Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I'm Back

Hello everyone, I have been on Doctor's (a real one not like mine) to reduce my stress level so I have been absent from blogging for a while. I am currently recovering from knee surgery hence the elevated blood pressure I experience from vitriolic blogging about the education industry was not good for healing.

I however have one tidbit to share about my current employment. I work for a small private diploma mill err... school that in essence takes exorbitant amounts of money (I'm talking 4th Tier law school money here) to "educate" students that really should not be in college. The best part is even if a student doesn't complete an assignment or an exam I can only give a 50% not a 0%. The same goes for a student who legitimately tries and fails miserably. Ohhh... what a wonderful system.

I think my main goal is to funnel as many of these students either off to community college or out of higher education entirely.

Another point, check out BIDER on the blog roll and vote for a scam blogger to make it to the top 100 law blogs or you can click here:

Monday, July 12, 2010

Another Visit from the Black Cloud

So, I have been gone for over a week. Well, I haven't dropped the pursuit of truth and fairness in the world. I dislocated my knee. I didn't even know that was possible, but an encounter with wet tile and a door frame enlightened my perspective. This adds to the two years of shit (not including my 7 year prison term/grad-school) that have shaped my current personality.

Well, after I haul my narcotic pain killer loaded ass across campus tomorrow to submit my post-doc work, I will launch into yet another reason why, other than the education scam, that our generation is screwed. It involves a meth cook and why I spend $300 a month for the privilege of breathing, should be fun.

Friday, July 2, 2010

My thesis committee

Well, this is both a departure of my scam-blogging and an introduction to the world of the Ph.D. If you take the plunge of a Ph.D. you will have a thesis committee and an advisor of the said thesis. These people are supposed to be your guides into the world of academia, and they will be totally and completely fucked up.

The average Ph.D. could be dropped in the woods and be dead by nightfall, but they are truly interesting characters to be explored (because they are so fucked up, they border on cartoonish). Lets start with Dr. Peter (first name only). Well Peter is an organizational strategy professor who is an alum of my program, and he has fucking severe ADHD.

Not only is the ADHD bad enough, he fucking loves stimulants. From redbull to pepsi-max, he has them all in his office fridge. The bastard even has an espresso machine and a French-press coffee maker in his office. These are the legal stimulants he uses, keep reading it gets better.

Now Peter is a whopping conservative, I don't care, I am apolitical. But, we where at a conference together at the god damn University of California at Berkley. Yes, the 60s own Berkly, where he proudly proclaimed he was "more conservative than George W. Bush." I gave him a look that said "do you know where we fucking are" and "I don't want to be beaten to death with organic Birkenstock's." Well Peter wanted me to snort some cocaine off a urinal about 20 minutes earlier so I could see where he was coming from. This is the same man who has told me his undergraduate minor at Georgia Tech was agriculture so he could grow better pot. He has shown me the plants, they are impressive.

So, if you really want to know how totally fucked up your professors are, get the Ph.D. They will totally surprise you, not only that they can actually live in society, that they aren't dead yet. Peter is only one of my three member thesis committee.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Who are the happiest people I know?

I frequent a bar stool on Saturday afternoons, in a less than reputable establishment. It is known locally for fights, trashy weddings (the bartender is an ordained minister and a great friend), and being so dark I have yet to ascertain the actual colors of the walls (in three years). I discovered the place after buying a glock handgun on the "bad-side" (meaning working class and not university related) of town. I fought off a psycho meth-head with my baseball bat breaking in the week before, needed something more efficient. Gotta love a part of town that has a strip-mall containing: a bar, a gun store, a hairdresser, and an old-school tailor.

I am by a huge margin, the patron with the highest level of education. My nickname there is actually doc. However, I am probably the least happy person there. The others all wonder why, with all my education and "opportunities", that I hate my state in life. Well, I tell them this: I earn a wage that qualifies me for food-stamps, and make extra money doing bullshit "consulting work" for local companies. I at one point sold blood plasma and chopped wood and brush at a local farm to make ends meet (and get free eggs and milk... yay). I spend at least half of my waking hours running data analysis on SPSS (think excel as a DMV employee with a real shitty attitude). In other words, I am an underemployed brain on a stick, used by the university to do "post-doctoral" research.

Anyway, back to the bar. These people work jobs like: mason, plumber, maintenance at a local apartment complex, tending said bar, auto mechanic, pizza chef, and garbage collection. None of these jobs need a third of the education I have. They work with their hands, and I "work" with my mind. They are happy, I am not. They create, fix, or do something tangible every day. I fuck around on a computer testing a usually common sense theory for the "noble" pursuit of empirical research. They do not have undischargeable student loan debt. They all make more money than me, even the fucking pizza cook, and I am fucking win the lottery lucky for not pursing this crap endeavor with debt.

The only hope I have now, is redeeming myself working for the education industry I have come to hate. So I can do the same thing, work low hours with a team of minions to do my work (students), because in terms of the overall job market, I am totally and completely fucked. Anytime you are applying for work and you are overeducated (be it J.D., MBA, M.A., M.S., Ph.D.) they will always ask two questions. One, why is this highly educated person applying for this job that is "beneath them." And the second, are these people going to leave the second they get a job that requires their education level.

Community College: Cheap and Effective

One of the best inventions concieved in Illinois is not just corrupt politics (this thing is fucking golden), it is a state wide transfer credit articulation program. Other states may have this, I don't know, I live under the relative rock of academia. All the community colleges in the state and the public 4 year universities participate. There are over 30 private schools and colleges that participate in the program as well.

Well what is it? The program provides a standardized general education program at all the participating schools. The program directors hold meetings with college and university representatives to determine what classes at each of these schools meet the same basic requirments for general education. This makes it much easier to transfer in and out of colleges for various reasons.

Well, the real beauty here is you can do half your degree at the Community College, and transfer all that guarnteed course credit to a four year university. Lets look at some numbers to see the cost savings. These will shock the shit out of you if you are a casual reader, they make me feel bad inside.

Names and locations will not be given to protect my possible career prospects and, all of these colleges participate in the program.

Local Community College: Tuition and Fees for one credit hour $115.
Big Honking Public 4 year: Tuition and Fees for one crefit hour $911.
Small "Silver Spoon" private: Tuition and Fees for one credit hour $1,170.

What the fuck accounts for the price difference when these colleges have all agreed that what they are offering for classes is the same no matter where the classes are taken. Granted, the student life experience will be different, but is it worth a 9 or 10 to one price difference? I don't fucking think so.

So what does this cost you to take: rocks for jocks, basic composition, college algebra, and fringe rantings of a loon (this is usually your politics or non-western history professors).

Local Community College: $5,175.00
Big Honking Public 4 year: $40,995.00
Small "Silver Spoon" private: $52,650.00

Remember, these numbers do not take into account costs for a place to live, your shitty college car, food, textbooks you get fucked on, and lets face it... booze to numb your ass to the depression on the weekends (if you need some advice, low quality fortified wine i.e. bum-wine is the best value, tastes like cough syrup, kicks like a mule).

Take my advice, start with community college, you will save so much money. But just remember, even if you get a worthless degree on the cheap, it is still a worthless degree.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

You are a heartbeat and a checkbook

So, I work for a large University in Illinois (take a guess), and have for the better part of the past decade. These jobs have shown me the truth. In the eyes of the administration you are nothing more than a checkbook and a heartbeat. The university needs your money and they need the enrollment numbers for the federal funding. How does this impact you, you may ask? Well, the people most at risk of the university scam are those on the wait list.

I have deemed the wait-list as the lambs waiting for the slaughter. You have not met the requirements for automatic admission, and that means you are likely never able to gain admission to a major (other than geography and philosophy or any other major that you can list on your unemployment application) at the university. The lie the university community perpetrates on college students is that if you are admitted, you will actually get a degree. Well, this is a total lie. You, with your 18 ACT having ass, and a transfer GPA of 2.0 at some bullshit community college will get smoked like a cheap cigar at a University.

The professors, or more likely, graduate assistants (like a even more bitter version of me) will absolutely hate you. You fuck with the ultimate goal which is research (this is me again, only I tend to sympathize with undergrads who have been sold the fraudulent bill of goods). Your professors do not care, they have the 6 figure income job with tenure and could give a limp dick about you problems with fixed annuity questions.

You are nothing more than a placeholder for the university. You will pay a year or two of tuition and fees and never, ever get the degree you want. Spend that money "finding yourself" in community college. It will cost a shit-load less and you won't have the epic failure of a University to add you your psychiatric review. More to come on Community College in future posts.

How This All Began

About two months ago, I got a call from an old friend from undergrad. He was very excited that he was going to attend law school and follow his dream of becoming a lawyer. I of course, was excited for him (soon to be horrified). He was going to attend the Thomas Cooley School of Law in Michigan. I had never heard of this place before so I went searching on the Internet for information.

This is when I encountered the Law School Scam Bloggers. The first post I read was from Third Tier Reality. After months of reading those and other scambloggers like them, I saw what the legal market had become. It is not the shining star of a profession that I was lead to believe years ago when I dabbled in the prospects of attending law school. I luckily did not attend the third tiers that I was accepted into. I went to business school instead, for free on a graduate assistantship. This is important because my worthless double major in History and Politics as an undergrad is best used in this economy to wipe ones ass with.

Now, I thought before my eyes were opened, that law school was an ivory tower that guarded the entry into a noble and prestigious career. Wow was I wrong. From reading stories about outsourcing of basic legal work to India, to the gulags of document review, and the "international opportunities" for U of Michigan grads to work in those outsourced jobs, I saw yet another scam being run on our generation.

I will say this, if you do not like the angry ramblings of a bitter generation Y member, stop reading. I have the personality of Henry Rollins, Penn Jilette, and Tyler Durden put together in a button down, MBA having package. I work a dead end job at my university that will thankfully end soon, as my contract is about to expire. I'm actually looking forward to unemployment as bad as that sounds. Then at least I wouldn't have to speak on the phone with mouth breathing millennial bastards who sound like they just took a massive bong rip. Or their parents who need to cut the fucking cord. Ohhh... and the people that want me to release enough information to easily steal every bit of their identity, over a telephone, with no real way to identify them.

This post is going somewhere I promise. My friend, lets call him Mike, was in no way a stellar student. He eked out a bachelors degree in polisci like me, but was on some kind of probation, either academic or administrative, at least a half dozen times. He took out every loan possible to finance this four year party that was college to him. Many a time I have seen him pass out, fall down, wake up in the hospital with stitches or a stomach pump drunk. I have also loaned him ten or twenty dollars here or there, so he could buy food. Mike has spent the years between then and now working at a gas station in some armpit town.

Now, Mike is a good guy, and was fun to hang out with in college (to an extent), but he is in no way someone who I would want as my attorney. That is even if he can practice in the imploding legal market. What he will do is take out at least another $150,000 of debt to add onto the loans from undergrad. What he has done is mortgaged his future with no real chance to ever escape that debt (because they are non-dischargeable under bankruptcy) other than leaving the country or death.

What Mike is thinking is he is bettering himself through education. While this may be true for our parents generation during the baby-boom, the same is not true for people my age. Our bachelors degrees have been devalued because of the pipe-dream promise that education was meant for everyone. It is not. Some people should not waste the time and money on a useless college degree.

I will end with this quote from Fight Club:
"Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off. "

We now have that great depression and great war(s), maybe we will finally stop being the sheeple we have all become.