I refuse to call it a college fund, the savings account I keep for my two-year old. Partly this is so he internalizes the fact that he’s at liberty to continue with school, or not, depending on his proclivities. The other reason I don’t call it a college fund is because I’m convinced that in another decade and a half, the smart kids will be the ones not going to college … by then, a degree will be so standard that it’ll be blasé, inconsequential, overdone.
Of course, that means that those who don’t go to college – the smart ones – will miss out on some exceedingly entertaining, if absolutely purposeless, course offerings.
When I was in college a decade ago, the most pointless class I took was … I don’t know, Drama 101, maybe? It was easy (not unlike too many co-eds themselves, unfortunately) and it imparted absolutely zero in the way of career skills.
By today’s standards, though, Drama 101 might as well be a survey class of Greek philosophers.
Seriously, take a look at some current college courses (and at some of the nation’s “top” universities, no less!):
1. Mail Order Brides: Understanding the Philippines in Southeastern Asian Context (Johns Hopkins University)
2. The American Vacation (University of Iowa)
3. Philosophy and Star Trek (Georgetown University)
4. The Simpsons and Philosophy (University of California – Berkelely)
5. Arguing With Judge Judy: Popular Logic on TV Judge Shows (University of California – Berkeley)
6. UFOs in American Society (Temple University)
7. Introduction to Wines (Cornell University)
8. How to Win a Beauty Pageant: Race, Gender, Culture, & U.S. National Identity (Oberlin College)
9. Elvish: The Language of the Lord of the Rings (University of Wisconsin)
10. Tree Climbing (Cornell University)
11. Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame (University of South Carolina)
Honestly, I’d probably like to enroll in all of these classes. They seem like fun! But do I think it’s prudent to go into debt for a degree that involves “fun” pursuits with no discernible avenue of use?
It goes without saying that the problem with higher education in America is not insufficient funding, but way too much funding. When professors are encouraged to dream up eccentric class topics, and when students are encouraged to go into debt matriculating into these classes, it’s safe to say the entire system is over-saturated with resources.