Education should be about more than just landing a job

Daniel Herron, Staff Writer

Why are we here?

Not in the existential, is-there-a-god sense, but in the very concrete sense of why we are here at Madison College. What is the purpose of education?

The easy answer is money. Without a degree, in today’s market, it’s hard to get a job that is any more prestigious (read: well-paid) than flipping burgers. On the other hand, many degrees don’t actually make this any better; but is that really the point? Sure, money is important, but we shouldn’t let it define our lives, should we?

Education isn’t just about money. It’s not even just about learning how to do your job. Education expands our horizons, exposes us to new ways of thinking and solving problems, and makes us face our weaknesses and, perhaps, overcome them.

The more we know how the world works, the better we understand it’s hidden mechanisms, the better we are able to find a place in it that we can be happy.  Not only that, but the better we understand how the world manipulates us the better able we are to defend ourselves from malicious intent. The more you know about biochemistry and the food sciences, the better able you are to make good decisions about what food you buy and eat. The more you know about finance, the better decisions you can make concerning investment and property management.

It is not just the hard sciences that show us how to live, but the soft sciences as well.

Psychology tells us why we do what we do and what to look for in a life partner.
Philosophy shows us how to think about what might actually make us happy, and what it means to be a good person.

English allows us to communicate our insights to others, and foreign languages not only expand the field of those we can communicate with but also our understanding of their points of view, providing, perhaps, a new perspective on our own problems.

The point is this: come to class. Listen, interact and do the assignments, even if you hate the subject. This isn’t high school; our teachers are here because they love teaching. UW hires based on how well people research, but Madison College hires based on teaching ability.  Everyone is here for one purpose, and one purpose only: to help you learn about the world and all it’s diverse glory. Take advantage of this, for you will likely never get an opportunity like this again.