Isaac Kaplan

"Is it any wonder I've got too much time on my hands?"

Monday, June 07, 2004

Touro Over Brooklyn, Pt. 2

Now it's time to deal with the arguments AGAINST Touro:

Argument #1: The Touro degree is worthless and won't get you a job or into a decent grad school.

Firstly, if the question here was Touro vs. Harvard, it would be a slam dunk (that is, in Harvard's favor). Clearly, an Ivy League degree packs much more clout than a Touro degree. But as for Brooklyn-Queens College, their degrees are nice, but not much effect.
Secondly, Touro has much evidence backing its success. All those "he chose Touro, .... chose him" are true. I believe that if someone's an intelligent guy, he'll be able to go far in life even if he goes to Touro. And if someone is lazy or stupid, a Brooklyn college degree with a low GPA will not take him much further than a Touro degree would. And as for the people in the middle: as mentioned previously, Touro is an easier college than Brooklyn, both in terms of the fewer cores needed for a degree and also in terms of the classes themselves being more laid-back. So, let's say an average guy can get a 3.8 in Touro and a 3.3 in Brooklyn, for argument's sake. In terms of law school admissions, where undergrad college and GPA play a large role in one's acceptance, I can't see the Brooklyn guy having an edge over the Touro guy.
Thirdly, Touro's reputation is improving. After receiving an visit from the MIddlestates Accrediting Dept. (something like that), they received very positive feedback. So it looks like a bright future for Touro.

Argument #2: The classes in Touro are a joke; you don't learn anything there.

After completing my tenure at Touro, I must say there was 1, maybe 2 classes where I felt like we didn't learn anything. However, I've also heard of professors in Brooklyn who just schmooze the whole time and not teach. So this is not just a Touro problem.
One thing I'll admit: there may be more students in Touro than in Brooklyn who don't learn anything, and will either cram or get an old copy of a test in order to pass exams. But I do know of people in Brooklyn who have also gotten by easily and have treated class as a joke. And I also know of people in Touro who have taken class seriously and have come out gaining a great amount of knowledge.
What it comes down is that how much you'll learn in college is very often more about the student than the teacher.

Argument #3: Touro costs a fortune.

I beleive that is the best argument against Touro. But for many, Touro can be as cheap, if not cheaper, than Touro.

I know of a friend of mine who got a 1330 on his SAT's and got a $6500-a-year scholarship to Touro, making it about the same price as a CUNY college. When you also factor in the money saved from not taking a year of cores, Touro, in this case, comes out to be cheaper than Brooklyn. Even a 1200-ish score will significantly reduce your Touro bill.
Besides, many of Touro's clientelle can easily afford to pay the extra bucks. So if you have the mansion and the Lexus anyway, then money is probably no object for you. And argument #3 simply doesn't apply.

Argument #4: Touro denies one the opportunity to interact with goyim and diverse people.

This argument is a bad one. The ability to ineract with people, Jews or goyim, depends on street-smarts. And that's one thing you can only get from home. No college experience will teach you that. A street-smart Touro guy will have much more success communicating with goyim in the working world than a clueless Brooklyn guy. If anything, the clueless guys should go to Touro so as not to make a fool of thmeselves and cause a chillul Hashem. The people who make a big deal about talking to goyim remind of of when I was a kid and thought that all goyim were cool. If you're confident and street-smart, you can do fine.

In conclusion, the Touro-Brooklyn argument brings to mind an anecdote from my Hasidic uncle Jerry. Jerry is a successful businessman, with an office in the heart of Boro Park. Jerry can easily afford the prestige of an office in Manhattan, but refuses to get one. Why? Because "I want to avoid working in the center of Tumah. G-d will provide for me even if I've got an office in Boro Park."

I believe that there is a similar idea in the Touro-Brooklyn dilemma. If one does his hishtadlus and all the while tries to avoid Tumah, G-d will provide.


Blogger Gary Student said...

Another advantage of Touro over Brooklyn - much, much easier to park your car.

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