Useless Degrees

Each semester I’m offered the services of one or several undergraduate students. University pays them, so it would cost nothing to my department. Students can help with research, do office work, anything I need.

I tried it out a couple of times but based on what I saw I now always refuse. I don’t want their help even for free. Trying to explain what I need and micromanaging hurt feelings is so burdensome that I’d rather do the work myself. And this is after they’ve been with us for a couple of years.

This is why I completely understand companies that don’t want to hire without a college degree. In college, we discipline their minds at least a little bit. By Senior year, they mostly start recognizing authority, stop complaining about their complex emotional states, learn to affect cheerful, calm demeanors in professional settings, stop seeing any adult as a substitute mommy, figure out that “hey!” is not an appropriate greeting in a professional email, learn to sign their correspondence, and even sometimes manage to follow a list of instructions containing 3 different items as early as on their third try.

By the time they graduate, many of them turn into people I’d hire. But in the Freshman year, I wouldn’t hire any of them unless somebody provided me with funds for my subsequent psychological rehabilitation.


9 thoughts on “Useless Degrees

  1. “understand companies that don’t want to higher without a college degree”

    This is more about the evisceration of public high schools than about the students… back when I was in high school most people started getting (part-time) jobs while still going to school or very soon after.
    I’m sure as a group we weren’t that great but also back then employers took some of the responsibility for training new hires rather than wanting for finished products…

    I’m thinking there’s a horrible feedback loop… more people wanted post secondary education and so high schools were dumbed down to accomodate that (so people would top out their educational potential at a college rather than high school) which led to college being more and more necessary which led to more dumbing down of high schools so people could plausibly be admitted….

    I’m still old-fashioned and think that part of being an employer is taking unlikely cases and turning them into competent people who can do their (and other people’s) jobs.


      1. Of course that’s fake though apparently state media did refer to putain as “war criminal, leader of the russian regime” which is a tiny bit odd since the ruling party has a pro-russian undercurrent (not all of it but… it’s there).

        I do remember when respectable newspapers referred the Clinton impeachment as an attemped “coup d’etat” (zamach stanu) which…. it kind of was…

        And I, for one, might appreciate a post on comparative obscenity in russian and Ukrainian… does ‘pierdolić’ have cognates in either? What’s the all purpose Ukrainian expletive (like coño in Spain or Cuba or блядь in russian) speaking of the latter I just learned from wiktionary that the Polish cognate of блядь is błęd (mistake, error) and not, as I’d imagined, blady (pale)…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ukrainians have food trauma, so unlike Russians, our main expletives aren’t sex-based but eschatological. There’s a million of swear expressions around срака and almost nothing around the genitals. Only some Russian calques.


            1. “Fairly different things”

              She may have been influenced by Spanish where IINM due to various sound changes over the years the two words are homonyms – escatológico, escatológico…


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