Saturday, February 8, 2014

Student Debt

College graduates already owe the federal government a trillion dollars. This is money that the only way you can get out of it is to die.  To tackle this absurdity Obama raised the interest rates on student loans and reduced the amount of free money (Pell Grants) students receive; reducing Pell Grant funds forces students to have to borrow money from the federal government.  And Obama will loan just about anybody money and it's basically as easy as touching the "accept" button on your online student account.  Yet, although Obama promised future college graduates that they could get a job when they graduated, over 50% of college graduates are unemployed or underemployed.

It seems like every other student I ask, "What are you majoring in?", the answer is Psychology. What are we going to do with all of these Psychology majors?  The cost of an undergraduate degree in Psychology is at least four years of your life and around $30,000.  I think NMSU should have a warning sign on each of their degree programs....Warning!...a degree in Psychology will cost you four years of your life, $30,000 in tuition, fees, and books, and you will not be able to get a job in Psychology.

Instead you see and hear advertisements encouraging DACC and NMSU students to fill out their FAFSA (form to get federal loans) AND WE'LL SHOW YOU HOW TO FILL IT OUT.  That's how NMSU stays in business, because when a student hits the "accept" button for a federal loan NMSU immediately collects their tuition fees.  They continue to stay in business at the expense of young people.

The justification is that college is a good investment.  Is it?

The Prospector
December 3, 2013
Blake Lanhan

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Age Discrimination in NMSU Program

Las Cruces Sun News
Wednesday, November 27, 2013

See my new and improved coloring skills in my October 21 post!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Power of the Internet

It's been interesting to me how far reaching your voice can be heard, the ease with which an audience can be reached, and who might end up hearing your story.  I put a link to my blog on my business website and I was surprised at how many of my customers took the time to check it out.  I have customers all over the United States and through a customer up in Maine I came into contact with Tucker Carlson, American political news correspondent and commentator for Fox News, and co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Daily Caller!!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

What is the Purpose of Education?

Recently I heard on a local radio station an ad for New Mexico State University stating something like NMSU graduates get jobs.  To me this implies that NMSU believes the purpose of education is to be able to get a job.  In the graduate course Exploration of Education taught by Jamie Baker, Assistant Director of Secondary Education, our first assignment was to write a short paper answering the question, "What is the purpose of education?" using our own voice.  Here are a few excerpts from my paper:

The most significant objective of public education I feel is to improve the quality of life of the individual...For the average American forty plus years will be spent in the work force.  To ensure quality of life, then preparing students for the work force must be a primary goal of the public educational system...The highest level on Maslow's hierarchy is self-actualizing where personal growth and fulfillment are achieved.  In order for our students to reach this level they must be prepared to enter the work force either as a white-collar worker through a college education or blue-collar worker through a journeyman program; either one now requires a high school diploma or G.E.D....Therefore, I feel the purpose of education is to help students accomplish fulfillment in their lives by preparing them for the work force through classroom settings and extracurricular school activities.

Jamie Baker gave me an F on this paper; I received 12 points out of 25.

So which is it New Mexico State University?!

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Sanctimonious Instructor

Recently at church someone asked me how my ordeal with New Mexico State University was going and several others mentioned that they had read my editorials in the newspaper even though it has been quite some time since I had written one.  Well that rejuvenated me in my quest to be heard!

Let me share with you how Jamie Baker, instructor for the graduate course Exploration of Education and Assistant Director of Secondary Education, treated me in class.  During one class, by chance, she and I were the only two members of a group.  The facilitators for this class period had the four assigned groups go outside where they had laid four blankets out on the grass.  Jamie Baker promptly plopped down on the corner of our blanket, facing out so that wherever I chose to sit on the blanket her back would be to me.
All of the other three groups sat on their blankets facing each other.  When one of the class facilitators brought our question sheet, Jamie Baker grabbed it and proceeded to read and answer the questions out loud while writing her answers down.  She only asked for my input on the last question and even then she did not turn to look at me.

Her dislike of me was common knowledge.  One of my colleagues whom I had worked with on a group class presentation teased me on our way outside about being alone in a group with Jamie Baker.  Then she got serious and asked me if I was going to be okay and I told her yes that it would be okay.

By the end of the semester I was emotionally drained; it had been a very degrading experience.  Jamie Baker did her best to make me feel unaccepted in the class environment, an outcast, and totally belittled me through the grading process.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Jamie Baker, the PhD student extraordinaire, in a letter to the department head Dr. Jim O'Donnell stated in regard to a late assignment, "Assignment accepted for late credit as negotiated outside of syllabus expectation for no acceptance of late work".  I turned in the first assignment late because I was at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, during the first week of the semester.  I received a grade of 50% on this F.  I also received an F on the first "pedagogical notebook quick check".  Ms. Baker arbitrarily picked students each week for this quick check.  In other words, she did not have to pick me that first week but chose to do so and then marked me 50% off for being late.  Her course syllabus does state, "LATE ASSIGNMENTS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED!".

Ms. Baker also deducted 30 points, per the syllabus, because I was absent three times.

In contrast, Lydia did not turn her video in on time.  This was a large part of our grade.  In this alone, per the syllabus, Lydia should have failed the course.  In addition, the syllabus states, "We will begin on time.  Being tardy disrupts the flow of the class.  Two tardies will equal one absence.  More than three absences means that you will fail this course".  Lydia was absent three times and was late to class every single time, except when she presented her "sound byte".  Per the syllabus Lydia should have failed the course. 

Ms. Baker passed Lydia and flunked me.