is FINALLY coming to a close. I feel as though it could not possibly come quick enough. I have literally been glued to my desk for the past two weeks. I thought everything was going well until about two weeks ago, when the instructors started piling on final projects. The amount of work was insurmountable/impossible, and it has me a bit peeved at the education system, my instructors, myself, and life in general. I've worked harder this semester then I have ever worked at school my entire life, and yet I am still faced with this bitter taste in my mouth that everything I have attempted to learn was lost, everything I have attempted to do well at was simply inadequate. All the hard work and dedication was pointless. At this point in time I am seriously debating whether to go on to another semester (as I have in the past, although I was faced with academic suspension at that time), or whether it was even a good idea to go to college in the first place. I am even debating whether my chosen field is really what I want to do anymore. In this economy, and with IT shrinking and having the ability for huge systems to be managed by less people, you really have to stand out. You have to know your stuff, you have to have good people skills, you have to be able to organize and communicate and be professional. I have none of that. I feel I haven't really LEARNED anything again and that it was all just a big struggle to get all the homework done. That's always what it is, and I am sick of it to the point where it has caused me health problems. Why is the education so homework-oriented rather then finding a way to effectively and efficiently teach people things without bombarding them with requirements and projects? 

I did a little reading today and I found a few interesting quotes:

"If students enroll in an average course load of 15 hours at a 1:3 classroom-to-coursework ratio, they should expect to spend 15 hours in class each week. That means 45 hours spent on homework, a total of 60 hours weekly. If attending college were a waged job, the last 20 hours would be considered overtime. That leaves little time for a part-time job, something many students need in a sluggish economy. A 2006 study by consulting firm O’Donnell and Associates found that 49 percent of college students work part-time about 16 hours per week — a possible grand total of 76 hours spent each week.The idea of a college student working 76 hours, mostly unpaid, defies America’s image of the typical college student — a John Belushi-type frat boy who does keg stands and crashes on couches of stacked pizza boxes. Indeed, the 2010 National Survey of Student Engagement reports that only nine percent of seniors surveyed at major research universities study more than 30 hours per week. But what the survey doesn’t explore are the vast differences between expectations of liberal arts students and those in professional programs. "

Add to this the rest of your classes, and you are looking at around 5-6 hours of homework EVERY night. So school ends at 3:00 pm and most students will get home around 4. This means that with all of the homework, the student cannot hope to go to sleep before 10:30, accounting for dinner and short breaks during studying. This leaves no time to "enjoy life," as I like to say, because life has turned into work. For students in after school activities, they are lucky to finish their homework by midnight. I know some students who work until 2 am every morning because they must in order to finish all of their homework. I do not think that homework is meant to work students to death.

Now if you will pardon me, I have to get ready to go take a math final... 

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