FILED IN: Education

WTF 101

Tonight I took my daughter to the library to work on her homework. While she hunkered down with the library’s copy of the science textbook she left at school, I perused the shelves nearby.

Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul, The Teen’s Guide to Making Lists, and then, on the shelf right next to What To Do With Your Life If You Like Little Kids (which I?‚? assumed was not a step by step guidebook for pervs) was a series of books entitled Careers You Don’t Need College For. Included in this series was, Careers You Don’t Need College For If You Like…Fashion; Careers You Don’t Need College For If You Like…Cars; Careers You Don’t Need College For If You Like…Art.

And it struck me as odd. Right there in the library, the place for books and learning, was book after book on how to get ahead WITHOUT higher education.?‚?

I’m well aware that not everyone can afford a college education and that not everyone is “college material.”?‚? To me, the mere title of these books would evoke a sense of relief in a beleagured student looking for a “pass” on the halls of more learning.?‚? These are the ethics and ideals we want to pass along to the tail end of Gen Y??‚? No wonder they’re having problems keeping up with Generation X.

I know plenty of sucessful and smart people who did not go to college, but that was years ago. I also know that it is possible to start at the bottom and work your way up to the top.?‚? But that kind of luck is unlikely and that kind of determination is not found around every corner.

Today it’s hard to get a job WITH a college education.?‚? It’s harder and harder to raise a family and make ends meet for most people.?‚? So espousing the possible virtues of skipping the step that might lead to more opportunities and possibilities seems ridiculous to me.?‚?

My kids get to make a lot of choices, but whether or not to pursue education and career goals after high school is not one of them.?‚? In our family you go to college no matter what, you find yourself later, you figure out your major and place in the scheme of things along the way.?‚? And yes, I know that every family is different.

I’m not in favor of book censorship, but I am in favor of good judgement.?‚? And it seems like the population that utilizes the Youth Department of our town’s library would be better served by books that inspire, encourage and motivate kids to pursue as much education as they can.