I met with a former student of mine this week. He’s a recent college graduate, which means that these days he’s doing seasonal work putting together puppets in a toy store. He’ll be looking for another job right after Christmas. He is a most talented young man, a writer, whose plight isn’t unique. Several of his friends from college are working at the same toy store with him. They’ve all just graduated from a small, private, liberal arts college with annual tuition and board in the neighborhood of $53,000. My student friend claims that the most interesting students on campus were the scholarship students. In his opinion, they were the ones who cared the most about their education and put the most into it. Their drive gave the place energy. He lamented the fact that due to the current Recession, his alma mater was not able to offer as much in the way of financial aid. Hence, a more homogenous, more dull, though financially more secure, student body.
On the same day as our meeting, I happened across some interesting facts on YouTube. Assuming accuracy on YouTube’s part, the 25% of India’s population with the highest IQ’s is greater than the total population of the United States. To quote YouTube, “India has more honors students than the U.S. has kids!”
I don’t know about the near term, but in the long term, all those bright, hungry Indian students might keep some of our kids in the toy store… selling toys designed in India.