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The Shock of Education: How College Corrupts Essay

In this article taken from the book Limbo: Blue-Collar Roots, White Collar Dreams, the journalist/author Alfred Lubrano brings up many things readers wouldn’t normally associate with college. Essentially his main point is to tell the readers that college slowly but surely cuts off connections with people you were once close with, such as family, old hometown boyfriends, and old friends from your hometown that didn’t end up choosing to go to college. He says that college educates you and basically takes away any common ground you once had with old acquaintances, because more knowledge changes you as a person. Alfred brings up the fact that children from lower working class families compared to children from middle class families grow up differently abiding and learning by different rules. Because of this, the lower class or “working class” children will most likely have a more narrow view of things and will be more stubborn when it comes to learning because their parents see things in a very particular way and force their opinions on their own kids.

Whereas kids who come from middle class families are more open minded, they are encouraged to learn by their parents, and are allowed to believe in what they want. These are ongoing patterns of children growing up in the different classes of society. I completely understand the ideas and points Alfred Lubrano is trying to convey in this specific section of his book. Although I do agree that the different classes of society are raised to get different levels of education, I do not think that is always the case. Children that have grown up in working class families that do not support them getting a good education may work hard enough to go to one of the top universities in their state. Wealthier kids may just be too lazy or think college is not the choice for them. I also have mixed views on the point Alfred brings up of education being the reason for many straying way from family and old friends.

While I completely agree that a certain amount of education can change a person, I do not think it’ll ruin all relationships. Alfred shows multiple examples of relationships falling apart or ending- but never people working through to maintain and keep a good relationship. I feel that while you may stray away from old friends because you don’t really have much to talk about, you could also educate them and help them develop the same interests as yourself by sharing what you have learned with them. I may not entirely agree with the point being made that education can stray relationships- but I sure can connect with it by showing an example. Since I have arrived at college, I haven’t really talked to my mom too much, either she’s busy when I want to talk to her- or vice versa. I haven’t gotten to see her regularly either and the only things we talk about are how our day went, or something family related.

But I can also argue that getting education hasn’t strayed my relationship with my boyfriend at all, because he loves learning new things, we talk regularly, and we see each other often. In the last article we took a look at titled “I went to some of D.C.’s better schools. I was still unprepared for college” by Darryl Robinson, it shows that Darryl was raised by his Grandmother because his parents were unable to take care of him. It’s safe to assume Darryl’s grandmother was probably a working class citizen. But she helped him study regularly, and his teachers stereotyped him and thought he didn’t actually want to learn. That is an example of when given different circumstances, people will want different things. Towards the end of the article Darryl says “My grandmother calls me daily to check up on me and offers moral support.” so although Darryl might come from a working class family, he was eager to learn and got himself the education he deserved while still staying close with his grandmother.


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