Thursday, January 25, 2007

Tummyache

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22 Comments:

Blogger Joel said...

There are 1 schools within 25 miles of your zip code.

Thank you for using SchoolFinder.com!

5:58 PM  
Anonymous jeremy said...

Please tell me this is a plant. Someone own up to this. Please.

6:06 PM  
Anonymous Egmay said...

Unfortunately, Jeremy, there's a seemingly valid class up there in the right-hand corner. I think the irony of the lack of communication skills of the communications major (or studier thereof) is already apparent.

6:43 PM  
Blogger AHFB said...

I hear this is a standard assignment for this comm class. iheartrockwell took the same class

9:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i bet her mom still does her laundry and that's absolutely precious.

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Klumpig said...

Hehe, yeah...I uhh...I totally DON'T send home my laundry...nooo wayyyyyy (Insert red face, shifty/downcast eyes).

7:51 AM  
Anonymous iheartrockwell said...

yes, ahfb, i took the class (comm 211--evaluating info) last semester and had to write that same paper. it was for lab. it was a pretty pointless assignment. for lab that day, we had to look at statistics for college, and i guess this was supposed to be some sort of introduction to the assignment. we had to do stupid papers like these every week, and i always wrote mine about 2 minutes before heading off to class. i assume this person did the same.

9:09 AM  
Anonymous ko said...

haha i love that she was looking for a college that had a location, a price, programs, and a reputation.

because it's so hard to find a college with those things. or should i say "aspects"? paper-writers heart that word.

10:04 AM  
Anonymous heidi said...

This is going down as one of my most favoritest commentary lines ever: "Oh you did NOT just use an exclamation mark. You write like a condescending textbook." AHFB: telling it like it is.

I know many, many high school classmates who went to college close to home, and I think they universally regret it if they have any common sense. That is NOT to say that there aren't valid reasons for choosing a state school (tuition, the economics of moving and travel between home and school, not-made-up family issues, etc.) but if those things actually aren't hindering you, the experience of having to make up your OWN things to do if you want to have a "weekend away" and NOT having your mother do your laundry for an additional four years is priceless in terms of interestingness and maturity. People should be way less concerned about their security and way more concerned about the possibility of staying boring.

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heidi-
*didn't regret it
*do my own laundry
*not boring

You can't generalize that to everyone.

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Klumpig said...

I came to U of M from 45 minutes away because it's an exceptional university ...I regret nothiiinnngg!

(I also like to think I'm not boring)

2:48 PM  
Blogger AHFB said...

I tend to agree with Heidi.

I had a freshman year roommate from somewhat nearby who went home with his laundry every single weekend. It made it a lot harder for him to make friends when he was never around.

I myself come from a HS that sent about 15 people here. I made the mistake of spending the first month of my freshman year hanging out with people that I had more in common with geographically than personality wise.

4:50 PM  
Anonymous Dana Khan said...

Oh Klumpig. There will be no laundry in our tree-shack. Haze might have to learn, but never you.

(Inside conversation between people who know each other over. Back to the topics at hand.)

Considering that abut 50% of Michigan's student population seems to come from the Detroit 'burbs, I think it's a bit more complicated than Heidi has painted it. It's a fantastic education. Furthermore, people who come from out of state (and are off the leash, to to speak) probably still have their parents pay for college. I don't know if the 'college is for learning to make it on your own, and people who don't are disadvantaged' argument applies when very few people truly do it themselves here.

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Dana Khan said...

Not to bring drama, but I find Heidi's points not only somewhat offensive and self-righteous, but also illogical. I have a big mouth. So it goes.

"I know many, many high school classmates who went to college close to home, and I think they universally regret it if they have any common sense."

I know many high school friends who went to college far away from home and they universally regret it. When my friend Alex went to a pretentious no-name college in Illinois (Knox, to be exact) and realized he was restricted by a lack of classes in ANY major he would pick, he felt like an idiot. When my friend Tony went to U-T Austin, he realized he could have gotten the same experience in Ann Arbor without his parents worrying about him and without having to pay a huge price.

"That is NOT to say that there aren't valid reasons for choosing a state school (tuition, the economics of moving and travel between home and school, not-made-up family issues, etc.) but if those things actually aren't hindering you,"

See, all I'm hearing is that if you're rich and middle class, you have no reason to stay in-state. Seriously. Go somewhere that's more expensive because you can afford it, and fuck the fact U of M is one of the best public universities in the nation!

"the experience of having to make up your OWN things to do if you want to have a 'weekend away' and NOT having your mother do your laundry for an additional four years is priceless'

But odds are your parents are still paying, sorry. My friends from metro Detroit don't go home every weekend. And you'll excuse me if I don't think "doing laundry" is one of the most valuable life skills you can learn. If my mom wanted to drive from Kalamazoo to do my laundry, if that small act (worthless or not) would make her happy, well, I love my mom and I would let her every time. And I don't think I'd be less of a person for it.

"in terms of interestingness and maturity."

You sound pretty mature. Wait. What?

"People should be way less concerned about their security and way more concerned about the possibility of staying boring."

You really remind me of that girl from American Beauty. No, not Thora Birch's Jane. More of Mena Suvari's Angela. "Well, ugh, at least I'm not BORING!"


The fact that most of Michigan's qualified applicant pool comes from a select set of school districts might upset me (specifically they all look pretty homogenous on paper, and also because it represents huge disparities in quality of life and education, but we won't talk about that), but I'm not going to denegrate all of them for coming to the University of Michigan. It's a good school, and even if a person is like AHFB and regrets the friends he chose, that's actually what I'd call a lesson learned.

My two (possibly sixty-eight) cents.

11:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Her comments are "offensive and self-righteous." I agree.

11:48 PM  
Anonymous Dana Khan said...

Oh, and also, I don't know who made the first laundry point, but I shouldn't have played so strongly off of it. I started doing my own laundry when I was seven or eight, but before then, my DAD did it.

(He also cooks every dinner, cleans the house, and beekeeps, among other things.)

11:48 PM  
Blogger AHFB said...

yay debate :)

12:24 AM  
Anonymous heidi said...

:::sigh:::

Tempest in a teapot here, eh? I'd love to be big enough not to do the whole "defense" thing here, but it's not often that I'm called self-righteous and offensive, so here goes.

A little bit about me: I'm from a small, small, small, isolated, town in Montana. People there thought "getting away" meant going to the 40,000 person metropolis several hours away. I am one of four people from a public high school class of 50 who left the state for school, was originally the only person who went to a school that was in a state that didn't border Montana. Almost 20% of my class joined the military, and are thus now fighting or training in foreign countries. A good percentage of my high school classmates who went to either the state college or the state university then lived together in the dorms. Some of them married each other, and moved back home.

Not all of them regret these decisions, some are very, very happy with their lives and that's truly wonderful (it's more than I can say for myself sometimes), but a good portion of them who had designs to do all manner of interesting things when they were in high school now don’t feel able to pursue their goals, and I feel for them, both because, in all honesty, they haven’t grown as much as they should have or wanted to, and they ADMIT this (my much-loved younger brother is in this camp), but also because they're good people who now imagine themselves to be stuck. College "out of state" is a good way - not the ONLY way, not even necessarily the BEST way - to un-stick yourself. Clearly, there are exceptions to the rule. Clearly some people make decisions that don't work out even if they go to small, no-name colleges, or universities far away from home and shit goes awry --- shall we not play the anecdote game?

But the much-missed point of my posting was that that border between high school and college is one of few moments in most people's adult lives where there is opportunity to take risks and grow as a person with relatively few repercussions. You can also choose to travel, or join a volunteer organization, or maybe (unlike my state, and thus my point of experience, from which I spoke) your state offers you a wide range of urban, non-urban, rural, interesting, populated, depopulated, agricultural, or industrial environments from which to choose so you don't feel like it's necessary to leave.

On second thought, it really that self-righteous to suggest that moving out of a comfort zone (which was, after all, the thing that AHFB was mocking the poster for clearly having NOT done) is an experience that stimulates personal growth? Or to note that continuing to depend on your parents for basic chores is probably not wise unless you have a medical condition? Or, for that matter, to mention the fact that high school students often choose the most comfortable option, rather than the considered one?

Just on a technical note, for students whose families are in lower-middle and middle-class economic brackets (I was one of them, and I worked hard in college and over the summers to pay tuition and keep my scholarships), going to a state school often comes up to about the same price tag as a private college, (esp. if you're out of state, but sometimes even when you're in-state) because of the difference in available private funding, scholarships, etc. Many of my classmates didn't apply to the schools they really wanted to go to – some didn’t apply to schools they would have gotten into and excelled in – because they thought it'd be too much money – and ended up with almost the exact same amount of debt that I did, all while working just as much.

Why? Comfort and misinformation, lack of motivation and proper counseling, confusion, and desire for the familiar. Maybe the rest of you had exceptional schools and parents and communities, or possessed a worldliness that let you make more informed decisions than I saw being made around me when I was at that stage of life. I can take that, ok. And I was a little cavalier with my examples and word choice – that’s fine, too. Maybe I was unclear that I wasn’t talking about the University of Michigan exclusively or really at all, except for that the original post was written by a student going to this school and some of you do (or did), too. Also, “boring,” especially if you consider yourself to be interesting, is an offensive term, and I used it to admittedly (given my position articulated below) inaccurate rhetorical effect and not intending it to be an insult – though on a site dedicated to intellectual mockery and humor I'm surprised to find such thin skins and familiarity with 90’s cinema.

If there is one thing that I am passionate about it is education, but I see education as a holistic goal reached by many means - Even in the very small microcosm of "choosing a college" (and not everyone should, needs to, or wants to go to college or a “traditional four-year” college – their problems are equally difficult and nuanced**) the educational decisions made hinge not just on the basics of the institution (in-state, out-of-state, private, public) but in the choice of personal and educational philosophy, the choice of people to be near, the choice of environment and location, culture, and the choice to experience the essential different-ness of a place in comparison to what one is used to.

If we are capable of leading considered lives, ones where our hands are not overly forced by circumstance (and I highly doubt that anyone reading this website is not in this category – your very access to the internet puts you in a bracket well above most of the world) shouldn’t we be as rigorous with our decisions as possible? In ALL of these categories I listed above, I think variety and change serves us best, as individuals and as a society, whenever we are able to choose it. I believe it would be best even for my happily-hitched high school chums for whom I earlier expressed my sincere pleasure in their contentment. I see breaking out of regional mentalities and patterns as terribly important experiences for people who will be living in a world that will, eventually, force new regions, cultures, beliefs, and all manner of diversity on them. Our sense of complacency with our surroundings is a problem no matter where we are - in rural Montana, in New York City, in the Detroit suburbs – it doesn’t matter.

My stance on this issue is not confined to my opinions about the kinds of questions people should ask themselves at the end of high school, but also those that those individuals with flexibility and mobility and opportunity make at every crucial life decision. My position is personal, political, and ethical. And, while I am sorry to have hurt people with my short missive earlier, I am not sorry for having expressed the belief.


**There was a recent three-part opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal by Charles Murray that addressed the problems facing education – not jut higher education – in terms of how best to think about intelligence, training, education, and the world in terms of economy and politics. It’s food for thought for the interested.

3:09 AM  
Anonymous heidi said...

P.S. (like I need it) I would have been thrilled out of my mind if my HS friends had gone to the University of Michigan (this kind of education wouldn't have made me, personally, happy). We couldn't have dreamed of having such spectacular resources and money at our disposal where I grew up, and it is a public institution to be proud of. Neither, however, like any institution, is it perfect - a point that I hope this website, along with its snarkiness, makes about how closely we pay attention to the undergraduates in attendance.

3:29 AM  
Anonymous Dana Khan said...

I'm sorry if I came on in such an strongly accusing way: perhaps you're familiar with a song titled "Bomb First (my second response)". I could have made the comparison with any number of films ranging from 1930 on, but the probability of everyone knowing American Beauty was just too high to pass on.

I think that while your points, now that they are explained, are fair, it wasn't right for you to paint your experience as a general college experience in the first place. I think it's fantastic you paid for college yourself and worked so hard; I commend you for it, certainly. I just don't think it's shared by more than 5% of the undergrad body at U of M, and they are your target audience. Even some friends of mine who are paying themselves are doing it with loans and not working as hard as they could or busting for scholarships.

I have to say my high school experience is pretty similar to yours. I had 79 people, but still. Most of them went to a local community college or GVSU and are still dating the same people they did in 11th grade (this is my second year at U of M, for the record).

At my high school, there was no emphasis whatsoever placed on education. I didn't know what an AP class was until I dual-enrolled my senior year. We didn't actually have physics. Our guidance counselor had that position because he was also the football coach.

Maybe it's out of sheer ignorance or an unwillingness to change, but many of my classmates are happy thus far. I think they are in the same boat I am: they wish they had been more informed about what a post-high school education is like and what it can really do for you. Only time will tell if they end up happy, but even if it's an expensive lesson, we all learn what we do one way or another.

Ultimately, I believe the people who had gone out of state for the right reasons -- wanting to be "interesting" or have "variety" is not a right reason in my book, especially since in my experience, it's often as much of or more of a reason than the academic quality of the school -- are much less happy. Friends who went simply for the reason they'd be different going out of state are miserable. People who haven't left still have the opportunity to. If they want to, they can.

"I see breaking out of regional mentalities and patterns as terribly important experiences for people who will be living in a world that will, eventually, force new regions, cultures, beliefs, and all manner of diversity on them."

I do too, but others don't. I think I look at it like: if they have the personality to 'change it up' (not that I consider it a purely vivacious move to go miles away for college), they will. If they didn't have this trait before college, even if they regret staying in one place, they're still the same person who couldn't do it before. Some people change, some people don't.

And in any case, if you get rid of regional mentalities, you actually ARE getting rid of cultures (a thing you feel is sorely needed by those who have "regional mentalities").

Ultimately, education comes however it comes, and if it doesn't come to a person, that's education to his friends. (Something poetic about human struggle and the information age.)

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i don't think going out of state to get some variety is necessarily a bad thing. i came from california to here to try something different. i mean sure it's a very good school, but i really wanted to try something different.

10:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i don't think going out of state to get some variety is necessarily a bad thing. i came from california to here to try something different. i mean sure it's a very good school, but i really wanted to try something different.

10:41 PM  

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