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Subject: Edumacation rss

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Dave G
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Not really, R, S, or P here but since this is my BGG home I figured I'd share here.

Fourteen years ago I graduated high school and, since I couldn't afford to go to Northwestern and Marquette was in a shitty neighborhood in a shitty city in the second shittiest state* I enrolled at the University of Illinois as an English major. I had every intention then of graduating four years later, coming back to my old high school to coach football and teach English, and living happily ever after in a grown up version of my life to that point. I was a good student, I had a 34 on my ACTs, the university was giving me $2500 a semester just for being Mexican, and I grew up in a school district where something like 80% of the graduates went on to college. It was just what I was supposed to do, and I assumed it would all be as easy as high school had been.

I spent the next five years drinking, smoking, playing video games, watching the Game Show Network, making new friends, battling a serious depression, changing majors four times, trying to learn to play bass guitar, and reading every book I could find except the ones assigned to me. I failed the same Spanish course four times--to be fair, I only attended five class sessions of that course; three of them in the first semester I took it. I was a world-class fuckup, the dictionary definition of wasted potential with the world's worst work ethic.

When I left U of I five years later I was on academic probation, deeply in debt, and still at least a semester away from getting my degree in Rhetoric/Narrative Fiction. (Cue Drew snickering at me for getting a degree in creative writing.) I considered going to culinary school, decided the hours weren't for me, and in spite of the urging of my then-fiancee (now ex-wife) I had no intention of ever going back. I got a job selling radio ads for a two-bit local radio station in Joliet IL (the asshole of Chicago, in the running for worst place on Earth) for $26k plus commissions, and settled in for a miserable life.

Things change, the way things have a tendency to do. I was a pretty good salesman, good enough to get another job at a massive third-party logistics firm with a couple offices in Chicago. I also discovered that when there was a strict correlation between "work ethic" and "food on the table" I was willing to put a lot more effort in. I got divorced, moved back to the civilized suburbs, and discovered that I'm really, really fucking good at logistics. Sales to operations, I had that shit down. By the time I started dating the wonderful woman who is my current wife, I was on an accelerated management track and making a good living, with tons of upside potential. We talked a bit about my going back to school someday, but I was never that interested and (unlike my ex-wife) she didn't seem to think any less of me for not having a degree.

Fast-forward another couple years, and my good job at the big 3PL suddenly turns pretty lousy. In September of '10 they ask me to take a 40% pay cut because the branch had under-performed (only growing 4% year-over-year rather than the 15% the company demanded) and I started looking around. A customer of mine at the time had an opening for a Logistics Director, and after a quick interview I had a substantial raise, half the commute, and an impressive sounding job title. Not bad for a college dropout.

About a year ago my boss came in my office and asked what I thought about getting an MBA. I laughed, said I couldn't afford it, and pointed out that I didn't even have a BA yet. He didn't laugh, told me he'd pay for it, and told me he'd pay for me to finish my BA as well. I stopped laughing, sputtered out a thank you, and went home to think it over. My wife and I decided a free MBA was nothing to turn up my nose at, so I went back the next day and said I'd go for it.

Yesterday I took my last final. At the end of May, I'll receive the diploma I was originally supposed to get in the Spring of 2002. Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric (Narrative Fiction) with a minor in Film Studies. I'm awfully proud, considering that I never expected to see this day and that I was pretty sure until a few minutes ago that I never really cared about earning that piece of paper anyway. Just thought I'd share. Please resume your regularly scheduled Obama-bashing now.

*Behind South Carolina, obviously.
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True Blue Jon
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That's awesome, Dave! I have a similar college story but I still haven't gotten that Bachelor's degree.
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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So, as a Mexican... you were lazy? I'm just collecting data points here.
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Dave G
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ejmowrer wrote:
So, as a Mexican... you were lazy? I'm just collecting data points here.


I'm only half-Mexican, and I'm completely lazy, so adjust your data accordingly.
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Dave G
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bjlillo wrote:
So, how much of this is narrative fiction?


I save the narrative fiction stuff for when I write my Tripp/BJ slash fic.
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djgutierrez77 wrote:
ejmowrer wrote:
So, as a Mexican... you were lazy? I'm just collecting data points here.


I'm only half-Mexican, and I'm completely lazy, so adjust your data accordingly.


at this point the other half becomes germane.
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Dave G
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muntmeister wrote:
djgutierrez77 wrote:
ejmowrer wrote:
So, as a Mexican... you were lazy? I'm just collecting data points here.


I'm only half-Mexican, and I'm completely lazy, so adjust your data accordingly.


at this point the other half becomes germane.


Half-Mexican, half-German, all lazy.
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Xander Fulton
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djgutierrez77 wrote:
I was a world-class fuckup, the dictionary definition of wasted potential with the world's worst work ethic.


Out of curiosity, to what do you attribute the failure?
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Clay
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djgutierrez77 wrote:
bjlillo wrote:
So, how much of this is narrative fiction?


I save the narrative fiction stuff for when I write my Tripp/BJ slash fic.


You're writing a slash fic about giving Tripp a BJ?
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Kelsey Rinella
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No offense, man, but I doubt Drew's the only one snickering.
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Kelsey Rinella
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djgutierrez77 wrote:
muntmeister wrote:
djgutierrez77 wrote:
ejmowrer wrote:
So, as a Mexican... you were lazy? I'm just collecting data points here.


I'm only half-Mexican, and I'm completely lazy, so adjust your data accordingly.


at this point the other half becomes germane.


Half-Mexican, half-German, all lazy.


Holy crap--muntmeister's a freaking WIZARD. He says the other half is German and BAM! Done.
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Dave G
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XanderF wrote:
djgutierrez77 wrote:
I was a world-class fuckup, the dictionary definition of wasted potential with the world's worst work ethic.


Out of curiosity, to what do you attribute the failure?


I'd say partly the depression, partly the partying, but mostly a failure to understand at 20 years old that my actions then would have a ripple effect through the rest of my life. I wasn't at all interested in school, for one thing. I was doing it for all the wrong reasons--to please my parents, to please my ex, because it was what I was "supposed" to do. I did really, really well in my writing classes. I loved that part of it. I just couldn't bring myself to give a shit about getting up at 8am to go to a class about Jane Austen or African geography.

To be fair, I still think college is a lot of bullshit. In all my years as a hiring manager I've never seen a new employee excel at his job because of his college education. You either have the combination of work ethic and native intelligence to be a good employee, or you don't. A degree in "entrepreneurship" doesn't mean shit the day you walk in the door of your first job. College is just a hurdle we put up to make people prove they can jump.
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Dave G
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The Message wrote:
djgutierrez77 wrote:
bjlillo wrote:
So, how much of this is narrative fiction?


I save the narrative fiction stuff for when I write my Tripp/BJ slash fic.


You're writing a slash fic about giving Tripp a BJ?


Volumes and volumes. The best part is when Pike shows up with a pair of handcuffs and a tub of crisco.
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bjlillo wrote:
So, how much of this is narrative fiction?


I can personally attest that this narrative is true - or at least consistent with what Dave has told me all along - but the part that is truly stranger than fiction is that he managed to get his wife to marry him. I've met her. She's totally out of his league.
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Dave G
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Golux13 wrote:
bjlillo wrote:
So, how much of this is narrative fiction?


I can personally attest that this narrative is true - or at least consistent with what Dave has told me all along - but the part that is truly stranger than fiction is that he managed to get his wife to marry him. I've met her. She's totally out of his league.


He's not lying. I waaaaaay outkicked my coverage there. Lucky for me we have a baby now and she's stuck with me.
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Congratulations on finishing the work for your degree, Dave!
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Paul Sauberer
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Congratulations, Dave!

Not just on the academic stuff, but on apparently finding a boss that values his employees. Those kinds of employers are still around.
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Rich Charters
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djgutierrez77 wrote:
To be fair, I still think college is a lot of bullshit. In all my years as a hiring manager I've never seen a new employee excel at his job because of his college education. You either have the combination of work ethic and native intelligence to be a good employee, or you don't. A degree in "entrepreneurship" doesn't mean shit the day you walk in the door of your first job. College is just a hurdle we put up to make people prove they can jump.
I agree with your observation but disagree with your conclusion. When interviewing people for jobs I agree that the candidate's schooling curriculum has nothing to do with the person's potential success in the job. Communication is the most important skill in a position (even a technical position).

I also agree that College is a hurdle to prove you can jump. The same skills that allow you to succeed in college (organization, dedication, time management, perseverance) will help you succeed in many jobs.

But to me what college should be about is broadening your outlook on life. You should be exposed to knowledge, people, situations you haven't seen before. It is generally the 1st time away from home. To me the general education side of a college education is the most important part of the education. Some of my favorite and most important courses were introduction to film, intro to humanities, intro to philosophy, world religions, etc... College should be a time to open your eyes to the world.

So the reason to go to college is:
Be able to suceed at a job later no!
Learn things that you will use in your job no!
Earn a better salary later no!
Become a better rounded person and learn something new about life. Yes!
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Clay
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richcharters wrote:
djgutierrez77 wrote:
To be fair, I still think college is a lot of bullshit. In all my years as a hiring manager I've never seen a new employee excel at his job because of his college education. You either have the combination of work ethic and native intelligence to be a good employee, or you don't. A degree in "entrepreneurship" doesn't mean shit the day you walk in the door of your first job. College is just a hurdle we put up to make people prove they can jump.
I agree with your observation but disagree with your conclusion. When interviewing people for jobs I agree that the candidate's schooling curriculum has nothing to do with the person's potential success in the job. Communication is the most important skill in a position (even a technical position).

I also agree that College is a hurdle to prove you can jump. The same skills that allow you to succeed in college (organization, dedication, time management, perseverance) will help you succeed in many jobs.

But to me what college should be about is broadening your outlook on life. You should be exposed to knowledge, people, situations you haven't seen before. It is generally the 1st time away from home. To me the general education side of a college education is the most important part of the education. Some of my favorite and most important courses were introduction to film, intro to humanities, intro to philosophy, world religions, etc... College should be a time to open your eyes to the world.

So the reason to go to college is:
Be able to suceed at a job later no!
Learn things that you will use in your job no!
Earn a better salary later no!
Become a better rounded person and learn something new about life. Yes!


Exactly. Now if we could just get society to place the emphasis on that aspect rather than the "rush through it to start making money" version.
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richcharters wrote:
Exactly. Now if we could just get society to place the emphasis on that aspect rather than the "rush through it to start making money" version.


As a college teacher, I fully endorse this message.
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djgutierrez77 wrote:
To be fair, I still think college is a lot of bullshit. In all my years as a hiring manager I've never seen a new employee excel at his job because of his college education. You either have the combination of work ethic and native intelligence to be a good employee, or you don't.


richcharters wrote:


I also agree that College is a hurdle to prove you can jump. The same skills that allow you to succeed in college (organization, dedication, time management, perseverance) will help you succeed in many jobs.



This certainly may be the case in many fields (business is the most obvious example), but in engineering and the sciences you literally cannot do any aspect of your technical duties without the proper training. Work ethic and intelligence will not be enough. Just sayin.

But I do agree that the most important component of higher education is the acquisition of general knowledge, life experience, and learning how to think. If you have the work ethic and intellectual curiosity focusing on those things will take you a long way. But you still won't turn an English major into a chemist or a petroleum engineer.
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"If then a practical end must be assigned to a University course, I say it is that of training good members of society... It is the education which gives a man a clear, conscious view of their own opinions and judgements, a truth in developing them, an eloquence in expressing them, and a force in urging them. It teaches him to see things as they are, to go right to the point, to disentangle a skein of thought to detect what is sophistical and to discard what is irrelevant". Cardinal John Henry Newman.

Adding some R and P to the thread.
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Te voy a contestar en castellano sólo para castigarte por haber suspendido cuatro veces ese curso. ¿No te da vergüenza, estar cobrando pasta por ser mexicano y no presentarte a clase de español? Estos hispánicos sois... somos... hum. Congratulations!
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Actually. college boy, it's spelled edumakashun. Damn liberal college elitists can't even spell.
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Grats Dave. Let's see if your newfound college education credentials will serve you well in Diplomacy.


 
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