clueless UofM admin? really?

apparently, the administration atthe University of Montana just doesn’t understand the state of eduation problems in montana.  instead of focusing on the rising cost of attending college, and the inability of poor students to pay for school, they’re doing a train tour of the state.  how quaint.

“These kids are growing up with parents who never went to college and don’t realize the value,” said Mick Hanson, director of the university’s financial aid office. “You build dreams at an early age, and they’re hearing you don’t need to go to college to make a living.”

from the director of the financial aid office, that moves right past comic to tragic.  the issue isn’t that people don’t realize the value of a college education (pardon the double negative), it is that they can’t afford it.  students who come from rural montana can’t take on $20k in debt – the bank won’t lend it to them, and the places they come from rarely have enough equity to cover it.  even if they do take it on, how can you pay back $20k in loans when the most you’ll make in montana, even with a college degree, is around $25k a year? – if you’re lucky.  sure, some do, but it is unreasonable to expect that everyone can take that risk.

it gets worse.  if you go back to my hometown, you’ll find that almost none of the college grads stay in bozeman (including me).  those who do stay have a hard time making ends meet.  surprising as it is, bozeman is an expensive place to live if you’re just starting out.  which is a problem, because cities are where the college jobs are.  the result – graduates leave montana, and people with savings move in to take the jobs, because they can afford them.  odd, i know.


want a real solution?  education is an investment in the future, and a winning one for our state.  businesses regularly cite the lack of an educated workforce as an impediment to doing business in MT.  it isn’t hard to imagine a deal where the state partners with businesses, take up some of the loan debt, to create and retain a well educated workforce.  as anyone can tell you, montanans are hardworkers (obvious once you go elsewhere), so it is well worth it to businesses.  i’m sure the state will more than make back its investment.

to be fair, the university president gets closer – “Cost is becoming an issue for Montana residents… People don’t want to take on $20,000 in debt” – but cost isn’t ‘becoming’ an issue, it is already, and has been for ages.


2 Responses to “clueless UofM admin? really?”

  1. Lesley Says:

    Greeting from YAR-oslavl…

    Shiver my timbers (often misquoted as Shiver me timbers) is an exclamation in the form of a mock oath usually attributed to the speech of pirates in works of fiction. It is employed as a literary device by authors to express shock, surprise or annoyance.

    According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the expression “shiver my timbers” probably first appeared in a published work by Frederick Marryat called Jacob Faithful (1834). After an argument over grog, Tom’s father has his wooden leg [a wooden leg was occasionally called a timber in slang] trapped between some bricks and is unable to move. Tom agrees to assist him on the condition he will not get a beating.

    “I won’t thrash you, Tom. Shiver my timbers if I do.”
    “They’re in a fair way of being shivered as it is, I think. Now, father, we’re both even.”

    The expression is a derivative of actual 18th century nautical slang, when the phrase “timbers!” or “my timbers!” meant an exclamation (cf. “my goodness!”) as can be seen in Poor Jack a song from 1789 by Charles Dibdin. The opening phrase shiver my… also predates Jacob Faithful with the following lines from John O’Keeffe’s 1791 comic play Wild Oats an earlier example:

    Harry: I say it’s false.
    John : False! Shiver my hulk, Mr. Buckskin, if you wore a lion’s skin I’d curry you for this.

    “Shiver my timbers” was most famously used by the archetypal pirate Long John Silver in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island (1883). Silver used the phrase seven times, as well as variations such as shiver my sides, shiver my soul and shake up your timbers.

    Shiver in this context means to splinter and is reminiscent of the splintering of a ship’s timbers in battle – splinter wounds were a common form of battle injury on wooden ships. Marryat and Stevenson both wrote grammatically correct Victorian fiction, even when their characters were pirates, and so the arguably more common Shiver me timbers is how my is pronounced in some English accents. Popeye, whose idiom was often quite lax, is probably responsible for the popularity of the latter version with one of his earliest cartoons from 1934 entitled Shiver Me Timbers!

    Duh, Ian. Honestly, what sort of self-respecting pirate maniac doesn’t know that?

  2. Lesley Says:

    Oops. That was obviously not intended for this post and I don’t know what happened. Sorry.

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