The Value of Sending Your Kids to College

Sure… again, if that is in fact the decision.

As I said once already and will repeat… I would not have wanted to finish college any faster than I did.

I do agree that you shouldn’t take less than a full load in order to work more hours at a McJob.

But I would not have wanted to take more than a full load and finish faster.

Sure. Sure. But is making less money ever worth the additional stress?

Nowadays, I consider working at McDonalds way too much stress for way too little money.
Why exactly did I ever think otherwise?
Why is that time/stress/exhaustion worth more money now than before?

I expect I’ll want my kid to work-- for the sake of the experience, or as a way to spend her time, etc.-- but it seems pretty obvious that my Actuarial job is a way better way of making money than my kid’s waitress job.

Which is of course why people here won’t think twice about sending their kids to college, while at the same time believe that college is not worth the money.

I liked all but one of my pre-college-graduation jobs. They were extremely low stress.

I did not like the fast food job much. It was ok if I was cashier and had my preferred closing job. But a closing job I disliked or doing something other than cashier… no bueno. I only had that job for maybe two months.

Loved working at the restaurant. Loved working the bell desk. Loved running the Calculus help sessions. Those jobs were way more fun than actuarying and if I could make actuary money doing them I probably would. Maybe not the restaurant job… that was physically demanding. And while 17-22 year old me could easily handle it, I’m not sure middle-aged me can.

I had an ok hotel job one summer and an ok retail job the following summer. Not sure if want to do those again. But I learned how to fold fitted sheets at the hotel job, so… bonus! And parts of that job were fun. It was a B&B and serving breakfast and talking to the guests was fun. Retail job I learned a lot about the products I was selling, which was useful.

Both summer jobs were in other cities and gave me the experience of living in those cities, which I enjoyed.

I wouldn’t want to give any of that up to enter full-time permanent work sooner.

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(Should note for all my callousness here, I didn’t start my career until ~30)

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I mean, if that’s your only alternative then some money is better than no money.

But… I got out of fast food pretty quickly. There were other minimum wage-ish jobs that were more enjoyable.

Ah, I had my first “real job” when I was 22. Might explain our different perspectives.

By 30 I owned a 2,000 square foot house in the suburbs and was dealing with solicitors asking me if my parents were home when I answered the door.

(To which I gave a lengthy reply explaining the time difference from the west coast to Ohio and accounted for my parents’ activities that night of the week - which did not vary in my reply based on the actual day of the week: Dad always had choir practice and Mom was always teaching a night class at Xavier University - and then supposed that Dad was probably home from choir practice but Mom probably wasn’t home from Xavier, but I would be happy to call them in Ohio to find out for sure.)

I can relate. I bailed on a graduate math program to switch to Actuarial Science. (That university had a formal program) I bombed (for me) the first test. I had spent the prior four years writing proofs. I wasn’t prepared for the “quickly get a number, write it down, and move on”. This in spite of the fact that I had been writing and giving tests like that for years.

No, I don’t think we have anything “established and reliable”. If I google “can you measure critical thinking” I get people who claim they have made a run at it. But, I don’t think any of them is “established” in the eyes of the educational community.

I got the same definition you did when I googled. I can say that I’ve used all those words in speaking or writing at some time in my life. I can’t say that putting so many generalized concepts in a single sentence really helps. We’ve disagreed (apparently) on whether engineering requires critical thinking, for example. I need lots of examples before I think I’d be on the same page as another person on what we’re trying to teach here

Unfortunately, those are the questions we really need to answer.

It seems to me that our current answer is: Give the educational establishment $100,000 to provide 18-22 year-olds a traditional liberal arts curriculum, with the expectation this makes them ‘critical thinkers’. Then kick them out at the end of four years and tell them they can be bartenders for the rest of their lives. Then, move on to the next batch and repeat. That doesn’t work for me. Let’s just make college “vocational training” for all the non-rich kids until someone comes up with a better idea.

Good topic. I don’t read the specialized educational publications so I don’t know if anybody is talking about it. I don’t see it in the general press I read.

Thinking about the general trend of this discussion, I’ve been too willing to go with the “critical thinking is probably the domain of some top tier” idea.

My thought on “critical thinking” is that I want every voter to be a critical thinker. I want everyone who says “I’m not going to just follow the ‘experts’ blindly. I’m going to do my own research on this vaccine thing.” to be a critical thinker. Some of my push for “there must be some way of teaching this other than osmosis in college classrooms” is because I’m looking for a way to push it down in the curriculum, not push it up.

Thanks. It’s been a long time since I looked at that thread.

wait for it…