College Caper

caper – Slang. a criminal or illegal act, as a burglary or robbery.

I will be bluntly honest here;  I do not have kind feelings about colleges / universities.

I think they are a huge rip-off that we have allowed to rule too much of our lives.

Don’t believe me?  Then go ahead and take that mandatory gym class and pay $600 for the mere 3-hour / week (for one semester) class fee.  You can’t get a degree without it. . .Course, you could enroll in a gym for a year for less than half that amount. . .

I have an accounting degree.  Everything I *needed* to know about accounting I learned in my 1st semester accounting class.  The other 2 years required for my major, I could have learned OJT, AND gotten paid for it!  (This could lead into the discussion of groups, like CPAs and lobbyists and rules and. . .but I actually have a focus.)

Tyler is taking college classes again this semester.  My blood boils everytime the semester fees are due.  Worse than the fees though, tend to be the books/supplies that you need for your course.

So, for exampe, Tyler’s English class was “required” to have two books:  one $80. book filled with short stories, and then a $10 paperback novel.  His Tuesday/Thursday classes started on Tuesday, with no chance of receiving books from the cheapest locals by Thursday, so we had them by the first day of class.

Only to discover that the paperback novel would not be used at all AND of the $80 book, 1,418  pages (not including front and back matter) only 20, TWENTY, pages would be used!

You know what’s really odd?  Part of me feels I should be grateful, for when Drew took this exact same course two years ago, they required a $150 book package purchase of which they only used the same ratio of material.


My friend got slammed even worse!  Her son is taking the required-for-any-degree “computer technology” course.  (For the record, they should have a test to determine if this course should be required for students.  Let’s face it, most teens know more than adults do.)

This family has at least two Macs (maybe 3) in their home.

And, now, thanks to this computer course, they have a brand-new PC with Windows 7 and MS Office 2010!

Note:  Technically, I would guess the college campus has these computers in their computer lab – but I do not know.  However, even if that is true it would not be a good option as this student is still in highschool, and then trying to run a non-driving student back and forth not only for college classes, but for homework labs. . .on top of the other 3 kids in one’s house, plus, you know, life?  You bite the bullet and buy the new computer with specified operating systems and programs. . .

But, here’s thing:

Do you need to know how to use a PC with Windows 7 AND MS Office 2010?

Ummm, NO!

In fact, I think computer skills classes are actually important.  I really and truly do.  Computers are such a large part of our business, personal and social lives, I think you should know them.

But, does your everyday Joe Schmoe need to know MS Word 2010?  Or Power Point?  Or Excel?


Now, it would be excellent for them to know “word processing” and general knowledge of “presentation” and “spreadsheet” programs are a nicety.  However, your everyday person doesn’t need an in-depth knowledge of the latter two.

AND they most certainly don’t need to know for a specific program like MS Office!

Now, personally, we have PCs; and we have MS Office.  They are what I’m familiar with and what I buy.  However, I know I can take my knowledge of the programs and apply them elsewhere.

Will there be a learning curve?  Yes!

Is it impossible?  No!

I mean, I could use my general knowledge and transfer it to LibreOffice or OpenOffice, both free programs, to do required tasks.  I could even take my knowledge and transfer it to a MAC and its systems. . .

But, no, let’s make a class and REQUIRE students to have very specific technological needs.  Because the teacher is incapable of teaching basic concepts without the aid of a teacher’s manual and very specific programming.   (Which, OH, as luck would have it checks the students homework and grades their work too!)

So, why then the need for the teacher?


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