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Author Topic: For those of you who went to high school++  (Read 4727 times)
Triarius Fidelis
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« on: October 16, 2008, 07:07:35 pm »

aka 'community college'

Will there be less knuckle-dragging idiots when I'm done here and have transferred to a university?

I'm not close to dropping out or anything, and based on how things are going now I should have a 3.6 GPA by the end of this semester, but this place is mentally ruining me. I will be soooooo glad when it's done.

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tomh38
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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2008, 06:28:18 am »

aka 'community college'

Will there be less knuckle-dragging idiots when I'm done here and have transferred to a university?

I'm not close to dropping out or anything, and based on how things are going now I should have a 3.6 GPA by the end of this semester, but this place is mentally ruining me. I will be soooooo glad when it's done.


The short answer is no, there won't be fewer knuckle-dragging idiots.  There will almost certainly be more.  I say this because in general universities are larger than community colleges, and have more people in general, ergo there will likely be more room-temperature-IQ types in terms of absolute numbers.  In terms of percentages ... well, that depends on the university.

I want to be clear that I have nothing against community colleges.  In fact, I've known quite a few very bright people who have either taught at a community college or went to school at one.  Community colleges serve many good purposes.

The good news:  at a university you are more likely to find people who share your interests, simply because of the larger numbers.  Also, if the university where you're going has a good library, you're more likely to find the resources you need right on campus.  This is almost always a good thing.

Having said all that, I don't know which university you'll be attending, so I don't know its size.  A lot depends on that, and on whether the university in question has a good program for what you're studying.

Tom
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Triarius Fidelis
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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2008, 07:49:49 am »

The short answer is no, there won't be fewer knuckle-dragging idiots.  There will almost certainly be more.  I say this because in general universities are larger than community colleges, and have more people in general, ergo there will likely be more room-temperature-IQ types in terms of absolute numbers.  In terms of percentages ... well, that depends on the university.

I meant, relatively speaking, will there be less knuckle-draggers?

I want to be clear that I have nothing against community colleges.  In fact, I've known quite a few very bright people who have either taught at a community college or went to school at one.  Community colleges serve many good purposes.

I like nearly all of the faculty and some of the students. Of the students I do like, most of them are from somewhere else.

Having said all that, I don't know which university you'll be attending, so I don't know its size.  A lot depends on that, and on whether the university in question has a good program for what you're studying.

Candidates, in no particular order:

  • SUNY @ Buffalo
  • Lehigh
  • Temple
  • Drexel
  • CMU
  • Cornell

All of these schools have exceptional engineering programs, but it seems I actually talk to people who are in the liberal arts more, for various reasons.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2008, 08:04:21 am by Epic Fail Guy » Logged

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tomh38
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2008, 08:34:39 am »

I really can't answer whether or not there will be less knuckle-draggers, relatively speaking.  The following is my suggestion.  Since all the schools you listed have excellent engineering programs, I would try to find out which university has the best liberal arts programs.  That way (from the way you described things), you will get the best of both worlds:  the education that you need, and the social life you want.

I realize this might not be much help.  Nevertheless, it looks like you're considering all the options, and don't have to make a decision immediately.

I hope you've either visited the universities you listed, or that you plan do so.  If possible, I recommend going to as many as possible and avoid the "guided tours" universities tend to give.  On those things the people herding you around will naturally emphasize the positive and downplay anything negative.  Just wander around campus as much as you can and try to get a feel for what things are like.

Tom
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Triarius Fidelis
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2008, 11:30:58 am »

I really can't answer whether or not there will be less knuckle-draggers, relatively speaking.  The following is my suggestion.  Since all the schools you listed have excellent engineering programs, I would try to find out which university has the best liberal arts programs.  That way (from the way you described things), you will get the best of both worlds:  the education that you need, and the social life you want.

Maybe.

I hope you've either visited the universities you listed, or that you plan do so.  If possible, I recommend going to as many as possible and avoid the "guided tours" universities tend to give.

I've only visited Lehigh (in my area) because I'm broke like hell. I intend to visit Cornell but, if anything, I will probably go there for postbac.

Right now, I'm more eager to get out of here than anything else. For all I know, I will probably hate wherever I'm going in the next year as well. My attitude towards this school can be summarized as follows now:



"I hate you; I hate you; I don't even know you, and I hate your guts. I hope all the bad things in life happen to you, and nobody else but you."

BTW, you are never on AIM... :/
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tomh38
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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2008, 01:57:18 pm »

EFG:

At this point, I would recommend doing some online research, because, y'know ... everything on the Internet is true  Grin.  Seriously, though, you can at least look at online course lists, stuff like that.  All of the universities you listed are well known, and have good reputations.  If you're like I was, you could hate school just because it's school.  I was glad to graduate, don't have any regrets, but would rather eat a bowl of broken glass than go back to high school/college/graduate work.  I made some good friends, and I'm still in touch with some of them.

One positive thing:  the farther you go in school, the fewer stupid people there are.  Those who are going to drop out have mostly already dropped out.  A lot of the time when people drop out of graduate school it's not because they aren't bright enough to do the work, it's because of some other reason (health, family problems, stuff like that).

On that last point (me not being on AIM), I'm still getting my life back together after my mom's accident and ongoing recovery.  I'll try to be on, but it probably won't be until after the holidays are over.

Tom
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Triarius Fidelis
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« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2008, 07:07:35 pm »

EFG:

At this point, I would recommend doing some online research, because, y'know ... everything on the Internet is true  Grin.  Seriously, though, you can at least look at online course lists, stuff like that.  All of the universities you listed are well known, and have good reputations.  If you're like I was, you could hate school just because it's school.

As the unlikely combination of Sinophile and misanthrope, I probably hate school less than any other environment. Mainly, I just want to get out of the Valley. Lehigh is a great school, but it's too local. I already missed the application deadline for Lehigh so, *heh*, looks like I won't be going there.

When I get out of the Valley, I'm probably going to be all like "HA HA HA HA HA!! GO TO HELL SUCKERS!!". To be fair, in all likelihood, I will grow to hate wherever I am going almost as much. But when I return to school this coming Monday, my bones will ache. I even have this little calendar I made out of a flash card binder that counts down the days to the end of the semester (60). Every day, I rip one sheet off and say "Libera me, Domine". Even as a non-Catholic, I find the litany strangely comforting.

One positive thing:  the farther you go in school, the fewer stupid people there are.  Those who are going to drop out have mostly already dropped out.  A lot of the time when people drop out of graduate school it's not because they aren't bright enough to do the work, it's because of some other reason (health, family problems, stuff like that).

I'll bet a lot of people who don't do graduate work just lack confidence. It's so daunting, isn't it? I still have no idea what the hell I'm going to do.

On that last point (me not being on AIM), I'm still getting my life back together after my mom's accident and ongoing recovery.  I'll try to be on, but it probably won't be until after the holidays are over.

Hope that's going well. And if it's not going well, sorry to inflict the ironic punishment of assuming that's going well. See you then!!
« Last Edit: October 17, 2008, 07:14:58 pm by Epic Fail Guy » Logged

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Formerly known as "Epic Fail Guy" and "Döden" in recent months
tomh38
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« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2008, 09:53:27 am »

EFG:

Yeah, things are going much better with my mom.  Thanks for your wishes.

Quote
Every day, I rip one sheet off and say "Libera me, Domine". Even as a non-Catholic, I find the litany strangely comforting.

Don't forget, dominus can mean "lord," "master," or even "mister," depending on context (both textual and historical).  So, here's a possible translation of Libera me, Domine:  "Lemme go, mister."  Anyway, whatever you find comforting in a difficult time is probably good, no matter what you believe ... as long as it's not something that's also harmful (drug and alcohol abuse, et al.).

Finally, most people I know who've been through graduate school find it daunting at least at first.  It should ideally be something that you really want to do, for whatever reason.  But that's a while away for you right now.  I would worry about it too much at the moment.

Tom
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Triarius Fidelis
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« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2008, 08:56:36 am »

I'm not sure whether I want to do power distribution or logic/automation... Undecided
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"Leatherface, you BITCH! Ho Chi Minh, hah hah hah!"

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BlueMage
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« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2008, 02:37:20 am »

I essentially did automation (with a bit of power on the side).

I enjoyed it.

But I can tell you mate - there won't be less knuckle-draggers.  They're just now called "art students."
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Triarius Fidelis
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« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2008, 04:16:36 pm »

I essentially did automation (with a bit of power on the side).

I enjoyed it.

But I can tell you mate - there won't be less knuckle-draggers.  They're just now called "art students."

I don't find art students, at least the serious ones, very knuckle-draggy.

Prime examples of knuckle-draggers are the kids in my macroeconomics class who chew gum loudly and wear their pants around their knees, and yet have a Randian superiority complex. They especially like to complain about how Barack Obama is going to take away money they probably won't have in the future.
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"Leatherface, you BITCH! Ho Chi Minh, hah hah hah!"

Formerly known as "Epic Fail Guy" and "Döden" in recent months
tomh38
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« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2008, 09:46:57 am »

My downstairs neighbor just finished her art degree this past spring.  She's a very talented painter, and is quite bright.  She's very knowledgeable about a variety of topics.

Yeah, and what's up with the morons liking Ayn Rand so much?  I'm no Randite, though there may be some validity to her idea that certain creative people do more than their fair share in holding up society.  Her idea that the individual is the sole moral agent responsible for his or her actions seems almost self-evident to me.

Anyway, way back when I was at university (we wore onions on our belts as that was the style at the time) there were always some people making a big to-do about how great Rand's work is.  They seemed to be people least likely to make an important contribution to the world.

Tom
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Triarius Fidelis
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« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2008, 09:11:23 pm »

My downstairs neighbor just finished her art degree this past spring.  She's a very talented painter, and is quite bright.  She's very knowledgeable about a variety of topics.

Yeah ... we in engineering, hard science and math often have a tendency to look down on everything else. In theory, it would be possible to live without many social sciences and humanities, but then you'd end up with something like Ceausescu-era Romania where engineering was promoted at the expense of everything else, and a lot of seriously maladjusted people slipped through the cracks and ended up working in the secret police, because his administration didn't care about psychology.

I recently had to run off copies of an education research journal for my job. It is really quite hardcore ... they used some statistical tests I had never even heard of before. If you work with a lot of people in social sciences, you'll notice that their academic work is, with very few exceptions, very rigorous and intensive. And they really care about what they do because it's usually not incredibly profitable. So those people typically aren't the knuckle-draggers. Indeed, like I said, I would often rather be with people in a social science than those in my own field!! As for some of my 'peers' here in this school, whatever it is that they're 'studying', "odi profanum vulgus et arceo"

Yeah, and what's up with the morons liking Ayn Rand so much?  I'm no Randite, though there may be some validity to her idea that certain creative people do more than their fair share in holding up society.

That may be true. She herself lived at the expense of many people over her lifetime and all she had to show for it was some really turgid novels.

Anyway, way back when I was at university (we wore onions on our belts as that was the style at the time) there were always some people making a big to-do about how great Rand's work is.

Ok, Grandpa

And speaking of school, I wonder whether I should get a Master's indeed. It seems I might simply end up teaching English, in which case I'll only need a BA or BS in anything, and optionally a TEFL certificate. I like teaching English as a foreign language as much as programming or electronics, and can make a good living from it too. Plus I already have real experience. It may simply be more economical not to get that Master's, at least not immediately.
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"Leatherface, you BITCH! Ho Chi Minh, hah hah hah!"

Formerly known as "Epic Fail Guy" and "Döden" in recent months
tomh38
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« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2008, 09:37:46 am »

And speaking of school, I wonder whether I should get a Master's indeed. It seems I might simply end up teaching English, in which case I'll only need a BA or BS in anything, and optionally a TEFL certificate. I like teaching English as a foreign language as much as programming or electronics, and can make a good living from it too. Plus I already have real experience. It may simply be more economical not to get that Master's, at least not immediately.


If you do that you'll die, just like I did.
Death!  Death!!!


...

But seriously ... if at all possible, do something that you enjoy.  You can at least try teaching English as a second language.  If you decide to go back to school for something else later, worry about that then.  When I was in Italy, one of my Italian teachers (y'know, Italian as a second language) was one of the happiest people I ever met.  Another one, a gorgeous woman ... well, I don't know if she was happy or not, since I wasn't looking at her face a whole lot.  Grin
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GrannyGeek
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« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2008, 06:58:40 pm »

There's nothing urgent about going to grad school right after college unless the career you want requires it. I was 47 when I started graduate work.
--GrannyGeek
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