Tag Archives: learning

The Problem with America’s Failing Education System

I am on the way to becoming a college teacher so I don’t expect to encounter this very often. But I have many friends who teach elementary school. Their stories seem very much like this video created by Sleepyprincesszzz. If you are a teacher, I am sure you understand…

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Oregon College Education is Broken (and Broke)

Many students do not think about the loans they will be paying back, at least not until after they graduate. But tuition rates in Oregon are projected to go up again.

For Southern Oregon University the tuition increase is to offset a $2.5-million budget shortfall. For Portland State, the combination of tuition and fees is going down slightly… partly by allowing students who do not have health insurance to opt-out of health insurance if they do not want it. At the University of Oregon, the most expensive public university, tuition and fees are expected to exceed $9300.

According to the Gazette Times, “OSU’s anticipated tuition increase is still less than what it saw last year, when it rose 8.1 percent. The tuition increases are partially due to the decreasing share of state allocations. The Oregon University System received 16 percent less in state funds for the 2011-13 biennium compared to the last biennium, or $691 million compared to $824 million.”

How are professors supposed to assign a textbook to read for class when the student tuition and fees are already so high? Textbooks add to the problem because the cost of textbooks has risen at a pace of 4-times the rate of inflation.

When is enough ENOUGH? California has been devastated by the college tuition crisis, and it feels like Oregon is following the same model. People of Oregon… demand better from your state’s leaders. Demand better for your children.

Baby Bunnies Born Today: Video

So my wife walked into the backyard today, and found these crawling in the grass and on the path. We didn’t even know the rabbit was pregnant!! The mother rabbit pulled fur “after” giving birth… thankfully we didn’t step on any of the them. They all seem healthy and doing fine.

Chickens in our Backyard Farm – 6 Weeks Old

2 or 3 days old

This is an update on the chickens. In approximately two weeks, we will begin butchering the white chickens (Cornish Cross). We are keeping the Ameraucana and Rhode Island Red chickens for egg layers. The Cornish Cross have grown freakishly fast in the 6 weeks we have owned them. My wife and I knew that the Cornish would grow quickly, but it is still a surprise. We are going to weigh them tomorrow.

In the video, you can really see the size of the Cornish when they walk next to the milk jug. Currently they eat a half pound of food every day (each). Honestly I know very little about chickens. My wife and I had chickens last year … and we have them this year. But, in total, I still have less than one year of chicken raising experience. These chickens seem healthy… and the egg layers are healthy.

The egg layers are lightning fast too. I wonder if the egg layers are really that fast… or if they look fast when compared to the lumbering Cornish Cross chickens…

My wife spotted a small possum in the chicken run yesterday. I have not seen it yet but we are definitely concerned about it. Possums can eat chickens… and eggs… sigh…

Student Loan Debts reach 1-Trillion Dollars

Last year, I asked students in my class a question which made a lot of them uncomfortable: “Why are you in college?” Some of them said to get a better job, some said to find a career, some said because they didn’t have anything else to do after high school, and some said because their parents told them to go to college.

But does college education bring a better job? It’s a little unfair to ask an 18-year-old to understand the intricacies of the job market and how a college degree will help them(approximately half of all recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed). But for many of these kids they did not understand the student debt aspect of it either. And now, many of them are paying for it.

Colleges across the United States are struggling to pay bills which results in  increasing tuition rates. The rate increases impact student debt, and for students to be entering college with such a low understanding of that debt is bothersome. Should an 18-year-old understand everything they are signing when it comes to money? Yes. Of course yes they SHOULD. But they don’t. Should students who want a college education finish college with student loan debt of $100,000 or more? No. Of course no. But they do.

What is the best answer? I don’t know. I don’t think college education is a “ponzi scheme,” but I do believe the costs that students pay for tuition is way too high… which leads to student loan debts of $100,000 or more. Personally as a graduate student I have over $60K in student loan debt, and it is a struggle to keep it lower while getting my PhD. When I hear about how much undergraduates pay for their tuition in California and Oregon it makes me cringe, especially when I hear they are paying with loans. Here are some other stories about debt struggles: Stories on Student Debt.

Today, the national student loan debt reached 1-Trillion Dollars. As a future college professor this saddens me. What do you think about  college student Debt?