I thoroughly believe that humans, when trying can accomplish amazing things, and if you can believe, we put a man on the moon to quote Michael Stipe, lead singer for REM.  BART was started in the mid 1950’s and took more then a decade of planning and logistics for construction to begin in 1964 and in the 1990’s it was considered one of the wonders of the world and took twenty years to build out to where it is today.  In the interim in Hong Kong they built the equivalent of a Bay Bridge, US280, Treasure Island, BART and an airport.  The Hong Kong International Airport shows what can be done when the wealthiest 1% of the world want it done, yesterday.

At one time, California had one of the best educational systems on the planet and it is why much of the Defense and High Tech sector are based here.  Silicon Valley had Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley which represented West Coast Ivy League education in the state.  There were dozens of other community colleges and universities in the Bay Area to support and feed the growing need for educated engineers and the other positions.  The high schools were designed to prepare the students for the California State University system which was designed to be the rival of the best State Universities.  The idea was to keep California kids within California for their education.  The UC System is supposed to be an Ivy League education within California.  The Federal Government, California State Government, and lots of student loans fund the higher education in this state and the prices have gone through the roof without much justification on why the tuition and fees are so high and where all of the money goes.  The system has become as corrupt as government with U. C. Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi fighting to try and keep a position that she was removed from for having a seat on the board of a textbook company that paid her several hundred thousands of dollars along with some shady plan to scrub the internet of bad publicity for former bad decisions.

 

I have had ups and downs while being back in College and most of my downs stem from College procedures that are seemingly designed to thwart the schools own best interests and potentially set many students up for failure simply because of a lack of forethought and planning.  No one holds them accountable for their metrics, no one really knows their metrics.  How many students start back to school as part of the New Year and sometime before completion or transfer to the University level they drop out and never complete their original plan?  I can tell you that I have done it several times and this can cause policies to come in to play that set a student up for failure.  ARC doesn’t have book voucher and Sierra does.  Financial Aid doesn’t come until after “census day” or the last day to add or drop classes without a mark on your transcript.  Well, in the summer semester that doesn’t happen until Tomorrow, Thursday of the second week of Summer classes.  This means seven class sessions have occurred and this translates to about 3.5 weeks during a regular semester.  Tuesday was 1/4 through the 8 week semester.  I am on borrowed time.  I have been able to acquire a book for the American Sign Language class and have a study buddy which is saving my ass.  I am pushing through the second part of the Algebra class although another student asked a question today and I think it caused me to suffer brain damage.  I gave myself a concussion turning around to see if he was truly being serious and he was and I was stunned.  My head hurt.  He asked if it mattered in what order we solved two different absolute inequalities.  Like x+1 < –5 and x-3 > 5 not like PEMDOS order…. Ouch. But I digress.

 

When I went to Financial Aid each day to check on the status because I kept betting told tomorrow, I encountered two people who said something about people planning better or planning ahead for the summer semester, as if there were more cash then semester.  Today the guy said that they have fewer people attending summer semester and I replied “I wonder why?”  The Colleges and Universities need to be audited with every department, every position reviewed to make sure it is necessary and replace as many administrative positions part-time, high paid positions for students.  Why is the school bookstore on campus more expensive then any other place to purchase textbooks?  Why is the cafeteria closed during the summer semester when classes are longer, and the time between them shorter?  Why are the school’s cafeteria not ran like legitimate   educational programs employing students in various majors to handle various related responsibilities?  Why is American River’s outsourced to Aramark?  What kind of rent does Aramark pay for their space in the Student Center?  Why are there no classes on Friday?  Or why are there so few classes of the kind that everyone is competing for?  Why is Sierra’s campus so empty after 2pm during the normal semesters?  If they are going to demand the fees, they should have to justify the amount by proving that their procedures don’t hinder and hamper people and prevent them from succeeding.  I can tell you that I was basically told that I shouldn’t have taken summer classes because I couldn’t afford it.  That should never happen at a school that is so dependent upon students to thrive.  I have to park a mile from school and then walk because I cannot afford to park or purchase a parking permit.  Small shit.

 

So, now that the stress has sapped all my strength and the heat wave is getting hotter here in Sacramento, I am fighting depression because it’s hard.  I am just not in the mood to do Homework or be around people.  Hopefully that will change in the next day or so as the stress recedes temporarily.  I really think that if we reviewed things in Higher Education we would find a lot of things that could be eliminated without impacting the school or education and the money either used elsewhere or to eliminate fees.  $3 a day to park at a community college is kind of ludicrous.

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About Old Guy Student

I am a 43 year old IT Consultant who has decided to go back to school and get a degree.

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