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The Cost of Higher Education

By Miscellaneous | Comment Diversions | November 22, 2010 |


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November 22, 2010 is a date that will go down in history for my wife and I. There's nothing particularly spectacular about today as far as the rest of the world is concerned but, for we two heads of the household, it is a day that will be marked by joyous celebration and possibly several unnatural and lewd acts. You see, today is the day that Mrs. Scott's student loans are finally paid. We've been married for eleven and one half years and those loans have been floating ominously for longer than we've been a legalized union according to the government. I must admit that I get a little bit giddy when I think of what wondrous and frivolous things we could spend this newly liberated chunk of revenue on, then I remember that we have three children, a big-ass mortgage and haven't really been able to save anything due to fiscal constraints. I suppose that now we'll get to start saving for the future and, while necessary, it isn't nearly as exciting as hanging a new 60" LCD television on the wall in my study (I don't actually have a study but it makes me sound smart and sophisticated).

I went to university for just over a year. I feel that I was lucky I realized that higher education in that particular context wasn't really my bag so I only had about six thousand dollars invested in it before I left to pursue other avenues of post secondary education. In my case, while my intellectual journey was not without many challenges and expenses, it worked out pretty damn well. My wife was not so lucky. She spent five years in university earning two degrees. In those five years she obtained a BSc. in anatomy and a BPhys Ed. which, while admirable, qualified her to...teach phys ed which was not her goal. I will state for the record that the anatomy degree does make her a brilliant resource for whenever I inevitably end up hurting my self. It's saved many a visit to the emergency room or doctors office and has made thousands of dollars for the manufacturer of various ice packs.

After working as a waitress for a couple of years, Mrs. Scott decided to pursue a career massage therapy (not the happy ending kind. At least that's what she told me). Obviously her degrees helped her to excel in this particular field and she was very good at putting me through excruciating pain in the interest of fixing what was already a far less painful injury. However the largest and most acute hemorrhage was the result of hefting the ridiculously large bill for the private schooling. I never imagined that learning to rub somebody would have that many zeros attached to it. She did work as a therapist for about five years and even taught one year of Phys Ed before her body gave out and it was time for a new career. I cannot stress this enough people: tip your massage therapist. While they make you feel good, it is fucking murder on their bodies.

The shitastic part of her educational journey is that now she doesn't use any of her education at her current job. She works at a credit union, which is fine by both of us, but it seems like a waste of $70,000 worth of higher learning. I suppose I'll take the optimistic viewpoint this once and assume that all of that schooling contributed to making her the person she is today and also aided her in getting a position for which she had no practical experience. Either that or I'll be lamenting the huge waste of money for the remainder of our lives and feel naught but bitterness and hate. It does seem like this is the ever-growing trend these days. You finish high school and then go to university because that's just what you do. You spend four plus years getting smartened and then, for a lot of people, you get a job that has nothing to do with your field of study.

Here's what I posit to you today: did you pursue further learning, did you find a job in your chosen field and how much are you into The Man for in order to pay for it? Also, was it worth it?

Please note that I won't abide any hateration for those who didn't have to pay for school. After the experience that we've had, I'm making it a priority that my kids don't have to begin adult life with a $100,000 weight dangling around their necks.


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