Sending out the signal

I am a product of ‘modern’ education and the university-economic complex.  I’ve spent over five years learning in a variety of fields, including literature, history, architecture, language, archeology, science, sociology, education, and math.  What does this qualify me for in the working world?  Possibly teaching.  So I’m going back to school, hopefully to gain experience in the field of law while in class.

But as I’ve spent over six years in the working world before re-entering academia, I have a slightly different perspective from some of my peers,  Debt is not the same superfluous concept that it was to me in undergrad.  Spending on my professors salaries, their textbooks, and indirectly, their research, no longer seems as necessary to me.  In fact, as a teacher of some experience myself, I find I’m less likely to full-heartedly embrace the requirements of others.  DO law school professors have something to teach me?  Absolutely.  could the knowledge be imparted at a lesser price?  More than likely.

That’s why I wanted to jump up and cheer after my Intellectual Property meeting today.  The teachers who are in charge of the intro to that class have taken the available technology and run with it – digital books under their own company for a fraction of the price of most law books.  True, these same professors still endorse buying (and keeping) the books for other classes, but they’ve made a concerted effort to make such books more affordable.  Ultimately, it’s efforts like this that lead me to the school I’m at – genuine efforts to teach, to share, and to listen to students.  As one professor remarked to me recently, “you are our customers, but not only customers”.  What would higher education look like if everyone had this outlook?  I’m not sure, but I hope to spread the trend.

And can I spread this trend myself?  Should I be sending out my WriMo work to the general public for free?  It’s an idea worth considering, especially if I can do it in a way that does not detrimentally affect my own work.

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