Thursday, November 03, 2022

Remembering Affirmative Action.

 I graduated from high school in 1971 and like many of my peers, went directly into college.  I started at LSUA, a small regional campus that would let a broke student begin his college career while staying at home.  My first semester of college cost me $92.00 plus books.  Not $92.00 per semester hour.  $92.00 total.

My first college class was Accounting 101, basics of accounting.  We had over 40 students in the room, which only had 30 chairs. It was a Wednesday morning.  Our professor told us not to worry, all he wanted us to do was to go to the book store, buy the text and a workbook, study the first four chapters and be ready for a test on Friday morning. Class dismissed.

When I showed up for the test on Friday morning, only about 20 other students were in attendance.  The prof was very pleased that we had made it this far, and started teaching us accounting.

We also had the Draft.  A quaint employment program for able bodied males.  After the first semester, we would look around and ask, "Where's Joe?:"  He flunked out and is in the Army.  The ladies didn't have to worry about the draft, but they could still flunk out.  There were plenty of waitress jobs available, and the Trade School was still teaching hair-dressing.

That was affirmative action when I was growing up.  If you flunked out, you were drafted, or went to trade school.  It was a whole 'muther world. College students were expected to be adults, not over-age children.


BobF said...

Much the same at LSUNO in 1963 where the place was a lot of hard hat area and some sidewalks were, well, they weren't. Yet.

Had no idea of it then, but certainly do now -- someone else ran the place. They made the rules. I was a student, another word for "customer" in the academic world. I went to the campus, bought their product, education, and went back home. Simple as that.

Pretty sure *I* chose the product and *they* provided it. Students never thought of actually running the place. Somehow that has all gone topsy-turvy. Those with the least knowledge and experience now seem to be muchly running the place.

And that draft thing... I wasn't drafted, but I did go from LSUNO to USAF not too long afterward for personal reasons. Had no idea it would take me 7 years of nights and weekends to finally get my degree later, sometimes mailing papers to profs from temp far aways and taking test on return. Had several temporary "I" course statuses. :-)

But we all knew who actually ran the places, and it damned sure wasn't the customers, uh, students.

Anonymous said...

Lord I can commiserate... my 19 year old flunked 2 semesters in community college. Took some effort getting him signed up, but he is now about 1/3rd of the way through the welding program at the local tech college, and loves it. It takes some effort. The local high school had him convinced he was going to be an aerospace engineer... oooh, maf is hard.