Master of Puppets

December 4, 2011   |  

Those poor protesters. They went to university in good faith, taking out a loan to improve themselves – a noble investment! – only to be left jobless and in debt.

A few years ago, Joe Therrien, a graduate of the NYC Teaching Fellows program, was working as a full-time drama teacher at a public elementary school in New York City. Frustrated by huge class sizes, sparse resources and a disorganized bureaucracy, he set off to the University of Connecticut to get an MFA in his passion—puppetry. Three years and $35,000 in student loans later, he emerged with degree in hand, and because puppeteers aren’t exactly in high demand, he went looking for work at his old school.


Believe it or not, I don't even blame Joe Therrien. I can't. He

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obviously has some form of retardation that made him think puppetry would be a good career investment. And like most special needs people who run amok, I blame his handlers.

In this case, I blame the lender. Someone read Joe's borrower proposal and said “Hey, puppetry, cool! Let's do it!” and handed him $35,000. Like, what could possibly go wrong, right?

So here's what we need to do:

Restrict student loans to a small number of professional studies, which will lead to jobs that are actually required by society. For example, doctors, nurses, plumbers, electricians, and engineers. Because lending money for puppetry lessons is the student loan equivalent of sub-prime lending. It's built-in default.

Save the liberal arts, womyn's studies, puppetry and other useless pursuits for the kids of rich parents who won't be borrowing other people's money for their folly.


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