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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 9, 1998)
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Poverty, core classes make college less than enjoyable
SHAWN MEYSENBURG is
a sophomore news-editorial
major and a Daily
I’ve always heard good things
about the college experience.
The humorous anecdotes I’ve been
told about classes, professors, dorm life
and annoying roommates are plentiful.
Many college-educated people I
have known (teachers, military officers
and friends) describe college as being
one of tiie greatest experiences of their
Why, then, do I dislike college so
First of all, I don’t really enjoy
studying. When I like a particular class,
I’ll admit that the work involved for that
class is more tolerable than in a class I
However, the actual act of sitting
down to memorize information so I can
regurgitate it on a test is always
unpleasant. This method of instruction
sometimes seems so pointless to me.
Learning to adjust to a studious
lifestyle is, however, only one of many
reasons I’m unimpressed with my col
lege experience thus far.
Being broke all the time doesn’t
add to my enjoyment of college either. I
can barely afford to pay for my basic
expenses (rent, food, utilities, etc.), let
alone actually buy much of anything.
For example, I’d like to buy a new
pair of running shoes because my cur
rent pair are near death. However, my
financial situation is so bleak that I
can’t even afford a new pair of shoes.
By the time I’m finished with my
four years at Nebraska, I’ll probably be
at least $10,000 in debt
True, that’s not all that much com
pared to others’ debts, but I still don’t
like the idea of starting my life out in
My first post-collegiate job will
probably not pay much, and the last
thing I’ll want to deal with then will be
school debt. My financial situation will
be bad enough as it is.
If I were interested in something,
college might be somewhat more
diverting, but I’ve come to a pathetic
I possess no professional interests
whatsoever. I don’t really have a burn
ing desire to “be” anything. I admit this
is probably my fault, but what am I sup
posed to do? I can’t force myself to like
I don’t mind menial labor; but peo
ple look down upon those who perform
these jobs, and, more importantly, these
jobs don’t pay all that well.
I think I could deal with being
scorned by others if I were receiving a
Heck, if McDonald’s paid its
employees $40,000 or $50,000 a year,
I’d quit college right now to gladly say
die words, “May I take your order?”
Something else that annoys me
about my experience with higher edu
cation is those fetid pieces of dung
known as core requirements.
What’s the point? Why should the
first 1 Vi years of the college experience
be a repeat of high school? Who deter
mines what a “well-rounded” educa
tion is, and by whose authority do they
I’m not saying that every core
requirement is a waste of time, but for
the most part I’m of the opinion that
Quite often, I wonder why our soci
ety thinks a college degree is so impor
Certain professions, obviously,
require specialized training, but why
does virtually every company in this
fine country require this piece of
If the job I obtain after college has
nothing to do with the degree I’ve
earned (a scenario that’s quite likely),
then why do I even need a degree in the
When I enter the working world,
my level of intelligence, my willing
ness to work with other people as a
team, my willingness to labor diligent
ly and my good fortune (or lack there
of) will determine whether I’ll be suc
cessful or not
My bachelor’s degree will have lit
tle to do with my success in life. Why,
then, does our society require me to
obtain a degree?
I struggle to understand why people
find their college years to be so much
fun, but I think it might boil down to
this: A good number of students start
college shortly after high school.
College is the first time many peo
ple experience some degree of inde
pendence. Since college is the first time
that many experience this newfound
freedom, they associate the elation that
this freedom gives with college itself.
I’m not saying that I haven’t had
good, memorable times since I’ve start
ed college, but I don’t associate these
pleasurable experiences with college
Good times are a part of die work
force experience just as much as they’re
a part of the collegiate one.
Maybe I’m alone in thinking that
the working world is enjoyable, but I
When I was in the Navy, I had many
good times, both on and off duty.
Granted, life in the Navy wasn’t some
sort of utopian experience (quite the
contrary), but it had the potential to be
quite enjoyable, and it paid better than
Most important, the Navy (or
almost any job I’ve ever held) provided
me with a sense of accomplishment
that college never will.
Perhaps when I’ve received my
degree, I’ll look back on this time with
fond memories, but for now I’ll simply
have to make the best of my time here
and attempt to learn something.
I’m very happy for anyone who
finds college to be a rewarding experi
I really wish that I could feel the
Morally bankrupt programming leads to corruption of youth
JOSH MOENNING is an
advertising and political
science major and a Daily
When I started out to write this
column, my goal for was to compare
the quality of television programming
years ago with the quality of it today.
I wanted to make the point that the
average sitcom then was a heck of a lot
better than it is now.
But as I pondered on the television
I have experienced in my brief life, I
noticed more and more that not only
was television 15 years ago superior in
quality, it was a lot better for you.
The four of you who are reading
this may now be asking yourselves,
“Just what in the Sam Hill is that con
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tuutv uuouuu luuuiig auuut; ttvu,
let me explain.
It’s not too difficult to see that this
country is in a period of serious moral
We’ve got kids shooting each other
at school, kids giving birth to babies
and killing them and doctors legally
killing kids in the womb. The total
number of sexually transmitted dis
eases is the highest it’s ever been. The
leader of our nation has more
“alleged” affairs than 311 ’s got crappy
e economy may be alive and
well, but our nation’s moral pulse is
Now what does this have to do
with today’s television and entertain
ment industry? It’s a good question.
Are television, music and movies a
reflection of our steadily deteriorating
moral fiber, or is our downward spiral
ing culture a product of die loose and
irresponsible actions of producers and
I’m not really sure. All I know is
that whenever I turn on the TV, I can be
sure to find a wealth of poorly written,
morally irresponsible garbage.
That’s not how it used to be. I can
remember quite vividly the shows that
I grew up with: "The Cosby Show,"
"The Wonder Years," reruns of
"Welcome Back, Kotter," "Taxi" and
These shows existed in a time
when television still had its innocence.
A time when Theo Huxtable, Kevin
Arnold, Juan Epstein, Latka Gravitz
and Arthur Fonzarelli all lived in good,
clean TV Land harmony.
Now think about the shows that
television offers us and America’s
Let’s face it; Springer, although
peculiarly entertaining, is not some
thing you would want your kids to
watch. That can fllso be said about
almost all the pitifully written shows
that spew forth from America’s TV
We nave Ellen, mouthpiece for gay
propagandists everywhere, right there
on prune tune, mere s also new taas
"Dawson’s Creek" and "South Park,"
which can be applauded for their bouts
of political incorrectness; but both
shows are still mindless fodder that
have spread like wildfire among junior
high students across the country.
And MTY producer of the embar
rassingly shameless and moronic
"Loveline," is 99.5 percent drivel, both
intellectually and morally.
It’s not just television; music and
movies are equally bad and sometimes
worse. From Snoop Doggy Dogg to
Marilyn Manson, the moral and intel
lectual level of today’s popular culture
lies at the direct bottom of the prover
You can call me old-fashioned.
You can call me a prudish, out-of
touch conservative ideologue.
I don t care. I can handle it. But I
can’t help but believe that the any
thing-goes, no-holds-barred style of
today’s entertainment industry has
contributed to die steady deterioration
of this nation’s moral fiber.
Do you think the 13- and 11-year
old boys in Arkansas who killed their
fellow classmates were influenced by
popular culture? You can bet they
The abundance of violence and
overall disrespect for human life that
has pervaded our culture surely affect
ed these kids. But some bleeding
hearts will insist that it’s the guns that
were used that are the source of all
evil, and not our “open” and “prog
Sorry, it’s not guns that are
infesting and rotting the minds of
youth, it’s the deadly and
immoral culture we have pro
I went to hear Tom Osborne
speak at a Fellowship of
Christian Athletes function
Sunday. He eloquently and pru
dently mentioned this very
He referred to Biblical
Scripture and noted
that what we fill our
minds and souls
with will eventual
ly come out of us.
see this in
that have arisen in
some of today’s youth.
When we feed the minds of
our youth with despicable
filth, that’s what we can
expect from them.
Yet there are those
who would say that die
try’s recent shift
ing” moral guide
lines is an indica
tion of a nation
moving closer to
a more open and
tion of the value of
human life are
the end prod
ucts of this “pro
gressive” society, I
don’t want it
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