Friday, June 22, 2012

College: the Great American Dream, or Nightmare?

Ugh. Expensive. New funding cuts. Wait-listing.

Can someone start a college that is student-friendly? The demand is there. Surely the supply will catch up.
Let's re-invent education. Dream with me a moment. What if we:

Keep costs down by using online resources whenever possible. Sell modified versions for less than totally updated versions for full-price.
Keep clear of government subsidies that muddy the waters and complicate the requirements.
Immediately eliminate disrespectful students.
Implement surveys to cull out the best, most engaging and effective teachers. Fire the rest.
When there is a wait-list, have a backup class available.
Offer general classes on weekends.
Offer work-study programs in maintenance and upkeep to keep overhead down.
Allow design students to beautify campus, Ag students to landscape, etc.
Encourage community collaboration, ie mentors in selected disciplines to foster local integration of graduates.
Open up the campus to regular tours, and use empty rooms for city and county government meetings.
Utilize the grounds for farmer's market and local artisans.
Offer city residents discounts on college art events.
Offer public transportation from all points of the district, and discount it for full-time students in good academic standing.
Create a campus that attracts cultural events; a city hub of art and creativity.
Label the buildings according to class or department. Make the entrances easy to find.
Provide adequate parking for faculty and students.
Situate the campus in a central city location so that major landmarks are within walking distance.
Sell sponsorships to alumni.
Have a mascot that reflects the area and cultural feeling.

Ah, the dream is over. Well, who says it can't come true? 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Fork of the Spoon

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.

Actually there was a spoon on the sidewalk as I was bike riding to Yogurt Mill and I really wanted to pick it up.
But didn't. I left it for another day. Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever be back.
That's the thing. I feel compelled to pick up things that have been left behind. Silly, useless, cast-off things. Whatever is left behind in the wrong place. So does my daughter. And my husband.I suppose it's hereditary. We've picked up Raider's sweatshirts, towels, basketballs, scarves, cell-phones, a worn out picket fence, a couple cats, a wallet with a thousand dollars cash in it.

That spoon is probably still sitting on the sidewalk. I have plenty of spoons, but you can always use more spoons, right? But it's dark now. I'll be leaving it there. But not without overthinking it.

That has made all the difference.