Tag Archives: college

One of the easiest ways to reduce college costs: Address the textbook cartel

Spending $300 on a textbook for most classes is an absolute joke.  It is a racket driven by the sellers, of course, and the schools who have no interest in reducing costs and by professors who sell their own books with meaningless updates made to force new purchases.

But how many updates are necessary, for example, for most math classes up to and including calculus?  And do we really need a new book on Shakespeare in the English department?  Very, very few classes in the first 2-3 years of college would ever need updates.  And why have paper copies of anything?

Here’s one idea that may help, though I worry about it getting perverted by biased writers as happened with Wikipedia: Open-Source Textbooks Gain in Push for College Affordability – ABC News

Oops.

Are people — young and old — who hang out at church really saved, or is their defining characteristic that they mimic those around them?

Years ago, before I knew the finer points of how Facebook works, someone I went to church with when growing up posted a picture from the Godspell play that the youth had put on.  I was tagged in the picture, so it showed up in my timeline.  For clarity, I added this comment:

Just for the record, I am not in this picture. It from a play my church’s youth group did (I wasn’t in the play). Sadly, out of all the people I’ve seen on FB from those years I’ve only come across one who appears to be a Bible-believing, orthodox Christian. Ironically, I was Super Pagan then and became a real Christian later.

Then I realized that my comment didn’t just post to my page, but to the entire thread where people were having fun reminiscing. Then I added this:
Sorry, didn’t realize my comment would be on the main thread. I thought it would just be on my page. Didn’t mean to be a buzzkill.  😉
While I didn’t realize it would be seen by all, I decided to leave it.  I hope it convicted some of the readers to think about what they really believed then and now.  Hanging out at a lukewarm (at best) church when you are a kid and doing all sorts of youth group activities does not save you.  Eternity is a mighty long time to be wrong on the Bible, Jesus, Heaven, Hell, sin, salvation, etc.  It is truly sad seeing the worldliness and New Age type of things most of those people post.  They are far from God.
I thank God for the clarity that I was a rebel then (example: it is theoretically possible that some of us smoked pot at church camp . . . what was that statute of limitations again?!) and knew the difference when I was saved as an adult.
I saw the same thing at the Methodist church we used to attend.  Many kids seemed very committed to the faith, but their real commitment was to behaving like those around them.  When they went off to college many morphed into typical Leftist sound-bite machines (pro-abortion, pro-gay, pro-“tolerance”).  By the grace of God, some did not.

I highly encourage parents and church leaders to ensure that your kids know how to think carefully and to have an apologetics background.  Otherwise it is just a matter of time until they morph into the world.

Home schooling / flexible schooling

OK, it took some time for me to arrive at this position, but I am now a huge fan of flexible schooling.  We did it the last two years of youngest daughter’s high school and wish we would have started earlier.  Technically it is home schooling, but with the mix of online courses and Home School Association classes it is really more like flexible schooling.

A few benefits:

  • You get the kids out of the cesspools that many public schools have become
  • Incredible flexibility for study time, volunteer activities and extracurricular activities.
  • Very small class sizes — smaller than even private schools.
  • You don’t have the gang, drug, fighting and other activities that even good school districts have.
  • It is a bargain compared to private schools.
  • Opportunities to develop excellent time management skills.  College won’t be as big of a transition, as kids will be used to managing their time.
  • Dual credit high school classes that cover high school and college requirements are the ultimate bargain.  Our community college system is already 1/5 of what the state schools charge and if your child hasn’t graduated high school the cost is even less.  You’ll spend more on books than tuition.

You need to be very intentional about getting the education and the socializing down. We know of a couple home schooled kids who meet the stereotype of not being socialized well (though that may have had nothing to do with where they were schooled), but countless more who are phenomenally well adjusted . It is a running joke with home schooling about that. These kids are out and about doing all sorts of things.

I know that we pay 100% of our property taxes and 100% of the extra costs of home schooling, and many people do the same to send their kids to private schools. You can just scan the cost / student in many areas (over $10,000 per student to get the current results) and see that something has gone horribly wrong with how we administer education.

We could do so much more with flexibile schooling by utilizing best-of-the-best recorded lessons, computer training/testing and having teachers do more tutoring than trying to give one-size-fits-all lessons to over 20 kids at once.  It would save big $$$ and get better results.

Ivy League school doesn’t accept Advanced Placement credits — good news or bad?

Via U News: Ivy League school no longer accepts Advanced Placement credits. Will this be a trend? — They tried to rationalize it from an education standpoint, but that is a joke.  The AP tests are standardized, which would mean that it wouldn’t matter what high school someone went to.  They either knew the material or they didn’t.  And the college pretends that they have something special to offer in basic classes like history, English, etc. that no one else has access to. Sure.

This is about money: They want you to pay $50,000 per year to take basic courses, which is ridiculous.

I highly encourage people to take dual-credit classes at their local community college.  The community colleges cost a fraction of the state schools, and if you are a high school student they cost almost nothing.  If you home school you can graduate high school with almost a year’s worth of credits.

The good news is that the college model is starting to crack.  It simply can’t stand another 10-20 years of cost increases that are multiples of inflation.  It is a bad move that they are taking away AP credits, but good news that they may drive people to more cost-effective solutions.

Retirement ministry ideas

Hey all you Christian apologists, here’s something you can work in your schedule when you retire: Take college philosophy or science classes where the professors have an agenda to bully Christian students and spread their false views.  You could be good ambassadors for Christ by graciously exposing their impure motives and errors.

We know from the movie Expelled! and countless other examples how many professors aggressively work their false, anti-Christian worldviews into their classes.  A family friend was taking a philosophy class at a local junior college and the teacher launched into an anti-God tirade the first day.

So wouldn’t it be enjoyable and productive to be in those classes and destroy their arguments?  It sounds almost biblical:

2 Corinthians 10:5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ

Seriously, apologists could go in and be polite but firm in refuting what the professors say.  It wouldn’t take long for them to go back to teaching the actual subject material — you know, the thing they are paid to do.  And who knows, if you go in as good ambassadors it might just change the professors’ minds.

Christians never retire.  Whatever you do after you stop working for a paycheck, strive to advance the kingdom. (Of course you should serve in many ways while you are working, but you probably don’t have the flexibility to take daytime college classes.)

Didn’t colleges used to encourage independent thought?

Apparently that was only for Liberal ideas. See Stomping out independent thought, Campus USA.

The IDEA club organizers at some universities complain that their activities are severely discouraged by those in authority, presumably so no student even has a chance of being “infected” with such subversive ideas. One leader, at a uiversity in California told me, “Within a year the cimate became very hostile to ID. The trouble started when a professor complained to administrators about our meetings. At the time the resistance from administration started, I was arranging for pro-ID scholars to present at our campus. After monies were already allocated for speakers and travel costs, our IDEA Club was told by administrators that we were not allowed to publicize our events where pro-ID speakers would be presenting. Pressure from administrators suffocated the IDEA Club within the same academic year … Any given professor that ignorantly speaks against ID may be the one who will give me a shot at an internship or research project. Starting an IDEA Club on any campus would be academic and professional suicide.”

Darwinists sure are thin-skinned. It makes you wonder if they lack confidence in their views and are just a bunch of bullies.

As a Christian, I realize that all other worldviews are false. But I don’t do anything to suppress their speech. I welcome examination of the facts. Too bad the allegedly pro-science types don’t do the same.

Roundup

And then they are all mine – the real agenda of some college professors.  Hey parents, have you prepared your kids for these college educators who will take $100,000+ from your wallet while deliberately trying to separate them from your values and religion?   Church youth groups should focus more on apologetics and sound biblical analysis than entertainment.  Hat tip: Stan

Jesus.org looks like a very good set of resources by some solid contributors.

Liberals Spend Your Money Promoting Islam Overseas – what happened to that separation of church and state thingy?

Four Pointer has two great series going: “Paul Never Quoted Jesus,” where he demonstrates just how often Paul did quote the Lord directly or indirectly, and Jesus is Lord in _____, where he examines all the passages noting the deity of Christ.  Good stuff.

Catholic apologist would rather threaten to sue James White than agree to normal debate terms.  Sheesh, why not just stop whining and debate?

The poor and social justice – great summary of how theological Liberals misinterpret the Bible to make up their own gospel.  Here’s a sample:

…the alleviation of poverty is simply not the main storyline of Scripture. Some Christians talk like the Bible is almost entirely about the poor, as if the story from Genesis to Revelation is largely the story of God taking the side of the poor in an effort to raise the minimum wage and provide universal health care. As we tried to show earlier, the biblical narrative is chiefly concerned with how a holy God can dwell with an unholy people. Granted, one aspect of living a holy life is treating the poor with compassion and pursuing justice, but this hardly makes poverty the central theme in the Bible. If our story does not center on Jesus Christ, and the story of Jesus Christ does not center on his death and resurrection for sin, we have gotten the story all out of whack.

More evidence of the myth of pro-life democrats – why do they protest a 24 hour waiting period before a human being is destroyed, the choice to view an ultrasound of the human being about to be destroyed, or even health regulations of medical facilities?  They aren’t pro-choice, they are pro-abortion.

Nice summary by Ann Coulter:

Evidence for the Proposition That Liberals Lie About Republicans Being Racist: Video of a supporter of Rand Paul’s opponent pretending to be a racist Paul supporter; Oregon public school teacher Jason Levin caught operating a website asking liberals to show up at Tea Parties pretending to be right-wing racists; The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd claiming she heard Rep. Joe Wilson shout, “You lie, boy!” when he shouted “You lie!” during Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress; and the mainstream media lying about civil rights hero John Lewis being called the N-word 15 times at an anti-ObamaCare protest, with no one ever being able to produce a videotape, despite a $100,000 reward.

Roundup

Yeah, I think this pretty much sums it up for us accounting / finance types:

Thanks, Comics.com

The Real Reason For Lefty Malaise – great explanation by Rich Karlgaard of Forbes about why Leftist ideas look swell in college classrooms but fail in the real world.

Pandering to Hispanics — L.A./Chicago Boycott Arizona… Unless There’s Money to be Made on red light cameras.  You can always tell how deep principles run when people hold them tightly — provided it costs them absolutely nothing.

Supreme Court: Public schools can deny funding to Christian student groups that bar gays — a horrible decision that only passed when they tweaked it to say that groups can’t exclude anyone.  But what will they do if hundreds of Christians join the Muslim group and change its leaders and by-laws to say that Jesus is the only way and Mohammad was a false prophet?  Make up your own examples!

More inconsistencies — We’re Here, We’re Queer and We’re in Abject Denial — gay groups support Palestine, even though the Palestinians would kill them all if they had a parade there while Israel would not.

Israel. The only place in the Middle East where one can be gay in public, without fear of being jailed, tortured or killed. The useful idiots aligning with Palestine don’t even realize that Hamas, a terrorist organization intent on “wiping Israel off the map,” is also oppressing some of its own people, particularly women and homosexuals. But, see, this doesn’t matter to them. Hamas is anti-Israel and anti-America. This is all that matters. Because George Bush. And evil capitalist America. They are willing to turn a blind eye to true oppression and homophobia so rampant that it results in bloodshed and death, as long as it fits with their preferred global agenda.

Hillary: Let the babies starve until we fund abortions – they love expanding abortions so much that they’ll hold food and medicine for babies as a result.  You can really feel the love, eh?

Besides, Hillary’s statement is nothing short of idiotic.  Maternal health does not depend on abortion.  In fact, abortion is a rather moot point when it comes to the stage of worrying about the health of mothers of newborn infants, isn’t it?

Darwin Meets Orwell – call this one, “Thanks for the concession speech, Mr. Naturalist!”  We’ve said for some time that naturalism can’t ground morality and this “expert” fully concedes the point.  His logic and conclusions are muddy, but the net of it is great to hear.  Yes, yes, we agree!  If your worldview is true then people can’t be held accountable!

Glenn’s last piece on his Catholic series, Catholic Iconography and the “Saints.” Nice summary.  I know many Catholics who, based on what they profess to believe, would be in the “true Christian” category.  They either weren’t taught or don’t believe the false doctrines from Rome and they do believe the essentials.  But that doesn’t mean I’d point people there.  The Reformation happened for many good reasons.

. . . These are the heavy burdens of legalism placed upon the members of the Roman Catholic Church, which result in the Roman Catholic Church being a cultic organization, in which the majority of its members are not true Christians (as testimony after testimony of ex-members attest).

How do we then witness to Catholics? The best way is to show them that salvation is a one-time thing and that it is not as a result of works. Point them to Christ, and not to Mary, for salvation. And that everything their leaders say should be passed through the grid of Scripture.

As noted on my Facebook page, my backup dog chewed through the mesh and inside of my suitcase to get to some candy stored in the front compartment.  She ate the Mikes AND the Ikes.  This is a re-enactment; she ran away when I was coming down the hall the first time.  She has lost a lot of teeth but still managed to chew through the fabric.

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Roundup

Will someone please take Pat Robertson’s microphone away?  Thanks. 

Seriously, it would be for his own good.  One should be very, very careful in claiming to speak for God.  The safe way is to quote the Bible, in context.  God could judge any person and any country at any time for the evils that go on today, including the U.S. 

How secular leftists restrict free speech on college campuses — the thin-skinned PC police are out of control on college campuses.  In just a generation they went from bastions of free speech to shameless oppressors.  They are beyond parody.

California Is Moving On from ESCR (Embryonic Stem Cell Research) — how many billions of dollars and human beings were wasted?  As pro-lifers said all along, experimenting on human beings is immoral and the real promise was in adult stem cells.  We were right and are still right. 

U.K. Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg is wooing the vote of British homosexuals by stating  that his party (the third largest party in the U.K.) would legislate that all faith schools in the UK would be legally obliged to teach their students that homosexuality is normal and without any risk to physical or mental health.In an interview with the gay lifestyle magazine Attitude, Clegg outlined a number of proposals to advance ‘”gay rights” in the UK, including forcing all schools, including faith-based schools, to implement anti-homophobia bullying policies and to teach that homosexuality is “normal and harmless.”

Clegg said that faith schools must not become “asylums of insular religious identity.”

Politicans break promises again, but you can totally trust them with your health care!

Contracts for the Texas Tomorrow Fund, a prepaid tuition program, had clear commitments to pay refunds at current rates, but now they are reneging on that.  Therefore, if your child gets a scholarship, you’ll just get back your initial investment less fees.  So ten years later you can have less than you started with!

Note the comical line from the board. 

The board believes that the new refund policy is in the best interests of the plan in order to maximize the financial resources of the plan,” the board said in a letter to parents this month. The decision by the board, chaired by state Comptroller Susan Combs, is expected to save at least $60 million in refund payments.

It helps maximize your financial resources by not paying your commitments?  No kidding.  Only we have these pesky things called contracts, not to mention honesty and integrity, whereby you are supposed to do what you promised.

But your government can be trusted, right?  They would never change the rules after the game starts, would they?

Sex is like duct tape

Work with me here, people.

The truth that people who have sex create a bond isn’t just biblical (“one flesh”), it is scientific.  Anyone supporting “comprehensive” sex education should be teaching this.

J. Budziszewski is a philosophy professor at the University of Texas.  He shares the following illustration, summarized well by Chuck Colson when describing Budziszewski’s book, Ask Me Anything: Provocative Answers for College Students:

My favorite question is why “sowing your wild oats” never works out the way it’s supposed to.  Sexuality, he says, is like duct tape. The first time you use it, it sticks you to whomever it touches. But just like that duct tape, if you rip it off and then touch it to someone else, it isn’t as sticky as it was before. So what happens when you pull it loose from one partner after another?  Budziszewski explains: You just don’t stick anymore, your sexual partners seem like strangers, and you stop feeling anything.

Ripping the duct tape off is extremely painful as well, especially the first time – just as the break-up of a sexual relationship can be more painful than a regular one.  It may seem progressively easier to “tear off” with subsequent partners, but you can’t make it stick on command when you finally decide to commit.

Here’s an article from the Boundless Webzine that describes it in more detail.

“But how do you know if you have a commitment?” he asked.

“Easy,” I said. “If you’re married, you’ve got one. If you’re not married, you don’t.”

Science confirms that this isn’t just a clever illustration.  Consider oxytocin, a chemical that, among other things, encourages bonding of mates.  More about it here.  It is no wonder why people form sexual addictions and why encouraging people to experiment with any sexual behavior will lead to problems.

Do these “experts” pushing to normalize fornication and homosexuality not understand the psychological and physiological implications of such behavior?  Or is the problem that they understand them too well?  Teaching the sex without consequences myth (“just use condoms and everything will be ok!”) is cruel and stupid.

I like this duct tape example because it is provocative, accurate and helpful in exposing the lies of the sex-as-recreation crowd.  Regardless of what Planned Parenthood and the rest tell you, sex outside of a one man, one woman marriage will always hurt you.  No amount of birth control and abortions can change that.

This concept is right out of the Bible:

1 Corinthians 6:16-18 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”  But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.  Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.

Once again, God’s way is the best way.  When God described the union of a man and a woman as “one flesh,” He meant it.  You become one.  When your flesh is joined and you tear it apart it will be extremely painful.

Yet as He shows again and again, redemption and healing are possible with him.  He loves to forgive and help people out of bondage.  Today is a great day to stop the cycle and educate people about the truth.  Here’s a book designed to help (I haven’t read it but heard the author on a radio show) – The Invisible Bond: How to Break Free from Your Sexual Past.

How to Stay Christian in College

I’m recycling this June 2006 post because I like to remind people of this book each year.  Here is one of my favorite quotes by the author, J. Budziszewski:

Though it always comes as a surprise to intellectuals, there are some forms of stupidity that you must be highly intelligent and educated to commit.  God keeps them in His arsenal to pull down mulish pride, and I discovered them all.

Any correlation of the words in bold to postmodernism is purely deliberate.

——

How to Stay Christian in College (Th1nk Edition)Despite the title, How to Stay Christian in College is a book that anyone can benefit from. This should be must reading for students headed to college and for their parents. The author, J. Budziszewski (I’ll bet even he misspells his name sometimes), was an atheist when he became a philosophy professor at the University of Texas. He converted and is now a stellar defender of the faith. He is extremely intelligent, yet writes in a way that makes difficult and important concepts easy to understand. This book would make a great graduation gift.

Last year this book was given to High School Juniors and Seniors at our church. Click here to view a set of PowerPoint slides I used to present an overview (it covers parts of the book plus other things I added) or go here and right-click and select “Save target as” to download them. There are speaker notes below the slides.

An alarming number of youth abandon their faith in college and make all sorts of mistakes that take years or even lifetimes to recover from. They also miss out on opportunities to share the Gospel with people and to defend the Christian worldview during the inevitable philosophical and religious discussions that take place on campus. While preparing for all the practical considerations of college – majors, living accommodations, activities – Christians should ensure that they are well equipped to live out their faith while on campus. Make no mistake: Most colleges aggressively live and teach the opposite of the Christian worldview.

He offers very practical advice and how to not only survive but to thrive on campus. Being a Christian in college doesn’t mean avoiding all the fun activities that take place. I was basically a pagan while in college, so I can relate to how much this book could help others.

One of the most interesting insights is that going to a “Christian” college where the professors embrace liberal theology can be more dangerous than going to a secular college where you know what you are going to face.

I enjoy anything by this author, but I especially recommend Ask Me Anything: Provocative Answers for College Students for high school and college students.

One final question as you head off to perhaps the biggest life change you’ll ever undertake: Will you convert them, or will they convert you?