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February 2021

Trains and College Part II

The university and college of the 21st century will not be a "campus," it will be part of a system. 

One, no college and even university campus will be able to be all-things-to-all-students. Our world is too complex. Our knowledge too specialized.  The investment in disciplines too high.  Many state universities are already in systems, even though they act like separate campuses. 

Trains will change all that.  With trains shuttling between college and university towns several times a day, students will be able to take a train to another campus within the same system for a given class, and back home again.  Faculty will also be able to take the same trains to other campuses to teach, and home again.  

In our area of the state, we have within 100 miles the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, University of Wisconsin-Stout (in Menominee), and University of Wisconsin-River Falls.  And we have a train planned for 4 trips each way each day.  

It is coming sooner than some may think. The financial necessity is also driving efficiency. The need for better pedagogy and completion will drive the quest for greater quality. Trains can get us there and achieve both.

Train RF Facebook

Trains and Schools Part I

Kentaro, from Tokyo, came to live with us while completing high school in the U.S. as part of the student exchange AFS program. Kentaro

One day I asked him, How old were you when you first rode on a train?  He said, Six.    I said, no, no, you misunderstood me. I mean, how old were you when you first rode on a train all by yourself?  He said, Six.  (he was kind enough not to suggest I was the one who misunderstood).  He said he went to school on the train by himself. I said, Where were your parents?   He looked at me with dismay and said, They were working of course. 

Unfathomable as it might be today, it will be fathomable sometime in this century for K-12 students to take the train to school. In fact, in Minneapolis all high school students already have free bus and light rail passes to come-and-go to school.