[lbo-talk] Education expenses, putting it in perspective.

Chuck Grimes c123grimes at att.net
Mon Dec 5 08:21:32 PST 2011

For an even worse perspective... My fees at UCB started at 120/semester and ended around 150 three and half years later. Reagan had just got started. Most of the fees were slated for activities the state wouldn't pay for like football and the ASUC. Rent with roomates started at 36/mo. After getting married we move to a house in the depths of run down working class black area for 120/mo. Our neighbors didn't speach English, raised chickens and grew corn in the backyard.

With work study and a part time job at Capwell's (local dept store) I could make it on 120/mo. I took out NDEA loans for a grand total of about 3000 plus something. That got 1.5 percent interest after I graduated. The payments were about 9.00/mo over ten years.I would call it an annoyance fee.

There was no TA program in the Art Dept. And getting out with an MA 1969 from Berkeley was practically the worse reference you could have. There were no jobs. I managed one semester of night classes at the DeYoung Museum. I worked as an orderly during the day at Cowell Memorial Hospital on campus. Teaching at the museum was a terrible experience and I got canned for swearing.

I had a violent reaction to academia as a completely worthless institution that taught nothing. I wanted to rip it apart and start over. And yet I knew better. Every once in awhile I came across wonderful profs. and interesting students. Life was much better in the sciences as I found out later working as a lab tech.

`Higher Ed' needs a serious re-conception in general. Technical programs for the professions are pretty much fine for doctors, lawyers, architects, engineers, etc. It's everything else that needs a big overhaul...


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