Yesterday, Jonah and I drove an hour and a half to our state’s public college. The Arts and Science branch of the college doesn’t run tours in August, so we went on the tour of environmental science college within the school. It was all very confusing. The college has 31 sub-schools, each with its own bureaucracy and requirements spread over miles and miles of campus. It’s possible to major in biology in two or three sub-schools within the college. Why? I don’t know. Seems like a bureaucratic mess to me.
Actually, the whole school looked like a trainwreck to me. Reading between the lines of the tour, it was clear that students have very little contact with professors and that advisors weren’t really available to the students. The campus was ugly. Way ugly. It felt like the low budget city university that I used to teach at.
This school has the highest in-state tuition of any state college in the country. Where the hell is the money going? This is why you see Jersey kids at every other state college in the country. Shameful.
Jonah walked through the college horror stuck. While he didn’t pick up the cues about the problems with the faculty and administration, he got an eyeful of the exposed fluorescent lights in the dorms, the ripped carpets, and the bumbling dean who gave the tour.
He whispered, “I’m not going here.”
“Dude, you might not have a choice. You have to apply and then we’ll make decisions after we see acceptances and scholarships. Your grades are good, but you know that you could have done better. You need to apply here as a safety.”
“Why didn’t you tell me???!!!”
Um. What? He blamed me for not yelling at him enough to get straight A’s. Like this was some state secret that I was keeping from him. Teenage boys really need another year in high school to mature before we set them loose at college.