Ignorance: A cognitive coma

Enlightenment, like broccoli is necessary, although it’s not always popular. Yet, taste buds and cerebral preferences can be fickle. Broccoli is filled with fiber and folic acid yet millions turn from its natural benefits to greasy, salty, sugary or otherwise death-inducing grub. Less healthy alternatives often often come cheaper.

As college students, we sometimes miss healthy opportunities. Recent graduate tours were that broccoli.
I was a little disturbed by meager student attendance at last weekend’s graduate school tours in Oklahoma.

Yes, Oklahoma doesn’t bring to mind connotations as alluring as states along the east and west coastlines. Yes, the game was a blowout. Yes, we were piled into vans and slept more comfortably on a neighbor’s shoulder than in our spaces. Yes, it wasn’t free.

But it was an opportunity. Former student government presidential candidate, Steven Jackson, followed through on a promise made on the campaign trail by setting up the tours with the SGA cabinet.

I came to Grambling State University during fall 2007. This trip marked the first time that I’ve seen Grambling State students travel to large universities and receive information pertaining to graduate life and education.

But who cashed in on the opportunity? Was the price tag too steep for Ramen noodle veterans? Was it deemed unimportant?

Maybe everyone was in class or engrossed in their studies.
Surely students of this money-hungry, instant-gratification, self-centric, materialistic generation understand the direct correlation between additional degrees and excess monetary “cheese.”

At the very least, we know that during the course of our lives, people who sat in classrooms, cranked out papers, showed their faces at appropriate places, retained information and rubbed the right elbows make decisions that everyone else is left to live with.

About 30 students toured Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma.

While I have a preference for one university over the other, the experience of touring, networking and speaking with black graduate students at a P.W.I. (predominantly white institution) was invaluable.

Throughout the weekend I met several international GSU students. We exchanged opinions, chatted, quipped and enjoyed the trip.

I was taken aback that more American students didn’t attend.

Was everyone saving his or her $35 for Cotton Bowl garb? Was it not properly publicized?

Some colleagues expressed that they never knew about the trip, but would love to travel soon.

I wondered if students met the expectations of student leaders. Jackson reserved 30 slots, but said that more buses would be ordered if an influx of students decided to go.

This isn’t an attempt to pass judgment on students who chose not to attend. Life is about choices. We are all confronted with the need to make important choices.

However, we’re in college for a reason. It’s a challenge.
If we don’t challenge our diets, selves, leaders and suppositions, we cheapen ourselves in ignorance. Ignorance is a symptom of a cognitive coma.

Similar opportunities will probably be presented. I am hopeful that we will visit law schools in the near future and encourage students to communicate with their elected leadership about other possible trips.

This weekend’s game in Dallas will be dessert. Next time let’s not skip the veggies.