Sunday, June 01, 2008

From our "education is wasted on the young" file

Here's a story of a life wasted, of a guy who turned left when he should have turned right. From tedious student radical protesting "the man" from the safety of the grad podium (thereby not really putting his degree in danger), to tiresome student politician, to "fertilizer truck driver" (bullshit salesman?) to postal union honcho to high school teacher, with annoying folk singer and sanctimonious political protester thrown in, this guy's lived the '60s stereotype.
The only person who makes any sense is the fellow Innis grad who scraped and scrounged her way through university, went on to become the president of the University of Manitoba, and obviously pegs our boy as a spoiled fool.
We don't see too many of that ilk anymore. Students today work hard for their degrees. In real terms, in all of the provinces except Quebec, they pay higher tuition than the boomers and most of my students hold part-time jobs schlepping in bars or working in stores. They work harder than the boomers did and value their education far more.
If Stone had torn up his degree in front of my students, they would have hooted him out of the room. And the sad fact is that a degree in 1968 really was a ticket to a good job. These days, it's a door-opener. It's part, but not all, of what's needed to get into today's tough economy. Boomers like Stone count the days until they retire. So does the Class of '10.

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