4 Mini-Rants on College

by JT McGee

I’m back in school. I’m already reminded why I dislike it so much.

1. Accounting Book

So, I bought my accounting book after hearing from my peers that it’s “like totally the hardest class ever.” This book cost me more than $100, and it is 800 pages. The content starts out with “What is a business,” which already makes me want to dig my eyes out with a spork, but it isn’t until I flip through to the back that I realize this book is essentially “How to read a form 10-Q quarterly earnings report in 800 pages.” If you can’t read a form 10-Q before college, then you shouldn’t be majoring in finance.

2. Accounting Classes

Naturally this accounting class is a prerequisite to a million different classes. I tried to take both this one and managerial accounting at the same time. Apparently that was a no-go, and I’m pretty sure that this is going to bone my schedule well into the future. I hate prerequisites because, like Dave Ramsey, they make the implicit assumption I’m a moron.

3. Bowling

Amid the WTF that is my schedule weighting towards the latter half of the week—Wednesday, Thursday, Friday are “WTF”—bowling has to be the biggest WTF. In an era where we rant and rave about the ever-rising cost of tuition, student loan debt, and non-bk condition of student loan debt, why am I paying $300 + cost of gas to go bowling once a week?

4. Finance is so easy

Want an easier major with great employment opportunities? Go into finance. Finance exploits one of the worst (best?) problems of all: most people can’t manage basic mathematics when there is a dollar sign in front of the numbers.

Sure, engineers will give you a hard time because finance isn’t math-y enough, or science-y enough. But that’s a good thing. Psychics will teach you how to kick a football through a goal post. Finance will teach you how to profitably hire someone to kick a football profitably through a goal post, while hedging your non-systemic risk with derivatives and passing off the remaining risk to the US Treasury. 😉

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Ashley @ Money Talks August 22, 2011 at 14:13

My absolute least favorite thing about school is government type BS. There is so much wasted time and money it’s disgusting. It’s why I don’t have my BA. I can’t stomach it. I went to community college and got my Associates and that’s where I’m stopping. I can’t handle a “real” college, there is too much red tape and BS. I’m a grown woman- I’m not paying thousands of dollars to jump through your hoops for an education I could get myself online and in books for free. I’d rather buy the text book and teach myself.


JT August 22, 2011 at 19:26

No joke, today it took me about 7 miles of walking to and from the computer lab to the library in order to get a new ID card, which I needed for some fitness class. Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork.


Jeff Reed August 22, 2011 at 14:58

LOL. Thanks for the rant JT. Many things really haven’t changed since I was in college way back when (Reagan was in the White House). It is oddly comforting (perverse of me no doubt?) to know that college administrators are still annoying their clients regularly. Why should this generation miss all of the fun?

My daughter graduated from my Alma Mater this year. She had similar problems that I encountered 27 years ago. The school color is orange and we had a saying: “It”s just another turn of the Big Orange Screw”. I heard a friend of my daughter utter the same phrase as she marched to graduation in May. Some college traditions are hard to change.


JT August 22, 2011 at 19:28

I’m surprised anyone bothers to show up any more. Between getting treated like a terrorist when you open a bank account to fulfilling the 452543245 different things colleges want just to admit you, it’s a wonder anyone manages to get anything done any more.


tom August 22, 2011 at 20:22

I think you mean physics will teach you to kick a ball through the goal posts? Psychics might tell you if you will make it or not 😉

As for bowling… is that a class? I wish I had that class! Although at $300 a credit hour, that’s some expensive bowling.


JT McGee August 23, 2011 at 13:05

Err, yeah, something like that. Bowling is definitely a class to satisfy my health prerequisites. It’s not $300 a credit hour, but round-trip the whole class is probably $300.


Doctor Stock August 22, 2011 at 20:26

Haha… I don’t think I could keep my eyes open for those classes… although the bowling seems interesting!


JT McGee August 23, 2011 at 13:06

Good thing two of them are online. 😉 Well, bowling isn’t.


Daniel August 22, 2011 at 23:08

As a former business major I love that everyone else in the class was so far below average. Having the competition be so weak was fantastic!

Also, I took a bowling class in college, and it was great! Though looking back, 4 hours a week showed diminishing returns pretty quickly.


JT McGee August 23, 2011 at 13:07

Eh, finance isn’t as bad as business administration–the additional statistics and calc classes seem to turn off a lot of people–but yeah, the “I just need a degree” people do bring down the class average, that’s for sure.


cashflowmantra August 23, 2011 at 14:52

I really enjoyed my bowling class in college. I was a halfway decent bowler then.


JT McGee August 27, 2011 at 09:22

I used to bowl probably 3-4 times a week. Bowling alley had a $1 a game deal every weekday during the summer. I actually got pretty good. Not so sure I can get back into the swing of it, though.


Darwin's Money August 23, 2011 at 21:07

Oh, the college text book thing is such a scam; I wish universities would just call it like it is and let you download once for $40 instead of the stupid new version each year so you can’t buy a used book.

Oh, and you might think Finance is easier than Engineering – but you’ll make way more money 5 years out of school than Engineers do. Trust me :>


JT McGee August 27, 2011 at 09:23

Eh, probably true on the Engineering vs. finance thing. Although, finance loves engineers, so if I appreciated the context of the numbers in engineering, I’d probably study engineering to get into finance.


retirebyforty August 26, 2011 at 17:16

Whoa, why does it cost $300 to bowl? Yeah, I agree text books are too expensive.


101 Centavos August 27, 2011 at 07:07

Many engineers I know couldn’t negotiate their way out of a tight corner.


JT McGee August 27, 2011 at 09:23



Invest It Wisely August 27, 2011 at 09:11

Expensive textbooks? Get a used textbook or do like other countries do and disregard copyright.

Bowling class? There was no such thing in my school haha… seems interesting though!

As for Finance being a good occupation.. yeh,… only at my expense. 😛 Things would look a little different in a freer market. We have too many guys in finance and not enough in other professions that actually do more to increase the collective wealth instead of just feeding off of it. Still, I guess you can’t blame individuals for being attracted to finance with the system being what it is at the moment…


Invest It Wisely August 27, 2011 at 09:13

P.S. Although I said this finance was one of my favorite courses from my B.A.! Going further down that path and getting a CFA are options that I’ve considered…


JT McGee August 27, 2011 at 09:24

I’m going to do a CFA eventually. Almost a necessity if I go to work in risk management.

Finance does feed off the productivity of others, but hey, someone’s got to do the numbers. 😉


Funancials August 28, 2011 at 08:33

“I hate prerequisites because, like Dave Ramsey, they make the implicit assumption I’m a moron.”
Best line I’ve read from any blog, ever. I’m geeking out.


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