Josh Hughes

Posts Tagged ‘college’

School of Thought Series: Education – Right? Necessity?

In Education, Professional on May 10, 2011 at 11:11 am

Law Books

Right to Education. First thing that comes to mind is _______?

Is education a right? Is it a necessity? And if so, to what degree?

As a part of my School on Thought series, I thought the interesting subject of right to education would be a perfect [albeit debatable] topic.

If we use the college student’s best friend Wikipedia – a right to education gives us:

…is enshrined in Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Articles 13 and 14 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.[5][6][7]

The right to education has been reaffirmed in the 1960 UNESCOConvention against Discrimination in Education and the 1981 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.[8]

In Europe, Article 2 of the first Protocol of 20 March 1952 to the European Convention on Human Rights

Breaking it down..


Intruiged Faces

When you apply the right to education internationally, one might think of third world countries in need of implementing a primary education system. This is where I think education is a right.  Teaching children necessary skills to develop into people who can work and strive to make their countries better places. Many believe that through education, you can elevate the living standards of a country. Teaching them how to think for themselves, the causes of disease, how to read, write and count- THESE are rights. Being educated, they can educate their peers. That generation can educate the next and continue to raise the educational level and hopefully raise standards of living along with it.


Classroom in the Afternoon

Similarly, American citizens have the right to an education, a primary one.  This primary education should help them develop critical thinking skills, a familiarity with math, science, literature, and the arts. It should provide guidance and filter people into skilled trades and professions.

Is primary education doing the job? After you graduate high school, does standardized testing help you get your first job? manage your money? Or does it just try to send you to college?

What about college? Do we all need a college education and the risk of collecting 10 years of student loans?

The 4 year college degree has indeed become the new standard, but many graduates after four long years of finals and term papers are faced with a common response from HR departments: “You don’t have enough experience.” Does that mean institutions of higher learned are failing us?

Is this educational standard raising standards of living? For some, it might. But for others, it is a dangerous catch-22. Those that go on to college based on family or society expectations are most likely to earn debt instead of a degree. This because a financial burden that the individual must carry for varying lengths of time. Many companies use a college degree as a benchmark for hiring, even if the position has little or nothing to do with the degree. Where does that leave the degree-less? Jobless.

Is college the best route for all? If it isn’t, is there something higher education institutions can do to make the standard more function [so graduates don’t hear they don’t have enough experience]. If college is the standard, is it also a right? A necessity to function above the poverty line? I don’t have these answers, but I do know that any graduate or non-graduate can make their dreams and goals come true while overcoming any obstacle, all it takes is wanting it bad enough. I also know with continued programs, we are slowly making changes to make the world a better place.

Disclaimer: being a college graduate myself, I am thankful for my college education and do not regret earning it.  My college years helped define me as a person and prepared me for the real world. In reflection, it was less the course material and more the life experiences I accomplished. I can’t help but wonder if that is the big secret. The successful realize that the true test isn’t the midterm, but the skills they are developing in and out of class? Hmm..

Image brought to you by Mr. T in DCBiggs_l


A few thoughts…

In Education on May 8, 2011 at 11:50 am

Thinking... please wait

– The blog got a facelift. check it out:

– Happy Mother’s Day to all Moms, but specifically, to my Mother: I would not be the person I am today without her guidance, love, and inspiration.

– Starting Monday, I am going to do a 5 piece series on college/education related stuff. It is fitting I think. I hope that it gives people things to ponder and maybe direction or guidance to newly graduated minds (college or otherwise).

Image brought to you by karola riegler photography

Thinking [College] – RA Ra Ra

In Life on April 19, 2011 at 8:01 am

Parchment Paper Texture

No. Not cheerleading.

Resident Assistant.

A huge time commitment.

Duty at all hours of the night.

Mediating petty squabbles.

A life-changing experience that connects you with anyone else that has ever been an RA, and something I would never undo.

They tell you in training that no one will understand what it means to be an RA [short form of Resident Assistant] unless they have been one themselves. In this knowledge, you bond with them. Even if they grate on your nerves, if you work together, you are family. You depend on their support, their work ethic, etc. When you meet a stranger [or a new friend] and it comes up that you were both RA’s, an unspoken rapport is created.

That year and half of service gave me so much. It gave me a family far from home and life-long friends, it tested me personally and professionally [AND PHYSICALLY], and it made me who I am today. When people talk about the physical demands of their job [not heavy lifting, but the hours, etc] I think of how I juggled an internship, classes, and RA responsibilities. How I had to adapt my Type-A planning with real life spontaneity. Teamwork? Diversity? Independence? That was my life. It was our lifestyle.

Some people are made to be RA’s and others are not. Each experience is different from the people you work with, campus culture, the students you have.. even to the floor your are assigned! There is no other job like it..

Sorry. I had to reminisce. Sometimes I wonder if being an RA prepared me more for life and the “real world” better than college!

To any high school students heading to college or to any current college students: Get involved. Apply and interview to be an RA. Diversity is key to a good staff, so don’t feel like you have to be something you’re not. If you can’t manage the commitment of being an RA for whatever reason, get involved in something else.  College is a lot more than exams and essays, and if you don’t see that before the student loans come calling and you hold a degree in your hand.. you might feel like you missed out. In the end, the experience is what you make of it. A diploma is just a piece of paper [hence the image for this post LOL]