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kleinbl00  ·  370 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: College May Not Be Worth It Anymore

Naaah, dawg, I'm with galen on this one.

20 years ago I had to take tech writing. Okay, makes sense. I'm gonna be an engineer. But it wasn't tech writing. It was ESL. Every graduate of every engineering department at the University of Washington was required to take ten credits of ESL. Because Boeing and Microsoft were sick of hiring these kids that could run the numbers but couldn't type a sentence. And you know what? I was on scholarship and the foreign kids were paying full rack rate. Because of my test scores UW was mandated to kick money back at me while the Chinese kids had to pay $10k a year (a princely sum at the time). But since we all knew it was ESL, the Chinese kids got graded on whether they could write in English while the rest of us got graded on whether we could print a slide out of Powerpoint that looked good on an overhead projector (PROTIP: if you used an inkjet, you lost a letter grade).

Now? Now I have to take drawing for my jewelry certificate. Know what we spent 20 minutes on Wednesday? Cropping. How to make an image smaller and more focused by eliminating the stuff from the frame that detracts from the subject. Theoretically, I'm supposed to be learning about the techniques of rendering an image in charcoal. Practically, we've spent three weeks on single-point vs. double-point perspective. "draw this silo from three different eyelines, have it on Monday."

Everyone else's lack of rigor does reflect on you. You don't get to learn important shit if the class has to focus on unimportant shit. I had to give a persuasive speech in both tech writing classes. Had it been intended for professionals we could have talked about rhetoric. Instead we spent a class period on not saying "uhm."