The Business of Blue and Gold

Want to know how to know when you’re a grown up?

Your alma mater starts asking for donations.

In short—HELL NO!

A little background for you lovely folks so I don’t look completely heartless.

I went to MSU (yeah, try and figure out which one of the 5 million of those I went to. My step sister and I both went to schools with those initials and that’s just two states.) It was in small town that I will call Kville. I’ve talked about how small this town is in all sorts of posts. I mean, my brother went to undergrad in a small town than mine, but much small and I may have suffocated.

But, my parents and I visited the school during my junior year because I was the student who was WAY ahead of the game and took my ACT SUPER early. (I needed a life. I know this now.)

And we fell in love. The campus was gorgeous and these southern people with their cute southern, but not deep south, accents were so nice and welcoming. I mean, they said ya’ll. How could I say no?

Also, I wanted to go to school to be a teacher. Two of my aunts went to the school for the same thing and they (supposedly) have a pretty good education program. (If you want to do elementary. Go secondary and you’re on your own.)

It was a 3 hour drive from home, so definitely far enough away that mom and dad couldn’t just pop in, but close enough that I could still go home without the need of a plane ticket.

I was so excited, that when I got the ACT scores I was happy with in the June before senior year, I applied online that night. I was accepted in August. BEFORE senior year even started.

And did I mention that I didn’t even LOOK at another school? No? Well, I didn’t. Might be one of the biggest mistakes of my life. (Except, had I chosen a different school, I wouldn’t have met my husband, so I guess it has it’s upside.)

So, I moved my happy ass down there. I cried in the stairwell after my parents left because I didn’t want anyone to see me, and then I was ready to go.

Well, college had it’s ups and downs. A devil of a roommate, first and only one night stand, fraternity parties, meeting some amazing people, skipping more classes than I should have, first hangover. All those things.

Now, my school doesn’t want me to donate money for all those experiences that pretty much only happen when you’re in college and don’t know any better. They want money for their excellent programs and accredited degrees.

Well MSU, you can suck it.

Since I wanted to teach high school English, I was basically an English major with an education major. And because I wasn’t a true education major in their minds, the education department treated me and the 6 other girls who were in the same program as me like shit. And while we took as many English classes as true English majors (minus poetic analysis, but really, who needs that? ), we still needed the education department because we had a test called the PRAXIS to take in order to get licensed and we had practicums and student teaching placements and all of that stuff to deal with. The English department couldn’t help.

Even better, the two departments openly hated each other. And put us in the middle. Oh, you need early British Lit in order to graduate but it’s at the same time as your Secondary Curriculum class? Tough shit because we’re not talking to the people across the street.

The above actually happened to another girl and me and it was an all out battle for them to work something out so we didn’t have to delay graduation a semester for ONE class. Also, I can be a huge bee-yotch when you are blatantly wrong and I am right and you will not keep me another semester. I learned some things from my dad.

Also, I wanted to go out of state to teach. Mind you, a state 40 minutes away. I wasn’t trying to go to Alaska. And the woman in the office, who I was referred to by a peer of hers since “she should be able to help you with that since it’s part of her job”, told me she didn’t know, she couldn’t help me and I should ask someone else. GAH! This is your job lady. Do it or retire. Those are your options.

I could seriously go on for DAYS about all the crap that happened. Like, saying I couldn’t get into a class because I wasn’t “officially” in the education program, even though my paperwork was in and they could have looked up my status, even though the bulletin of classes lists NO requirements for the class AND my advisor approved it. But they let another girl take it who was in my exact position.

Can you say cluster efff????

They didn’t even go to online scheduling until THIS year. So to schedule for classes, your classification (fresh, soph, etc) and alphabet day, you woke up at 5AM to CALL a computer-operated system to sign up for your classes. You could be on the phone for 2 hours waiting to get through only to find out your class ended up full while you were waiting so then you would have to go to hell on earth, the administrative building, and fill out 97 million forms just to say “let me into my classes!!!!”

I am also currently writing a letter to the dean of the department, provost, and president of the university about their lack of planning and acknowledging the crap-tastic economy and the fact that they are blatantly lying to the students about job prospects. (I had a professor tell me that if a teacher couldn’t find a job, it was because they must have messed up, failed a bunch of classes, or had no business being a teacher. Mention of budget cuts and no funding was never mentioned. Could have contributed to my funk over not getting a teaching job.) I will share this letter once it’s revised and being sent off.

My husband also had problems with his program. The school as a whole is terrible with administrative tasks and is so behind and unorganized that I can’t believe they are still functioning. They also spend money on completely ridiculous things. Thousands of dollars for a basketball promo to be played before ball games for a team who has NEVER made it into the Sweet 16???

Needless to say, we have no intention of giving them any money.

For those of you who went to bigger schools or schools with huge sports programs that you support or amazing academics, I understand donating. But I adamantly refuse to give money to a school who has yet to figure out that they work for the STUDENTS who go there and  pay tuition and that our football team, who in the past 6 years has won a TOTAL of 9 games, doesn’t deserve millions in funding. Sorry.

Do you donate? Will you? Why or why not? Or am I just heartless?



Filed under Life After College, The Others

7 responses to “The Business of Blue and Gold

  1. Notes from the Fatty File

    Wow, that really does sound like a cluster eff. And I can’t believe they still didn’t have online class registration! I went to college in the dark ages (ha) and even we had online class registration by the time my sophomore (or maybe junior) year rolled around. You really should write to your administration about the ridiculousness of the English/education department in-fighting. It sounds so incredibly counter productive.

    I loved my undergrad experience, thoroughly enjoyed my classes and extracurricular activities and I received really great financial aid to attend my school so I do donate to it every year. I’d think twice about doing so, however, if I experienced some of the stuff you did!

  2. I will donate, eventually, when I have money. Because I love my undergrad (a different MSU from yours. One that’s been to many Sweet 16s) and it’s an amazing place. But, when I donate, it’ll mostly be to the football and basketball teams. Then maybe to the actual school. Not to my college, because it was eliminated a year after I graduated. My law school won’t get a red hot cent for a long time, and if it ever does, it’ll be a distant third or fourth in order of places I’ll donate to.

  3. I laughed. I was like here I’ll donate my student loans to you. Happy? Okay cool.

    • Oh yeah. It’s not like we have money right now anyways, but even when we do, we’re not giving it to them. We plan on donating to no kill shelters and, if we truly end up with the money we hope to have, we might make a scholarship fund for students from my area. But I WISH I could donate the loans. That would be awesome.

  4. Sarah

    I loved my undergrad experience, but I guess it’s partly because it was a big state school and they knew what they were doing. I HATE the school I’m at now and they will definitely never get a penny from me (except maybe my student loans, like Jaime said!).

    Good for you for writing them a letter-they shouldn’t just be telling people they’ll be guaranteed a job if the economy is crap.

  5. We give money, but it’s just so that we get preference on football and basketball season tickets. I ignore the calls for “class gifts,” etc.

  6. It’s unfortunate when the students don’t appreciate how the administration is running the university.

    For me, my alma mater does pay attention to basketball (no football since 1947) but it just helps make my degree worth more – if people can pay attention to our sports team is they win, then they’ll pay attention to the type of education I got at that university. It’s beside the point that my major didn’t have anything to do with sports.

    But I totally get your frustration. It’s so sad that you can’t be proud of where you came from and the education you received! The departments should work together to get their students jobs – that’s what they’re there for, after all.

    I’m glad you’re writing a letter. If more do that, perhaps things will change.

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