10 Random Thoughts for the New Year

Jason Fertig

  • I’ve got a great idea for the next season of the Apprentice – we’ll call it Academic Apprentice.  Twelve well-respected business professors put their academic training to the ultimate tests run by The Donald.  Let’s see the theories in action of the people who are teaching your kids.
  • While on the topic of television, the show, “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader” should travel around to different college campuses and run “Is a 5th Grader Smarter than a College Student” contests. If the student wins, he gets a year of free tuition. Granted, he’s probably better off playing the lottery, especially if American history comes up.
  • I think we need to modify the old adage – those who can’t, teach those who don’t want to learn.
  • So let me get this straight. A Division 1-A college football team wins all of its games and it doesn’t even get the opportunity to lose its final game playing for the national championship? Additionally, after the perfect season, this team gets scrutinized because its schedule was weak. So much for inclusiveness and tolerance – imagine if a school denied admission to a group of students with 4.0 high school GPAs because they went to an inadequate school in an inner city. Don’t they deserve a shot at a college degree?
  • Can Chuck Norris discharge his student loans in bankruptcy?
  • We should face reality in 2011: most 18-year-olds’ images of college are formed more by Van Wilder and Old School than by Plato and Aristotle. Thus, college should offer room and board only rates –admit a bunch of students for one year to do nothing more than socialize and party. Let them get it out of their system. Those classes can be a real inconvenience to one’s Friday night plans. And many will learn a thing or two about event planning.
  • I figured that we would have to wait until all the Twilight Saga movies were released before colleges started offering courses in Bella and Edward. Apparently, I was wrong. Yet I’m glad I was wrong because this is a brilliant move. School officials were obviously concerned that students would shun reading the Stephanie Meyer books in favor of watching the movies, so they took the initiative to get the classes going before Breaking Dawn Parts 1 & 2 were released. Hence, students would have to at least read one of the books – and Breaking Dawn happens to be the longest one! Brilliant!
  • Here’s a great movie idea. A girl with a massive student loan debt becomes a prostitute to pay down her student loans. Along the way, she falls in love with a man who sought her services after his wife cheated on him. After a bumpy road, in the end the couple builds a successful company that produces biodegradable condoms utilizing fair trade principles. In turn, they make enough money to pay off her student loans by selling these condoms to the health centers of colleges across the nation. There’s something for everyone – it’s an instant hit. Let’s call it Pretty Smart Woman.
  • Would this work? Can we create a program where Teach for America participants can have some of their student loans forgiven in exchange for traveling to different high schools and teaching students how to avoid incurring unbearable college debt in exchange for a potentially inflated credential?
  • On a more serious note, check out the 3/50 Project. Spending $50 total across three local businesses may do more good than giving back your Bush tax cut as advocated by giveitbackforjobs.org.

Happy New Year!

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