Letter to the Editor: College students- a pack of show dogs

Thus far in my academia, I have been taught by Grand Valley to question certain aspects of education. Personally, I have always questioned education; “Why would I want to taste my mime going to ass when I can just live my wife?” (That last sentence was misspelled to make a point, for those of you who didn’t get that right away). The fact of the matter is we need an “education.” I put quotations around that word because the more I analyze the educational system, the more I feel like a show dog performing tricks to please my owner.

In order to obtain our most desired, rewarding jobs we must have a college pedigree … I mean degree, or so we are told. However, the whole system of acquiring this degree is nonsense. We have to take classes that have nothing to do with our major and if you’re like me, you feel like you are being told to jump through a hoop and given a treat (a letter grade) and maybe even a head rub for how well you did. I understand the basis of a “liberal education.” (We can learn valuable life skills like discipline from it. Hmm… dogs need to be disciplined to learn too. Interesting.) But, there comes a point in my academic career when I know what I want and like a bone, I gotta have it. All those hoops that are set out for me to jump through supposedly make me “well rounded,” but can’t the many flavors of life that I find tasty be enough to satisfy my academic pallet? Why can’t something as important as serving others get me credit, rather than the biology class I am currently failing? I will never apply biology to my life after this course and if I have to, I have Wikipedia to help me out. Now I know that serving others should be a completely selfless act and the only true reward you should receive is taking joy in bringing joy to others. Believe me, serving others is a huge part of my life. However, in the world of college, we are bred to work for self-reward, which itself breeds greediness and is the very reason something like serving others is so low on most of our lists of priorities. We don’t get the same reward for it. What good is a biology class if I will never apply it to my life? How great is an opportunity to serve others for credit, which is my life? The effect service has on an individual is much more rewarding, not only to you, but your community.

I’m not saying there should be general education classes on things we love like girls, Facebook and beer, but there are certain activities in life that get us salivating for more, that can also serve a bigger purpose to us and the rest of the world. Every individual can find a way to serve his or her community, and even enjoy it. So why can’t we become “well rounded” by further exploring these extracurricular activities and obtaining credit for them?

Dogs live and love selflessly, unconditionally, and seek to enjoy the flavors of life that get their tail wagging. Though we may be treated like dogs at college, acting like them might not be a bad idea. Grand Valley, or liberal education for that matter; throw us a bone here!

Lance Beaudry
GVSU student