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Working Your Way Through College

July 2, 2013

It just doesn’t happen anymore, at least not for full-time students, and certainly not for undergraduate students unless they attend school part-time, enroll in 1-2 classes per week and take about ten years to finish their BA degrees (provided, of course that their college or university allows them to take that long. Many universities have time limits). By that time, their work experience as a produce technician at their local grocery store has pretty much relegated them to the shipping department of life.

What they mean to say is that they worked while they were in college. There’s a big difference. Those who study for a masters degree are in a much better position to work for a living and go to school. They’re older, and their BA’s qualify them for jobs that pay more than minimum wage. I have grave reservations about those who complete a 36+ hour masters degree in two years while supposedly working a full time job. I do admire those who study for a Ph.D while working at all. Many of the faculty here worked part-time jobs and full-time jobs while studying for that sheep skin. My hats are off to them. It took them six years to accomplish that.

I admit it. I didn’t work my way through college. I didn’t even work during the summers when I didn’t take classes. My education was paid for by my parents. Plain and simple. There’s a guy in our department who swears by the story that his parents were share croppers, and he had to work on the farm during the day and attend school during the day when he could slip away, and at night when the land owners weren’t looking. He makes his life sound like scenes out of “Cool Hand Luke”.

This department (and others in the Humanities) rail against “The White Privilege” and many profs do their best to make students feel guilty for having grown up white. To compensate, the profs make up stories about how poor they were when they were growing up, and if it hadn’t been for  a scholarship that rewarded their intellectual brilliance, they’d have been doomed.

Right.Sure.

Why won’t they just come right out and admit that they grew up in an affluent home?

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