Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Is Going To College The Best Way To Get An Education?

I say that earning a college degree is no better than any other way of learning how to be an important part of this society that we live in.

In 1968, five months after I graduated from high school in Dundalk Maryland, I moved to Patten Maine and seven months later I received my Registered Maine Hunting and Fishing Guide's License. But I was only qualified as, and worked as, a beginner hunting guide for Black Bear hunters. I guided just about every level of successful individual, from barely educated blue-collar worker guys who had to work and save for years to be able to go on a hunting trip to doctors, lawyers, and wealthy businessmen who had no problem affording their hunting trips. I equally respected them all for what they had done to earn their hunting trip money. When we were out in the woods, and I was the only guide there, then it was me who got us out safely--including when it was after dark and we were tracking wounded bears without any firearms in our possession (having guns in the woods at night is illegal, and it's not as thrilling to be out there). During my time as an 18 to 19 year old Maine Guide, I came to the conclusion that all individuals who do their job right are just about equally valuable in our human society. The university learning’s of any hunters who had college degrees didn't mean squat down in the deep Maine woods. What meant the most at times was what I had learned from old time Maine Guides who had eighth grade public school educations--but they had superb real life educations in being top-notch woodsmen. Out in the woods only more experienced guides were better educated than myself.

Then I went into the Army and became an enlisted man and a photographer who photographed higher ranking soldiers and their families at parties at the officer's club and just the officers during duty times. 99% of the Army officers had college degrees, but some were not too good at their jobs. Some were down right piss poor excuses for human beings. I was very fortunate that I never went to Vietnam, but I do know that over there, during that damned war, a lower ranking enlisted man who knew his job from on the job experience was more likely to stay alive in combat and to keep his comrades safe than any higher ranking commissioned officer who didn’t know anymore than what he had learned at West Point Military Academy.

Do you realize all that a farmer has to know to be successful? Many farmers nowadays have college educations, but sometimes it is the everyday stuff that they have learned which saves the farm or their very lives.

Housewives who raise several children well and keep a good home are very well educated in what they need to know.

One job category that our society cannot do without is the lowly educated guys who hang off the back of trash trucks everyday. If we all said hey screw it we ain't gonna pick up that nasty garbage and handle it into the back of a trash truck then it would pile up all over the place. Germs, insects, rats, mice, and other critters would feed on that waste till it was the worst stuff that ‘you never did see’. Terrible diseases would emanate from it and run rampant in our populated areas while killing off millions of us. Consequently, the lowest educated amongst us can be just as valuable in our human society as the highest educated amongst us--and that's a natural fact.

I have thought about all of these things concerning the values of various kinds of educations, now and then, for several decades now. In that time, I haven't found any evidence nor heard nor read any facts that can change my mind on what I believe here. We are all fairly well equal.

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