August 23rd, 2013
I figured it was about time for me to distribute some unsolicited advice. I haven’t always been successful in my academic career so I may not be an authority here. However, that’s not to say that I haven’t done well either. I wanted to share my scholastic habits with those university students who want to take their education seriously. I cannot offer guarantees but it’s my hope that you do what works for you and practice the habits that will produce a successful academic career.
- Education is a joy. The greatest trick the schools have ever pulled on us is to make us think education is purely pragmatic. Education is merely to accomplish an end for financial gain or the requirements to get into a good sports team, etc. Those who have bought into this idea have fallen prey to anti-intellectualism.
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June 24th, 2013
The greatest trick the schools have ever pulled on us is to make us think education is purely pragmatic. Education is merely to accomplish an end for financial gain or the requirements to get into a good sports team, etc. Those who have bought into this idea have fallen prey to anti-intellectualism.
The greatest joy of education is that it never ends. There is an enlightening splendor in the discovery of knowledge. A yearn that is never quenched. When we think we are satisfied and we’ve learned enough we’ve only demonstrated our finitude. The virtue of knowledge is completely underappreciated.
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October 3rd, 2012
Kiplinger recently did a study on the ten worst college majors. Amongst the list included were anthropology, fine arts, film, studio arts, and sociology. Concerning philosophy and religious studies Kiplinger writes,
Unemployment rate: 7.2%
Unemployment rate for recent grads: 10.8%
Median salary: $42,000
Median salary for recent grads: $30,000
Projected job growth for this field, 2010-2020: not available
Likelihood of working retail: 2.0 times average
Philosophy might improve your mind, but it won’t do much for your pocketbook. In fact, the salary prospects for a philosophy major could be called ascetic. Recent grads make 19% less than young grads from the top 100 majors, and the gap narrows only slightly for experienced workers with degrees in philosophy and religious studies.
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January 4th, 2012
The following is a guest blog post by Jeff G. Jeff is a 24-year-old student studying biblical theology at North Park University in Chicago. He hopes to go on to grad school and get a Ph.D. in the field of biblical theology, if that is where God wants him.
It was 7th grade biology class, and we began to learn the theory of evolution. The evidence seemed absolutely clear to me—evolution was an undeniable fact. I picked up my bible and compared what I read to what I learned in my biology class. The accounts seemed clearly contradictory. It didn’t take much time for me to conclude that all of Christianity was a sham. I will come back to this in a bit, but first, do me a favor and let me tell you another story…
In January of 2007, world-renowned violin virtuoso Joshua Bell took his 3.5 million dollar violin to the Washington D.C. metro station to play some songs as a street musician. Dressing modestly in a baseball cap, jeans, and a long-sleeved t-shirt, Bell left his violin case open for tips as he played 6 classical songs, one of which has been called the most difficult song on any instrument—J.S. Bach’s Chaconne. Of this song, the great composer Johannes Brahms said, “if I imagined that I could have created, even conceived the piece, I am quite certain that the excess of excitement and earth-shattering experience would have driven me out of my mind.”
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April 20th, 2011
As I’ve progressed through academia, looking back at my undergraduate years, I wish that I focused more on my studies. It’s unfortunate it has taken me so long to pick up on this. My degree is demanding an I’m in the adulthood of academia–the graduate years. There’s a need for academic maturity and I hope that many of you will apply this at your current stage in academics, even out of school.
Yesterday one of my professors was discussing Christian maturity, which is setting aside current pleasures for the greater goal. I thought about it and put it in the perspective of school. Academic maturity is the same, it’s putting aside current pleasures for the greater goal. The greater goals for me is to finish my thesis, publish, graduate, get into a Ph.D. program, get my Ph.D., and have a professorship. These current pleasures would include: the social buzz, video games, reading books unrelated to classes, movies, going to the park, disc golf, and similar things. This academic maturity would be being organized and knowing when assignments are due, beginning assignments with plenty of time to finish, getting your hands dirty in the research, and studying in your extra time. I look at many scholars today and realize that it takes hard work to get there and everything doesn’t just fall in your lap. I wish I were more disciplined as an undergraduate freshmen…