Just read thisNYT piece about the Thiel Fellowship.Some loose, early Saturday morning thoughts:
Peter Thiel misses the point of college. It’s not a pathway to jobs or to riches. It’s a place where young people — not quite kids any more, and not quite yet adults — go to learn, and not just within the four walls of a classroom.
When I was a professor (oh, so long ago), I would explain two things on the first day of class: one, that the course my students were currently sitting in was bullshit; two, the person sitting next to you may help you at some point in your life.
I taught a variety of communications — theory and practical — courses. The knowledge they learned in the class could be learned, as Matt Damon pointed out, in a library for $1.50. What was taught in the classroom was taking the knowledge they were learning from the texts we were reading and try to apply it to life, to try to understand situations before they happened, to try to recognize the wonder and beauty of human interaction and how we communicate.
College is also about the people you meet, the relationships you cultivate.
If you went to college, I’m pretty sure you learned more about psychology, sociology, communications, anthropology living with a complete stranger or having your first serious relationship, learning how to deal with conflict, adjusting to the patterns of someone else’s life. When you take what was applied in the classroom, you become a student of life which can and should help you understand, even just a little bit, how the world around you works.