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#0848: Click and Clack's Campus Counseling: A's are Overrated!

Original Air Date: 11.29.2008

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On this week's encore edition of Car Talk, college student Lea pleads for guidance though the existential crisis otherwise known as freshman year. How does she deal with the prospect of becoming an adult? And, come to think of it, why in Bluto Blutarsky's name does she think Tom and Ray can help? Also, a cross-country move gets expensive for one caller, after her Great Dane decides to see the USA from the hood of her pickup, a Mazda owner wonders what a flashing coolant light and low coolant could mean, aside from the fact that she's low on coolant, and is there any car-related sound more annoying than a mechanic endlessly repeating, "I promise, this time it really is fixed!" All that, plus greetings from the self-proclaimed Automotive Bermuda Triangle of the Midwest, this week on a special encore edition of Car Talk.

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Ignorance writ large

by Anonymous

It seems that I am the sole voice who thinks that everyone on the show was ignorant this week. The negligent professor was laughable, of course. But the rant against college was mystifying. Why do we clamor so much for universal access to education if we don't want to be educated? Surely grades aren't the only measure of education, but the dismissal of college professors as hacks who can't find other work was sad. It's no wonder we're a nation of know-nothings. Self gratification is the only imperative, it seems. Why is it that the teacher is the enemy except in overdramatized films that show the teacher as a rebel? Most teachers really want meaningful relationships with their students. Those who have grown sour and unhelpful have done so because they have been pushed away by indifference. It is hard to understand why so many students (and parents) spend so much energy resisting something that they pay so much for and seem to regard as a civil right. Why not just skip college altogether and save the debt? If Ray and Tom had any sense at all, they'd have given her that advice. Counseling Leah to stay in college and half-ass her way through is a sorry excuse for advice.

College Credit

by OhCatburn4

Loved your "B" take on the whole college thing. Amazed at your ESP on "Black" Asian car. I do want more.. Want to know the rest of that song you played. Did the light ever turn green for the guy who kept getting beeped at? Put me in the mind of Little Nash Rambler whose horn just went beep, beep, beep.

Favorite Moment: My favortie moments are always the closings... DoHe Cheatum and HOW. I love that stuff... Russian Chauffer.. Pickup and Dropoff.

Dog on the Cab - NOT!

by garirae02

Your concern for Leah was and is highly commendable. However, you should have communicated stronger derision towards the giggly, arrogant, college professor who wanted national attention for allowing her dog to "ride" on the top of her pickup cab. In California, this would be illegal, but that aside, the danger to the dog is EXTREME. That said, I can't believe that a dog wouldn't slip off the cab roof when the brakes are applied, even most slightly. That said #2: you should have instructed her to get a kennel for the truck bed and put the dog in there. Sorry, I love your show, but I just feel you missed an opportunity to tell an "intelligent" person that they are bordering on animal cruelty by garnering personal attention for such dangerous behavior.

bad advice

by vandyh

The freshman who called your show does not need to be told that all her hard work is overrated. Hard work in pursuing an education should be congratulated, and good grades are a measure of that hard work. Shame on you for not valuing an excellent education and for not supporting someone who is trying to get an education.

Dog on the Cab - NOT!

by garirae02

Kudos for your support of Leah, but pans for college professor who thought it was funny that her dog rode on the top of her truck cab.

Missed Opportunity

by mgk2052

Great show, but one flaw: You failed to remind Lea of her smart decision to choose one of the seven sisters' school for her undergraduate education! Come on guys, particularly as three of the five remaining single-sex schools are in the great state of MA. This country (and the world) very much needs women of courage, conscience and creativity. So congrats, Lea. Congrats as well to Wellesley, Smith, Mt. Holyoke, Bryn Mawr and Barnard for continuing to sail against the current. By the way, Lea, hopefully before you graduate women will have finally realized equal pay for equal work...maybe? Happy Holidays, guys. Wouldn't be as much fun without your show.

Favorite Moment: Lea's call back.

You guys are crazy!!!

by sedgecreek

Wow, it sounds like you saved your son's life...as well as that young lady. Crazy like a life saver!!

Nothing to do with Car Advice

by Anonymous

Who would have ever thought I would search out this review to send to my daughter - 3 months after I heard the review - on the evening she was having a panic attack over making a B. Nothing to do with cars - Just good life advice.

Open Air Dogs

by Robin

I was wasting a perfectly good hour driving in to work listening to Car Talk, amused and bemused, and then horrifed. I was absolutely stunned by the utter ignorance of the self-proclaimed university professor who thought it was not only OK to let her dog run around in the back of a pickup, but to think it funny that it ended up on top of the cab. Presumably she has a PhD but is seriously lacking in any common sense or respect for her own canine companion. First, it's illegal, at least here in Mass., for an animal to be in the bed of a pickup unless it is in a kennel that is securely tied down. I think this is the case in many states these days. I'm really, really surprised that Tom and Ray hadn't mentioned this. I was shocked by this caller, actually. Would she have laughed if the dog got killed? Would she have thought, oh well, it's just a dog? and shrugged it off, because she seemed completely repulsed by the idea of her dog riding inside of the vehicle. It sounds like she shouldn't own a dog. I was simply horrified. Tom and Ray's response didn't seem to fit with the unexpected seriousness of the situation. Tom and Ray, I realize she was from California and living in Georgia (kinda says a lot) but please review the following: The law. Massachusetts, New Hampshire, California, Maine, Oregon, Washington, Florida and Rhode Island restrict dogs from trucks or open vehicles. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 22H states that no person shall transport any animal in the back of a motor vehicle in a space intended for any load on the vehicle on a public way unless: the space is enclosed or has side and tail racks to a height of at least 46 inches extending vertically from the floor; the animal is cross-tethered to the vehicle (simple, inexpensive cross-tethering devices are sold at pet-supply stores for $15-$40); the animal is protected by a secured container or cage; or the animal is otherwise protected in a manner that will prevent the animal from being thrown or from falling or jumping from the vehicle. Violation of this law is punishable by a fine not less than $50. In addition, transporting your animals in an unsafe manner may also, in certain circumstances, constitute criminal animal cruelty pursuant to Mass. General Laws Chapter 272 Section 77. Prior to this law passing in 1998, in a statewide survey, 71 percent of Massachusetts veterinarians reported having treated animals (mostly dogs) injured as a result of riding unsecured and unprotected in the back of open-bed vehicles. This resulted in more than 600 dogs being injured while transported in this unsafe manner. If truck bed transport is necessary, use a pet harness that encircles shoulders and rib cage (not just a neck collar). Attach the harness to a cross-tether, which hooks to a truck anchor on each side. Most pets will actually feel more comfortable and secure when they are restrained. In short, while Tom and Ray's suggestion of a harness type restraint might theoretically be within the law, it's still a bad idea. It's more of a last resort option, not standard operating procedure. That university professor needs a good dope slap. Or three.

Grades do not equal "the best"

by Anonymous

This was a good show and I enjoyed hearing the comments about college. However, I have to throw my two bits in on this subject. Grades only reflect on how much the student agrees with the professor/teacher. Their were classes where I produced Bs and As with one professor then in another class with the same professor, I would get Cs and Ds. This was in part because much of the class was theory and therefore subject to debate. In this day and age, college is not worth what it was thirty to fifty years ago. I would swear that college degrees are a dime a dozen and if you were to want a comfortable job, you need to go to graduate school this days. And in my college experience at Shippensburg University, I found that the education was fantasic in my field (being History with a minor in Anthropology). However, they were extremely lacking in helping with finding internships, finding a job, pretty much doing a horrid job of preparing myself for post college. This is not to say that I did not try. I have tried and still am trying after eight years now. I have done volunteer work at an archive and am disgusted to find that in order to get a job there, I need grad school courses or job equivalant. But the catch-22 is all the skills that I had performed at the volunter-level, were skills I learned back in elementary school (no exaggeration). Maybe the system is a little more complicated, but the concepts of organization and research are still pretty much the same.

Favorite Moment: When Leah called in at the end of the show.

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