Thursday, March 22, 2007

Would You Like Fries With That?

[Apropos of Dr. B. linking to Acephelous and my browsing there for as long as my eyes could bear the color scheme -- too short a time, alas.]

So, here's one way of viewing what bugs me about people treating an education as a product, and themselves as "consumers" rather than students.[*]

Is an education -- a degree -- something outside you? That can be treated as a commodity? Bought, sold, devised, transferred, placed in trust, bequeathed, inherited? Is it a thing? And what does that say about the student, who sees learning not as something they do, and that changes them, but something that they buy?

How can an education exist as a thing outside of the self getting the education? It implies that there is "me" *here* and there is "a degree" over *here*, and me "with" degree is simply moving them into closer proximity.

I cannot fathom this concept.

[*] This is a perspective that I was initially exposed to as an undergrad at UC Irvine, but not in great depth, no doubt because I can be quite dense about people, but to which I am now, courtesy of law school, quite, quite sick of.

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