Re: work and education

hjmartin (hatch@RICHMOND.INFI.NET)
Mon, 1 Jul 1996 09:55:56 -0400

With a little editing and a word from John, one more contribution.

>>Your point about the value of acquiring specific job skills that enable one
>>to function in business is well made. I think that you make a sensible
>>statement countering one that constructs the image of a person in a job on
>>the constricting basis of a functional description, or to one that relies
>>almost lovingly on 'operationalising' human work. To the examples you list
>>I will add knowledge of statistical analysis, a certain competence in
>>mathematical modeling/thinking and the ability to read financial statements,
>>not least with a view to how they portray (and betray) business plans.
>>Thank you for paraphrasing Bourdeiu's analysis of how academic credentials
>>have deflated in value. It is apt. I see it around me every day. One
>>reality for new BAs is that extended unemployment looms for many. Many work
>>for temporary agencies; they often skitter about seeking 'opportunities' and
>>'networking' total strangers. Others, in order to get on-the-job experience
>>(oh, how shallow those words sound to me!), are placed as unpaid interns.
>>Many, it is true, do find fulfilling, full-time work. Yet so many others,
>>sadly, find jobs that simply do not require a lengthy and expensive college
>>education. (I cannot find it in me to bash McDonalds, Thom McAn, Sears...
>>for keeping hundreds of thousands of people in pocket money). Perhaps my
>>outlook is too dark, but this circumstance disturbs me greatly. I feel so
>>sorry for these young people and the grinding struggles they face.
>>Americans tie much of their concept of self to what they do to earn money
>>and thus plan & work to BE something (teacher, dancer, bidnes man, Chevy
>>truck builder). Failing to BE that something is wrenching to the point of
>>utter despair. I cannot resort to platitudes about trials by fire and
>>exhortations to try and try to put myself in a better frame of mind about
>>this. Is the personal cost of knowledge becoming too high? I hope not.
>>Has the work value of an education been debased? Yes, but not for a reason
>>intrinsic to education.
>>And so: I wrote a letter to the editor to blast the guy I mentioned in the
>>first post. I was _really_ cranky but she published the thing anyway.
>This is very thoughtful and useful.Would you be willing to post it to the list?
>John McCreery
>3-206 Mitsusawa HT, 25-2 Miyagaya, Nishi-ku
>Yokohama 220, JAPAN
>"And the Lord said unto Cyrus, 'Shall the clay say to him who moldest it,
>what makest thou? Let the potsherd of the earth speak to the potsherd of
>the earth." --An anthropologist's credo