Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Thursday, August 4, 2016

by degrees

 When I was growing up academics wasn't stressed in my household. Sure you had to get good grades, passing grades, and complete your schooling but beyond that you were left alone. No, Dad and Mom felt like as long as you could read and write and do your ciphers, you pretty much were good to go in the education department. What was stressed was in knowing how to do stuff.  I don't recall a repairman ever coming to our house to fix, build, or otherwise work on a single thing. No sir, you were expected to know how to do that yourself. Well, except for the television, that was a little too high tech. Sure, you could check the tubes in it and make sure they worked alright and clean the tuner, but anything beyond that called for a real tech assist ! Mostly we just bought another one, I remember getting that color set after the old black and white crapped out. Any plumbing, electrical, carpentry or mechanical work was to be done by yourself. You don't hire somebody to do that stuff ! At least that is the way it was in my house. Academics was fine, but action was superior to that.
 If you grew up in my household you got the impression that the highly educated folks couldn't do much in the way of practical things. That was the reason they all sat behind a desk somewhere. They were good at talking about stuff but not so much at getting it done. They had to hire others to do that, you know, the uneducated folks. Well, it didn't take a degree to go fishing and clamming or to build a house. You couldn't learn that stuff in books. Oh, it was alright to know how stuff works but if you couldn't fix it or build it yourself what good was that ? And another thing about those educated folks, their morals and work ethic weren't the same as ours. Money will do that for you. Next thing you know you get to thinking you are better than everyone else with all that money. Well the fact of the matter is if it comes down to survival I'd rather have a man that was capable of building, fixing and just plain knowing how to do stuff rather than one that can explain it. Those degrees ain't gonna help you survive .
 There was another lesson you were taught. If you worked for something and earned it through your own labor, you appreciated it more. I have to say I agree with that philosophy. I do take more pride in the things I have created myself than the things I can buy. Not much to be proud of if buy it. It may impress somebody else but I'm not. You see the thing about getting these advanced degrees is you are just learning what others already know. You could say that about all knowledge I guess, but you only need to know the basics to survive in the world. Now the man that can " do for himself " is much better off. It is always better when you are not dependent upon others. Those with the college education are always dependent upon others. Their livelihood is based upon that. They figure they are so smart they should get paid for that. And they do ! They are also the ones making it far more difficult for the " common " man to get by without paying them. They disguise it in various ways, say having to have a building permit, a set of professionally drawn plans, and a license to build a house. You also need various licenses and permits to do the plumbing, electrical, environmental studies and the like. Pay the smart guys before you can build. They can sit behind their desk and just collect the money.
 I don't know if it is true or not but I hear a lot of the schools are removing the vocational classes. The high school here has an entire vocational department. They also have an agricultural department. I am a big supporter of that. Hey, not every kid is an Einstein. Some of us are made to be the " common " man. I am also in favor of a child getting as much education as they want. I don't believe however that we should insist or stress that every kid should get a college education. There are far too many disillusioned college graduates out there right now. I understand their plight, it wasn't what was promised. If you get a degree you will make big bucks and be successful and respected in the community. Now they find themselves jobless, in debt and being looked down upon. That degree is of little value when so many possess them.
 So what is the answer here ? I don't know but maybe we should stop being so politically correct and start being honest. Some kids have no business going to college. Gasp, you are not supposed to say that. The truth is not everyone is cut from that mold. Was a time when parents and counselors would just tell the kid that, What happened to that ? Well, the ones running the colleges and universities need students to keep their business going. You know, the ones with the degrees. So, we will insist that everyone get a degree. The only way to get it is to pay me. Don't worry, I will lower the standards somewhat and invent degrees so you can " pass "  and get that sheepskin. Hey, it's not my problem if it doesn't secure you a great paying job behind a desk ! We have started to do that with the trades too. Soon you will have to have graduated from a " trade " school to work in that occupation. You have to be " certified. " It is all about being " educated. " Sounds good doesn't it ?
 I just think there has to be a balance somewhere. I'm all for education, don't make a mistake in thinking otherwise. I also believe you should be capable of doing things for yourself. I do think it is detriment when you don't have even a basic understanding of tools and their uses. You should know how and why that engine runs and how a light switch works. You should know how to build a fire or a shed ! There has to be a balance struck at some point. Academics is a noble pursuit, no doubt, but one needs to learn the practical application of knowledge as well. Some need to be taught what we call common sense. Ah, but that is impossible you say. Perhaps it is, but we should at least try. We are sending kids off to college that have little or no academic aspirations or ability.
 Can you achieve a degree in common sense ? I'm not so sure. Some seem to be born without one. Sometimes it seems like it is a proportional thing. A degree in common sense is lessened by degrees in academics. Sometimes those " smart " folks just ain't got no common sense. At least that is what I have heard.  My observation has been, it does go by degrees. The less intelligent, as measured by degrees, are busy focusing on the practical, while the more degreed folks focus on figuring things out. There really is a broad spectrum. At the present time I think we should shift our focus more to the practical.