From Mike’s Forum on Discovery:
I’m curious how you, who attended 6 years of college, came to appreciate and respect the people who do the less glamorous jobs. Did your parents raise you to appreciate every one’s struggle?
Seems like a simple point these days, but it’s shocking how many people still think that schooling has anything to do with wisdom, knowledge or value to society.
What’s your opinion? — M
My opinion is that, in general, a college experience will make you a much richer person. A college degree however, will not. As you suggest, the pursuit of knowledge is very different than the pursuit of accomplishment, and a degree can only speak to the latter.
We tell our kids that a college degree will elevate them above others. It won’t. We tell ourselves that a degree makes us more credible than we were before receiving it. It doesn’t. A sheepskin has no more significance than that which you assign to it, and probably a good deal less. Degrees are trophies, to be hung on the wall and admired, usually by the one who received it. Like the head of a dead deer, they stare back at us from above the mantle, leaving others to wonder about the rest of the animal. Fancy papers and severed heads tell us nothing of real life or real understanding – only about money and ego.
I missed my graduation in favor of a Pink Floyd concert at Madison Square Garden. My actual degree was sent to my parent’s house, and opened by my Dad. I remember the message he left me. “Hey Mike, you got something from the University. It looks like a receipt…”