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03 August 2007 @ 06:47 pm
8/1/07--The Word (College Credit)  

Stephen Colbert: Now, folks, you may not be aware of this, but I recently broke my wrist. Sadly, the night I broke it, I had already given my limo driver the night off to deliver her baby, and she wouldn't return my page. So I had an intern drive me home, and I had to make small talk. [dry heaves] I asked him his major--I assumed he'd say "coffee-fetching"; otherwise, why take an internship? But he said for now he's just taking whatever courses look interesting. It turns out these days they let college kids do anything they want. They live in coed dorms, make friends with people from different backgrounds--both in the real world and on the MyFace--and they can even eat cereal for dinner. It is chaos, and we need to address this crisis, which brings us to tonight's Word.

  • College Credit


College credit. Folks, in today's "anything goes" ivory towers, kids earn credit for anything. For instance, if an English major writes a poem for a class, his credit is worth just as much as an engineering major who designs a weapon that can be used to repel poets.

  • Like A Job


Nation, our young people are being taught that all knowledge is valuable, whether or not it leads to a promising career. But the fact is, folks, there is a real-world difference between a graduate with an advertising degree--

  • Account Executive In Five Years


--and one with an art history degree.

  • Account Executive In Six Years


Thankfully, some state universities are recognizing that, by making tuition for some majors more expensive than others. Now, according to the universities, they need to charge more for courses like business, engineering, and hard sciences because of expensive lab equipment and high faculty salaries. They say they have no choice. Now, I don't know if they have a choice; I'll leave that to the Philosophy department.

  • They Have Free Time, If Not Free Will


But I, for one, am excited about this. It's a breakthrough that allows me to achieve a longtime dream--arranging all fields of knowledge into a three-tiered pricing system: "marketable", "non-marketable", and "you know this is killing your parents".

Now, "marketable" is the priciest: business, engineering, and science. And whatever future professional football players major in.

  • Dogfighting


Then, there's "non-marketable". That's for majors like history. Why spend a lot for it when you won't get a high-paying job? Plus, if you don't learn history, evidently you're doomed to repeat it, and you'll find out what happened for free.

  • Are You Listening, Michael Beschloss?


Finally, the lowest tier, which includes classics, comparative literature, linguistics--basically, anything taught by someone who says he "lives to teach". Of course, if these universities really mean to revolutionize education, they should apply monetary values not just to majors, but to individual facts.

  • Like Alex Trebek


In French class... in French class, "hello" and "thank you" are free. You charge twenty bucks for "Please take me to the hospital--someone has stolen my insulin."

  • Je Voudrais Un Nouveaux Pancreas


Chemistry classes--someone speaks French--chemistry classes can charge ten dollars for how to start a combustible chemical reaction, and thirty dollars for how to stop a combustible chemical reaction.

  • Skin Graft Is Extra


Universities, adopt this plan. Install a card swiper on each desk. That way, if students don't have the cash, they can put it on credit.

  • College Credit


After all, you can't put a price on knowledge--but the market can. And that's the Word.
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