Monday, June 17, 2024

Michigan State University - When Did It Go So Wrong?

Originally written Oct 4, 2019 but not published to blog until June 17, 2024.

IMO, another sign of a declining country.

I've long recommended a college education in a field sought after by businesses, usually technical in nature. Once the graduate has worked a few years, go for an advanced degree, usually paid for by your employer. I realize that not all high school graduates want to go to college/ are cut out for college so learn a trade which will usually provide a good living.

Earlier this month a student from Michigan State University (MSU) called for a donation. I graduated from MSU way back in 1966. I asked about the current cost of tuition. When I attended MSU we were on term hours and 180 term hours were required to graduate. MSU went to semester hours long ago so now 120 semester credits are required to graduate. When I went to MSU tuition was $112.00 a term for 12 or more credits or about $1,344.00 for four years. Now tuition is $371.00 per semester hour for the first two years and $406.25 per semester hour for the final two years. This would be nearly $47,000.oo in tuition compared to $1,344.00 in my day.

Inflation, lets check it out. I had a job offer several months before I graduated from MSU, $7,500.00 per year or roughly 5.58 time as much as my tuition for four years. I haven't checked what 2010 grads are making to start out in my field but I'm sure it's not 5.58 times $47,000 tuition. BTW, back in the day (6/1966) $7,500/ year was a good starting salary.

I'm still a promoter of achieving a solid and salable college degree, however, the Return on Investment has sure gone to he##. What happen? I had great teachers in high school and in college, technical degree not a liberal arts degree. I was able to get good paying jobs throughout my career. Back in the day, and IMO, there was a far greater bang for the buck for college tuition. Fold in books, fees and housing and the many students graduating with a not in demand degrees, OMG!

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Music from Bear Valley - My Witness on the Today Show

Are we accelerating down that slippery slope to a Godless country? I was reminded of the time I was interviewed by a Today Show employee; here is my witness:

I had a God given chance to testify on national TV in the early 80s. I was living and working in the Bay area of California and camping in Bear Valley weekends. Bear Valley in the Sierras above Angles Camp taking route 49 as I recall. There is something called "Music from Bear Valley" for three weekends during the summer. I raved to the ticket sellers/ takers at the concerts how wonderful to be able to camp and attend concerts at the same time. The next weekend the Today staff was filming a special segment on the concerts in Bear Valley and wanted to interview a camper who came to camp and for the concerts. As I was one of two campers they knew about and the only tent camper (I was younger then), I was chosen. The Today people came to my campsite in the very open free camping area. I was asked if I thought this was a proper place for concerts and I was taken back. I asked "What better place for concerts than God's cathedral". The interesting thing is that Today recorded three hours of film and cut it down to four minutes. My testimony was included but I wonder if it would be today as we, as a country, stray further from God.

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Temporarily without a vehicle

 After many years of faithful service My old Van has been in the shop for an extended period of time. Being without a vehicle took me back decades to 1963 and Michigan State University. After my freshman year I divorced the father of my two toddlers. We had been living in married housing and my children and I were allowed to keep our reasonably priced apartment.

So here I was a full-time student with kids to provide for and no vehicle.  As luck would have it and as a polio survivor I was eligible for Vocation Rehabilitation which paid for my tuition, books and fees. Plus I was also eligible for Aid to Dependent Children (ADC).The child support I received just about covered babysitter expensives but no more. Between ADC and student loans I was able to keep our home together and feed my children. It took me years after graduation to pay off my student loans. MSU had great bus service that included city service in addition to campus. The cost was a real bargain at 12 dollars a term in the and my children could ride for free.

So with my van in for extension repairs I thought do we have public transportation available here in little Quartzsite, AZ. Yes we do and at reasonable prices. Now I know myself too well and I'm spoiled after decades of driving, however, good to know there is bus service should l need it.

Still learning

 I'm a fan of The Great Courses and have purchased a number of the various series on eBay, far cheaper buying used that new.

I'm nearly finished with the series of lectures for Algebra 1. Even after all these decades it's coming back to me. Next is Algebra 2 and then Trig and precalculus before attempting Calculus. 

I had nearly 40 term credit hours of math as an undergraduate and what can I say, I enjoy math, yes and Physics.

When traveling cross country I would mentally play with number series. I'm not as sharp as I was in my 20s but the old brain still functions.

I had good roll models as my mom followed the news and even after working all day would read the newspaper pretty much cover to cover. Dad was a forever student and tutored students in computers quite late in life.

Someone asked me why I wanted to study math and I said because I want to, I can't think of a better reason than that.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Horse trading in building my house

One topic of discussion at tonight's town council meeting was housing or rather lack thereof. While the council was in a closed door session I told the other attendees how I literally did horse trading in building my house in the 1980s. An individual can be the contractor on their own home. I drew up the layout of where the home and septic would go. I can't remember where I bought the plans for the house but I sure got an education on building codes, etc.

I had a prime contractor build the house to the point I could move in complete with a 4 x 8 foot piece of plywood covering one of the door openings. All the extras like the notty pine Ceiling came later as money as allowed.

Now to the horse trading in building my house. After moving to Arizona I bought a horse that was too much for me. I traded the horse for a three axle trailer that I had no use for but it didn't eat. Back to the plywood door covering. My original contractor wanted the three axle trailer so I traded it for a lovely door and a 8 x 36 foot concrete pad.

Horse trading at it's finest.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Just in Case

A month ago I poked a few potatoes and lettuce roots (?) In the ground and then forgot to water them, my bad. Both grandmothers had awesome gardens in Michigan, home of fertile dirt. I was successful with a decent garden while living in New Jersey. Sad thing is the grape vines I planted were finally taking off when I received a really good job offer in California... so off to sunshine and later to Arizona. After pricing out lettuce a few days ago time to try growing a few veggies in less than optimal Arizona. In the last year and a half I bought seeds, potting soil, grow bags, biodegradable starter pots, gardening tools, micro-green kit still in box and more. During WWll people had victory gardens. Given the state of our economy time to try gardening again. Even here in Arizona I suspect we'll have a cold winter. However the micro-green kit can be kept indoors. In my opinion, part of prepping should be to grow a few veggies, just in case. To be continued.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

2016 as I was leaving my summer home for the winter

From the fall of 2016t As I welcome further encroachment of civilization into my off-the-power-grid summer home... Recently I added an electric coffee pot, electric can opener and microwave oven to my other goodies, 32 inch flat screen TV, satellite and 23 inch all-in-one computer plus other electronic gizmos. Now I'm giving very strong consideration to adding a energy efficient refrigerator to the list of goodies. This is something for later this year so I will not get to enjoy it until next summer. I may have to add a few more solar panels and batteries so something to save up for this winter. Meanwhile I'll have my old propane frig moved to my craft (formally mice party trailer) trailer as a backup. Next year I'll have freezer room for ice cream, life is good. I so enjoy the peace and quiet here in remote land, however, soon time to pack up the TV, electonics and more and return to my on-the-power-grid winter home. My summer home (trailer) is not suitable for winter. Well, if things go crazy after the election who knows. Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone