Opinion

Learning how to keep up with current events

It seems that in every class lately the professor is preaching about the importance of keeping up with current events. They say it’s imperative to read news about the industry, government and world affairs in order to avoid looking like an idiot at future job interviews. While this may be true, it is upsetting that some professors fail to understand students’ reasons for skipping a thorough review of the day’s news.

Professors appear to forget that they themselves have assigned textbook and supplemental reading, which when added up between all five of an average student’s classes can amount to a few hundred pages a week (and no, that is not an exaggeration).

Professors have already read the assigned reading over their many years of teaching, or in some cases, wrote the book themselves. Not to diminish the time commitment that professors spend on grading papers and conducting their own research, but their required reading loads probably pale in comparison to that of undergraduate students.

But perhaps this lack of motivation to read current events is not solely the fault of our well-intentioned professors. After all, they do want us to have successful careers and they surely aren’t making up the importance of current events.

Access to articles on The Wall Street Journal’s website are highly restricted unless you pay for a subscription. Their cheapest current subscription offers two weeks free, and $1.99 per week for an online subscription (about $100 per year).

The New York Times does have more content available for free, or you can buy an online and smartphone subscription for about $165 per year. If this is our only way of accessing the news that our professors and future employers deem so important on a regular basis, how likely is it really that college students on tight budgets are going to subscribe?

Even in today’s world of constant communication and Internet access on smartphones, sometimes finding the news that “matters” is not as easy as it could be.

Of course, you can pick up a copy of The Miami Hurricane, USA Today or The Miami Herald around campus, but where are copies of The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times? It turns out that Richter has both of these newspapers and others available to students as e-resources. Although viewing the headlines as a list in a database isn’t as interesting as the newspapers’ print layouts, it does get the job done.

To be honest, I began researching these things because I was fed up with the disappointed look on my professors’ faces when no one in the class managed to catch important news.

I thought they had unreasonable expectations given students’ time constraints and visible resources on campus. Now I realize that the true problem was merely my own lack of effort to hunt down the news.

Is that an excuse for missing current events? Absolutely not, especially given the resources on campus.

Rachel Krantz is a sophomore majoring in public relations and economics.

October 26, 2011

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Rachel Krantz


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.