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What High School Has Become - From a High School Teacher

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posted on Sep, 19 2015 @ 04:48 PM
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This was a really great read thank you for this!




posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 03:44 AM
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The strength of a nation fundamentally lies with the education of its youth.




posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 04:22 AM
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Oh my, where to begin...

Honestly, I hate doing a point for point, but you've set this up for an argument by the many points you packed into the post... Therefore I shall respond in rebuttal, after all it is a super-complex argument. You wrote your piece as a teacher writing from YOUR viewpoint, your experiences, etc, and so I shall write mine from a parental point of view (my wife and I).



I’ve had every race, gender, sexual preference, economic class, learning level, behavioral issue, and learning disability possible. Trust me....I've had them all.

So I ask, do you have children or a child with special needs? ie- they are on an IEP? I'm assuming you've been a teacher who's had to ATTEND IEP meetings and give your input and recommendations about student X. But I'm asking if YOU have a child with special needs? Have you had to jump through the myriad of hoops required, and all that entails?

I don't want to make this an ad hominem but I bring it up to address the background and character of the viewpoint.



... I think this is why the majority of teachers and coaches get in to the profession; however what I’ve described above is shrinking in proportion every year in relation to the rest of my ever expanding job description.

I wasn’t naïve when I entered education; I knew I wasn’t just going to be teaching. I knew I would be disciplining and counseling students. I knew I’d be meeting with parents. I knew that I’d have meetings and training to attend and so on. It’s the rapid increase of these things, I wasn't prepared for.


The bolding is mine.

Sol'n: Unionize. Your job description shouldn't be, "teacher, coach, counselor, administrator, yard duty, and after hours tutor, etc." It should be distinct and explicit. You shouldn't be doing the roles of at least 4 professions.

This is an administrative problem steeped in budget cut-backs rolled onto your backs to carry the burden. Tackle your administrators and the state, not the students and parents. And from a parent's perspective, "why the hell are you counseling my kid (professionally) when that is not what you are qualified or trained to do?!"



Education reform under the last two republicans and the last two democrats has been terrible. It has turned our system’s focus on to struggling students, rather than succeeding ones. Look I get it; we want every student to have a chance, however the accountability of those struggling students has been deferred from the student and their parents, to the teacher. When a student is struggling, the state wants to know what it is the TEACHER is doing to help that student, with no regard to anything else. No regard to the student’s effort or their parent’s.


I won't argue whether the "terribleness" of our educational system is due to republicans or democrats, but I will say the comparison of a focus on the struggling vs succeeding students strikes me as a bit of a false dichotomy. It can't be both? Maybe, in our past, the focus was mostly on the successful students, and therefore that was the norm. So, shall we go back to leaving the "weak" behind, as our previous generations did? That worked out well, historically, didn't it? Maybe it did; After all, with that system we put men on the moon!

Next point: When a student is struggling, the state DOES want to know what the teacher is doing to help the student, because that's part of their job. Simple CYA. That is the first thing to look at, "are we actually doing what we are supposed to be doing to help this child, within the law." But to imply that the parent's are not held culpable is blatantly false. You do not attend the principle/parent meetings that hammer out an action plan that holds all parties accountable... And we're not just talking about academics, but social issues as well.

But this all brings up a bigger point. What is the real "baseline"? Is it some kind of "nationally" standardized testing? Is it the student showing progression from where they were 1-2 months ago? Or a little bit of both, or none at all, or something entirely different. "We have to cram everything in to multiple choice tests , have them regurgitate vocabulary words, and we call that learning." So, in this regard, we agree.



If someone is continually watching disturbing things, listening to disturbing things, and playing disturbing things, then what do you think the end product is going to be?

We wonder why are kids are becoming more violent and sexual, let’s look at the world we live in.

I think this is true to a degree, but if I could give a parent's interpretation... I can't control the things that other children talk about to my child at school... and neither can you. Most of the things my son asks me, "what does this or that mean" comes from other kids on campus, a few of these are from online/game stuff. But the key here is he comes to us and we talk to him about it, appropriate to his age. So, yes, a parent needs to be involved in their child's psychological life, not just the physical. But to blame it on the media/Hollywood is a bit of a scapegoat.



The Parenting Epidemic – This is by far the saddest of the epidemics. It used to be that parents and educators were on the same side. We jointly were pushing their child to be their best. We were both holding them accountable for their actions and wanted to see them learn from their mistakes.

But if those children were not capable of obtaining "their(??)" best, then what? We punish them? Academically and perhaps punitively, which leads to socially, which leads to self-esteemically (yes, I said it).



Parents are continually making excuses for their children and are too worried about their child’s self-esteem to teach them that the real world has real consequences.


Yes, I worry about my child's self-esteem, and as a teacher so should you. Shameful... You want to know the real consequences of nature? Go to your local prison. That's a consequence of putting the successful over the struggling. But hey, we put men on the moon!



It’s also alarming the amount of parents that have little or no interest in their children’s lives. You’d be shocked at how many parents don’t return my phone calls, emails, or request for meetings.

Little or no interest? BS. Many parent's don't return your calls, emails, or requests for meetings because,.. guess what? They don't have physical and psychological time to deal with you.

Meetings, emails, and phone calls don't pay the bills, nor the mortgage/rent, or put the food on the table. And the employer of said parents don't care that these parents keep having to take time off for these school meetings, tests, more meetings about meetings, etc. But, the employer of these parents DO know that "funny" Bob, with NO kids and no real responsibilities (except for two rare miniature poodles and an orchid handed down from 3 generations), can work ANY hours any day,.. and that's far more attractive of an employee than these parents with 2.5 kids!

And the last I checked, a parent's first responisibility is to provide safe shelter, water, food, etc for their kids. Sorry, but everything else is secondary. So if you're looking for someone to blame, blame our gov't for leveling the playing field in favor of the non-parent category.



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 04:38 AM
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originally posted by: poncho1982
This is not a new thing.

I graduated in 1990, and it was prevalent even then.

Teachers had already began to mentally check out. We had this one teacher in particular, Mr. Clarke, that we called "Monotone Clarke" He taught Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry. Watching him teach, and listening to him teach was mind numbing. We learned absolutely NOTHING from him, he had no passion, no fire, no excitement at all for what he was doing, and it definitely was passed on to the students. I often wondered, WHY he was like that. Maybe he felt it was a useless endeavor, because of the absolute lack of discipline.

Parents had already taken up the "Not MY angel!" mentality. Kids were not disciplined at home OR at school. I remember the days of Grade School back in the late 70's when they would still paddle students who got out of line. That went away in the 80's, when mainly Liberal parents were upset that THEIR "Angel" was being corrected, and they were being made to look like fools who couldn't raise a child who knew respect for others, and how to behave in school. It was downhill from there.

A lot of that was because we were starting to bear the fruits of the "sexual revolution". We had young parents who had rebelled against THEIR parents, and were raising their children they way they BELIEVED their parents should have raised them. And that was the beginning of the end IMO. Children who are allowed to run wild at home, will **SHOCKER** run wild everywhere else, including school.

We have brought this on ourselves.



I had a German teacher 1990-92. Every class, 4 times per week we walked in, were given a piece of paper with German/English words and expected to self teach whilst he sat at the front doing gawd knows what. I failed German.

I had a Geography teacher, text book after text book, read it yourself...I failed Geography.

Has a Maths teacher who jumped out of his car and dragged me in it and drove me to school when he caught me wagging it...I got an A in maths. Had an English teacher who took us to historic places in his own time and taught us English in cathedrals and universities...I passed English.

I am now a volunteer soccer coach (its Football BTW) and I agree so much that some parents are pathetic. When my boy is being coached I go along and if he doesnt look at the coach when he talks and winds his neck in I would jump all over him, he is a very respectful young man, the coaches love him and he keeps other kids in line cos he is now the captain, I never once taught him winning is everything, but effort is. I have stood there as a coach and made kids gobbing off run laps for a training session whilst the parents stand their silent.

So to the OP, please dont stop being you, and I hope all parents take an active lead in making their kids into better humans and stop blaming the system, we are the parents, the buck stops with us.



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 07:24 AM
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originally posted by: Forensick

originally posted by: poncho1982
This is not a new thing.

I graduated in 1990, and it was prevalent even then.

Teachers had already began to mentally check out. We had this one teacher in particular, Mr. Clarke, that we called "Monotone Clarke" He taught Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry. Watching him teach, and listening to him teach was mind numbing. We learned absolutely NOTHING from him, he had no passion, no fire, no excitement at all for what he was doing, and it definitely was passed on to the students. I often wondered, WHY he was like that. Maybe he felt it was a useless endeavor, because of the absolute lack of discipline.

Parents had already taken up the "Not MY angel!" mentality. Kids were not disciplined at home OR at school. I remember the days of Grade School back in the late 70's when they would still paddle students who got out of line. That went away in the 80's, when mainly Liberal parents were upset that THEIR "Angel" was being corrected, and they were being made to look like fools who couldn't raise a child who knew respect for others, and how to behave in school. It was downhill from there.

A lot of that was because we were starting to bear the fruits of the "sexual revolution". We had young parents who had rebelled against THEIR parents, and were raising their children they way they BELIEVED their parents should have raised them. And that was the beginning of the end IMO. Children who are allowed to run wild at home, will **SHOCKER** run wild everywhere else, including school.

We have brought this on ourselves.



I had a German teacher 1990-92. Every class, 4 times per week we walked in, were given a piece of paper with German/English words and expected to self teach whilst he sat at the front doing gawd knows what. I failed German.

I had a Geography teacher, text book after text book, read it yourself...I failed Geography.

Has a Maths teacher who jumped out of his car and dragged me in it and drove me to school when he caught me wagging it...I got an A in maths. Had an English teacher who took us to historic places in his own time and taught us English in cathedrals and universities...I passed English.

I am now a volunteer soccer coach (its Football BTW) and I agree so much that some parents are pathetic. When my boy is being coached I go along and if he doesnt look at the coach when he talks and winds his neck in I would jump all over him, he is a very respectful young man, the coaches love him and he keeps other kids in line cos he is now the captain, I never once taught him winning is everything, but effort is. I have stood there as a coach and made kids gobbing off run laps for a training session whilst the parents stand their silent.

So to the OP, please dont stop being you, and I hope all parents take an active lead in making their kids into better humans and stop blaming the system, we are the parents, the buck stops with us.


I had a few English teachers that ignited a passion for reading and writing that still persists to this day.

I really wish my Math teachers had the same drive.



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 11:58 AM
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a reply to: Flux8






I’ve had every race, gender, sexual preference, economic class, learning level, behavioral issue, and learning disability possible. Trust me....I've had them all.

So I ask, do you have children or a child with special needs? ie- they are on an IEP? I'm assuming you've been a teacher who's had to ATTEND IEP meetings and give your input and recommendations about student X. But I'm asking if YOU have a child with special needs? Have you had to jump through the myriad of hoops required, and all that entails?

I don't want to make this an ad hominem but I bring it up to address the background and character of the viewpoint.


You did make it an ad hominem and it seems you missed the words I bolded. A child with a learning disability, especially one that is known will almost certainly have an IEP. In today’s classroom, you cannot escape them as many have been mainstreamed and you are expected to strategize around them and for them.



Sol'n: Unionize. Your job description shouldn't be, "teacher, coach, counselor, administrator, yard duty, and after hours tutor, etc." It should be distinct and explicit. You shouldn't be doing the roles of at least 4 professions.

This is an administrative problem steeped in budget cut-backs rolled onto your backs to carry the burden. Tackle your administrators and the state, not the students and parents. And from a parent's perspective, "why the hell are you counseling my kid (professionally) when that is not what you are qualified or trained to do?!"


Do you really think there are actually very many teachers who aren’t unionized these days?

Part of the problem is the extreme demand for more and more administration. Those specialized professionals you are talking about suck up all the extra money that gets funneled into education and then there is not much left for the regular classroom. For every special psychologist and speech pathologist and upper level administrator, there is a big salary involved, much bigger than the regular classroom teacher. Why do you think it is that America spends more per student than any other developed country? It certainly isn’t because we see those dollars going into the regular classroom environment. They’re going to pay all those special professionals and the administrative bureaucracy required to manage things.



I won't argue whether the "terribleness" of our educational system is due to republicans or democrats, but I will say the comparison of a focus on the struggling vs succeeding students strikes me as a bit of a false dichotomy. It can't be both? Maybe, in our past, the focus was mostly on the successful students, and therefore that was the norm. So, shall we go back to leaving the "weak" behind, as our previous generations did? That worked out well, historically, didn't it? Maybe it did; After all, with that system we put men on the moon!


OK, explain to me the point of mainstreaming children who either will not or cannot keep up.

It may make us feel better, but does it make them feel better? The child that struggles to achieve isn’t going to feel good when he or she constantly is aware that his or her peers are always ahead, and the child who is smarter isn’t going to feel good because he or she is always bored and feels that school is pointless. It’s frustrating for everyone. No one feels good about it and everyone winds up resenting everyone else. But the adults can feel good because they don’t feel like anyone is discriminated against.


Next point: When a student is struggling, the state DOES want to know what the teacher is doing to help the student, because that's part of their job. Simple CYA. That is the first thing to look at, "are we actually doing what we are supposed to be doing to help this child, within the law." But to imply that the parent's are not held culpable is blatantly false. You do not attend the principle/parent meetings that hammer out an action plan that holds all parties accountable... And we're not just talking about academics, but social issues as well.


And again, see the point about bureaucracy and administration sucking up funding. How often does this approach produce measurable results for families where parental involvement is already low to nonexistent? Parents can show up at meetings, but that does not guarantee follow through.


I think this is true to a degree, but if I could give a parent's interpretation... I can't control the things that other children talk about to my child at school... and neither can you. Most of the things my son asks me, "what does this or that mean" comes from other kids on campus, a few of these are from online/game stuff. But the key here is he comes to us and we talk to him about it, appropriate to his age. So, yes, a parent needs to be involved in their child's psychological life, not just the physical. But to blame it on the media/Hollywood is a bit of a scapegoat.


So if other parents are not doing their job, I should have to work overtime doing mine? If my child goes to school someday and I get called and find out my son is being rushed to the emergency room with head trauma and broken jaw because a bully beat his head into the table at lunch because another parent didn’t do their job … Is it enough for me to be involved in my child’s psychological life at that point? My son’s life is in real danger because another parent dropped the ball, and the odds are this kid has been throwing off danger signs all along, but because we can’t judge kids and can’t track them appropriately anymore … now my kid pays the price. And yes, this incident did take place in a local middle school this past spring (not my child, but that scares me).


But if those children were not capable of obtaining "their(??)" best, then what? We punish them? Academically and perhaps punitively, which leads to socially, which leads to self-esteemically (yes, I said it).


The reality is that for some kids, the only way to “fix” them would be to completely and totally remake their personal culture, and you cannot do that just by sending to school for eight hours, five days per week, nine months of the year. They need a complete psychological cultural makeover. You would have to remove them from their home situations and put them into a strictly disciplined, loving environment. But I don’t know how you do that because the state doesn’t have a great track record of creating those types of places.


Yes, I worry about my child's self-esteem, and as a teacher so should you. Shameful... You want to know the real consequences of nature? Go to your local prison. That's a consequence of putting the successful over the struggling. But hey, we put men on the moon!


Self-esteem is something you earn, not something that can be given to you. We live in the time of empty self-esteem where children are taught to feel great just because they breathe. The result is a self-absorbed, selfish generation who think they deserve it all just because … they are. I mean, duh, man. They’re the greatest! They’ve only been told that by everyone since they could walk.

It means nothing until you earn it and achieve it.



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 11:58 AM
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a reply to: ketsuko


Little or no interest? BS. Many parent's don't return your calls, emails, or requests for meetings because,.. guess what? They don't have physical and psychological time to deal with you.

Meetings, emails, and phone calls don't pay the bills, nor the mortgage/rent, or put the food on the table. And the employer of said parents don't care that these parents keep having to take time off for these school meetings, tests, more meetings about meetings, etc. But, the employer of these parents DO know that "funny" Bob, with NO kids and no real responsibilities (except for two rare miniature poodles and an orchid handed down from 3 generations), can work ANY hours any day,.. and that's far more attractive of an employee than these parents with 2.5 kids!

And the last I checked, a parent's first responisibility is to provide safe shelter, water, food, etc for their kids. Sorry, but everything else is secondary. So if you're looking for someone to blame, blame our gov't for leveling the playing field in favor of the non-parent category.

A parent’s responsibility is to raise their child, in all ways. If I ignored my teacher’s emails or calls, I wouldn’t be a very good parent. In fact, if something is up with my child, I freely email my teacher.

Busy or not, either my husband or myself always make time to deal with a teacher’s concerns. This is one of the things we agreed on before we had a child in the first place. We both knew when we did this, our child would come first, in every way, every day. We aren’t just bill payers, we’re also his guardians, and part of that is to make time when it needs to be made.



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 03:03 PM
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I don't what it has become, but it used to be a nice quiet place to nurse a hang-over...



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 03:04 PM
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originally posted by: ketsuko

A parent’s responsibility is to raise their child, in all ways. If I ignored my teacher’s emails or calls, I wouldn’t be a very good parent. In fact, if something is up with my child, I freely email my teacher.



Culture is a factor too.

A friend is a teacher in a heavily Mexican border area.

The parents of his kids think they are interfering with the teacher and their kids education if they interfere.

They think its wrong for them to get in the way of the teacher doing his job.

He has trouble convincing them otherwise.



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 03:58 PM
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Completely agree,

My Highschool, uppermiddle class, only cared about the lower 50%.

Anyone with a future was neglected.

Preparation for college was non-existent.

-Class of 2015

-ASU class of 2019



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 04:37 PM
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a reply to: stdscf12


Seeing as you have only been teaching for less than 10 years, your practically the same generation as the students you are teaching. 30-32 Im guessing...

Your just as much a spoiled brat as any one of your students. Your entire OP was belly aching gripe about how it is all everyone and everthings fault but your own. They way you patted yourself on the back about how "you've had them all" shows that your in the new generation of giving yourself badges of honours rather than earning them with deserved recognition that does not happen in less than 10 years.

Spoiled brat teachers is why I have to be pulled from my proffession to come down to the school so you can get your back rubbed and told how appreciated you are instead of growing some thicker skin and handling your *snip* like the rest of us have to.



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 04:41 PM
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a reply to: stdscf12

My little sister taught at the "worst" high school in the city. The joke was she was a real life version of the movie "Dangerous Minds".

She said a problem she ran into was that the parents couldn't speak English themselves, so when she'd call them it wasn't productive. The parents were working 2-3 jobs and had no time to invest in their kids anyway. Since the parents were so busy and couldn't speak/read English, they couldn't help with homework.

The biggest problem? The kids and parents simply didn't value education. Getting a good education and into a college were long-term things, and none of that put food in the table NOW or kept them safe NOW. The immediate needs of the family took priority, and education a backseat.



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 04:50 PM
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a reply to: itsallmaya

Sweetie, you are so not the other parent. You care and have expectations for and of your babies!

Please, please PLEASE never ever feel like "other" parents who truly don't give a damn. You do huge difference.



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 05:17 PM
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a reply to: stdscf12

Here's what I think is totally screwing most kids up.
I know preschool and kindergarten are meant to prepare
kids for grade school. Those that go thru pre school I hear,
do better on average then kids that don't. And socially they
are without a doubt successful. But academically, what good
does it really do any child, at any age, to just throw school at
them? Without first teaching them the basics of learning? I've
always wondered why someone doesn't take notice of this?
We just start trying to teach the little buggers, without first
teaching them how to learn. Not sure I'm being real clear or
articulate. But...

I just think every kid would do so much better if we taught
them how to learn first. How to use their memory by association.
That's what pre schools and kindergartens should be doing instead
of rub a dub dub. Cause when first grade comes around, the teachers
can teach til their blue in the face. If the whole class has no learning
skills, then that leaves only the smart kids pick'n it up. Which leaves
how many behind right off the bat? And with that, you get the feelings
of inferiority and their chances of doing well are hindered for life. I don't
believe for one minute, enough care is given to directing the minds of
our kids from the start. Where it is most important and I'm not talking
about anything difficult and boring. Teach them to learn before we try
to teach them anything.

edit on Rpm92015v20201500000024 by randyvs because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 05:21 PM
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originally posted by: frostie
Completely agree,

My Highschool, uppermiddle class, only cared about the lower 50%.

Anyone with a future was neglected.

Preparation for college was non-existent.

-Class of 2015

-ASU class of 2019





"Anyone with a future"

Wow, that's cold. So just expel the bottom 50% right? No future idiots.

Your clear belief that only those who do well in school 'have a future' as if those who don't do well just disappear after high school, it's highly unnerving to me. Especially since I know a lot of people who share that same mindset.

Faith in humanity -1
edit on 20-9-2015 by corvuscorrax because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 05:43 PM
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Oh look - some of the irresponsible, contentious helicopter parents mentioned in the OP have come to tell us their excuses.



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 06:07 PM
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originally posted by: OpenMindedRealist
Oh look - some of the irresponsible, contentious helicopter parents mentioned in the OP have come to tell us their excuses.


Really? Which ones?
edit on Rpm92015v07201500000040 by randyvs because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 08:49 PM
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a reply to: corvuscorrax

Do I expel the bottom 50%? No society does, and of course there is always exceptions.

Maybe blame education for molding my dastardly opinion.

Thats all anyone's ever been forcefed grade k-12 in my generation. If you dont do well in school you're a failure.

If you dont go to college youre a failure.

Thats what schools taught me.



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 09:02 PM
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originally posted by: frostie
a reply to: corvuscorrax

Do I expel the bottom 50%? No society does, and of course there is always exceptions.

Maybe blame education for molding my dastardly opinion.

Thats all anyone's ever been forcefed grade k-12 in my generation. If you dont do well in school you're a failure.

If you dont go to college youre a failure.

Thats what schools taught me.


And what do those bottom 50% do? They get jobs, live somewhere, have a family, some of them even retire. The bottom 50% as you put it is everyone who isn't earning an income over 50k or 100k for a couple.

That category by the way happens to include a lot of college graduates who are severely under employed as a function of picking bad majors, and the jobs just not existing any longer.

Also, I should add that going to school and graduating doesn't make you not a failure. That piece of paper helps you get a job you would like to do, but degrees alone are worthless, I'm speaking from experience here as I've got a couple of them. I use one as a mousepad and another as a coaster. Being a failure isn't measured in what you know, it's measured in what you do with what you have to work with.



posted on Sep, 20 2015 @ 09:06 PM
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a reply to: Aazadan

Agreed with what youve said. Sure sure people are perfectly content with making less than 100K a year and thats fine. You do you and ill do me.

Which Is why I major in Business, not musical studies.

Everyone preaches do what you want to do and study what you want too, but thats unfortunately not practical.



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