"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards." - Robert A. Heinlein

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Non-Traditional (Part 4)

Yep, there's quite a gap between this one and the one before - no question about it. I said I was going to try to blog as often as possible, not that I was making any guarantees.

But I'm going to keep trying.


It started when I asked one of my younger classmates why he was in school – an education, or a degree. Quite proudly, he answered, “an education.”

So did the next one. I asked a few more.

"I want an education,” each of them said. Though about half qualified their statement by stressing they wanted an education and a degree, or they wanted an education, but also needed credits to transfer to a four-year college. Each of them answered “education” when I made them pick one.

I knew they would.

You see, I picked those students that seemed prepared. The ones who had the textbooks early. The ones who took notes. The ones who interacted with the instructors.

I asked a couple of others. I don’t need to describe them, do I? You know which ones – the ones that curl their lashes in class, and leave in the earbuds, and can’t be bothered to show up on time, if at all, and who have a multitude of excuses as to why they showed up without notes, textbooks, or anything to write with.

They wanted degrees.

Even when I asked one of these future leaders of America what he wanted to degree in, he said, “dunno.”

It gets better. When some of those non-education-wanting degree-seekers did have an idea what they wanted to be when they got that degree, it was often one of the usual suspects:

“I’m going to be a fashion designer.”

“I want to be a musician.”

“I’m going to own my own restaurant.”

“I want to be an event planner.” Question, Ms. Future Planner of Social Engagements – shouldn’t one be on time to one’s engagements? Just a little hint.

Not that I’m knocking anyone’s dreams. I’m not. But there is a vast disconnect at any level of school between the student who sets out to seek his education and lets that help guide her path to success and the student who shows up late, snoozes under his cap, and can’t be bothered to find his book, yet is convinced he’s got a future career as a music mogul.

Gonna start a hip-hop/death mariachi record label
There’s no punchline to this one, just a bit of lingering wonderment. I recognize that this is a bit of cross-generational rupture, and you should realize that I know it.

And if you think I’m entirely wrong… try it. Find one of the slackers and ask. Or better yet, find one of those well-prepared young men and women and ask them if they think a degree or an education is more important.

I bet I know what they’ll all say.


By the way, I got back my first Business test this week. Aced it – only perfect score in the class of 40 or so.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hit the Road, Jackass, and Don't You Come Back No More, No More, No More, No More!

It appears to be official:  corrupt Vice-President of Business and Finance at Southwestern College Nick Alioto is out! According to an email sent off by his own pudgy, greasy little hands*, he has resigned from his position, effective immediately.

Here is the good news.

"Good Afternoon;

This past year has been one of conflicting emotions for many of us. I have come to know many good individuals who have devoted their lives to this institution and whom I am pleased to have had an opportunity to get to know. Regretfully, I came during a difficult period. I apologize for anything that I did to contribute to that.

This next year is critical for the College. I want to remove myself as a barrier to some people’s ability to focus on resolving our accreditation issues so, effective today, I have resigned. I would like to take this opportunity to extend to the campus community my best wishes.


I'll give him credit for going out with a jaunty wave instead of the flying finger we know he meant, but that's it. This man was a cancer to Southwestern College and every other school he was associated with. 

Yeah, Wisconsin folks, I'm talking about the crap he put y'all through.

At the moment I've got no further information and nothing else to say. I hope to God that our Governing Board didn't have to pay him a meaty severance to send him packing. I prefer the idea that he heard the grand jury coming after him, decided to man up and resign.

But at the moment, it's all just a guessing game.

With Raj K. Chopra out, and now with Nick Alioto out, SWC can only look forward to better days. With our new interim superintendent and our brand-spanking shiny new Governing Board in place, it's time to wash the Alioto funk off this school and get back to the job of education.

I'll let you know more when I know it.

*I'm guessing. Allow me a bit of poetic license here, okay?