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January 16, 2002
About dogs and lovers
The Jackson Herald
January 16, 2002
School is good, but it could be better
Since I have been a student for nearly 17 years of my life, and school has just opened its doors again for so many eager, fresh faces, I find it only appropriate to write a column about school.
For most of my life, I attended Gwinnett County Schools. Yes, they were not all that great, and there was plenty to complain about. The Gwinnett County School System can be summed up this way a huge lack of concern followed up with rules far outside the walls of reason.
Im not going to slam Gwinnett County any more in this column since were not in that over-populated, concrete area of the state. I want to talk about college, and how we should improve it.
I have heard from several sources that parking at UGA can be a nightmare. The situation is about the same at my school, Gainesville College. And it gets worse every semester.
When I first began attending classes at Gainesville, I could park close to the buildings and not have to worry about being late for class. All has changed now. There are thousands of students. Actually, I believe that there are more cars than students, and people are hitching up two or three cars to the back of their trucks and towing them to school just to take up space.
When school started last week, I drove around for nearly half an hour looking for a space. Other people who had been looking for spaces, gave up and parked in the grass. I decided not to go along with the idea of parking in the grass, because I was afraid that I might get a ticket from the parking lot security. So I found a small, open lot a good distance away from the building my class is in.
I parked my truck and began the long walk on the cold, windy day.
When class finally let out about 2 hours later, I returned to my truck, only to find that I had been ticketed for parking in a faculty/staff parking space.
I have parked in that lot several times in the past, and had never been ticketed. In fact, I have seen other students park in that same lot. Come to find out, they had installed a small sign, just below eye level at the entrance, saying that it had become a faculty/staff parking area.
Parking lot security left me with a $10 fine and I was rather disgruntled for the rest of the day.
There is a grass lot that the school opens to park in when the ground is dry. However, it hasnt been dry until recently, so when it rains, the lot is completely closed off. My solution: Pave the field. Add a few storm drains. Currently, it is about five or six acres of mud and gravel, with just a touch of grass. Im sure they have enough money to pave the lot from unnecessary fees and tuition costs, plus the profit they make from selling books. Theyre just too lazy to make that big step to pave the lot that would keep so many from being late.
The last thing Im going to discuss is how I dont agree with the attendance policies that schools have set. The attendance policy is my favorite policy to complain about, because I feel that whoever made up this policy had to be into sniffing glue lots and lots of glue. So it was probably someone who is in cahoots with Governor Roy Barnes.
If you choose not to go to school, then you shouldnt have to go. After all, its your money and you paid for it. But if you choose not to go to school, and you can still pull off an A, then congratulations. You deserve the A more than the person who had perfect attendance, because you had to work that much harder.
Every one of my classes has to print the school attendance policy on the syllabi, and the professors make up consequences accordingly. Some choose to drop your grade by one letter grade every time you miss a day, others take off a point. Most just kick you out if you miss more than five days, and youve lost all of your hard-earned tuition and matriculation money.
What does this teach us? That we have to attend our jobs in the real world when were supposed to? Thats obvious, and I dont complain about going to work because I get paid. Its as simple as that.
Some will argue that you get paid by going to school because youre receiving an education. While I agree with this, I also believe that youre the boss of yourself in college. Your decisions are left up to you and nobody else. Higher education is a measure of your intelligence. If youre able to cut class half the time and still exceed expectations then you deserve what you get. Plus it opens up more parking spaces when fewer students attend class regularly.
Some people have jobs and other responsibilities outside of school, and cant attend class every day. I pity those who are kicked out each semester because they really couldnt attend class.
Lets look briefly at the situation on the other hand. You dont attend class, and you fail because you dont know the material. Well, thats tough. Maybe you should have spent less time drinking beer and more time reading your books.
College is about having freedom similar to that of the real world. Its about choice, but it still has many childish high school rules attached to it, especially in junior college. For those who are wondering, I would probably be at UGA right now if I wasnt a white male, but thats another story.
Charlie Broadwell is a reporter for Mainstreet News Inc. His email is Charliecfh@hotmail.com.
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