March 02, 2005

School Burnout, the Census and Redskins

It's that time of the quarter again where we all complain that we're sick of school. We're tired of class, completely burned out on reading and can't stand the thought of another paper to write. We also know that the end is near. Another week, then finals, then alas, it will be spring break.

It can't come quickly enough. I'm definetly in the same boat as what seems like everyone else.

It's still funny though. I've dealt with this problem for the past 16 years, if you take it all the way back to kindergarten. Despite this, here I am again, burned out and struggling to keep my head in the game for the last two weeks. Us college kids are choosing to do it though. We're in school working hard so that life may be a little easier down the road. We're trading todays labor for tomorrow's leisure. (Actually a topic I intend to discuss when I have time to climb that soap box.) So we do it by choice, and its a choice I'm proud to make.

I was in the library today, and with nothing better to do, I was playing with census data in the 5th floor government document center. (Some of you are saying, "Alden has 5 floors?", or more likely, "Alden has a government document center?", or even more likely, "You are such a dork.") I examined a few things closely. First, I looked at a map of the average household income color coded by county. It painted an interesting picture, indicating just how poor south east ohio really is. I later examined it city by city, checking in on specific towns I am familiar with. Contrasting Dublin with Grove City and Upper Arlington was surprising, let alone to cities like Athens, Hamilton, or other places. It was really almost frightening. If you'd like to see it, check it out yourself. You can get to it all at I almost couldn't believe my eyes.

I also examined another statistic. I checked out the percentages of college graduates across the state. This was also surprising. Only 21.1% of Ohio's citizens aged 25+ have a bachelor's degree or higher. It's a fact I've known to be true for some time, but I never looked into it myself. Again, south east ohio was the site of a major disparity in this area too, save Athens county of course, where OU is a bastion of the educated. What this means is that when I finish my degree, I will be more educated than almost 80% of Ohioans. That's 4 out of 5.
This all brings me back to the fact that I choose to be here. Remember that when your classes get you down. The struggle for that $80,000 piece of paper with your name on it isn't that far from over, and when it is, you'll be placed in the top 20% most educated in the state. (That 1.1% we're above is Miami. Yeah, you heard me, you collar-popping nancies.-I'm just kidding, I know there's a couple Redskins reading this.)

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