August 13, 2008
Originally published March 1, 2005
I've been over this ground* many times before with friends of mine who never finished college. Or those who DID finish, but never took advantage of what was offered them. Yes, I have a degree in ENGLISH LITERATURE. And yes, I ended up working for 24 years as a supervisor in a chemical plant. What else are you going to do with a degree in English Lit except become a teacher?
I'll tell you what my degree did for me. It taught me to read and write as an articulate human being. I did a LOT of communication via email and letters during my career. When you "speak" to people with whom you'll probably never meet in person, what you inscribe on paper is the only impression they'll ever have of you. You can come across as a complete idiot or someone worthy of trust, and it's all based on your words. I could come across as something other than a complete idiot.
My degree impressed my bosses. I probably gained a few promotions at work because I proved that I could finish what I started, even if it was a mere liberal arts degree.
I also learned that I could teach myself ANYTHING by reading. I have degrees and certificates all stored in a box somewhere to prove that I am certified as a firefighter, a chemical Haz-Mat Incident Commander, a Confined Space Rescue expert, a Licensed ASME Boiler Technician, a Certified Medical First Responder, a Six Sigma Green Belt, a QRO for burning waste-heat furnaces, DOT Haz-Chem shipping certifications, a genuine, gold-embossed sheepskin from the Philip Crosby College of Quality and I forget what all else. But I've got a stack of that shit.
And I wouldn't have ANY of that without my pissy little liberal arts degree in English Literature from Armstrong State College.
Steve (*[at Hog on Ice] whose archives I can't find... Love, Stevie), you can bite my Cracker ass on this one. My education paid for itself many times over again.
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