Saturday, September 25, 2010

Students and Money

My students were doing a group assignment yesterday in my Advanced Spanish Conversation class where they had to list ten things that matter to them the most in life, starting with the most important. One of the groups (consisting exclusively from young women) listed money as their number one priority. Friends came in the 6th place. Love was listed at number eight. The following dialogue took place between me and them:

Professor: I'm a little surprised that money appears as your top priority. How come?

Students: Because you can buy everything else with money.

Professor: Love? Friendship? Health? Happiness?

Students: Of course.

Professor: How about you, Jenny? You shared with us that you have a boyfriend. Doesn't he matter more to you than money?

Jenny (dead serious): Well, you see, professor, if I had money, I could buy myself a much better boyfriend.


NancyP said...

To some degree, that is not such a bad thing. Women need to be able to earn their own money in order to make free choices such as the choice not to marry, the choice to co-habitate, the choice to enter a relationship not approved by the woman's parents, the choice to live independently.

Some of the "money" ranking is due to the general anxiety about the future. This is a generation that doesn't expect to make as much money or have as much employment, pension, etc security as their parents experienced.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. In flush times, people are less obsessed with money.

We're living in near-Depression-level economic times, so it makes sense that money pervades the conversation and thought of those about to enter the workforce.


Clarissa said...

What's curious is that my male students put goals and dreams in the first place and love in the second place.

Not a single student listed sex as one of priorities. Maybe they think they can buy it. :-)

your reader said...

Finantial independense is my first, most important goal now since I haven't graduated from university yet. ( I am and have always been single.) A husband may leave you, be enemployed himself, etc Besides, men search for independent women for romantic relationships. Independent = money, a good job. So without good education chances to find a husband with one are hugely reduced, imo.

As for sex, it is included in love. :)

Clarissa said...

"As for sex, it is included in love"

-I remember the times when I thought that, too. :-) Oh youth, oh innocence. . . :-)

Clarissa said...

Of course, it's great that young female students today understand the importance of financial independence. When I was growing up my father used to repeat like a mantra: "The most important thing for a woman is to have a profession and make her own money. Because then she would never have to put up with any jerk!"

el said...

You understood me wrong. I meant neither your students nor me (hopefully) intend to stay in a relationship without both love + sex. Since I am not going to wait until marriage or very long time (many months) to have sex, I hope to see whether we're suitable or not. Love is [mental attraction+sex] for me.