Sunday, March 20, 2011

Educational Opportunities

If you have watched a movie involving college kids, sports, or dead babysitters then you have witness the ridiculous lengths these movies go to explain that "getting an education" is the most important thing in life. Education is indeed important but these movies seem to just glaze right over some glaring facts about why the protagonist would be better off skipping the education in favor of the obvious opportunities that have been presented to them.

Almost every movie involving a stand out high school athlete starting their first year of success on the field/court inevitably has the scene where the athlete is considering entering the professional ranks, and just as inevitably a voice of wisdom comes along to tell them all the reasons they should finish out the collegiate career. Many of these reasons are legit, such as continue to develop as an athlete and make yourself a better prospect, but one reason that is without fail always presented is that said athlete should stay in college and get an education.
If he would have just got the B.A. in Horticulture he would know how to maintain those hedges!
Here is the main issue with this concept, these athlete's are never just some bench warmer hoping to get picked in a late round, they are the stars of the team, projected to go early first round. But for arguments sake let's say our athlete gets picked late, cause we wouldn't want to state the obvious multi-million dollar signing bonuses of first round picks. The MINIMUM yearly salary of a first year NBA player is nearly $500,000, which goes up to over $750,000 their second year. NFL minimum (as of now before the new agreement) is nearly $300,000 for a rookie over $350,000 for their second year. (Both of these number continue to increase each year the player is in their respective league.)
For all intents and purpose it would ALWAYS be beneficial to join the professionals directly after high school, if the opportunity was available. If you get injured playing in college, you then can worry about "getting an education," but instead of taking the risk go directly to the pros get your money and if it doesn't work out...use the money to pay for college and get an education. The average American with a Bachelor's degree will make $2.1 million, so assuming the lowest possible salary, an NBA player would only have to play 3 years to match that and NFL would be 5 years.) And we are still ignoring endorsement deals, signing bonuses and merchandise revenue for anyone picked in the first round. (Every 1st rounder picked in last year's NBA draft made more from signing bonuses, endorsement deals and salary then the average American with a Master's degree $2.5 million).
He will regret skipping that education someday. Trust me....
But sports movies are the obvious stand out right? The movies are less about sports then just using the struggle of athletes as a filler for lack of creativity and content. So we must look to other genres for more evidence of the over selling of education.

Is their a single movie about some teenager with a dream that doesn't have a scene involving some adult character shoving the need for an education down their throat?...I don't think so either. And the argument can easily be made that millions of 20-something year old around the world are examples of why going for your dreams instead of education is a moronic decision. Of course that's if you ignore the fact that you are allowed to start college after your 19th birthday.
"Why don't you get a job and stop mooching off your mother, you are such a waste of space I wish I would have been sterile!"
But alas we will once again ignore the obvious and focus only on movies that involve teens who are already in the midst of making it. It is going to be impossible to find, or calculate, statistics on what your typical pop star/rock band makes in a year, but I can assure you it's more then being a life insurance agent. Most bands will never make it big, most won't even be able to finance their advancing drug habits, but apparently in adult world, once you graduate high school it is time to stop with the crazy dreams of fame and stardom, even if you are already well on your way to becoming a sensation. Hell, in every dance movie some parental figure finds it necessary to tell the dancer not to take a full ride to an arts school but instead focus on getting their associates from the local community college. As if having a free degree in dance on your resume is going to make employers be all "fuck that, we don't need some 'dancer' skipping between our cubicles. Think of what that will do to employee moral."
"Alan hasn't got any work don't since Beth started rehearsing for The Nut Cracker."
Once you notice this trend you can't stop seeing it, like that dent on your car door that, well invisible to even the most advanced technology, ruins your very existence. But now we get to the worst example of the education propaganda thrown at as by pop culture.

"Hey you want your dream job?"
"No thanks, I want to go to college, and then hope to
land an unpaid internship that will hopefully turn
into my dream job 15 years from now...But thanks anyway."

I had to present that in example form because if I were to write that out 25% of the letters in each sentence would be 'u.' This has been played out in maybe...1031948321 Disney/Disney-esque movies. Girl is too young for the job but somehow sneaks around the system, get the job and does and amazing job, until ultimately someone finds out she is only 14 and the whole world starts falling apart around them. Until the head of the company shows up and offers the 14 a job that she would be a fool not to take.
Because child labor laws also don't exist.
The girl responds by vomiting nonsense, and for the first time presents herself as the moronic 14 year old girl she truly is. Of course everyone around her supports this decision and she gets to go to the dance with Jake and live happily ever after, struggling to make her way in the world because she spit in the face of opportunity in favor of going to college to hopefully once again get that same opportunity...WHAT THE FUCK!

So if you are considering college...GO! Unless of course you have the opportunity to skip all the bullshit and get the dream job you always wanted. Whether this is Pro Athlete, Pop Star or Magazine columnist 
One of these is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong...
 If you are presented with the opportunity you are allowed to skip college, because that might be your chance, and if it doesn't work out. College will be waiting to take you money and turn it into a piece of Paper with your name and a pretty gold sticker!
STMTZ

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