“We watched, my daughter and I. The last season when you were applying to colleges my daughter asked me why you would want to go. She thinks college is like prison. Her uncle was in prison then. She thought it was the same because you live there and you eat there and you don’t come home for a long time. Her teacher explained the difference to her.
This came straight from a friend’s daughter. When she was about 7, one of her cousins was applying to college and she couldn’t understand why she would want to go. After all, at both college and jail you go there and stay for years. You eat all your meals there. She had no clue what the difference was. For the record, this kid’s mother has a degree and her father is a doctor. Most of their friends are highly educated. About the time this happened I had read an article about a second grade teacher who did a unit on college where she had the kids research (to the best of a 9-year-old’s ability) colleges and what happened there. A lot of people (teachers included) scoffed at the idea, but I thought it was brilliant. I met high school kids in a university town who didn’t know what college really was. There were many times as I was substitute teaching when I would mention to the kids that I had traveled. They always asked if I had been in the military. Nope, I was (and am) a teacher. I lived and worked overseas because I had an education. For these kids it was always a revelation that they had alternatives. If they wanted to go into the military, more power to them, but I never want to see a kid who thinks they have no options.
Or that college and jail are the same thing.