Something has been bothering me…

This is just a little opinion piece on something that annoys the shit out of me…

And what’s that you ask?

Well, it’s when people equate lack of a college degree with being uneducated.

Let me just start out by saying I have an MAED which I have never used and probably never will use. I wanted to let you know that before you think I’m someone lacking any formal education picking on those who decided to go to college and earn a degree.

If you want to go to college that’s great. However, it doesn’t make you smarter than those who didn’t go.

On the news and on social media, I continuously hear attacks on the “uneducated,” and it gets under my skin every time. The use the term as a weapon to insult people as being “dumb” or “less than” and we all know it.

I also see on the news and social media, lots of people moaning about their student loans. Loans they will be paying off for a very long time because (like me) they have a degree that they don’t use or one that won’t get them a job.

Going to college doesn’t make you smart. I’ve met a lot of people in institutions of higher learning that were complete morons.

I mean, geez, birds can learn to repeat what is heard. They’re called parrots. And that’s how these chirping people on social media look to me. They’re constantly repeating what’s been told. They have no critical thinking skills, no technical skills, no usable skills that I can see other than being trolls and shouting about their student loans and educational superiority.

Now, I don’t mean everyone that has student loans. I mean the people who have student loans that they can’t possibly pay off because they didn’t make wise choices. They didn’t pursue a useful degree that had earning power. No wonder they’re so angry and have so much time on their hands. But they’ve got that worthless degree (I had to strike worthless because here comes its use…) that they USE to feel superior to the “uneducated” person who didn’t go to college.

Here’s just a little example we’ll make up for fun.

Let’s take Joe and Mark…

Both Joe and Mark are passionate about craft beer. Joe took an apprenticeship with a brewmaster and didn’t go to college to get a degree. Maybe he took a few classes here and there, but he learned what he needed to know from the brewmaster, those few classes, and books (maybe even free ones he found at the library). He began tucking money away (while lifting, sweating, sweeping, and cleaning kegs and equipment) to open his own brewery someday. While doing all these things, he also made all kinds of important connections in the industry.

Mark went to college and got one of those fancy new brewing degrees. Good thing he got training in all those required courses he had to pay for. One knows you can’t brew good beer without those twelve courses pertaining to the liberal arts. Mark has his fancy brewing degree (they’ll provide a degree in anything nowadays, won’t they? *insert eye roll).  He’ll get a job doing the very things Joe did years ago (because no one starts out a brewmaster) and won’t be able to set money aside to save for his own brewery because he’s paying down those student loans. He’ll be able to parrot information he learned in college but won’t have any critical thinking skills. Uh-oh, how will he figure out what went wrong with the glycol system at the brewery? He didn’t learn that in any of his expensive text books. He’ll be able to follow recipes but won’t know how to create incredible, innovative beers lacking the artistry that Joe cultivated by learning hands-on via a master.

But at least Mark will be able to call Joe uneducated and screech at him on social media, feeling superior that he is an educated person.

Mark (insert any name of anyone with any useless degree here) will never see how he is the one that looks like a fool.

I started college, not knowing what I wanted to do, and wasted money. I had no focus, unlike a friend of mine who knew she wanted to be an accountant, went to college for that, and has had a wonderful, successful career that she enjoys. She’s smart! She made a wise choice.

But I wasn’t making a good choice by racking up student loans. So I made a brilliant decision, one that was right for me, I dropped out and joined the Air Force. I got my first degree because it was required for me to get my commission (for those of you who don’t know what that means, I became an officer.) I got the second so that I wouldn’t waste my G.I. Bill (that was when we had to pay into it and couldn’t transfer it to family members.) I’d like to add that I hear a lot of people who like to put down members of the military as being uneducated. I always have to bite my tongue hard here. The brightest and most amazing people I’ve ever met have been members of my military family.

My first enlisted (some would translate “enlisted” to mean “uneducated”) job was as a linguist. I spent 52 weeks learning to speak, read, listen and understand the Russian language fluently. Sound dumb to you? There are some who probably would consider me so because I hadn’t earned a college degree yet.

Everything that I do now, I do because of talent, passion, and self-learning. That’s worth a lot more to me than a piece of paper. Anyone can earn a piece of paper, but not everyone can make a mark on this world like a lot of “uneducated” people have done.

That’s all I’ve got to say on the matter. I’ll leave you with some words from a few others on the topic.

“How could youths better learn to live than by at once trying the experiment of living?” ~Henry David Thoreau

“Education is one of the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought.” ~Bertrand Russell

“He was so learned that he could name a horse in nine languages; so ignorant that he bought a cow to ride on.” ~Benjamin Franklin

“Education is a state-controlled manufactory of echoes” ~Norman Douglas

“It is in fact nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curious of inquiry. It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty.” Albert Einstein

“Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.” ~Joseph Stalin

(That last one should make you resist the urge to parrot everything you’re told, oh learned ones, but rather to think for yourself, question, and use reason and fact.)

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