Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Public Vs. Private Universities (or Mala goes back to School)

Yesterday evening I started my Sociology class at Queens College. I'm thinking and it looks like I may do some sort of education track. It looks like if I want to eat , I may have to. Besides I've realized I'm pretty good at teaching.

Besides thinking about the Misfit (Queens College and Flushing in general are now associated in my mind with him , among other things)I was comparing the vibe of this city university with the vibe of say NYU for example. Now I like academia. I like talking in theories and then knocking them down or applying them to real life. I am conflicted by the bourgeois attitude that surrounds higher education and the need that all people have for education. NYU is full of bullshit and attitude. I am as smart (if not smarter)than most students there but there is this elitist attitude because it is NYU. I won't even touch the race politics. Let's just leave it that NYU is not the bastion of liberal thinking it claims to be. And you know what, most private universities aren't. It's a nice little front they use to get cash and attention using us (smiling shiny happy people of color)as their poster children.

Queens College (besides having a real campus like grass!!!! Ah I remember grass) has a different vibe. Everyone is a working person. There is real diversity in race, in class. I'm still as smart if not smarter than most students (yeah I know I have a big head...sue me)but hell these people are living real lives, not lives pulled out of Sex in the City or Friends or whatever other bullshit sitcom that is set in a whitewashed, classless (but not really) world.

This doesn't mean I'm not going back to NYU. It's just an observation.
I struggle with my identity as an academic. It goes back to a friend of mine from la lucha being questioned when she chose school over some social justice campaign that was being worked on. The person who called her out was a Young Lord. A man who got his ass beat by police and feds and was (maybe still is) labeled a terrorist. Now carajo if that's not education then what is?

When I was tucked away in a New England institution (that would be a college not a mental hospital...very close though). My isolation from the community was a huge gaping wound. I even held debates about whether Latinos seeking higher education outside their communities was moving up or selling out!

I have to drop $70 on a text book today and damnit if class isn't cutting into my dating time. But the prof is kind of hot and well I like school.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're forgetting, or perhaps you haven't seen, the billions, ok not billions, of rich priveleged Jewish students at QC. QC is like a transient hotel room--it serves it's purpose, doesn't cost much, and you can have a fucking hell-of-a-time there. But like that transient hotel room, you can also have bad moments. Moments full of anger. And there is this sense of anger in QC? Ok, maybe that isn't too nice. But I went there so I can say shit like that. There are a lot of angry people in QC. Buena suerte chica... diviertate.


7/07/2004 11:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gurl.. I'm starting the Master's program at City, and while I loved the undergrad vibe, I'm a wee bit concerned about the people I'm meeting in the grad program. Some are nice, but already the condescension from the students is working my nerves. And I haven't experienced the professors yet.


7/09/2004 05:49:00 AM  

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