Tuesday, April 12, 2005
College Students -- Why are they rioting? And why aren't they rioting?
This is about college costs, but I'm going to ramble a little bit to get there.
My husband Barry likes to watch sports of all kinds. (When he was younger, he liked to play them as well). I like to avoid just about all of them but bowling of which I understand a little only for the reason that my late father had a bad investment in a bowling alley in my high school years. The only benefit was that I learned all about the game. I must confess to a distinct lack of athletic ability -- except for when I was in grade school in Fort Wayne, Indiana. At the neighborhood Weiser Park, I was fiercely competitive with the box hockey games. At that I could usually beat 'tall comers. At the volleyball, basketball, track, gymnastics, you name it, I was a disaster.
Opposites attract, but sometimes they have lots of differences. Here's ours, reinforced over 30 years of marriage:
-- Barry likes sports, I don't
-- Barry even likes boxing, I despise same
-- I would rather watch anything but a sporting event, Barry would rather miss anything but a sporting event.
And it is the aftermath of those sporting events which inspires the 'stream of consciousness' behind this column. Last Saturday night, Michigan State did something -- I frankly don't know if they won or lost, even if I am alumnus and my law school now resides on its East Lansing, Michigan campus. I don't know if they won or lost. Worse yet, to my husband, I don't care. Parenthetically, nothing infuriates Barry more than to hear me say as he goes into a blue funk over the particular score or move/mismove at the moment: "Barry, it's only a game!" Heck, at that particular moment in time and space, it's his life. A strange transition to me for him a social worker in his day job, but c'est la vie!
At any rate, they were rioting in East Lansing -- over what? They were rioting over the game. They sometimes riot when they win. They sometimes riot when they lose. It was looking like the end of the world in East Lansing. Innocent students even got tear-gassed in the cross-fire.
Now, this is what I can't figure out. I'm conservative in many of my views, but on education, I guess you would call me a flaming liberal. I think higher education is entirely too expensive. I think these kids are not given the opportunities my generation enjoyed to be able to work their way through school and graduate without being so deeply in debt that they have no hope of being able to start a family and/or purchase a home short of a family endowment or winning a major lottery.
I don't agree with everything the EU does, as you can tell from my other columns; however, I do applaud their providing free or reasonable higher education to their young people. Just where do we think compassionate caring doctors, EMS workers, Registered nurses, engineers, architects, and yes, even lawyers are going to come from to help us, the aging baby boomers?
WHY AREN'T THEY RIOTING OVER THE TUITION!!! NOW THAT'S A CAUSE I COULD UNDERSTAND. I'd even be tempted to go join them!
Now my generation (for those watching 60's movies, you remember 1968, "hell no, we won't go!) why they'd never have thought of doing that to us -- the college students of the 1960s and 1970s . Can't you just see it? There would have been sit-ins by the bursar's office, university officials would have been hung in effigy, and the next day the University President would have reading a statement announcing a TUITION DECREASE . . . They wouldn't have DARED tell us we had to pay anything even proportional to those simpler times what this overburdened generation has to pay now!
Ok, just my rambling thoughts for the evening, but I think we need to do something to either shave or share the costs of educating the generation that may well have to help care for us down the aging roads. What do you think? How are we going to have compassionate physicians if we have uncompassionate college costs?
That's my two cents worth. The tuition costs unfortunately, much more than that. Enjoy your night!
CONSTANCE E. CUMBEY
Squeakbox & company sure are going to a lot of trouble to prove their opinion that you should be ignored!
Keep up the good work. :)
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