Mr. Blevins, Please Stay Out of School
by Virginia Postrel • May 24, 2005 at 11:37 pm
Surely only the most determined readers made it to the very end of the very last article in the NYT series on class. Fortunately, Professor Postrel was one of those rare readers.
The story is on college dropouts, focusing on a Virginia man named Andy Blevins, who makes a decent living, including good benefits, as a supermarket produce buyer but feels insecure about the future. If you make it to the end of the article, you discover that Blevins, who got C's and D's when he attended college and disliked class, has decided to go back to school and pursue a new career. And what might that career be?
Blevins sounds like a fine man, the kind of person who makes communities--and supermarkets--work. Too bad the Times won't honor him for his real accomplishments, including finding a demanding career he's good at. (Most of his buyer colleagues have college degrees.) Instead, he's portrayed as a victim and the "happy ending" is that he's going back to college so he can get a job he's totally unsuited for. A guy who hates school this much doesn't belong anywhere near a classroom, least of all in front of one.
On a related note, here's a column I wrote on why the best female students no longer become teachers. Bottom line: "In hiring teachers, we get what we pay for: average quality at average wages."
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