Wednesday, May 2, 2007

"You will do anything. You will grovel."

Great line from Barbara Ehrenreich's article at The Nation, The Higher Education Scam ( 30 April 2007).

She comments on issues surrounding MIT's former dean of admissions, Marilee Jones and others who lied about their education. I hear people talk all the time about how a degree is just a piece of paper, or it indicates only that a person has demonstrated abilities such as listening and following a schedule.

While it is true that much of what we need to know in order to perform some jobs can only be learned by experience, I have found that I have more knowledge not as directly related to the job, as compared to some of the people I work with who do not have degrees. It has helped me immensely in carrying out the duties of my job. I understand policies and the reasons for them much better than I would have, had I not taken some of the classes I had to take in school. The amount of money I owe in student loans is quite a burden, but I'm grateful for the chance to go to school and finish.

Even in the current job market in my city, you need to have a marketable skill or an education if you want to make above poverty-level wages. I dreaded looking for work when I didn't have a degree. I felt inferior to everyone, including others who didn't have degrees, because I don't have any particular skills or talents. Is being highly strung a marketable skill? If so, point me to that job. I'd be the CEO of that company in no time.

I still dread looking for jobs, although it is not as difficult.

I was engaged years ago to a college grad (I had one semester under my belt), and very successful financially. He always questioned my opinions because, why, in my ignorance, would I know anything? That was the beginning of my lack of confidence. So I was fortunate enough to get rid of him. If we would have gotten married, I probably would not have had to work outside the house, and I really would make a great homemaker. But I know that it would not have been a good life. Friends thought I was crazy to dump him because I would never have had to worry about money. Sometimes I do kick myself because I'm starting to think that people marry for all sorts of reasons, and sometimes it is not for love.

But then again, I was not cut out to kiss a man's ass in any way. I just can't do it. I can't stand to see my friends and family members do it either. Women put up with so much crap and have so many more duties nowadays, I don't think I'll ever get married again. I would have had to wait on that guy hand and foot.
I was already doing it, and we weren't even married. Plus, because I was so worthless and always suspected of being a "gold digger," I always insisted on paying every other time we went out. In the future, I'm not going to do that because nobody ever thought differently about me just because I paid for half our entertainment expenses. It was a waste of time and money. I should have become a nun, like my grammy wanted.

After I dumped the guy, my wonderful father said, "Boy you really did it this time. You'll never find a guy like that again." Pretty much he thought I wasn't good enough for the guy either. Thanks dad, and you wonder why I haven't spoken to you in six years.

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