Wednesday, September 1, 2010

HuffPo blows it again

I was just reading this list from the Huffington Post: Things You DON'T Need at College

Our precious snowflakes are being advised to abandon:

1) Notebooks. Because, SmartyJournalist explains, everything is on laptop these days. And notebooks use PAPER which KILLS TREES!!!!
[Dear HuffPo: Laptops are less environmentally friendly than recycled paper notebooks. notebooks require thinking, digesting info, etc. And doodling in a notebook is less distracting than reading facebook during lecture. Laptops distract kids in my class and are the devil.]

2) Cable TV. Because the dorms have Cable!! Why waste your money?
[No one lives in their dorms for 4 years. Now I'm no fan of cable TV, but this is just stupid. There are a million other things to consider first.]

3) Your Pet: Because Fido might get in the way of college life
[Again, this is just stupid. If a college kid is an animal person, they'll have animals. If they aren't, they won't. What does this have to do with the work at hand? And right now, animals are being used for more than the blind. They are used as assistant dogs for epilepsy, depression, heart conditions, etc. Just seems like a red herring. But as long as I don't see it, I couldn't care less.]

4) New Textbooks. Because used ones are cheaper!!
[The textbook racket is a complicated business where profs are pressured by textbook salesfolk and administrators alike to assign the newest edition every two or so years. Buying used is not always possible. Clearly you have no friends who are profs.]

5) A Printer. Because Profs want it electronically, yo!
[If you think I'm going to download and save 150 different papers for every assignment, or deal with students complaining that they couldn't find a printer on time and therefore need a 5 day extension, or fuck around with the toner problems, WHATEVER, I want you to come grade for me for this stupid advice.]

6) A Land Line. Because you shouldn't pay extra for good connections!
[Most college students are young tech-savvy, at-risk youth. They aren't fucking around with "land lines." This isn't 1993.

7) A Hefty Meal Plan. Because you'll eat too much
[They are all going to gain the Freshman 15 either way. Eat in the cafeteria, eat at Taco Bell. No parenting means pizzas all the time and no sense of the importance of vegetables. The size of the meal plan is irrelevant.]

8) A credit card. Because you'll rack up $20,000 in debt!! Studies show that graduates have $50,000 or more in debt! Avoid credit cards.
[Student debt has less to do with uncontrollable spending and more to do with uncontrollable tuition fees. Do some goddamn research.]

9) A fake ID. Because there's enough to do on campus without getting busted for carrying a fake ID.
[God. Really? Getting caught with the fake id is the problem? What about hey: stop drinking and get to that project I assigned to you 4 weeks ago and is due in 3 days!]

10) A Car. Because if you have "a hankering for life outside schoo [sic]" then you can carpool! What an awesome idea!!
[Oh HuffPo. Fuck off. Cars are the least of these kids' worries.]

Huffington Post is so strange to me -- sometimes news, always morally outraged, sometimes just pure crap. What would you have advised students not to bring? How about a sense of entitlement? Or their High School Hero personality? So many options....


  1. What not to bring to college?

    1. Your entire library of video games and graphic novels
    2. Your fucked-up highschool girl/boyfriend relationship - it will evaporate in a month or so anyway, so get it over with before you come and avoid termtime Sturm und Drang
    3. Highschool workload expectations - I know, this one can't be avoided, but lose it as fast as you can, okay?
    4. Your helicopter parents
    5. Your shiny electronic gadgets, at least not to class

    What to bring:

    1. hairbrush, soap, deocorant. Dear God, why do I have to tell you these things?
    2. Contraceptives, and use them for God's sake. See 2. above on avoiding termtime Sturm und Drang.
    3. An alarm clock. And try setting it.
    4. Notebook and pen. Trust me, you will find a use for them.

  2. Why does anyone bother reading the Huffington Post?

    Snowflake "journalism."

  3. The comments on this HuffPo story are pretty funny as well. Most folks thought the article was poorly done.

    I like the IDEA of HuffPo, but maybe that's not enough.

  4. I agree with the sense of entitlement suggestion. I understand that your mommy trained you to go potty by giving you candy bars, but, seriously, at some point you will no longer be rewarded for doing WHAT YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO DO. If you are my student, that moment is now.

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  6. As many of the HuffPo commenters have said, this list was written by somebody who has not attended college recently.

    Yes, there are lots of fun things to do on campus without a fake ID. Like drink beer that your friend bought with his fake ID. All the other fun campus activities are MORE FUN after drinking a six pack. By the way, that goes for life after college, including trying to type comments at CM.

  7. On the car thing: If you go to school in Hawa'ii then one is superfluous (maybe), but if you go to Northeastern Ghetto Tech you're stuck in the city. If you want to go to more exciting towns like Bagelville you have to take the $30 New Delhi bus and ride through two states. With a car it's a lot faster, and you can go south to the Big Muddy and see where our spastic national policies are made. There is no direct bus from Pretzelton to BM.

    ....This list was written by somebody who either graduated in 1973 or by some dipshit intern who is struggling through community college. That written, it should be said that universities are pricing themselves out of the market, the f-ing "for profits" are straight out of a Hogarth engraving. This is a situation that will end, and it will end badly.

  8. I am going to have to disagree with you, Merely Academic. There is something to be said for the graphic novel as both an entertainment and educational resource. And, if one can play video games in *gasp* moderation, then bringing seven million video games wouldn't adversely affect grades (for that one student).

    Mathsquatch out.

  9. The meal plan suggestion is not that bad. I recently heard the same thing from a sophomore that had money/credits left on their meal plan at the end of their freshmen year, so they bought a less expensive plan their second year. The most expensive plan assumed they'd eat every meal at school. It didn't account for missing breakfast from oversleeping, going out for pizza with friends, etc....

  10. While I agree with Merely Academic that an "entire library" of graphic novels and/or video games isn't a good thing to try to fit into a dorm room (or a college schedule), like Mathsquatch, I don't have any problem with students who are familiar with such genres. If they can talk (or are willing to be prompted to talk) about the complexities of such modern narratives, that's something I can work with (after all, a graphic novel isn't that different from a series of those Hogarth engravings Strelnikov mentioned -- anybody up for creating an academic version of The Harlot's Progress? I'm pretty sure it could be done)

  11. Students in my college town are notorious for being irresposible pet owners. Every May when school lets out, the number of abandoned pets spikes.
    A neighbor of mine abandoned her two cats when she moved out. And what was she studying to be? A veterinarian.

    Anecdotal, I know...

  12. I don't know if this tops abandoned animals, but when I was going to Northeastern Ghetto Tech I lived in a rowhouse off campus and we got nasty letters from the student loan companies for the previous occupants who had either gone to NGT or the other college in town, Pretentious Gigantic Ivy. They may not be kittens, but screwing with the collegic legbreakers will haunt them for life.


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