RE: On degrees and the like...

Subject: RE: On degrees and the like...
From: "EXT-Hornoi-Centerwall, Theodore" <Theodore -dot- Hornoi-Centerwall -at- PSS -dot- Boeing -dot- com>
To: "'TECHWR-L'" <TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2000 08:21:51 -0800

Eric Ray wrote

> On degrees and the like...
<all but end of his message snipped>

> Do I have a proposal or answer? No. But I think that there's
> more to being a really good technical writer than can come
> from any program, any certificate, and any specific set of
> requirements, and I think that we'd be doing ourselves and the
> profession a service if we were to focus our energies on how
> to help people enter the profession and on how to prepare
> people to succeed in the profession, rather than beating the
> dead horses of STC, certification, degrees, and the like.
> There must be an answer beyond serendipity and relying on
> the good fortune to stumble into the right internship or
> mentoring relationship, but I don't know what that answer is.
> Any other thoughts?
I do not have an answer, but I have a thought to share.
There is a tradition that says that knowledge and skills
are to be obtained for their own sake. To learn simply
in order to earn is somehow viewed as crass. I don't share
this view. However, an old anecdote helps illustrate the

In the 3rd century B.C.E., Euclid founded a famous school
to teach geometry. A student asked what the use of learning
geometry was. What good would it do for him to know about
how to calculate areas?

Euclid, in response, said to one of his servants, "Go give him
a gold coin and send him on his way, since he must make
gain with what he knows."

Sound familiar?

Ted Hornoi-Centerwall
Technical Writer
Theodore -dot- Hornoi-Centerwall -at- PSS -dot- Boeing -dot- com
(425) 477-4421

The opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone.

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