I began my Spring classes at East Bay today. It was nice because after nearly two weeks of rainy, mucky weather the sun came out on a brilliant and cloudless day. It was good to see so much rainfall in a state that always needs more water, but now I'm sick of it and want to see sunlight again.
I am enrolled in "American Fiction to 1914," "The British Novel from 1914-1945," and a Taekwondo class. I was hoping to take an advanced English composition class as well, but the class is full and the professor will not be adding any more students. She apologized and said that this was because of all the cuts California universities have been facing.
If you are unaware, California is an expensive state to live in, but people aren't willing to pay higher taxes. So instead massive cuts are being made to things like higher education.
These cuts are real bogeymen for everyone at the university. While having lunch, I saw a flier for an upcoming poetry slam that is to express the frustration of staff and students. "Slam Poetry, not Students," was written in bold lettering across the top of the page. One of my professors even encouraged the class to mobilize against these cuts or else they will "destroy higher education."
Although I was disappointed that I didn't get the class I wanted, I don't believe that it's the end of higher education in California. Despite the recession and heavy times we've been going through, I'm certain that things will get better. Economies tend to bounce back after some stormy weather. Besides, as long as the student is willing, he or she will find a way to overcome whatever obstacles stand in their path; it makes earning that diploma all the sweeter.
Perhaps I'm being overly optimistic. Perhaps youthful naivety is clouding my judgment.
Nevertheless, I'd rather be optimistic because it's counterproductive to believe that the future only brings gloom and doom. Here's a song from one of my favorite heavy metal bands to further illustrate my point: