Monthly Archives: februari 2014

College in the United States—Continuing Discussion

The college experience is often said to be the best years of one’s life, which is depressing and exciting, and also mostly false. The first two years of college are comparable to that of high school. The subject matter is similar, covering topics of science, math, English,  and history/society, with elective classes sprinkled in. One can declare their major (concentration) as soon as they enter college, but they certainly are not required, and often encouraged to wait at least a year before declaring. The most significant difference between high school and college is the scheduling. At university the scheduling is similar to that of gymnasiet in Sweden, with classes meeting a few days every week. A full-time student generally has four classes, so one has quite a lot of free time. One the largest struggles for college students is learning to manage their free time, perhaps more accurately to use their free time, to, ya know, study.

I have spoken with my friends back in the States at length about the college experience, and while we all agree it will be a bangin’ good time, none of us are viewing it as the high point of our lives, or even our education. It may be a bit posh to belittle the college experience. There is an important thought here though: college is not how it is represented in films or television. Nor is high school for that matter.

I’ve often been asked if school in the States is ”like High School Musical”. Though I hope those who ask aren’t serious, it feels as people want to believe that spontaneously choreographed song and dance high school is real. It is complete a fabrication, sadly.

Today, I think more than ever, people are remembering why they are at college: to study. High school students are also becoming increasingly studious.

Recall from my last submission the cost of attending a post-secondary institution such as university (which is by far the most popular choice). It only makes sense to buckle down and learn something while at college, if not for the opportunity of quality education, then for the fact that you’re paying for it. The American Pie films lack most aspects of the college experience, as clearly they focus on relationships and parties.

I do not intend to say that college is a place of unsociable hermits. College is not study-prison. At the same time it isn’t crazy sex, drugs, and rock’n'roll party either.

 

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Skolmaten – Mer fokus på matglädje

Namnlös1

Här visas mat på en full tallrik på Sturegymnaiet. Två olika rätter med mycket tillsmak av mycket grillkrydda. Fotograf: Abide Kadriu.

Jag är verkligen trött på att alla klagomål man hör dagligen om skolmaten. Det kanske inte är den godaste maten som finns men den är välsmakande. Vi ska vara lyckliga att vi överhuvudtaget har någon skolmat.

För det mesta är skolmaten god. Schnitzel och Italiensk ostsoppa är toppen och tycker att man borde få det lite oftare, enas eleverna på Sturegymnasiet om. Skolmaten är något de flesta ser som en väldigt negativt och  äckligt.
Tänk andra u-länder men även i-länder som inte har en aning om att skolmat existerar. Man hör hela tiden elever säga ”vad äcklig mat det blir idag, skolmaten suger” och andra dåliga komentarer. När vi har klassråd är det alltid något negativt om skolmaten.
Jag tycker absolut om att något kan förändras och att den kan bli bättre, men den är inte äcklig. Vi har alltid två rätter man kan välja mellan och på Sturegymnasiet har vi en väldigt fresch miljö i matsalen.
Det finns alltid flera sorters knäckebröd att välja på. 70% av min undersökning(enkät) tycker att maten är ”superduper mega god” och 80% äter på skolan varje dag.

Mätta elever har lättare att koncentrera sig och sitta still. Därmed ökar också deras chans att tillgodgöra sig under lektioner och undervisningar.
Det är bra att kiosk finns ifall man  inte gillar maten så kan man gå och köpa en macka. Jag tycker också att det är bra med två rätter som man kan välja melan och för det så ger jag en sjua på en tiogradig skala.

Jag personligen ser maten som väldigt viktig men även oftast något som smakar yummi. Jag anser att skolmaten på Sturegymnasiet är väldigt bra med tanke på att där alltid är mat som räcker till alla och att det finns många sorters sallad man kan välja mellan. Lunchen är en viktig måltid och vi måste äta för att vi elever ska kunna studera och även lärare ska kunna lära ut.
Så sluta klaga på skolmaten, ha en matglädje istället.

Text: Abide Kadriu

Svensk skola sjunker

skriva4medpil

Skola: Svenska elever presterar allt sämre och placerar sig för första gången under OECD-snittet, i samtliga tre undersökta områden. Resultaten fortsätter nedåt bland annat matematik, naturkundskap och läsförståelse. Mer lärare som undervisar i matematik behövs. Staten måste ta ett större ansvar för styrningen av skolan.

Text: Abide Kadriu

 

College in the United States—An Introduction

I recently accepted admission at the University of Iowa, located in adequately beautiful Iowa City, Iowa. If you didn’t click on the link, U of Iowa is a large public research university, a member of the Big Ten Conference, the oldest collegiate athletic conference in the country, which actually comprises of twelve member schools. I don’t understand that either.                                                                   

Post-secondary education in the United States is a business. Tax dollars are earmarked and given to colleges universities by the federal government, but it is nowhere near what is necessary to pay everyone’s tuition. As such, colleges and universities are forced to charge what many people believe an exorbitant amount of money (it is quite a lot of money) for their services. Here are some hard numbers (note the ”Resident” and ”Non-Resident” columns). As a resident of Iowa, I pay the ”Resident” tuition. This is also known as ”in-state”, the counterpart of which is ”out-of-state” tuition. The U of Iowa is a very economically viable school, relatively speaking. More prestigious, and private, institutions are vastly more expensive. The University of Chicago, Stanford University, and Columbia University are such examples. These schools would easily cost a person in my position upwards of 50,000 USD per year, over four years for a grand total of around 200,000 USD, or roughly 1.3 million SEK. That is of course assuming that one pays the sticker price, which would be the case in the event that one receives no scholarships or grants. Basically, to get into such schools, your parents have to be rich enough to pay your way or you have to be exceptionally talented in some way that the school will pay your way.

Interestingly enough, the money paid to a college or a university is not for the education itself, rather for proof that you attended (and completed) college or university, in other words, a degree. This means, hypothetically speaking, anyone can walk into a lecture or lab (one should only ask first, and there is a fairly high probability the professor will respond in the affirmative), learn the material, take the tests, get a grade, and receive all the benefits of a college education for free, though they will receive no proof of anything, and as such, no degree.

 

The practice of taking a course for no credit is called ”auditing”. Undergraduates may audit a course to gain an edge in their major or just for the fact they are interested in the subject. Either way, all work done for an audited course receives no real credit, and thus there is no fear of failing nor any potentially negative effects on one’s GPA (grade-point average), nor is there any paperwork/scheduling to be fixed, should one decide to discontinue the course.

If one pays tuition (and thus takes courses and passes them) they can receive a degree. In essence, what one pays a college or university for is a very nice piece of paper saying you completed the requirements to receive said nice piece of paper. The degree is a very nice piece of paper, which seems frivolous, but it provides proof that you made a commitment to yourself and your education, both monetarily and literally. You can make the latter commitment, do the exact same work, receive the exact same grades, but if you want a degree to prove it, it’s going to cost you.

I will begin in the fall of this year, 2014. This fall semester will be the first step in a four-year, fairly expensive, and hopefully happy chapter of life.