Sunday, February 22, 2009

Welcome to NYC

I got my first real greeting to NYC, even though I have lived in the area the past year or so. See, sunday, I drove my car down from Albany, considering I might need it if I am going to be playing rugby up in White Plains this year. Now, when I was in Albany, I noticed the inspection expired. Crap. Tried to get it taken care of up there, but no deal. So, I brought it down, hoping no one would notice. Monday came and no ticket, I did think about bringing it up somewhere, but I'm not from here, and don't want to get ripped off.

Today, I come home planning to drop it off somewhere, and lo and behold, and orange ticket flapping at me. Sixty Five Bucks! Arghh!! It's like, the 3rd freaking day of March! Cut me some slack yo! Oh well, the city has to make their money somehow. Of course, I just tried to pay the ticket and the server is down. So, now I have to stare at this thing for another day.

While back home, a friend of mine had some drinks and a conversation. He works for National Grid and told me how he's racked up so much overtime this year, that he's probably made about 90,000 this year. Not bad for a guy with a two year degree. And here I have a master's and can't even come close, plus I live in a more expensive city. Kind of makes you wonder about all the hoo ha politicians make about forcing our kids to go to college. In reality, it is pointless.

Look, if you want to go to college, no one is stopping you, and I think college is great...if you take advantage of it. I point to year one of my college career where I took advantage...of the things you shouldn't take advantage of in college. Lesson learned, did two years at community and got my act together. Sad thing is, I knew plenty of people who were on the seven year plan at community. Maybe college isn't for everyone. Shocking, I know. Yet, why do we lie to kids and say everyone should go?

One thing he mentioned was how, in the old days, kids who knew they weren't going to college would take BOCES in high school, learn a trade, and then either apprentice or go to a special institute for that. Nowadays though, lots of schools don't have BOCES. Instead, what they do, is have those programs at community college, where you do the work there, pay the college, then do your technical training somewhere else. Same thing, more money. Basically a two year degree is the same as the high school diploma years ago. And I thought we were about raising standards!

I love teaching, don't get me wrong, but no one wants to teach people who don't want to be there. How do I make history intriguing for the kid who just wants to work on cars, but isn't given the opportunity? Why don't we have more opportunities for these kids? We have special computer courses for them, why not let them take apart a car, or wire a house or something? Fifty years in the future, we will still need mechanics, electricians, and plumbers. You can make a nice chunk of change doing all of those jobs. They may not be "academic", but if we really do care about "preparing students for the real world", then maybe we should have programs like that. I know, I know, all children can learn. They can, but some won't, regardless of what you do. If you constantly force some kids to sit somewhere they don't want to be, learn something they don't want to learn, eventually, they will just get sick of it all and drop out. Whereas, if we had more programs, maybe the drop out rate would decrease a bit. But what do I know, I'm just a 2nd year teacher, and my opinion doesn't matter.

After, I'm no Bill Gates. Who, if I remember (correct me if I'm wrong), dropped out of college.

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