Students Helping Students

There seems to be a proliferation of getting college students to help teach students how to “get into” or “succeed in” college.  Stop and really think about that: a college student must teach someone how to get through college, how to “get into” college.  Is that really, truly the sort of education we want as a society?  Once in which those “inside” have to show the secret tips and tricks to get into it?

That sort of a situation certainly makes me wonder whether universities really are places of learning any more.  If they were a place of actual learning for those with true abilities should they not be more transparent and more open to those who actually have the capacity to handle university academics? Or, if colleges are already spread so thin as to not be able to support those students who do need it, should they have so many students?  What would happen if universities simply quit taking in so many students or students quit applying to universities and went into other career streams?

Next, how is someone supposed to gain that “experience” when they are too busy trying to tutor other students so that they succeed too?  If a student is doing full time classes and doing tutoring in order to either, make a bit of extra money or hoping that they can somehow use that experience in the future, that time takes away the option of internships and other work options that may actually be useful in accruing the 50+ years of experience required for entry-level positions.

All of these prior questions end up leading to the questions: why is it that so many tutors are needed and why is it such a profitable business?  It makes me stop and begin to re-think university.

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Cameras Installed for Your Security

This is just a little thing I saw this week at my university.  Some of this may come off as pseudo-conspiracy theory and I have no solution to that, this is just something that I am astounded by.

In the library of my university recently security cameras have been installed, “for your security,” claims the full announcement.  This just begs the question since when was my security at issue in a library?  This library can only be accessed on the second floor of a building, any sort of “security threats” that could come in would be caught on the cameras on the ground floor first or come in through the window; which the library cameras are not going to catch on film.

I personally have never felt insecure in this library, there is only one way out of this library which has the detectors like in all stores to prevent books from being stolen (I also do not really feel that books being stolen is a security threat, let us be honest here), the fact that the library cannot be accessed unless someone goes up some stairs or in an elevator, the place being a library, none of these seem to indicate there would be a need for security cameras to protect my security, or the security of any of the other students.

This is the part where I do not go on a rant about Big Brother, you were worried weren’t you?

No, no do not worry Big Brother will not have a role in this.  But, I will ask the question: why in the world is a university wasting the resources on these cameras when they seem so utterly useless; this does lead to the question of what in the world sort of use does the university find in them too of course.  The prior I can at least complain about, the latter I will let others deal with for now.

I have no answers, maybe one day I will be able to come back to these questions and figure out what is going on, but for now I am just an unknowing undergrad who worries sometimes about my life.