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Re: overdressed, undereducated: let's talk about school!

Postby zayg » Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:44 pm

Plenty of people love coding n, but lots of people I've met just end up programming for a living doing routine stuff and end up hating it. Same thing happens in every field to be honest. Just an example though as programming likely will never be looked at as some sort of activity that has a lasting cultural impact like musicians or artists could provide.
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Re: overdressed, undereducated: let's talk about school!

Postby INNIT » Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:45 pm

honestly, I just thinks it's a damn shame when students don't enrol in the humanities because it's not as employable as other degrees. if you want to approach university from the employability side of things then the humanities really don't make any sense, as the amount of actual careers at the end of a philosophy or theology degree are pretty much limited to academia and cultic priest.

I get that most of the older people commenting in this thread have no qualms with studying the liberal arts (provided they still net you a job) and are aware that tastes and interests will fluctuate over the course of your education. speaking purely from within the humanities, I'm not sure that this perfect middle ground between employability and passion really exists. I think that placing an importance on employability inadvertently sways youth towards STEM and makes BAs seem very unattractive. at some point in time this emphasis on employability really stuck and resulted in the situation happening in so many large universities today: young people only enrol in STEM and the humanities are a joke.

my original comment was more geared towards how I personally view university than it was me trying to give legitimate advice. Sure, I have a very romantic view of university but todays youth needs to be more romantic anyways. sorry if I gave any youngins "shitty life advice".
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Re: overdressed, undereducated: let's talk about school!

Postby starfox64 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:47 pm

i have a humanities degree and a job, though i was unemployed for a while after college. i also graduated at the apex of the recession. there's always law school, though that's a whole different can of worms.
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Re: overdressed, undereducated: let's talk about school!

Postby zayg » Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:55 pm

as someone from new england, the thought of law school is terrifying

so much saturation. i feel really bad for the people who didn't go to absolutely top schools because they are SOL right now. i know some people that have no job after years of studying with no prospects.

of course, it is definitely a great path if you plan to operate in less saturated areas and especially if you can go to an absolutely elite school
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Re: overdressed, undereducated: let's talk about school!

Postby nick » Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:02 pm

INNIT wrote: young people only enrol in STEM and the humanities are a joke.


Sorry for sounding like an un-romantic STEM major, but the statistics sort of say otherwise.

Play with the data at http://benschmidt.org/Degrees/ , which I found from this analysis at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/0 ... 13769.html . So many assumptions are being based off the fact that everyone is doing CS and other STEM disciplines, which is absolutely not true.
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Re: overdressed, undereducated: let's talk about school!

Postby JtotheWhat » Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:24 pm

I'm in Poli Sci, I had a ''concrete'' job that paid significantly more than I am likely to make when I graduate this winter, I bought a house, had a car and a dog and the whole shebang but I was pretty unhappy. I don't regret taking poli sci, I find the subject pretty interesting and I don't think I would have been motivated enough to actually learn in a lot of other areas of study. I know a lot of people with Poli Sci degrees holding down ''good'' jobs but that has never worried me, I've always wanted to be an entrepreneur anyway and being able to study a subject I'm somewhat passionate about along with traveling, meeting people, and learning about my own strengths and weaknesses has prepared me more for that than just grinding through 4 years of business or engineering would have.

I think the problem with these arguments, and I hear them on a weekly basis, is that both sides (and everyone in the middle) talk in absolutes, and the reality is that everyone is going to take a different path that works for them. I know a guy with a JD going to med school cause he was so miserable at his job a barrister, and I know people with History degrees making bank and loving life working in Marketing.. I know that's purely anecdotal and I hope no-one bases their life decision off of me saying that, I just think arguing about what is the absolute ''best'' way to go about choosing a major or career path is a little bit foolish.
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Re: overdressed, undereducated: let's talk about school!

Postby fun_yunchables » Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:51 pm

Amending onto previous discussion: I think most universities have been traditionally catered to the wealthy, where only really the aristocrats and intelligentsia would study such subjects like literature, arts, music, sciences, maths, etc (like many famous people came from privileged backgrounds-Baron (Lord?) Rayleigh for example). Of course that is no longer the case for the most part, but to me it reveals sort of the ugly truth, that pursuing such subjects were originated from those who could only do so comfortably, while those less fortunate were not able to exercise such luxury. But again, times have changed and it isn't quite the case. Everyone has different utility functions when it comes to education and thus everyone will value their choice of major differently.

On another note, many people (at least in the US) have this mindset that university is a necessary step for any respectable careers and a lot of specialized trade schools are neglected in turn. I honestly don't know if this is the case still but as far as I am aware a lot of current CNC machinists are starting to retire and there might not be enough machine operators to fill that demand. And CNC machinists make a respectable salary aside. I'm sure there are similar cases in many different trade jobs.

It's also sad how little educators and education is valued in the US. Education imo is one of the most important industries in any scenario, yet we pay them absolutely shitty and with little incentive other than their own desire to see the next generation flourish.
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Re: overdressed, undereducated: let's talk about school!

Postby Stingray Sam » Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:16 pm

Has anyone done a dual major/double degree? Is the extra time worth it or should I be considering a major and a minor instead. I want to major in philosophy and business (hopefully entrepreneurship), but maybe i should save money and do a philosophy minor instead. How do employers look at minors versus a second degree?

In regards to trade schools I had a friend who went to a school district welding program part time instead of highschool and he had amazing job prospects and was apparently fairly skilled at his trade. Now whether or not he'll do anything with that is another question, but trade school is an awesome route. Even if you don't want to work in trades for your entire life it can be a great stepping stone for moving on to construction management, owning your own contracting company, or development. For instance my father started out as an electrician then moved to owning his own electrical company then moved up to residential and now commercial development. In his opinion the people he works with who have no construction experience have a much harder time ensuring that their buildings are built right, that they aren't getting screwed in a bid and communicating with their contractors to ensure that everything is done in the way they want and on schedule. Trade school gives you so many options and if you're good at what you do you can work pretty much anywhere in the world. Plus with union wages you can make some serious bank. The problem with trade jobs is that getting old and still doing physical labor sucks. I don't know too many old contractors that still really enjoy what they do. Of course not all trades are necessarily that physical.

Edit: I've also been told that MBA's are an absolute necessity, but the people who have told me this do boring upper management type cubicle jobs that I would hate. I've also heard that MBA's are so saturated that they are now essentially worthless. Should an MBA be in my future plans if a corporate job is absolutely not what i want
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Re: overdressed, undereducated: let's talk about school!

Postby bels » Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:44 pm

Can't comment on your cockamamie school system sam but I wish my degree had some element of variety in it (the company and the topics) so I'd jump on the opportunity to do a double major. Whatever the fuck that means.
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Re: overdressed, undereducated: let's talk about school!

Postby brlmski » Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:23 pm

I'm basically guaranteed admission to the grad program at my school since I know all the professors and therefore all of the admissions committee, but I'm not sure if I want to spend 2/4/6 more years here. =/
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Re: overdressed, undereducated: let's talk about school!

Postby exprof » Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:38 pm

I was told off today, apparently "double major" is a misnomer? You just say you have two majors.

Anyway, having one major in the Engineering/CS dept and the other in the Fine Arts dept is already proving to be a pain. Separate systems/accounts/emails/buildings for everything. This is going to be annoying...
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Re: overdressed, undereducated: let's talk about school!

Postby RomanEmpire » Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:01 pm

Man university/life after university sounds absolutely terrifying
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Re: overdressed, undereducated: let's talk about school!

Postby bels » Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:43 am

It's alright as long as you calibrate your expectations.
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Re: overdressed, undereducated: let's talk about school!

Postby blankinput » Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:45 pm

IMO, the main problem with the US educational system is the lack of breathing room. So many kids are just Kindergarten -> grad. school and have no real chance to experience life or at least anything remotely connected to what they might like to do. So where does that leave the average person? Plodding through assignment after assignment for requirements they don't really care about, only to have that "Oh fuck" moment at graduation when they are jobless and about to have their shit kicked in by Sallie Mae.

I'm basically done with schooling and looking back I'd encourage everyone in this thread to just go out and network as much as possible. This especially goes for those of you who are looking towards career paths that are closed loops. Half the battle is sucking it up and accepting that meeting a random person over lunch for advice is going to be awkward at first; over time, you'll get used to it all. It gets easier. But, you MUST do this. People are good and will want to help you. If you have time to look at clothes for a million hours a day, you have exactly zero excuses not to repeatedly do this.

Also, pick up a book (yeah, a book) on personal financial management. There are a million of them. Read through them before taking out any loans or financially committing yourself otherwise. Talk to your parents, relatives, friends. Don't go in blind. Look at job statistics and projected field development, see what might work best for your goals and investments.

I could talk for a few hours on this shit but those are the most pertinent points and I'll leave it at that.
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Re: overdressed, undereducated: let's talk about school!

Postby BIGBEE » Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:34 pm

My twin brother is currently doing all of the math homework for the year in hopes of convincing the college to let him skip ahead
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Re: overdressed, undereducated: let's talk about school!

Postby copknocks » Fri Sep 05, 2014 5:00 pm

i'm in law school & all i want rn is an internship someone hire me thanks
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Re: overdressed, undereducated: let's talk about school!

Postby bobo77 » Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:10 pm

Haven't written an English essay in forever (my teacher last year had cancer and I basically had a stream of incompetent subs so I didn't do much work). I have no idea if this final draft is comprehensible or logically ordered but I'm so happy my professor is letting people resubmit shitty essays if they go to the writing center and redo it.
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Re: overdressed, undereducated: let's talk about school!

Postby brlmski » Tue Sep 16, 2014 5:25 pm

alternate title for this is underrested overcaffinated. x.x
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Re: overdressed, undereducated: let's talk about school!

Postby Vaeltaja » Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:22 pm

Officially double majoring Computer Science and English now.

My GPA for CS is very subpar. So, at worst, I walk out with an English major.

I also like English more.

I feel weird about CS because I plan on going into IT and getting certifications... something CS majors (at least here) don't do.
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Re: overdressed, undereducated: let's talk about school!

Postby Blastoise » Thu Sep 18, 2014 11:55 pm

Not sure if I'm really feeling English right now. I want to teach but studying it isn't interesting to me at the moment. Music major is also on hold due to my level of classes not being offered fall semester. Seriously starting to consider the advice of my family/friends and looking into culinary school. If I were to go that route I'd have to be 100% committed to it though. For now it feels like I'm going along with whatever and hoping it turns out alright, not particularly excited about any of it.

@INNIT I am really passionate about it, I'm just not sure if I want to push it to anything beyond that, a passion.
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Re: overdressed, undereducated: let's talk about school!

Postby RomanEmpire » Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:32 am

How do you guys recommend studying for the SAT/ACT?
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Re: overdressed, undereducated: let's talk about school!

Postby RomanEmpire » Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:59 am

@yubbermax I didn't have to pay for them last year, but I missed the deadline for the SAT this year because every time I tried getting a waiver for it, my counselor wasn't there :I I got one for my ACT in time though
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Re: overdressed, undereducated: let's talk about school!

Postby Stingray Sam » Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:47 pm

I've already taken the SAT of course, but do any of you guys understand how the writing portion of the test is scored? i took the test twice. On the first one my essay was fairly subpar, not very long and pretty ehh in terms of content and i got an 8. The last time i went balls to the wall took up the entire space had much more focused content, actually wrote about interesting and relevant things, quoted relevant people and referenced relevant ideas used in academia. My writing style was also much better and i got an 8. I was pretty pleased with what i had pulled out of my ass in 20 minutes and i still got a terrible score and i like to think of myself as being a fairly good writer.
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Re: overdressed, undereducated: let's talk about school!

Postby UnwashedMolasses » Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:05 pm

I was told by my professors to keep the writing portion as simple and basic as possible, your standard intro - 3 body - conclusion format. Give one example from personal life, one reference to other author/story/etc. The first time I took the SAT I tried to go as full-throttle on the writing and got somewhere in the 500s. Next time I went in and just ticked the boxes, made it basic - came home with a 730. According to my SAT prep classes (I was required to take A LOT of them) the judges for the writing portion literally just scan to see a basic argument is made, the presence of intro/3-body/conclusion, and the basics of grammar.
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Re: overdressed, undereducated: let's talk about school!

Postby Vaeltaja » Mon Sep 22, 2014 5:03 pm

Unless the SAT has changed significantly, there is a bias toward longer pieces. The readers only take a couple minutes to leaf through your entire essay, so longer is better, even if it's fluffier. Stupid? Maybe. But hey, longer essays almost always get better grades than shorter essays, unless your writing is absolutely horrid (i.e. illegible, spelling is completely off, grammar is non-existent).
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Re: overdressed, undereducated: let's talk about school!

Postby insect » Wed Oct 08, 2014 5:51 pm

Seriously regretting not going to my first choice and going into debt instead of going to the dump I go to right now. I'm already too far in to transfer but hopefully I can do my masters somewhere I actually want to go.
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Re: overdressed, undereducated: let's talk about school!

Postby cheshster » Wed Oct 08, 2014 6:22 pm

School is why I quit posting on/reading MFA and why, after my happy introduction here, I haven't actually posted or read a damn thing. But I miss y'all so I am trying to make time for this place!

I'm 31 and pursuing a civil engineering degree. I was suffering from severe depression during and after high school, so even if I had an idea of what I wanted to study then (I didn't) I really wasn't in any place to do so. I'm glad I finally got to a point in my life where higher education seems like a reasonable goal, but I have to admit I feel like I've wasted quite a few years now.

After three really great semesters (dean's list my first two; third I was only taking one class because summer financial aid is pretty much nonexistent, but I got an A), I'm having a really hard time. This is my first semester where I'm not taking any gen ed classes and I'm really regretting that. Currently I'm taking calculus 2, surveying, and science/engineering physics 1 (and its lab).

Everyone had warned me that calc 2 was incredibly difficult, but I've found it not to be that bad. It's hard, definitely, but not destroying me like I'd been led to believe it would.
On the other hand, I knew physics would be hard, but I have never felt as stupid in my life as I do in this class. I know it's not me, at least not entirely, but it's hard not to feel like I'm just an incredible idiot. I always come out of lectures feeling like I have a good grasp of the material, but then I look at the homework and it might as well be Greek (incidentally, the professor actually *is* Greek!) A big part of my trouble is that the homework is all online, and even though they give us like 5 chances, there's still no real feedback as to whether an answer is wrong because you messed up in a calculation or because you've done the wrong thing entirely. A classmate suggested I download the solution guide and I think that will help a lot, though I doubt it's going to let me catch up enough to do decently on the test in two days.
Surveying is a lot harder than I expected it to be, but ultimately not too bad. I had expected it to be kind of a cakewalk like the drafting class I took last spring, but it turns out that you have to work a lot harder to take the measurements than you do to put them into AutoCAD.

My school (University of Utah) has a couple of suggested-but-not-required humanities courses for engineers that I took last fall and spring, and I really enjoyed them, to the point that I sometimes wonder if I should go into humanities instead, and my difficulty with physics is not dissuading me from that. I keep having to remind myself that part of the reason I want to be an engineer is to bring my more humanities-focused values to a field that's largely the domain of old straight white dudes and hopefully do something to make it more welcome for women, queers, people of color.
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Re: overdressed, undereducated: let's talk about school!

Postby popcorn » Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:13 pm

Doing so so much better this year in school since I started perceiving good grades as a gift to myself, rather than an obligation, competition, or something I find genuinely objectionable (not that grades aren't, still, all these things). I should say, as background, I'm in the best PUBLIC high school Math & Science/Research program in South Carolina. My brother went through the program as well and did lucriously, he was a really outlier, and he's in his freshman year at Columbia University right now. I was always more dissuaded with school and even ruled myself off as dumber - doing badly took a real toll on me. This year I can compete much better, my mind is in a better place. I also think my research experiment will be a bit more impressive this year.
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Re: overdressed, undereducated: let's talk about school!

Postby cheshster » Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:50 pm

cheshster wrote:My school (University of Utah) has a couple of suggested-but-not-required humanities courses for engineers that I took last fall and spring, and I really enjoyed them, to the point that I sometimes wonder if I should go into humanities instead, and my difficulty with physics is not dissuading me from that. I keep having to remind myself that part of the reason I want to be an engineer is to bring my more humanities-focused values to a field that's largely the domain of old straight white dudes and hopefully do something to make it more welcome for women, queers, people of color.


zayg in a rep comment wrote:serious question, how do you plan on making it more welcome for those people?


A couple things:
Ultimately it would be great if I were in some sort of authority position where I could encourage diverse applicants, but of course that doesn't do much if the applicants aren't diverse in the first place. So, encouraging people who might not think about engineering to consider it as a career choice. To do that I need to be doing work that appeals to people. My current plan is to go into water management with a focus on sustainability, not only because it personally interests me but also because it's something that affects literally everyone in the world. I hope to be able to do relatively small scale community level projects, working with communities to see what they need and find ways to get it to them. That's the outward facing part.
Internally, all I can do is be like Patrick Stewart. Keep practicing my personal feminism/anti-racism, keep calling people out (something I'm remarkably bad at and trying to improve on, both in having the courage to stick my neck out and do it in the first place and then when I do not being a dick about it and alienating people further) when they do harmful things. Try to make an environment that marginalized people will find welcoming when they get there.

I'm a long way out from actually being in a position to put the first half into practice, obviously, and I have a lot of personal improvement to make before the second is more than marginally effective. Right now, most of what I am able to do is study people who are better at this than I am and learn from their efforts. A big flintstone to me is my friend Ashe Dryden, who's currently writing a book on how to create and maintain diverse teams (though she's focused on software).
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Re: overdressed, undereducated: let's talk about school!

Postby brlmski » Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:38 pm

cheshster wrote:My school (University of Utah) has a couple of suggested-but-not-required humanities courses for engineers that I took last fall and spring, and I really enjoyed them, to the point that I sometimes wonder if I should go into humanities instead, and my difficulty with physics is not dissuading me from that.


If everyone who struggled with the material in an engineering class went into something else, we would have a lot fewer engineers in the world. I don't know much about your exact curriculum/plan, but everything gets a lot better one you start applying that fundamentals you learned in these classes to the analysis and design of the systems that you envisioned yourself working with when you decided to go into engineering. I implore you to exercise the resources that your university has set up for physics, which are probably your professors office hours, any TA's office hours, any friends you have that have taken the class (I'm not sure about your exact situation, but as a non traditional student, this might be harder to do) and any tutoring services that are available. Any university that's worth going (and I believe that a flagship state school would be) to wants their students to succeed and should have these resources available for you to use. For now, if you have anything particular you're stuck on, feel free to PM me and I'll check your work or step you through a problem.
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