Education Is A Privilege, It's About Time Americans Realize That

Education Is A Privilege, It's About Time Americans Realize That

Think about what your education is worth to you.

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Education is a privilege, though some may not view it as such. In America, for those of us who are privileged enough to attend school, we often take it for granted. Having access to knowledge, textbooks, teachers, etc. may not seem like anything extraordinary, but compared to other countries, it is a gift. Due to the fact that access to education in America is, for the most part, so unappreciated, we look at the world with an ethnocentric and privileged view, forgetting that not everyone is so fortunate.

My statistics professor recently described having access to education as a "blessing." He had begun to notice the number of students that chose to skip his class each week and told us that he did not understand why. Candidly, he explained that he is from Ghana and in his country, the resources that are available to us here, are not as easily accessible there. Education is a gift and in his experience, he said that he cannot begin to comprehend why it is so easy for some students to throw that gift away. It was a moment that was particularly eye-opening for me and many other students and was simultaneously a culture shock moment for my professor.

Interested in the education rates in Ghana, I chose to do some research in order to put my professor's words in context. What I have compiled, sheds some light on how our education compares on a global scale. According to NationMaster, in terms of the average years of schooling of adults, Ghana is ranked 76th compared to America's first place ranking. The average years of schooling in America are typically 12 years while in Ghana it is only 3.9. Additionally, the literacy rate for Ghana's total population is 74.8% compared to a 99% rate in the United States. The most unsettling fact that I came across was that, in comparison, Ghana spends 1% more on education. The United States is ranked behind Ghana in 26th place in this category. Though 28.5% of their population lives below the poverty line and the average number of years of schooling is equivalent to a student's high school career, Ghana spends more on education than America.

It appears unfair to compare the two countries, as they are vastly different but on a surface level, the drastic difference between them reveals a new way to look at education. Not only should it alert us to the fact that Ghana could use our help but also to the fact that our access to education is something that should be treasured. Admittedly, the U.S. education system is flawed and imperfect, it stands to be reformed (Textbooks essentially rewriting and whitewashing U.S. history is no secret, for example). Though it has its issues, it is still a privilege for those who can access it. Education should be something that is guaranteed to all, but until that becomes a reality, we should feel fortunate enough to afford it and access all it has to offer.

My professor was able to share his insightful perspective, having experienced education systems in both Ghana and the United States. I value my education greatly but without this candid moment, I would have continued looking at my education with tunnel vision. It is vital that we look outside of what we are familiar with in order to gain perspective on our own situations. Simply put, education is a privilege that we need to stop taking for granted; and one that we need to extend to those less fortunate than ourselves.

Here is a link to verified organizations that aid Ghana in various areas.

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Second Half Of The Semester Problems, As Told By Michael Scott

"It's happening!!!"
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The second half of spring semester is so bittersweet. The fun of spring break is sadly behind us, but we have the promise of summer to keep us going. We all know this struggle, and apparently, so does Michael Scott from "The Office."

You have absolutely no motivation to do your schoolwork after tasting the freedom of spring break.

Spring break has left you broke as a joke for the rest of the semester.

Your professors expect you to memorize an entire textbook before final exams.

You thought the semester was going extremely well until all of your professors decided to bombard you with assignments all at once.

You pull multiple all-nighters and practically overdose on caffeine just to get your homework done.

You just pretend your homework doesn't exist until you literally can't anymore.

All of your friends are getting into serious relationships but you are still single.

Your professors tell you that there won't be any extra credit opportunities before the semester ends.

All your friends are out having fun and partying when you have a morning class the next day.



When you do finally get to go out, you go a little too hard to make up for lost time.

You and your friends are supposed to be in a study group but you end up just goofing off the whole time instead.

That one annoying student in class reminds the professor that there was homework.

When your professor is still trying to lecture even after your class is supposed to be over.

You realize you only have a few short weeks left until final exams start.

You get a bad grade on an assignment you thought you did well on.

You are almost asleep, but then remember that you had homework due the next morning.

Your classes drag on for what feels like hours when in reality it's only been a few minutes.

You have multiple assignments and projects that start to all blur together by the end of the semester.

You have essays that you have to completely BS because you have no idea what to write about.

Your parents, family members or advisors ask you about your future plans even though you have no idea what to do.

Your professors lecture you on topics that you won't be tested on.

You procrastinate on your homework until the very last minute in hopes of finishing it the day before.

You realize you've been studying for so long you haven't left your house all day.

When exams finally come and you feel totally unprepared.

You start to think of extreme methods to pass your exams instead of just actually studying.

Keep your head up, fellow student. I know it's long and hard, but you will definitely make it through the rest of this semester!

Cover Image Credit: NBC Universal

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13 Thoughts Broadcast Journalism Majors Have When Piecing Together Their First News Story

Quiet on the set.

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So you've decided that you want to be a Broadcast Journalist?

Many different thoughts go through you're while trying to first off figure out what story you want to pursue. After that, it's just a matter of getting everything that is needed for it and then putting it together.

For all clarity and purposes, I have already turned in my first news story, however as I was completing it, some (if not all) of these thoughts (or a variation of them) came across my mind at some point during the process.

1. Ok, so what are the important parts to my story?

book

And how do I convey those things to my viewers?

2. What b-roll should I get?

B-roll is supplemental or alternative footage intercut with the main shot.

3. Do I have all the interviews I need?

interview

Who are the essential figures in this story?

4. What's my angle? How do I stick to it?

camera angle

Who do I need to interview for it?

5. What questions should I ask in my interview?

questions

And more importantly, What type of questions will get me the answers I want?

6. What are the important facts?

facts

Should they all be included?

7. Do my voice overs cover everything that my interviews don't?

interview

What else is needed for this story?

8. Agh, my video is over the 1 minute and 30 seconds allowed time.

ughh

Do I reduce it or do I leave it as is? I guess it depends on how much its over.

9. How should I say my tageline at the end of the video?

tag line

The tagline is when the reporter says their name and their station affiliation at the end of their story.

10. Should I include a standup? Where should it be?

news

What do I want to say?

11. Should I include a graphic?

news graphics

Is there something that can be said in a list form that the viewers need to see? Is it symptoms of a disease? Event details?

12. How do I make my interviews connect with my voice overs?

simple

Does what I am saying make sense?

13. What does my script need to look like?

script

Should I add a NAT pop here? What SOT (Sound on Tape) do I want to use?

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