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Unread 11-19-2009, 03:39 PM   #326
mosheh5769
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Originally Posted by noahidelaws View Post
He wasn't saying that a person is pathetic, he was describing the attitude.
Exactly. When I say to my elder sister: "What you're saying is stupid", I describe her words, not herself. It's the same here.

Far from me the idea to throw insults on someone (even if it may happen, this was not the case here).
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Unread 11-19-2009, 04:08 PM   #327
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Apparenty, your words (whoever or whatever they were describing) were perceived as insulting. You can decide that its "the other guy's" problem, like certain other posters tend to do. Or you could be mentschlech. Far be it from me to tell you what to do.
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Unread 11-20-2009, 05:22 AM   #328
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Originally Posted by Meshulam View Post
Apparenty, your words (whoever or whatever they were describing) were perceived as insulting. You can decide that its "the other guy's" problem, like certain other posters tend to do. Or you could be mentschlech. Far be it from me to tell you what to do.
Apparently, I'm perceive like a groise lobuz. So I have no choice but to be a mentschlech, like tou suggest. If "pathetic" was perceived as an insult, I apologize (far be it from me to insult anyone here). But this was really not the case, not even in Remez.

Now that this has been said let's come back to the subject if anyone has anything to say that could enlighten us.
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Unread 11-20-2009, 08:54 AM   #329
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosheh5769 View Post
Apparently, I'm perceive like a groise lobuz. So I have no choice but to be a mentschlech, like tou suggest. If "pathetic" was perceived as an insult, I apologize (far be it from me to insult anyone here). But this was really not the case, not even in Remez.

Now that this has been said let's come back to the subject if anyone has anything to say that could enlighten us.
I wasn't calling you names. I was referring only to your actions. Sorry if you were nonetheless offended.

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Unread 11-26-2009, 03:39 AM   #330
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As I pointed out many times - this is all good and fine and true. But as long as L mosdos will pay young girls with degrees more than much older experienced teachers without them, the problem will not go away, and will worsen.

Or - in other words - there is a degree of hypocricy at play...
Returning to the original topic (which I think I am guilty of derailing). The fact that you refer to college as a problem is only half the story. Chabad must recognize that there are genuine benefits to college - these are not skills that people just "pick up" or "read about" in their spare time. College has something real and valuable to offer.

But... there are dangers associated with going to college. For this reason, the Rebbe was selective about who he advised to attend university.

As long as mashpiim refuse to acknowledge the good that can come from university, they will fail to reach the ears of bochurim and young women that are seriously considering college. A mashpiah who says "the schooling is worthless" is either (a) lying to stick to party lines; (b) way too cocky; or (c) ignorant of what college really is. In any of those three cases, its not someone I would want to listen to and its not someone my kids would want to listen to.
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Unread 11-26-2009, 04:04 AM   #331
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Selective?! The Rebbe said in letters and sichos not to go!! And if there were exceptions, that's just what they were--exceptions! Maybe your judgement is biased by the fact that you (apparently) attended college yourself??
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Unread 12-15-2009, 12:25 AM   #332
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[quote=Tzemach;736]Below are some letters of the Rebbe (written originally in English) that discuss this subject, I hope you find this useful.

From a letter of 1 Adar 5722

"Another point which is often the subject of misconception - the importance attached to a college degree from the economic point of view. Statistics show that the majority of college graduates eventually establish themselves in occupations and business not directly connected with their courses of study in college. The moral is obvious."

What would the Rebbe answer to the following idea:
Although it's true that the majority of college graduates eventually establish themselves in occupations and business not directly connected with their courses of study in college, college teaches the person a way to approach modern business. It's very different to end up working in a shop in Manhattan or in a company where you can actually earn a much decent livelihood. I've seen "yeshiva graduates" that cannot write and barely read English...
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Unread 12-15-2009, 09:21 AM   #333
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I would add to Raf1's point that many of the jobs college graduates take, while not related to their specific degree, do require college degrees to even apply.

One example that comes to mind is teaching - many folks with philosophy, history, art, english or foreign language degrees ultimately become teachers. Particularly for the younger grades, those degrees arguably have little to do with what the teacher needs to know to teach. But to get a teaching credential in (I think) any state, you must have a bachelor's degree.

That fact, incidentally, is why some yeshiva graduates can use their smichah as the needed degree. Smichah works as a prerequisite for law school, teaching credential programs and also many social work programs.

But the fact is that many employers and many companies want to see a university program or want to see something that at least required college level writing to progress. Those requirements are not met in yeshiva.
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Unread 12-15-2009, 03:07 PM   #334
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My thought is that the Rebbe saw that the harm is much deeper if the bochur goes to college than if he doesn't. The truth is that college environment is very bad for a Jew. It is not necessary to explain why.
Being that not everyone is cut out for formal Shlichus, there's only a few ways left to make a living: business or working for someone else in a company.
Well, it's a difficult issue. I guess every case would have to be judged individually as the Rebbe probably gives a general guideline.
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Unread 12-15-2009, 08:33 PM   #335
emes m'eretz
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I think that the link below is pertinent to this discussion.

The author quotes the Bureau of Labor Statistics that many of the largest areas of future job growth in the American economy are in occupations requiring little skill, not even a two-year post-secondary credential ...

And he sums up the article that although he is not minimizing the importance of getting young people into college, nevertheless it's wrong to say that inadequate college stunts access to jobs.


http://www.epi.org/analysis_and_opin...ly_and_demand/


I also saw on a discussion forum that many people with experience advised against generally (as opposed to specific reasons) going to college in order to achieve economic success.
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Unread 12-15-2009, 09:20 PM   #336
emes m'eretz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raf1988 View Post
From a letter of 1 Adar 5722
"Another point which is often the subject of misconception - the importance attached to a college degree from the economic point of view. Statistics show that the majority of college graduates eventually establish themselves in occupations and business not directly connected with their courses of study in college. The moral is obvious."
Interesting that the Rebbe used the word "moral" and not "lesson" or "instruction." Perhaps the intention is that there is an ethical consideration here.

In other words, even if the studies do (indirectly) benefit future employment; but should a student (and the student's parents) put in time, money, and effort in studying subjects which (perhaps contrary to their expectations, and perhaps being misled by the schools and by society etc.) will most probably not be directly connected to the student's future employment.

In other words, is it right to study something for years, and then be handed a job that has nothing or very little to do with the subject studied. It seems like an awful waste of time and effort, and a very misguided endeavor.

I think that some of the issues raised by Mahtov and Raf1 are perhaps thus addressed in the Rebbe's letter.

And I think that (as pointed out in my previous post) this is especially borne out in current times.
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Unread 12-15-2009, 09:46 PM   #337
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Interesting that the Rebbe used the word "moral" and not "lesson" or "instruction."
I doubt that the original is in English.

Quote:
In other words, is it right to study something for years, and then be handed a job that has nothing or very little to do with the subject studied. It seems like an awful waste of time and effort, and a very misguided endeavor.
You are missing the point. Those jobs don't care what you studied or what you wrote papers about for four years. They care that you can study and can write papers and could do so consistently for four years.
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Unread 12-15-2009, 09:56 PM   #338
emes m'eretz
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So the student is acquiring a skill in studying and writing, but he is doing it by studying for many years a certain subject that he will hardly ever use.

Does this seem right?
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Unread 12-15-2009, 10:30 PM   #339
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Does this seem right?
When you want to teach a child to read... what book do you choose? You choose the child's favorite book! It doesn't matter what the subject matter is, the point is that the child learns to read.

The rule applies to adults as well.
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Unread 12-15-2009, 11:40 PM   #340
emes m'eretz
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We are dealing with adults, not children.

We give children candy to get them to learn.

But an adult is mature enough to realize that he should do things that make sense and which are worthwhile.
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Unread 12-15-2009, 11:56 PM   #341
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But an adult is mature enough to realize that he should do things that make sense and which are worthwhile.
First of all, that is wishful thinking. Adults need motivation too.

Second of all, the Talmud says you should learn what your heart desires. This is advice for adults to be successful in learning.

Third of all, the adult is doing something worthwhile. He is learning to read, research, write and otherwise perform at a college level. The topic isn't important.

Just as an example. I know someone who's entire job for the last ten years requires him to create and review reports about a very specific type of engineering. He does something else, but let's say his company builds and installs street lamps.

Now it would be impossible for him to do what he does without a basic understanding of engineering, a basic understanding of writing and a basic understanding of research. I would be very surprised if he took more than one class in his entire college career on the subject of street lights - I would even be surprised if more than one class was offered. Are you saying his time in college was not worthwhile? Of course it was, but it didn't matter that he was writing about (for example) famous 18th century Rabbis - he was learning how to write. It didn't matter that he was researching and creating reports about his favorite 50's rock band - he was learning how to research and report. And it didn't matter that his engineering studies mainly focused on building cars - he was learning engineering.

Just because a teacher inserts something irrelevant into a lesson to make it fun, that does not mean that the lesson becomes less relevant. Aderabo, by making the subject interesting, the students are more able to attack it with all of their talents and attention.
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Unread 12-15-2009, 11:58 PM   #342
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And by the way, if the Yeshiva system did a better job of teaching some of these skills, there would be less need for some of these folks to go to college.
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Unread 12-16-2009, 12:08 AM   #343
emes m'eretz
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The engineer has a basic understanding of engineering. He studied it, and now he is able to do his job. So in this example, the subject matter that he studied has (at least fundamentally) a direct bearing on his job.
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Unread 12-16-2009, 12:15 AM   #344
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Not really. The engineering he did is as about as close to his job as the rock'n roll reports are the to writing he does now.
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Unread 12-16-2009, 12:37 AM   #345
emes m'eretz
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So are you saying that it's ok for someone to learn, for years, a subject that will not really be directly useful to him in any way? And that he is mainly learning it for fun?
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Unread 12-16-2009, 12:58 AM   #346
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Also, I think that most people studying in college are under the impression, or at least the hope, that their efforts will lead to a job in which they can use their newly acquired skills. They are proud of these skills, and they want to be able to use them in their new job.

And then if they are among the fortunate ones who find employment, their job often has no direct connection to what they studied.

Don't you think that these people will probably look back at those studies as something that was perhaps done under false pretenses? Or in the best case scenario, they will look back at those studies as a complete waste? (I don't mean the writing and studying skills that they gained. I mean the subject matter, the countless hours spent on useless material (ie. useless in their own right).)

Don't you think that they'll wonder about the tremendous senselessness of such a system?

As I recall, many of the comments on the discussion forum that I mentioned earlier refer to this sad reality.
(I didn't post the link since I wasn't sure if the moderators allowed that. And I wasn't sure if I was allowed to copy the discussions and post them in case it infringed on copyright rights of that forum. But if you are interested, and if the mods permit it, I can probably pm the link to you.)
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Unread 12-16-2009, 01:46 AM   #347
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Also, I think that most people studying in college are under the impression, or at least the hope, that their efforts will lead to a job in which they can use their newly acquired skills. They are proud of these skills, and they want to be able to use them in their new job.
No. Most people I knew in college wanted a job in their chosen area of study, but understood that there were more people majoring in that subject (e.g. art history) than there were jobs to be had. In some cases, the major was a passion that the person knew would always remain a passion (for example, art history majors who will always be art buffs). In some cases, the major was a means to getting a degree of some kind (every school has these - my undergrad's most popular was political science).

Pretty much everybody understood that they might have to find work outside their chosen field, but that a degree would make them more hireable in many fields anyway.

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Don't you think that these people will probably look back at those studies as something that was perhaps done under false pretenses? Or in the best case scenario, they will look back at those studies as a complete waste? (I don't mean the writing and studying skills that they gained. I mean the subject matter, the countless hours spent on useless material (ie. useless in their own right).)
You are basically asking me if they will agree with you and not me. Since I think I am right, I will say, the majority will not feel this way. Some will, out of bitterness or genuine anger. But as I said, most people know what they are doing.

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As I recall, many of the comments on the discussion forum that I mentioned earlier refer to this sad reality.
(I didn't post the link since I wasn't sure if the moderators allowed that. And I wasn't sure if I was allowed to copy the discussions and post them in case it infringed on copyright rights of that forum. But if you are interested, and if the mods permit it, I can probably pm the link to you.)
You can post the link in a public message on my profile, or else a PM. Either way I'm not too interested, I've talked to plenty of these folks in real life.

Its also worth mentioning, these subject areas aren't as useless as you say. Political Science helps a person better understand how his country works, Psychology helps a person better understand the human mind, and art history helps a person become more cultured. We can debate the value of these skills, but American and European education is very focused on the idea of making people "worldly" and "educated" which these subjects help - if you don't care about being worldy that's not a critique of college, its a critique of the culture as a whole. Employers however, do like to hire folks who are worldly and educated.
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Unread 12-16-2009, 02:55 AM   #348
emes m'eretz
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Maybe the Rebbe just wanted to point out the misconception, in case people thought that college was for the most part directly connected to employment.

He uses the words "not directly connected" which would seem to allow for your points that the studies can be (indirectly) connected to employment.


I have two questions:

How do you interpret the words, "The moral is obvious?"

And any comment on the link in post # 335?
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Unread 12-16-2009, 03:14 AM   #349
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Colleges and other educational institutions can influence which students get the more highly-skilled jobs that are available. But colleges and other educational institutions cannot, to a significant extent, affect the number of jobs that are available - highly skilled or otherwise.
Note the point of the article is to say that college does not guarantee employment. The article makes no comparison between the employment options of those who do and do not attend college. His point is that we as a country should focus on job creation rather than just education. That's different from what we are talking about here.

The article is also, by its own admission, only an opinion.

I also want to take just one example to show why the article does not carry the weight it looks like it should at first blush:

Quote:
With hourly compensation for college graduates flat from 2002 to 2008, this can only mean that pay will start declining.
1) He does not note the average pay for those without college degrees.
2) The second half of the sentence is a falacy. That trend is not forced.
3) The number of college students is growing faster than the US population - meaning there are more folks in college that would not have gone 10 years ago. I am curious what's happening with the average pay of, say, the top 10 million wage earners or so in the US rather than just everyone with a degree.
4) Does this figure include house wives or part time workers with a degree? Because that would throw the average off.

Statistics are usually decieving, this is a good example of how number can sound impressive but don't mean much.
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Unread 12-16-2009, 03:50 AM   #350
emes m'eretz
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And what do you do with this?

The author quotes the Bureau of Labor Statistics that many of the largest areas of future job growth in the American economy are in occupations requiring little skill, not even a two-year post-secondary credential ...
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