Tuesday, 1 November 2011

The Collegiate Defect

     Rush is raving forth about the dunce - ism of majoring in liberal arts.   In these days, most of those who are stumbling through a liberal arts curriculum are not aware that the only place where their studies can be readily applied is in the area of instruction.    Therefore it becomes something like the Bavarian Butt Biter.   The Bavarian Butt Biter is the animal who bites himself on the rear and as the pain becomes more intense the animal gnashes himself on the rear even harder.   One can only imagine how it all ....how would one say....how it all ends.

     But, frequently Rush is wrong.   The Old Gringo has the right to say a little about that because we were sponsors of one of his early stops during the Rush to Excellence Tour he did early on during the launch of his National radio career.    Rush is more frequently right, this this time he is wrong.
     The point is that those who go into liberal arts need to know going in that they are bound to have to adapt to a changing seascape here and a changing landscape there.    There is plenty for them to do, because they are usually capable of performing in three or four or five discipline areas.   Many are extremely quick studies and can move from entire discipline to another with ease.
      BUT !!!    The type who wants to go into liberal arts should be a person who is going to university only to verify that he is a gentleman or that she is a lady, a studied and compliant person to some measurable degree.  The liberal arts graduate has a piece of paper to prove it to the world.   That same graduate must accept that others who have taken technical and professional degrees have a leg up....but only in direction of life's path.
      Once the liberal arts graduate has finished he might go to the military, the Peace Corps, into church missionary work, or (heaven forbid) into "public service".   He can also move into the business world by serving a form of apprenticeship in or with a small or large business.   He can quickly figure how to start small, on a shoe string, and connect with potential clients.   He is comfortable in old tech, low tech, high tech, cutting edge tech, business, trades, or space colonisation.
       The Old Gringo met a man in Louisiana who refurbished old Confederate whatevers;   wagon wheels, pistols and rifles, flags, uniforms, ledgers, or whatever bore an identifiable CSA purpose, manufacture, or utilisation.   He had three degrees in History.  BA, MA, PH.d. and said that he was essentially retired when he was 43 years old.   People paid him and paid his travel to review documents, supervise reconstructions of old homes, supervise battlefield and cemetery excavations, and repair artifacts.   He made about what a "pretty fair lawyer" might make, in his own estimation.
        He said he had only been interested in one thing since he turned five years old, and he never grew up.   They had paid him in public and private universities to work at his hobby and then after he kind of, more or less,  withdrew gradually from the teaching he went on to working at his hobby and being paid for it.    He said, "I'm like Mickey Mantle.   I'm paid to play."

       What the Gringo Viejo means by all of this is some people do well to be uselessly educated.   BUT THEY MUST BE SADDLE TRAMPS, even if they are from the upper-middle, or upper class.  They have to establish their own "career ladder", understand the value of a university education that has no direct objective.    They must have a sense of self-value that is not measured by trappings and treasure, but by the nature of  their journey.    The journey will ultimately bring wealth if the Saddle Tramp Paladin is true only to the Beatitudes and the Golden Rule and loyal to those closest to him....the first level of relation and the one or two friends that one might encounter in a lifetime.    Usually, wealth to the "professional Liberal Arts" person is something to store up later in life and to be meted out or willed to causes and people deemed to be of value.
      Rigid values, flexible path, and basic catechism.   Those are the tenets of success for the liberal arts person.    Most of those who are in the liberal arts schools at Whatever U. are not there for the right reason in these days.    My urchins are liberal arts type people and they have wound up in areas so interesting and places so perfectly ordered for a good life and having accomplished so much that it is staggering.   My son-in-law and his brother are the same.   So....just because your degree does not have a built in range-finder or a roadmap to the pot of gold or whatever....it does not mean that you are in the wrong room.   Maybe you just crossed into the Twilight Zone of fulfillment.

(just to prove the Old Gringo's point, click below)
For Yankees

For both regular folks and Yankees,

These people are all happy, frustrated, grumpy, and get up every day and do the same thing because it gives them great pleasure.
El Gringo Viejo