END: (Non)Degreed and insulted?

Subject: END: (Non)Degreed and insulted?
From: "Arlen P. Walker" <arlen -dot- walker -at- JCI -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 1994 17:29:17 -0500

>I'm new to this list so I haven't been able to follow this thread but
>from what little I've read, I have to wonder: Why the disdain for education?

More its disdain for those who think the only way to learn to be a tech
writer is by taking a four year course in it. I'm afraid I may have started
the whole thing when I made the assertion that there's nothing in a college
curriculum that isn't readily available to someone outside of college with
a little desire to learn. After all, if I read the same books as you do,
isn't it reasonable to assume my skill set is roughly equal to yours? Or at
least shouldn't that assumption be as reasonable as the assumption that
since I sat through the same classes you did, our skill sets are equal?

This grew out of a statement about someone being affronted about the salary
being offered, one of the reasons being that they held a college degree. I
responded with my own opinion that college degrees are merely measures of
staying alive for four years in a controlled environment, that there is
nothing colleges teach that cannot be learned outside of college, and
perhaps even in less time. Not a popular opinion, I'm afraid, but I've had
to put up with too many college grads to let the assumption that a college
degree automatically confers a superior skill set pass unchallenged.

I'm almost sorry now I started it, but I think the point needed to be made.

>Isn't that what we are? Educators who learn first, teach second, and
>continue learning third? In other words, when educators show disdain for
>the process and *discipline* of education, why should students respond
>any differently?

I started this thread, and so far neither I nor anyone else has shown any
disdain for discipline. The process is another matter. But wouldn't a
better question be if educators show disdain for the process of education,
the process needs changing?

Now, if the originator of a thread has any authority, may I use it to take
out my scissors and cut this thread off, here and now? I'll gladly continue
debating anyone on the topic off-line, but we're roaming far afiled, now,
aren't we?

Have Fun,

arlen -dot- walker -at- jci -dot- com
This mail message contains 100% recycled electrons

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