Education & Society: Logic vs. Creativity

May I ask you, what is your dream job? What are you passionate about?  Does your current job integrate your passions? How about your experience with education? If not, why? I’ve been asking myself this for years. Now it’s been almost twenty years since I graduated high school and I’m doing what I love. However, I’m unable to put in the time that I would like because I have to spend most of my time at the job that pays my bills but is of little interest to me.

Likewise, so many others are experiencing the same ordeal.  More than likely due to our society’s perspective that the only careers worthwhile are those that are money-centric. This indoctrination is present within our current education system and needs to be addressed sooner than later. Fine and performing arts are not credible in the business world and as a result students are taught in school to be more science and business minded. In addition, our country’s financial crisis causes students to attend college acquiring a degree that will lead them to making more money. However, their passion projects are left in the dust and they aren’t as financially prosperous as expected.

That being said, not everyone is unfortunate in this way. Some may excel in the business and logical world. My point is that we are a left brain (logic and reason) dominant society. If our education system embraced both left and right (intuitive and subjective) brain activities as well as diverse styles of learning, students would excel and develop “super learning”. Super learning is the capability to learn and comprehend at a faster rate. Furthermore, I’d like to argue if left and right brain are used equally we’d be more receptive to different styles of learning and career paths. Both hemispheres of our brain should consistently be engaged in order to live our lives at its fullest potential, which by default, our country will thrive as well.

 

Want to learn more on education and society?

Check out G the Rebel and my latest episode of Millennial Logic: Education and Society: Logic vs. Creativity

In addition, here are a couple videos about our education system and creativity as well as, why using 100% of our brain is important.

 

 

 

 

 

New Episode of Millennial Logic: A Call for Unity and Action

 

Millennial Logic Episode 8: A Call for Unity and Action

After a brief hiatus, we’ve returned with a brand new episode of Millennial Logic!  We discuss the current political climate in regard to the transition of power. In addition, we provide strategies on how to move forward in sustaining our human rights. Furthermore, one tactic is coming together as a group and organizing. To learn more, tune in and feel free to comment here, Spreaker, or Soundcloud!

Millennial Logic Episode 7!

Aftermath of The 2016 Presidential Election: Love Vs. Hate

In this episode, we discuss the results of the 2016 Presidential Election, our opinions, and where do we move here from now.

Hey everyone,

Check out Millennial Logic Episode 7: Aftermath of The 2016 Presidential Election: Love Vs. Hate

In this episode, we discuss the results of the 2016 Presidential Election, our opinions, and where do we move here from now.

College Rant #3: Free Tuition College

My last post on college was about how to make college more affordable for everyone. I presented a few ideas that have been mentioned by various people and an idea that I personally believed could help. Now, with this post, I am going to focus on one of those specific ideas: making college tuition free. Now, this has been a hot topic, especially as of late with the rise of Bernie Sanders. Sanders has been very adamant about making college tuition free. While he has been adamant, many have questioned how this could possibly be done; with many, such as Hillary Clinton, saying that it is not feasible at all. Personally, I think this can be done, but I think it would be very difficult to achieve in this capitalistic country as it is now. So let’s break this down a little bit.

How would tuition be made free? We all have heard this saying, “Nothing in life is free.” If college becomes tuition free, somebody is paying for it. Let’s look at some ways in which this could be paid for.

  1. Bernie Sander’s Tax on Wall Street Speculation. So, I had no idea on what this was when Sander’s first mentioned it. He is proposing a tax on Wall Street to make them pay for it. This would me the funding would not come out of the pockets of everyday working Americans. We will see if this is attainable, if Sanders is able to get the Democratic Nomination and wins the General Election. Even though this would pose some difficulties, I think if it could be done, most of us would be perfectly fine with it. Free tuition for everyone, no extra cost to everyday working Americans.
  2. Some sort of new Tax. NOBODY would like this obviously. Any increase in taxes would be met with disgust and anger. However, this idea seems more feasible than trying to slap a tax on the wealthiest, most powerful institutions who would definitely fight back. Now with this, we will have to analyze whether the addition of a new tax (or increased taxes) would be worth getting rid of tuition costs, and effectively eliminating student debt. I am sure there are those such as myself who would have no problem paying higher taxes if it meant future generations will not have to deal with student debt and allow everyone to have the option of going to college. However, there are those who will not want to do this We will need a numbers breakdown to prove that this to work.

We should remember that free tuition college does not mean that college will be without costs. I am assuming that payment for text books and other class materials, along with any Room and Board, will still be needed. Paying for just class materials and campus housing would be better than having to worry about that AND tuition costs.

With debates on tuition free college, others have mentioned “affordable” college over “tuition free” college.  It would be more feasible to make college affordable than to make it completely tuition free, however, we still have to have some type of funding to get that done.

I had a great talk with one of my good friend about the ways in which we can make it more affordable without running into a wall of issues. Here is what he said.

  1. More emphasis on other options than colleges. Let’s be honest here. A college education is in such high demand that prices will continue to rise. People will continue to pay anything to get that diploma that says they are a college graduate. That being said, college prices will continue to rise as long as we have more emphasis placed on college. This is a capitalistic country, as you know. So if we want to bring the cost for colleges down, let’s put more value into other forms of education and training, such as trade schools, apprenticeships, and certificate programs. These and other options exist for people to become successful and contribute to society in their own way. It may necessarily come in the way of funding for these options. It could be simply having employers recognize education and training from these institutions as qualifications for a position, instead of blocking people who do not have a college degree. By gearing away from college as the best and only option, we would decrease the demand in college, thus decreasing the cost of college. This would also give people more viable options for higher education based on their personal goals.

Now, what would a post like this during an election year, be without responding to the main candidates who have spoken about college affordability: Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton

  1. Bernie. Yes, I love Bernie Sanders ideas of college being tuition free. I am even all for taxing Wall Street in some sort of way to pay for it. However, I have to ask these questions since this idea will not be implemented with ease. Is it that simple to just implement a new tax on the wealthiest people in the land? Won’t more need to be done to accomplish that? Also, being that this plan will be nothing less than difficult to pull off, what is a backup option that is more feasible that will help us get the desired result of free tuition college?
  2. Hillary. You say that we should make college more affordable, not free. You say in response to Bernie, that his idea will not come through fruition and that we should not be paying for “Donald Trump’s children” to go to college. You do say interest rates on student loans are too high and should be lower. I agree with you on that. However, despite the interest rates, the amount of money that millions of people have to take out will still be large. For example, if I have to take out loans totaling $70,000 and have a low interest rate of 2.8%, the interest rate is not bad, but it is still expensive and will take me years to pay back. That is especially if the job market is not looking well for their particular field of study or in general. Also, I support the idea of more funding for Pell grants and such, but that does not address the issue of the actual cost since not everyone will get these sort of grants. How can we lower tuition costs that continue to increase?

Overall, I would like free tuition for public colleges. I believe that since we have free K-12 public school system (even though it is far from stellar), I think it is about time that we establish the same for public colleges. However, I do understand that this would be a huge undertaking for colleges in this country. With that being said, making college affordable for everyone would be fine as long as we recognize the talents and skills of individuals who decide on a different path than college. Since we put emphasis on a college education for getting jobs, the least we can do is make it free (or at least affordable) so that everyone can get this education.

Rebel out.

Link:

Sanders on College

Hillary on College

Obama Administration on Higher Education

 

 

College Rant #2: College Affordability

If you are like me, you are a college graduate who has amassed a considerable amount of student debt. If you are like me, you are quite frustrated in the payments you must make, which includes unreasonable interest rates. If not, then maybe you at least find interest in finding a way to make college affordable.

Over recent years, students and their families have become increasingly frustrated in paying for college. In this post, I want to discuss ways in which we can make college more affordable for students and their families.

Many high school students are planning on going to college and are looking for ways to pay for it.  Now, there are ways to get college paid for, or to at least make it affordable. The most common way is through scholarships. Scholarships are a great way to getting funding for college, but they do not address the increasing tuition costs. To simply put it, not everyone gets a scholarship and are still tuck with expensive college costs.

With wages stagnant and college prices rising, the college dream has been increasingly hard to obtain without falling into debt. You even have some people questioning whether a college education is even worth going into debt for (I will post on this later as well).

Many students have and will have to take out student loans in order to pay for their college education; with tuition prices rising, student debt will rise annually for future students. I think we can all agree that student debt is something that we do not want people to have to deal with.

To bring it all together into one question: How can we make college affordable?

  1. FREE COLLEGE TUITION! If you have not guessed, I am a Bernie Sander’s supporter, but I will try to keep my bias to a minimum. According to Sanders, he believes that college education should be tuition free for everyone. I interpret this as college tuition is free, while students are required to pay for any room and board fees, books, etc. I love this idea, personally. If we can eliminate tuition costs, the amount of money borrowed/paid for by the students and their families would be substantially less, thus making college affordable for many, if not all. Specifically, with Sanders, he would pay for this nationwide initiative with a tax on “Wall Street Speculation.” If he is elected, this would be a hard plan to initiate, but any way you go about accomplishing this, it will be difficult. However, if college tuition becomes free, college would undoubtedly be more affordable for everyone.
  2. Lower the interest rates on student loans. This option is more feasible than Sander’s purposed plan, or simply could be done while implementing his idea (whether he is elected or not). Hillary Clinton has mentioned this and I do agree that this would cut thousands of dollars off of what people have to pay on student loans. High interest rates have made it hard to pay down the principal of loans. Lowering interest rates would make paying back loans easier, but it still doesn’t do enough if students still have to pay back tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars. This would be a good step to make while aiming for a more impactful goal, but it should not be the ultimate answer. More would need to be done.
  3. Eliminate unnecessary required classes so students can graduate earlier, thus limiting how much they will need to pay. I will do a post dedicated to this directly, but this is a way to make college more affordable. Tuition prices are dictated on how many credits a student is taking at most public colleges. There are classes that are deemed necessary by colleges for students to be considered deserving of a BS or BA. However, there are classes, such as CORE/Electives (or whatever some colleges call them) that are mainly filler classes that students are being forced to take. If we remove the “required” tag from some CORE/Electives, students can graduate earlier and not have to pay as much for their college education. Now, this would mean lowering the required credits needed to graduate, which would be a hard battle to fight in itself. However, doing so would decrease the amount many students would have to pay for a college education by thousands of dollars.

I believe these ideas will be significant steps forward. I am sure there are other ways in which we can make college affordable in the future as well. We need to just hurry up and do it. This will be a difficult task. But hey! What isn’t? Also, while trying to make college more affordable, we need to help prospective college students in finding funding for college now, such as scholarships. We do not help out high school students by not helping them find every opportunity of funding they can to decrease the cost of college.

If you believe that college needs to be more affordable for future generations, let’s work together as a country so that this can be accomplished quickly and effectively. Let’s communicate with our elected officials. Let’s discuss on social media and in person. Let’s simply act. No one should be denied the opportunity at a college education because it is too expensive.

Rebel out.

Standardized Testing for College: A Sign of It’s Demise?

Honestly, I did not know that this was a thing. There are colleges that are making standardize testing (such as the SAT and ACT) optional for admissions into their school. THAT IS WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT!! Beside my disdain for student loan debt, I am very critical about the access to good colleges for graduating high school seniors, especially minorities. It has been talked about in many circles on how standardized testing has been a barrier for many minorities. The fear of not being able to get into good colleges due to test scores is a sentiment that I empathize with. When I was applying to get into the University of Maryland, College Park, I feared I would not get in because of my average SAT score. I took the test twice, and with my combined score I scored around a 1620. Despite my above average performance in high school, my SAT score was below what UMD was ideally looking for and I feared that (and a few other factors) would lead to my denial. Thank goodness I was still able to get in, but many people are not so lucky and many would just not apply to certain colleges because of them.

Personally, I never saw the point of the SAT/ACT or any other standardized test. I always saw this type of test as a way to divide people into groups, a barrier for many people (mostly minorities), and simply a waste of time. We have heard many arguments on how these tests are necessary for the admissions process, but that does not eliminate the fact that these test do not show how intelligent a person is. Some people are good at standardized test and some are not.

So the verdict for me: get rid of standardized testing in all capacity. I may be a bit biased, but these tests are a major factor in blocking academic advancement and success in this country. If we want to advance as a country and continue to be one of the leading nations in the world, we need to do away with everything, big and small, that prevents opportunities. Standardized testing is one of them.

Foreign Language Instruction in the US

I do not know about you all, but I tend to get jealous of those people who can speak more than one language, especially those who can speak more than two. To me, that is one of the coolest things in the world. Of course, I would say that since I have a B.A. in Japanese, but I think it is an important skill to have. As we continue to progress further and further into the future, international communication and interaction is becoming more important. The United States is falling behind in the international community when it comes to communication.

Let’s look at foreign language instruction in U.S. schools. People should be exposed to a foreign language at young age, when their brains are still developing. The only true opportunities for children in the United States to get foreign language instruction are if they go to a specialized or immersive school. I think those schools are awesome, but we need to expand on that and at least have all primary schools teach foreign languages from the onset. In addition to that, parents should expose their children to languages before they even enter schools; whether it is another language they speak or through educational materials. It has been proven that children have a much easier time becoming fluent in another language in comparison to adults.

Another problem is that schools over the years have been cutting back on foreign language classes and eliminate the requirement of a foreign language to graduate (this is all levels from primary to higher education). One of the reasons can be education legislation such as No Child Left Behind (I will leave that for another post). Also, the amount of emphasis that we place on subjects like math and science is leading to the demise of foreign language education (and liberal arts as a whole).

I feel as if this country has the mindset that, “Oh. English is the most universal language in the world and the language of business, so we Americans do not need to know another language.” It is like we have a “the world caters to us” attitude. I am not saying we are all this way, but I am saying a lot of people are.  Our country has gotten too complacent. In my opinion, we need to place just as much emphasis on learning foreign languages as we do on math and science, or even more because nothing is more important than being able to communicate with fellow human beings without having language barriers.

I will make future post going deeper into foreign languages; examining what us Millennials can do to make sure our children, grandchildren and beyond be able to communicate on a global level.

I leave you with a link to a 2011 study on foreign language instruction in the United States.

Study on Foreign Language Instruction in Elementary and Secondary Schools

 

Changing Education Paradigms

Here’s an animated video about the “Changing Education Paradigms” Girado shared with me about a year ago. It briefly touches on the history of education, children’s dependence on ADHD medication and how our education system is analogous to factories. This video validates the urgency for education reform.

Same-Sex Marriage Nationwide: A Win, But Not The End of The Fight

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide last week. It is about time that they did this. I would like to first say that I am extremely happy for the gay and lesbian couples out there that have been struggling due to the intolerance in this country. This is a historical step forward for our country and I am glad to see it done.

Now to a more serious note. Yes, this decision is historical and a needed step in the right direction. Will this turn the tide of those who are in opposition to this decision? Not even close. Personally, I have already seen many people who are completely against it on my personal Facebook page’s news feed, and I obviously have seen it on TV and all through the internet. There are some people who just disagree with same-sex marriage because they do not understand it and there are those who have specific reasons for disagreeing, one being religion. I will not turn this into a religious type debate, but I will speak about this in the sense that people have their rights. These rights should not be predicated based on religious beliefs or any other types of beliefs since we have so many people with different beliefs in this country and in this world. This is one of the main reasons why I personally do not understand why same-sex marriage was ever an issue to begin with.

This is a message for the people out there that do not agree with it and do not want same-sex marriage allowed:

“Stop forcing your opinion and beliefs onto people. Same-sex marriage has been debating against simply because some people are not open-minded. You have the right to agree and disagree with whatever you want, but if it is not affecting you directly then there is no need for you to fight against it. Please understand that you are not just fighting to stop same-sex marriage, you are fighting to negatively impact the lives of many people in this country. You are not helping anyone, not even yourself. Just agree to disagree, but also agree that everyone has a right to live their lives the way they want to without other people trying to affect them.” – G The Rebel

Now, for the next step. Let’s be honest. The hate, the discrimination, and the resistance will continue to be a problem despite the ruling by SCOTUS. There is still a long ways we need to travel before we are at a place of complete tolerance. Let’s not stop fighting for what is right because of this ruling. We need to build off of this and continue to preach tolerance. We need to stay proactive in our communities to show that we are serious about this decision and that this type of discrimination against the LGBT community is unacceptable. Let’s do things like having more events showing that we care and flooding the internet with our support (just to suggest a few).

There is no rest in sight. We are not in the clear yet. Not even close. So let’s celebrate this amazing victory. However, let’s remember that we won a huge battle, not the war. Keep fighting for the rights of all people!