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First Day of School, Last Day of the Universe

September 6, 2011

Today is the first day of school.

Here in Ontario, post-secondary education enrollment is at the highest point it has ever been. Even more than the year when the last run of OAC students (grade 13) and graduating grade 12s entered post-secondary at the same time. Why is that and what does it mean?

Here is the why. The province opened up spending to post-secondary schools to increase enrollment because manufacturing is down in the province and the service sector has to pick up the slack. Well, that’s the story we’re being told. In truth, manufacturing is down because manufacturing workers no longer exist. They’ve moved out west because there is more money out there right now. Oil money. Another truth is that there is a provincial election this October. You know its an election year when Premier Dad starts throwing money at people. (You should hear the promises he started making this weekend.) And now, everybody is squabbling over that money. The support staff workers union for post-secondary schools went on strike. They want a piece of that pie.

Here is what all of that means. There are more students than ever afraid of going to work at a real job and getting dirty and there are fewer people to clean up after them and point them in right direction around those confusing college campuses.

This is the beginning of the end of the world. And who would have thought it would start at college? I always thought higher learning would be beneficial for the universe. Oh well. I guess I was wrong. But that’s probably because I have a post-secondary education. Not that I’ve ever put it use. I haven’t used it at all. I went out and got myself a real job where I contribute something substantial to other people. Sure, I get a bit dirty and have to work some extra hours now and then. But when the day is done, I’ve created something. And unlike art, what I’ve created serves a purpose to humanity. To all humanity. Not just the hoi-paloi who sip wine and nibble on smelly cheese while laughing at people who work with their hands. I create things that everybody in the world needs. I’m one of the people who make your house your home.

I spent all weekend at somebody else’s house, using wood and screw guns and stuff like that to turn that house into a home.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 6, 2011 9:40 am

    Interesting point of view. I admire your outlook on those whose labors provide essential substantive values to our lives. I also find it interesting your schools started this week; schools here in this area have been in session for a couple weeks now.

    I place a high value on those who produce life’s necessities and are willing to get down and dirty to produce those things.

  2. September 6, 2011 12:32 pm

    Very well said. Speaking of pointing kids in the right direction around confusing campuses, here’s some more money well spent:

    Ottawa, money well spent… nuff said.

  3. September 6, 2011 1:25 pm

    Smart career choice. I was already in my 2nd year of university when I started hearing that guidance counsellors had screwed up by discouraging kids from apprenticing in trades and going to community college. Sure enough, my English and History double major didn’t get me far. I worked crappy retail jobs for a few years before I went back to school, to (suprise!) a private college to learn some computer networking skills. And if you think that computer work doesn’t get you dirty, you should try crawling around on your hands and knees under peoples’ desks all day long. It’s pretty dirty down there. I still have to do that kind of work some days.

    You should see the dust behind my computer at work. Sheesh.

  4. September 6, 2011 7:13 pm

    I agree with you that more emphasis needs to be put on trades, and many students enter post-secondary who are completely unprepared for the academic demands of post-secondary life.

    HOWEVER, did you really have to diss art? Art makes the world a better place.

    No, art CAN make the world a better place. There’s no guarantee though.

  5. September 8, 2011 4:03 am

    The world needs more trade schools and people who work in those kinds of industries. Those are the kind of people who keep the world running. There is no shame in doing a manual labor job and doing it well.

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