Love, The Old Man: Hobby Horse

Blog Column: 

Last week I talked about how you should plan around snow days and inclement weather in order to keep up with work. Well, this week looks like it’s going to be mostly clear, so you won’t have any excuses for missing class short of car failure or dismemberment.

What drives me nuts more than anything else I’ve encountered on this campus is how frequently students skip classes. I get that sometimes you have a project or paper that you haven’t had time to finish and take an extra class period to bang it out. It’s not ideal, but I can understand it. I’ve been there. However, the very notion of skipping just because you don’t like the subject or you want to avoid a bit of rain is beyond foolish. It’s selfish, rude to the instructor, and insulting to a myriad of other parties.

I’m not about to do the math but, considering how ridiculous tuition prices are these days, we’ve each got to be paying, what, $100 per class? That by itself should be motivation to attend that lecture you’re not too keen on. Especially if your parents are paying, skipping is disrespectful to them. It’s essentially saying that you don’t care about the sacrifices that they are making to educate you; the work that they have done to get you to where you are. On top of that, cliché as this sounds, there are billions of people, a good deal of them within our own country, who never have had and never will have a chance for education in much of any capacity, let alone what we enjoy at UMass.

You know how the older generation keeps calling us entitled and all that jazz? Well, this is a great example. While I think that education should be a government ensured right, it isn’t and we have to face the fact that, as of now, we don’t simply get an education because we “deserve” it. Someone had to bleed to give it to us and we should honor that.

So, by skipping class, you get what out of it exactly?

- You have a worse chance at excelling in the class

- You’re out a good $100 that probably wasn’t even yours to waste

- Your instructor’s irritation, which will further harm your grade

- A worsened sense of discipline, which is never good

- And you maybe get a longer nap or something. Whoopee.

I’m not going into the flaws in the college system or our government or anything else. That’s not the point. The point is to appreciate what we have as students and to take full advantage of it. If you’re irritated with the system, go to classes, get educated, and change it. If you don’t want to bother with classes, then don’t waste your money. College isn’t for everyone. We need somebody to pave the roads and wash dishes after all.

Song of the Week: If you’re familiar with the punk rock scene, you’ll probably recognize The Offspring and their song “The Kids Aren’t Alright.” It’s largely a story about coming of age and reality hitting you like a ton of bricks, but it all revolves around the idea that these kids let their chances go and that they weren’t willing to accept the price they needed to pay to attain their dreams.

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Love, The Old Man: Hobby Horse | Commonwealth Honors College


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