Friday, March 5, 2010

"Does college matter?"

Examples of rhetorical appeal:

  • The author cited the book and PBS documentary "Declining by Degrees", since PBS is a pretty legitimate and popular documentary source it is a credible source, giving the blog some credibility.
  • She also establishes a common ground with the audience by writing about her experience as a mother of a girl in high school decided whether or not to go college. Parents, college students and high school students can all relate to this blog.
  • She also builds further credibility by respecting the opposition. She is not a big fan of the college institution, but she recognizes that college can do a lot of good for young kids looking to find out what they want to do with their lives.
  • The author tells a personal story about her daughter deciding not to go to college. This builds a emotional appeal when the reader thinks about the mother's concern for her daughter.
  • She also takes other peoples stories about their careers in relation to a college education, broadening the range of her emotional appeal.
  • The tone this author uses in this blog is cynical. Through out the entire blog she criticizes the college institutions. Her strong feelings made this blog pretty persuasive.
  • By stating the fact that the average education in computer science, engineering and medicine become partly obsolete within 18 months, the author builds a logical appeal.
  • Also by stating the fact that a college degree means you will earn more money, but money doesn't necessarily make people happy, she makes her cynical view seem more logical.
  • The Author writes about how students perceive college as being about socializing and independence. Then she brings up the logical notion that college can cost $80,000 and if some one is looking for socializing and independence there are much cheaper ways of going about it, like going on a bicycle trip across Europe.

My Response to the blog:

I have been a college student at UVU for seven years. When I was a junior in high school i decided to take my GED and just go to college a year earlier than my other classmates. I started college with eagerness and passion. I chose a degree in fine arts because i have a great talent that would be a shame not to nurture to its fullest potential. After a few years of just messing around, not really focusing on graduating, which is why i still have no degree after seven years, I noticed that being a successful artist will have little to do with my degree. If i am going to make it as a artist it will happen with or without a degree, it just depends on how much work i put into it. I took the last year off school to catch up on bills, and came to the conclusion that i do need to go back to school, because i now have a family i need to provide for. And the truth of the matter is that i do need that piece of paper called a diploma to get a good job with benefits. Sure i can try to make it as a successful gallery artist or illustrator, but that is a really risky way of trying to feed a family. Some of the greatest art masters in history either never made any money doing art while they were alive, or it took them most of their life to start making money off of their art.

But going to college is far more that getting a degree, I am learning how to learn. In painting and drawing classes I am learning about composition, color theory and what not. And through these classes, to my surprise, I am learning concepts and mechanisms that help me out in every day life and in other courses. I learn how to be efficient and complete project, I am learning how see the big picture and how everything works together and paying attention to detail at the same time. I find my self applying the things i learn with my paintbrush to other aspects of my life.

In addition to a bachelors in fine arts I am working on a associates in science. I feel i am getting a well rounded education. The things i learn about physics, cosmology, history, psychology, math... you know the general ed stuff, I apply them in my every day decision making. Somehow i will be in a situation were my knowledge of osmosis helped my make good decisions to a every day problem.

I chose to go to college to make a stable future for my family and I, but through the adventure of college I was able to "grow up" and find out who i am and what i believe in. College has shaped me as a person. By attending classes i have gained a deep appreciation for my teachers. I realized that teaching is what i really want to do with my life, I cant think of a nobler profession. Doing art makes me very happy, it is a way for me to express my soul, but this is all something i do for selfish reasons, I paint for no one else but me. But i want to do something more in my life, I want to do something for others, and what better way to do that than teaching, passing on knowledge, and providing people with the tools for a successful life, broadening their perspective and helping them make sense out of these dimensions we live in.

I'm not going to say the college is the place for everyone. But for me it is the right place, it makes me happy. What I am gaining through my college education is invaluable to my life, and i wouldn't trade it for anything.

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