Miss Musings

A modern miss provides commentary on sociological and psychological issues concerning politics, the media, literature, and everyday observances.

No College Allowed: Shaking up the Education System

With a beginner’s mind, I am heading off to university in the Fall. But how would I feel if I had not been socialized to believe college opens doors? What if you hadn’t either? Would you still have your degree and merely wonder how your fingertips would tingle on a plane ride to Paris or Rome? Would you still have not written your dream novel because you were too busy studying, instead of doing?

 

collegegirl

 

I urge you, my reader, to get hypothetical. It’s dreadfully fun.

Imagine: no college allowed… we just can’t go. Period. No college is allowed because no college truly exists. Suddenly, we sit in a world where after high school, our options are dramatically different.

Since no world can exist without some silly social stigma, imagine that the hot thing to do after high school is to receive technical training. You do not have to be a plumber or an electrician; you can still be a lawyer or an engineer or whatever else your heart desires. After school, you sign up to work directly with a company through a shadowing program, hence you “watch and learn” instead of read, memorize, test, repeat. By emphasizing experiential learning, shadowing, and true “technical education,” perhaps we could skip the fluff and go straight for the main course of learning: hands-on discovery and training.

Some of you may still crave the classical “liberal arts” education. While on-the-job training is more applied and interdisciplinary than the modern collegiate experience, exposure to great literary works and mathematical proofs has great mental merit. Well, after being homeschooled for ten years, I learned that the classical education is easily attainable through individual motivation and inquiry. There are libraries and museums that one could spend the day at and learn more than one would in a lecture hall. That’s the thing about classical education: it’s ubiquitous, and often, free.

Too often in our modern world people do not value technical careers – programmers, security analysts, and other BAS and AS degree level jobs. Yet, if our culture shifted from the high school to college mentality to the high school to job mentality, we would not just have educated people: we’d have a trained society, one of workers who can follow their dreams with freedom directly after high school. We would have members of society who obtain classical education through public centers: libraries, museums, book stores, and community theaters. All in all, our world would have no unemployment and no meaningless memorization. We would have choices in our education system, as we would develop it ourselves.

Let’s take the blindfolds off of our children that have “go to college” written in bold inside; let’s put modern education in the blender and mix it up if we truly want to be interdisciplinary.

February is National Career and Technical Education Month, as proclaimed by Fla. Governor Rick Scott. Photo courtesy of the Public Domain. 

6 qualities that we don’t test on in schools

Students

By CollegeCommGordon (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

After fretting over four AP classes and their corresponding exams this year, I realized that we are not testing on all elements of education that really matter. What we do test on is the ability to work under pressure, recall blindly-memorized information, and think inside the box. Here is what we don’t test on – but we should.

Creativity: I don’t see an AP Poetry exam anywhere. In all seriousness, creativity can be expressed in a multitude of ways – art, problem solving, and just general idea generation. However, college and job applications only give us essays and supplemental material sections to showcase our skills. An inventive test may solve the puzzle.

Leadership: The SAT may note your Geometry skills, but it certainly will not note your role as a team member. Arguably, colleges value “leadership” – an indefinable term – in extracurricular activities. Yet no standardized tests discuss this vital topic adequately, and “president” of a club is sometimes just a title.

In-the-background-ness: Are you not a “natural leader?” Don’t be shy. Those people are indispensible to any college campus or workplace. Trust me, working with a bunch of “leaders” can stir up animosity and lax results due to unceasing contentiousness.

Compassion: A personal quality that is often overlooked by exams is how good a person is. Goodness, in essence, is defined by humility and compassion. While your volunteer and charity activities may indicate these qualities, anyone can volunteer – not everyone is passionate about it.

Tenacity: Endurance test? Try a mental one. See how many problems you can solve before giving up: the best citizens are the ones who are relentless in their fights toward a better society on campus and off.

Defiance: In school, we are taught to absorb; we are rarely asked to challenge what is taught. Is what we are taught perfect? Not if you believe in the power of learning. The world is a flexible circumstance, and our greatest scientist and philosophers constantly defied what they were taught. We now teach what the wrong once defended; we teach what is meant to be challenged. Now is our chance to make our own assertions.

What qualities do you want to see tests on? Leave a comment below with your thoughts, if you like. 

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Suggested musings:

 

Want a job? Make your own

As I watched my fellow future-driven high school students seek out summer jobs and internships, I felt a bit left in the dust. However, I realized that I was not in dire need of money, and I do not really need a job. What I really wanted was work experience; so I made my own opportunity to learn the ropes of business and be my own boss.

 

mmlogo

 

Going into blogging for hypeorlando, I was unsure of how much of a time commitment it would be. I assumed that the main portion of the work would revolve around reporting relevant content frequently and in a timely manner. While this is true, I quickly realized that blogging is a business. At this point I have been blogging for less than a month, but I have learned the ins-and-outs of WordPress, how to read Google Analytics, how to edit quickly, how to queue posts, how to use hashtags effectively, and how to “build my brand” as the elusive Miss Musings. Social networks have become much easier for me to navigate, and I have even picked up some HTML skills. I am aware that participating in marketing and social media internships would have warranted me similar skillsets, but I did not need to fill out an application to learn how to make a name for myself in the ever-competitive world of journalism.

Let’s recap: in less than a month at hypeorlando, I have gained skills in marketing, social media, networking, branding, blogging, writing, editing, and general “audience pleasing.” I already knew I was a great writer, but blogging consistently and building my own “internship” allowed me to play with journalism and technology and pick up new strategies I know will be valuable to any company I may encounter after college.

So if you are like me and do not “need” a job financially, but want to learn something over the summer or get an edge in college/job applications, just create your own job. You could blog for hypeorlando, build your own blog, or seek out a different entrepreneurial venture that is suited to your tastes. I came from an extensive background in technology and journalism, so blogging fit in perfectly with my skills and interests. Not everyone needs to intern for Apple or even have a paying job at McDonald’s to learn new things.

It’s “your future” theme week! I will be posting Mon. Wed. and Fri. on how to succeed as a young professional. This is just post number one – tune in Wed. for another post like this! Be the first to know everything: follow me on Twitter and like Miss Musings on Facebook