Friday, March 7, 2014

Part of that miracle

GUEST: Rocky Schwartz, member of the Vassar Students' Class Issues Alliance, talked about private college education and the class devisions that often accompany enrollment in colleges that cost over $50,000 per year.

Gary and I talked to two students from the Vassar Students' Class Issues Alliance in the WVKR studio on campus. It was a wide ranging discussion about why class is so little talked about, even at an institution of higher learning. 

We covered the pain of being from a lower income family in a rich, private college. How to cope? In part, the Alliance is a way for students to recognize and discuss their feelings of alienation.

How different this is from looking at class as something to eradicate in a society. Maybe recognition is a first step, but shouldn't we as leftists be working towards the elimination of class in society? I talked about Cuba and how class differences seem so less destructive there. Education is a human right in Cuba, and your level of education doesn't depend on whether your family can pay. 

The doctor I talked to in Havana was from a very poor community in the countryside. As a young girl, she decided that she was a good enough student and wanted to earn a degree in medicine. The state paid for all of it, and there was a hint of pride in her story. Not pride that she had overcome barriers in fulfilling her dream, but that her country had made this miracle possible. She was proud of the revolution, and considered her achievement as well as her service to patients to be part of that miracle. 

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