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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Tuesday, June 26 2001

Higher education

An occasionally seen bumper sticker in my part of the world is, "if you think education is expensive, try ignorance." Though it probably is aimed at getting votes for larger appropriations for state (called "public") schools, which appropriations I, like most Californians, usually vote against feeling they'd be misspent, nevertheless the slogan makes a valid point. Education is expensive but, in the personal if not the abstract sense, is worth it.

My eight years of post-secondary education (spread over 12 years after high school) has probably been the most "expensive" investment in my life (I don't own a house, which would cost more here in the San Francisco Bay Area). But by the same token, I consider it money well spent. And although I received several scholarships in the process, it was for the most part money I earned at Acme Markets, the Nanty Glo Journal, the Christian Beacon and in the ministry, working full time all the way through. (Acme, in my freshman and sophomore years, allowed its student clerks to work no more than 32 hours a week, but that was considered "full time" for tax and benefits purposes.)

I was probably more creative than most in avoiding courses I dreaded or thought I couldn't master, like math and "hard" sciences (sociology and psychology courses being considered "soft" sciences), but despite the popular mytholody and the advertising campaigns by technical schools that a liberal education is largely useless, I don't consider any of my liberal arts courses (from poetry to history to geography to sociology) wasted. On the contrary, I've seen much evidence throughout my adult life that my good education in good schools (Pitt and UCLA atop the list) has played a major role in getting good jobs and better pay and, when I was "self-employed" in campus ministry, getting exceptional opportunities at the universities (especially Stanford for 11 years) where I was working.

Even more importantly, those courses have generally contributed to an enhanced personal life in myriad ways, from having taught me to think more clearly and logically, to understanding a host of topics I wouldn't have encountered in technical school, to loving reading and lifelong learning, to being able to express myself better in writing and public speaking (one-to-one speaking, as my former wife was always ready to remind me, may have been another matter).

In fact, I've long thought that my MA was "worth it" just because of the confidence acquiring it instilled. I moved to Stanford immediately from finishing the MA at UCLA, and I'm still (nearly three decades later) surprised at what I was able to do there on the strength of that "credential."

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

26 signs you're now an adult (collect 'em all!)

k. Older relatives feel comfortable telling dirty jokes around you.

l. You don't know what time Taco Bell closes anymore.

m. Your car insurance goes down and your car payments go up.

n. You feed your dog Science Diet instead of McDonald's.

o. Sleeping on the couch makes your back hurt.

Sent by Zan

Five more to grow on

"Let us always have in mind that every attempt in the history of the world to establish a loafer's paradise has wound up a dictator's hell-hole." Harold Stassen

"Any power ceded to a government will be abused, given time." Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.

"I don't believe in the collective wisdom of average ignorance." Unknown

"As often as a study is cultivated by narrow minds, they will draw from it narrow conclusions." John Stuart Mill

"In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one class of citizens to give it to another." Voltaire

Selected

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