First of all, you need to go read this (link sent to me by Jane). In particular, read the comments.
Okay. I’ll wait.
Done now? Well, skim dammit.
Now this isn’t meant to be a Jeff Goldstein-bashing post which is all the rage these days. See here and, well, anywhere where smart people post. But every time that I read some of the things that these higher-educated fools with advanced degrees write it makes me feel better about the one thing that I’m not proud of in my life…
I’m not a lesbian.
No. That’s not it.
I never finished college.
And by saying I didn’t finish college, let’s just say that I was as close to finishing college as Hugh Hewitt was to the action in Iraq while sitting in the Empire State building.
Long confession, brief explanation: I went off to college with the intent of becoming an english teacher and scoring with hot chicks (as they were known back then), and I want to be clear that becoming an english teacher is not necessarily the way to score with hot chicks…unless you’re Michael BÃ©rubÃ©. Anyway, I loaded up on every english class that they would let me take. Creative writing, surveys of English Literature 18xx-19xx, film as literature, etc. etc. Trouble is, I wasn’t interested in the general ed classes that I should have been taking. But that wasn’t the real issue. Somewhere along the line I did a TV commercial and was paid a surprisingly ridiculous amount of money that meant that I didn’t have to work and, for some reason, I felt I didn’t have to go to school either. Later I became a roofer and it occured to me that I was could make a lot more money doing things other than becoming a teacher and, being the good little capitalist that I am, I never went back. Also I got to wear shorts every day and have a wicked tan. Playing into all of this was the fact that I didn’t want to become an english teacher so that I could mold young minds like Sidney Poitier in To Sir, With Love, but because I wanted to live in books which were my passion. Also, I don’t like kids that much.
So I dropped out.
Unlike many I have always made a good living without a college education. I’ve even sat on search committees reviewing resumes from applicants with MBA’s and PHD’s from Ivy League colleges (True story: one time we were reviewing applicants from schools like Duke, Penn, and Cornell and someone said: “Here’s one from Liberty University.”…and everyone, myself included starting laughing.) The point being: I’ve been lucky. Really lucky. But in the back of mind I’ve always had this nagging little voice that keeps telling me that I should have gone back, that I should have finished what I started, and it still bugs me. Of course, that voice also told me to invest in mood ring futures and it has never once apologized. Not once.
But I digress. Getting back to my point, and I do have one, I still wish that I had not been such a young fool and that I had done the work and finished my formal education, but there are some days when I read what passes for intellgent discourse from the overly educated on the internets and I am reminded of the words of Randy Newman who once wrote:
College men from LSU.
Went in dumb.
Come out dumb too.
…and I feel a little bit better about the choices that I made.
Now, who wants to buy a mood ring?