If you haven't posted a good academic performance in high school, don't believe a university, its leadership, advertisements or admissions officers who co-sign your promissory note with no responsibility for its payment obligation. They need paying students.Who wrote this? It's Walter V. Wendler, who is listed as director of the School of Architecture and former chancellor at Southern Illinois University.
Stoking a deceitful dream on life support — an underappreciated, overfinanced, media-hyped charade — is the real deception, and the weight falls on your back, not theirs.
A shameful, elaborate sham, when one out of two college graduates this year are unemployable in their chosen field.
Look carefully at the costs and benefits of a university education. University officials may not tell you the truth: Enrollments could drop. Bankers will not tell you the truth: Interest income will fall off. Elected officials will not tell you the truth: Elections will be lost. Listen to those really concerned for you carefully.
Am I the only person who finds this disturbing? Does the former chancellor of Southern Illinois University really believe that his school is no different than WallMart? Does he really believe that the best advice for high school students is to tell them that colleges are nothing more than diploma mills who are out to rip you off? Does it really boil down to a cost-benefit analysis where employment opportunities are the only benefit?
Want to know more about Walter Wendler? Here's something he wrote for the Chicago Tribune last December [Navigating an impossible distance] ...
A few years ago I had the opportunity to start a tradition that included bringing faculty, staff and friends of a university together to wish each other well during the holiday season. After an hour of visiting, a pianist accompanied hundreds of us, physicists and plumbers, teachers and trainers, groundskeepers and geologists, secretaries and scholars as we sang (I may be generous calling it that) Christmas songs. To this day, I think of that noise we made, and hear music in my heart … you know … the one that is 18 inches from my head.Now I get it. Wendler uses one of those other ways of finding truth. That explains his bizarre advice to high school graduates.
It was joyful.
It didn't mean the same thing to everyone, but I think it meant something to everybody, even if only that we belong to something bigger than just ourselves.
The tree, gifts, families, friends, and the other secular trappings touched common memories, and we all knew that we weren't alone in the dark, cold night. We did not have to share a single meaning to find meaning in the shared experience.
But we could sing, drink coffee, eat cookies and acknowledge each other.
I'm convinced that that day reduced the distance between the hearts and heads of hundreds of dedicated servants from 18 inches to zero, if only for an instant.
It seems the job of modernism and the modern world to separate head and heart. This 18-inch distance is wreaking havoc on our social order.
Contrary to what some physicists and biologists think, science and ethics can coexist quite nicely. There should be room for this discussion.
Science is not "truth." Science is a method for finding a particular kind of truth. Other methods let you find truths science cannot; truths that can lead us to become who we need to be, and help us build stronger communities.
When we only accept the icy standards of measurable phenomena, 18 inches becomes an impossible distance.
Thanks for your indulgences. It must be that time of year.
[Hat Tip: One of Hemant Mehta's readers provided the link to Wendler's article in the comments under Advice for High School Graduates. Hemant is a high school teacher but I find his "advice" to be almost as troubling as that of Walter Wendler. Is the American higher education system really as broken as these "advices" imply?]