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Dear Slackers: Teacher's Last Letter to Students on Why They Should Study

Jaime O'Neill is an English teacher who penned this Dear Students letter for his last class after teaching for 40 years. Every student should read it, but probably won't and therefore will learn the hard way (just like the rest of us):

There are always excuses for not showing up, or not turning work in. I've heard them all. But lives built on excuses generally don't turn out well. [...]

Few people care whether you succeed or fail. You are not showing up to class for your teachers or even your parents. You're not doing these assignments for anyone but yourselves. If you cut classes because your teachers bore you, then you should be dropping those classes, not piddling away your GPA.

I went to a community college too. I screwed up in high school, graduating in the bottom third of my class. But I married and became a father not long thereafter. Those responsibilities made me quite serious about the second chance offered by the community college system. It's difficult to maintain a slacker attitude when you're up nightly with 2 o'clock feedings of an infant daughter whose vulnerability and dependence on you are impossible to overlook. Had I not shown up regularly and done the work conscientiously, I would have blown that second chance. I would have had a much different life, a much poorer one, not only materially but intellectually and even spiritually. And my children would have had poorer lives too, because what I learned in college was shared with them in ways too numerous to count. I've never regretted the portion of my youth that I devoted to study.

Like Woody Allen supposedly said, 80% of success is showing up: Link


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"If you cut classes because your teachers bore you, then you should be dropping those classes, not piddling away your GPA."

Or realize that the content itself has its own share of stimulation for the intellect. Drop the sensation-consuming attitude and get to work.

I make $30k/year which to many may seem a tad low. But I'm not measuring my success in monetary value. I have been able to comprehend (somewhat) the brain! Economics. Philosophy. Hell, I unlocked the secrets of the universe and liberated my self from seemingly impenetrable anxiety and busted through the layers of deluded values imposed on me by society. If that isn't worth something, I don't know what is.

While for some happiness may appear to be a 7.5M/year income. For me it is developing myself to the point where I don't need anything to be happy. Including the $30k/yr I earn now. That is just gravy.
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WordyGrrl is lovin her McEducation.

My wife has an associate's degree and two decades of experience in a technical field she was seemingly born for and has yet to make more than US$20k/yr. Yet, a charismatic dumbass can lie his way into +100k/yr. It seems to me it isn't technical knowledge and experience which earns one a fat paycheck; rather, it's how well one can fool people into giving up that paycheck. And while WordyGrrl is lovin it, people such as my wife are constantly reminded that this is a world in love with lies.
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For some, the structure of school, of college works, but for others, it doesn't. I've heard again and again of those who waste their lives, and their money --most living in debt for the rest of their lives --on worthless college education that cannot be applied in no way to the working world. Sometimes it's better to learn on one's own, for if the desire to learn a certain subject is so strong in one, one is going to learn it, and one doesn't necessarily have to be enrolled in a school to do it.
Most schools are indoctrination centers that only teach one view and nothing more. Screw that.
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Coldfish, you sound so let down and that gives me a sad. I just returned to taking college courses (after a 20-year absence) and I'm lovin' it -- even though quite of few of my classmates are 20-somethings who are used to a "teach to the test" mentality and only bother to show up until the Financial Aid check clears.

Be choosy about your teachers. I had a great one last semester who did an excellent job in showing the "big picture" -- what was going on globally that caused a chain reaction of events that resulted in X happening in the US. Or how one industry can turn into a financial juggernaut that's suddenly got more political influence than it should -- and gets away with it. I could go on, but you get the point.

Being an intelligent slacker is cool in your 20s, but after that? You're just the guy/gal who never got his/her shite together.
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