Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Free is worth what you pay for it.

I think I've figured something important out. 

A few years ago, before I had the kids, I worked with the football team.  I tutored, and helped them correct, their writing about five hours a week.  Was paid about $10/hour for it.  I'd've been happy to do it for free, but for something a colleague (the one who set the whole thing up) said: "You have to set a price.  If you don't, they won't value what you're offering."

Most of my students don't pay for their own college tuition and/or fees.  They get grants, scholarships, and loans for that.  They don't have to bust their asses at work, trying to earn the money to pay $300+ per class, plus the approximately $700 for all the other assorted fees and textbooks.

From what I've seen, few of the traditional students--those who take out the most in loans and grants--don't value their classes.  They love classes like the "university experience" class (what used to be Freshman Orientation, and was a 1 cr hr 6 week course, but is now a 3 cr hr 16 week course), because they're "easy A" classes, or classes that it's "okay to skip because the professor doesn't care." 

And Bernie Sanders wants to make all undergraduate work "free." 

The thing is, most people see the grants and loans as "free" money.  They don't think about how much it's going to take to pay off the loans.  They don't think about the future.  And they damn sure don't think about what others have to do to earn the money for the federal grants.  It's "free."  Not worth anything.

I think I'm beginning to understand why so few value their voting rights.  Free is worth what you, yourself, pay for it. 

Because, with most of these kids, if they're not the ones earning it, then it's worth nothing.  They don't see others' sacrifice, and absolutely don't look toward the future. 


  1. Free means a handout... Nothing of real value is free, nor has it ever been, but 'somebody' is paying for it. Usually us... sigh

    1. Pretty much. At least the non-working turds I saw on the way to pick up the pixie from preschool (really skanky ones that probably couldn't get a job if they wanted one) were walking. Not driving a car nicer and newer than our two year old Subaru.


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