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Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau for August 14, 2011

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    BE THIS GUY Premium Member over 7 years ago

    It was a big paper bag….

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    Varnes  over 7 years ago

    That’s a good way to get sacked…..

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    palos  over 7 years ago

    Sounds like plausible deniability. Probably will get the corner office suite.

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    DylanThomas3.14159  over 7 years ago

    Prexy lubing his throat with a martini at WHAT time of day? Maybe that’s why he’s too addled to understand why laddie can’t reason his way out of a paper bag,

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    DylanThomas3.14159  over 7 years ago

    Q: Why can’t prexy understand?A: He’s Walden.

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    DylanThomas3.14159  over 7 years ago

    Get it? Walden = “walled in”. Old saying: “a pun is the lowest form of humor”.

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    Ravenswing  over 7 years ago

    Of course employers don’t care. If they DID care, they’d value experience over paper credentials.

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    TURTLE  over 7 years ago

    It will always be the best BS’er gets the best job no matter what their paperwork says.

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    DylanThomas3.14159  over 7 years ago

    Objection: “Higher ed” = “job ed”? Since when?

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    roctor  over 7 years ago

    Three words, trump university.

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    lewisbower  over 7 years ago

    Like myself, my boss had a liberal arts education. He understands when I say the train had a flat.

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    billw86  over 7 years ago

    College is great, and if anyone asked, I would say do it if you have the chance. But college is not the only way to success, and I question whether it teaches any of the things listed – or ever did. It can help, but you have to get those things yourself.

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    Doughfoot  over 7 years ago

    For centuries, education represented a special kind of elitism: the passing of knowledge and understanding from those who had it, to those who didn’t. Those who had it demanded honor and respect from their students, and a diploma meant that the student had won a certain degree (pun intended) of honor and respect from the “masters.” High education was for those who did not have to work for a living, the ruling class so to speak, and those entering the “learned professions,” the doctors, lawyers, and clergymen who were society’s members most eminent for wisdom and understanding. Colleges were communities where young people of the “better sort” met, networked, both learning autonomy and joining a peer group. Institution of higher education were like cathedrals and statues, monuments to the greatness of the society’s that created them, producing needed leadership for those societies. At least that was the ideal and the idea, however far short it fell in practice. Higher education is now turning into little more than a commercial enterprise, the vending of a product to paying customers. Whereas the social life of the college community used to be a valued process of socialization, now it is seen only as an opportunity for students to go wild away from their parents. The colleges cannot act any longer in loco parentis, but the parents don’t want their children to be treated as adults either, and be held fully accountable for their actions. If the student goes wrong it is everyone’s fault but the college’s, but let the college demand certain standards of responsibility from the student, and the parents cry foul. And while the college is no longer expected to be guide and guardian, but just an instruction vending machine, no one can even agree on who the customers are: the colleges want to be serving the students, but the parents are footing the bills. So when the college think the students need X, and students think they need Y, and the parents think need Z, who should prevail? Faculty are regarded by some as masters, and by some as servants. We no longer agree on what a college is, who gets to decide what it is, or what it is for; we don’t agree on who is working for whom; we no longer even agree whether college faculty are persons worthy of respect. In fact, asking respect for an office, title, or position does seem to regarded as elitism these days, and elitism as an always bad thing. I always thought that America strove to be a meritocracy, where merit and accomplishment were rewarded. And I also imagined that, to some extent, the reward for merit and accomplishment would often include money. Service to the community was honored. Nowadays, it seems, money is no longer the reward of merit, it is the substance of merit. Money gotten is money “earned,” except when it is earned serving the public. The stockbroker “earns” his millions, but the teacher, cop, postman, government office clerk, and firefighter are leeches on society. Knowledge is sneered at, experts are scoffed at, “common sense” requires no knowledge or education we are told, and “common sense” is all you need to solve even the most complex of human problems. No wonder higher education now wanders in the wilderness.

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    BrianCrook  over 7 years ago

    Dough, could you provide some evidence for your generalizations?I would love colleges to teach reason, but I don’t see it valued too highly in American society. From 2001 to 2009, we had a president (unelected, admittedly) who could neither reason nor think.Now that we have a president who can reason, our media (right-leaning and never fond of reason; reason doesn’t make the good video that quips & emotion do) help create a resurgent opposition founded on bigotry & emotional demagoguery.

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    strickmaedel  over 7 years ago

    The kid’s lying, and he paid so little attention in college he can’t even come up with a plausible lie. He was up late socializing on Facebook, then he overslept, and then he spent another hour on Facebook before he finally tore himself away and left for work.

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    asa4ever  over 7 years ago

    I once told a boss I was late because I was stuck on an escalator. She said OK.

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    randgrithr  over 7 years ago

    http://www.deliberatedumbingdown.com/

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    fins59  over 7 years ago

    After 40 years in higher ed, both as a professor and administrator I have observed the trend in this country to not trust academics and indeed to think (?) that all intellectuals are atheist, communist, gay, drug-taking anarchists who only want to corrupt and pervert the young people they teach. The rise of another “know-nothing” movement (tea-baggers, etc.) prove this point. Many people today want leaders (again, ?) who are just as uneducated and dumb as they are. It has also given rise to a new wave of racism and bigotry disguised as “conservative” and “christian”. President Carter was absolutely correct in stating that this is a racist country, you can disguise your hatred of President Obama in any way you want, but the real reason is very obvious.Experience over education? Certainly, a doctor or dentist who has little or no education but has practiced on people would always be the one I would go to. Experience is great and highly appreciated in many areas, but without a world view and a knowledge of history one is generally limited to unskilled, semi-skilled and other blue-collar positions, particularly in the 21st century.

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    babka Premium Member over 7 years ago

    dough? ’greatness of the society’s" ….pass the red pencil &make that “societies”, please.

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    PShaw0423  over 7 years ago

    This strip, and Non Sequitur, provide the most thoughtful and robust intellectual exchanges I can find on a daily basis. I treasure that; it helps me jump-start my brain each morning, and keeps it from becoming mere skull ballast. Kudos, ladies and gentlemen.

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    billw86  over 7 years ago

    I would submit that college is not the only place, possibly not even the best place, to develop a world view and a knowledge of history. I can point to many, many people in high places in business and industry who seem to have neither.It irks me that so many people look down on training in skills. No, by themselves they do not make a well rounded person. At the same time it is a little snide to say that they prepare a person for “routine, well-defined, repetitive tasks”. The assumption must be that people are incapable of developing on their own, without the “magic beans” you get at college.It just isn’t true. What is true is that the process of getting a degree does give a person a head start, and the possession of a degree will get that person in the door of a lot of places that are inaccessible to those who have none. That being the case, you can hardly blame someone for wanting the shortest path to that work permit.

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    Donaldo Premium Member over 7 years ago

    The rest of the world wonders what the US could be proud of too? Its proud and violent past?

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    Meatpuppet  over 7 years ago

    What’s ironic about this is that education in this country has been destroyed due to policies pushed by liberals like Trudeau. By the way BC, could you provide some justification for the outrageous statement you made about the President?

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    DylanThomas3.14159  over 7 years ago

    But even the broader of the two options you set out — “higher” v. “hire” education — appears in your (excellent) post, Baslim, to have as its endpoint something to be valued by EMPLOYERS rather than by, say, Aristotle or Einstein or Emmerson or Thoreau or Lincoln . . . . something so far beyond what even the best EMPLOYER might value, that it’s truly scary for the future of education not only in America but worldwide.

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    DylanThomas3.14159  over 7 years ago

    Still, Minder, what’s the endpoint of your education, however you wish to define it: a “me me me” life or a life of contribution to the betterment of the world?

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    thrapp  over 7 years ago

    Maybe colleges need a new course – “Real World 101?”

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    Nighthawks Premium Member over 7 years ago

    surely, the broader aspect must be considered when the consensus is purely theoretical. Capitulation on general principles is only assured when the greater is lesser than the better. The original concept of litigation versus subjugation can be over examined when total disregard for the formal process is not extinguished from policy. Nothing can be advanced without a constrained background of universal prolification. Unintended consequences always are to be considered at the outset of such conventional wisdom.How else are we to survive?

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    DylanThomas3.14159  over 7 years ago

    Seems to me that Trudeau’s message in today’s strip is the following:.(1) The college president is a falsely-proud, out-of-his-league loser who has no business trying to preside over any college anywhere, any college at all..(2) A dean who thinks that preparing a “me me me” graduate for a “job job job” so that the ultimate ideal in life — “he who dies with the most toys wins” — is realized in America and in the world at last..(3) A student who is a not-terribly-bright, clueless liar, but who may be salvageable..(4) A professor who MAY be the only bright spot in an otherwise depressing strip..Reminds me of the following poem by the Irishman . . . ..

    William Butler Yeats (1865-1939).

    THE SECOND COMING

    .

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre / The falcon cannot hear the falconer; / Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; / Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, / The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere / The ceremony of innocence is drowned; / The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity. / .

    Surely some revelation is at hand; /Surely the Second Coming is at hand. /The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out /When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi /Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand; /A shape with lion body and the head of a man, /A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, /Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it /Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds. /

    .

    The darkness drops again but now I know /That twenty centuries of stony sleep /Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, /And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, /Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

    .

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    fogey  over 7 years ago

    The language has fortunately changed in recent years to “college and career ready”, incorporating the value of apprenticeships and co-op education versus a BA degree. The college/think-tank lobby has over-sold the idea of “college” as the only goal of K-12 education for decades, because that’s what pays their salaries. A cost-benefit analysis would evaluate the net value of a 4-year diploma versus a 4-year apprenticeship certificate 15 years after they are received, taking into account the income received minus student loans remaining to be paid. And apprentices and co-ops have probably paid substantial amounts towards those pieces of paper while earning them.

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    Mythreesons  over 7 years ago

    @David Mead==Excellent comment. I’ll never believe the Tea Party was not started by bigots since the economic problems existed before our bi-racial president was sworn in and they didn’t speak up. And would we be in this mess if we had not gone into wars that were none of our business?

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    Dtroutma Premium Member over 7 years ago

    In the ’60’s college students studied an average of 24 hours per week, today it is 7 hours a week. Knowledge was once acquired through the teachings of such as Socrates. In America today, “knowledge” is acquired from a sock puppet.

    A neighbor (moderately “right-winger”) stated EVERY American has a duty to vote. I agreed. He then stated he never watches the news or reads a paper, only rarely a book, and doesn’t want to be overwhelmed by any “knowledge” of what is happening in the world. I asked, “Don’t you think it would be a good idea if voters had even SOME idea of what, or whom, they’re voting for?” HIs response was: “Well, I guess, but THIS is America!” With the short straws getting(buying) votes in Iowa, and the “media” falling all over themselves for this joke, what indeed IS the role of “higher education” in America.

    It becomes more obvious daily that the wisdom of the sock puppet has too much of the population trapped in that paper bag of logic.

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    BE THIS GUY Premium Member over 7 years ago

    I went to a commuter school in NYC and worked on the college newspaper. One of my friends and newspaper colleagues had gone to a prestigious school in DC but moved back to NYC after his freshman year. Reason: it was the first time his roommates were away from home, and all they wanted to do was party while he was attempting to focus on his studies. For too many students college is a time to do everything else but get an education.

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    APersonOfInterest  over 7 years ago

    Higher education may not be all that it should be today, but learning was always up to the student.

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    RinaFarina  over 7 years ago

    @doughfoot; re: Mr. Hennessy and Mr. Dooley: well, well said!

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    BE THIS GUY Premium Member over 7 years ago

    As Chef told the boys on ‘South Park’ about about experimenting with sex and drugs: Didn’t I tell you crackers there is a time and place for those things?

    The Boys: Yes Chef, college.

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    DylanThomas3.14159  over 7 years ago

    Not to mention UNCOMMON SENSE, which trumps common sense. Time was when common sense said you couldn’t get to the East (e.g. China) from Europe by going West. It was the UNCOMMON SENSE of the great Explorers, such as Magellan, that showed common sense to be wrong.

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    DylanThomas3.14159  over 7 years ago

    Another example of common sense falling victim to UNCOMMON SENSE: Today common sense says that if you stuff enough taxpayer money into huge, failing corporations, they’ll stop paying their principals multimillion dollar bonuses, and, flush with funds, HIRE people. Well, we’ve stuffed them, we transferred too much $$$$$ from the “little people” to the “big people”, and they sure have stopped those obscene bonuses, haven’t they? And they’ve sure used some of that splitting-the-seams $$$$$ to hire folks, haven’t they?.And now I’m hearing another “Texas Governor” (don’t jump on me, Texas is my home state), Rick Perry by name, keep repeating that same old “common sense” theme: Give even more $$$$$ to them so that they’ll hire folks..The UNCOMMON SENSE is coming from people like singer Bruce Springsteen, who sings in “My Hometown”:.They’re closing down the textile mill across the railroad tracks / Foreman says these jobs are going boys and they aint coming back to / Your hometown, your hometown, your hometown, your hometown.Go figure. Or, rather, re-figure.

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    DylanThomas3.14159  over 7 years ago

    Trapped in an enormous paper bag? Follow these instructions:.(1) Realize that enormous paper bags, like all rooms, have sides. (2) If you can’t see the opening (and assuming you don’t have a knife to cut your way out), start walking. (3) If you bump into a side, realize that you’re walking in a wrong direction, and make a 90 degree turn. (4) Repeat till you find the opening. (5) Run to make it to your appointment with the prof at Walden College so that you won’t have to lie to him about being “trapped” in a “logic tight”, unresolvable situation and imply super-Einsteinian reasoning powers to accomplish what nobody in the world has ever accomplished before, thus proving your brilliance and Walden-worthiness..Somehow, Prof just ain’t gonna buy that canard, son. (Better not to walk into that bag in the first place.)

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    Doughfoot  over 7 years ago

    We have elites in sports, we have elites in entertainment, we have elites in technology, i.e. we acknowledge that some people are just better at this stuff than others. And we generally acknowledge that they got that way through long, hard self-discipline. But we prefer to think that only good old “common sense” is necessary to govern or direct this most complex of ages. Well, the real ruling class don’t wear togas, and they don’t enthrall (i.e. enslave) the masses orating in the forum. They have other means to “divide and rule”, and they seem to be getting better at it all the time. We get more divided, and they get more wealthy, and laugh at us behind our backs.

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    Dtroutma Premium Member over 7 years ago

    Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel also said it a little different: “nothing but the dead and dying here in my little town”. Small communities have been devastated by “investment managers” and CEOs looking for the yuan, yen, euro, or buck, not worried about those “hicks in the hinterlands”. They have their ivory towers, yachts and offshore accounts, so they just plain don’t care.

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    DylanThomas3.14159  over 7 years ago

    Don’t know what’s cynical about what you’re saying, Bill. In the sense I was using, “those men” are ideals to whom “the rest of us" may aspire, even if we can neither approach nor equal nor excel. Bruce sings of the little people. S&G sing of the little people. I’ve written — and IN THIS TODAY’S BLOG — of the little people. .The little people are the ones who are getting screwed by the big people who have succeeded in injecting he drug of the “me me me”, “all greed all the time”, into America’s educational philosophy..The last stop on the way to “The Twilight Zone” with the late, the great Rod Serling as your friendly host . . . ".Er, ghost, may he RIP.

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    TreeMan  over 7 years ago

    Those who follow this strip may enjoy a play at Dartmouth this weekend called “Faking It”. This is a drama about the privileged elite who call Dartmouth home. Its also about too much alcohol, sorry relationships, and just getting by in a very selective liberal arts college.

    FAKING ITFriday, August 19, 8 pm Sunday, August 21, 8 pm Bentley Theater, Hopkins Center for the ArtsFree admission!Written by Laura Neill Directed by Jaymes Sanchez Produced by Jen Jaco Sponsored by the Winthrop Bean Fund for the Theatre Arts, the Displaced Theater Company, and the Dartmouth Theater Department.***Contains profanity and adult themesFurther information can be found at:Contact:Hopkins Center Box Office, 603-646-2422

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