"Once you get the classes you don't care about done, the last two years of college are great that's when you really start learning. " We have 3 college-age sons and this was the general consensus as we all were on the front porch talking. My husband and I, both college grads, nodded in agreement.
Wow! Doesn't that seem wrong? It made me start thinking about what, exactly, I remember learning in college. During my first two years, I learned to give my profs what they wanted. I had a Pysch prof that wanted us to memorize picture captions, at least I think he did, since he put questions on the exam from them. I had a writing teacher whose only feedback was "No one gets A's as a freshman in my courses". So I learned that with lots of effort I could get a B or with a little effort, I could get a B . So, I think I learned to figure out what people want and then give it to them. I always used to joke that my private liberal arts education made me really good at Jeopardy and Trivial Pursuit. I no longer find that funny. So far, college has been a similar experience for our boys. We have told the older two, hang in there, you'll love it when you are a junior. Now, I'm a little worried about our youngest, he heads off to his first dorm room this weekend. He went to a different kind of high school, a New Tech Network school. He hasn't been schooled in the ways of "sit and get" he expects relationships with his teachers, relevant work and coaching, not lecturing. He chose a school in Northwest Indiana where the New Tech model is growing exponentially. This school says they are ready for this kind of learner,not only are they ready, they want these "New Tech" kids. They have a STEM emphasis, and are recruiting critical thinkers. I want to believe them. I don't want his first two years of college to be excellent prep for board games or game shows. His future is too important.