Monday, August 24, 2009
Ivy League Education
After my first day of teaching at a smaller not very well-known (at least yet, but give me a chance, it's just my first day here) university, I have no idea why people would pay huge amounts of money to send their children to super expensive Ivy League schools. Of course, Harvard and Yale grads have a famous school name to put on their CVs. But is that really worth upwards of $250,000?
As I observed my new students here, I discovered that in no way are they less knowledgeable and less talented than my Ivy League students. In some areas, their knowledge is actually greater. They are, without a doubt, more driven, hardworking and goal-oriented. I was truly surprised that not a single student whined at having written homework assigned the first day of class. (If you ever tried doing that at an Ivy League school, you surely know that huge collective moaning accompanies the word "homework" pronounced any time during the first week of class.)
My new students are so motivated to do well in their classes that two of them already cried today. Of course, I don't want my students to cry but it's great to hear them say: "I truly, really, totally want to learn. Are you sure I will be able to?" These kids are obviously less widely traveled (if at all) than my former students. Still, they have a hunger for the knowledge of other cultures that makes my job a breeze. For the first time in my life, after I finished a lecture over 20% of students raised their hands to ask a question. This is, of course, what a professor lives for.
So if you want to give your child a great higher education but can't afford to pay for an expensive, prestigious school, send them to me (or to a similar university). I promise, you will not be sorry. :-)