Portney’s Complaint

Devon Portney

As I scurry through the catwalk to turn in my last paper, I contemplate my graduation, one year away. I cannot wait to use the skills and knowledge I have gained from dynamic classes taught by engaging professors.

Why is there such a class system among colleges and universities throughout the country? It makes no difference which school you attend, but what you do with the education. Ivy League or state school, your alma mater should not weight on your self value. It should not decide a hire for employers before they even meet the graduate. A person should utilize a college’s education, not reputation. Anyone can get a great education out of a state school, or a lousy education out of a prestigious school. One of the stupidest men in the country was a cocaine snorting C student at Yale. So what does an Ivy League degree really mean?

Before I go any further, let me say this: I do not wish to undermine anyone’s higher education. If you attended a prestigious college you deserve credit; you obviously worked hard in high school and continued to do so through college, and that should be recognized. But I ask you: was there anyone in your dorm who had the same last name as a building on campus? Or perhaps a senator’s son or daughter sat behind you in your classes. Sadly, much of the higher education process has been tainted by politics, (although not quite as tainted as politics itself).

None of us attend Harvard, but we all work hard, and we have the capacity to go out into the real world and do amazing things. The reason I love UMass is because of the alternative college lifestyle. We all have jobs, homes, significant others, and families, and our education fits our busy lives.

There is another form of higher education that exists here at UMass: an earlier glimpse into the real world. We co-work and co-learn with people of all ages, classes, ethnicities, and cultures. We are also pushed into get the most out of our education while keeping up with our lives outside of school. When graduation passes and a job is found, there is no rude awakening, because our education style has prepared us for the world outside. After all, we are living in it while we are learning about it.