Why are college students forced to waste their time and money; their two most lacking commodities, on classes that mean nothing to them? Is it not more ideal to spend those precious resources on classes that are actually worthwhile? Of course Oswego State has to follow state educational requirements, so I’m not putting the blame on Oswego itself. But rather, I’m questioning why the government places these mundane requirements on state-run schools.
Gen-eds are only a fraction of the problem with our education system. The way classes are run and the ridiculous scheduling behind it all also plays a large role in hindering our learning. Let’s start with the classes.
Lecture classes based solely on the professor are completely worthless. Being talked down to instead of being talked with makes all the difference in whether a student takes interest in the subject or not. When education is presented in a dictatorial manner, it is only instinctual for the students to be turned off; thus you may see many students "tied up" in their laptops or texting on their phones. Even if some students are respectful during those lectures and try to pay attention, it is safe to say that the majority of those students are merely taking in the information to pass a quiz or exam, not for their benefit in learning something. Can you really blame them? Shoving information down our throats without discussion defeats the purpose of education.
Now, can we solely blame the professors for this problem? Not entirely. Typically, professors become professors in the first place because they had a dream of enlightening others by sharing their life-long experiences in their subject manner – like passing the torch of knowledge to the next generation. Once professors begin teaching at a university, they realize that they cannot teach the way they had envisioned because of the way scheduling is structured. Thus, if a professor is thrown into teaching a lecture hall, his methods become limited and he is forced against his will to improvise to a lesser style of education to satisfy the masses of the class.
Things are the way they are for a reason though and we must put ourselves in the shoes of authority and try to understand why. Every year we have more and more students getting crammed into schools nationwide. As you probably have noticed, Oswego State has had a surplus of freshmen and transfer students this semester, which is why we’re seeing the lecture halls getting larger, the dorms getting smaller and the grades more competitive. It’s impossible to keep up with the adaptation each year, but nonetheless that plays the main factor in hindering our college education – accommodating an overflow of students. That’s just how it has been for decades.
Nonetheless, after all the time and money spent here, I don’t want to graduate college with only being able to say that all I learned was discipline, by managing time and stress. I came here to transform myself, as I hope all of my fellow students have come here to do. It’s as Mark Twain said, "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." So my final question for now is: Should we?