Re: The Last Word on Degrees :-)

Subject: Re: The Last Word on Degrees :-)
From: "Arlen P. Walker" <arlen -dot- p -dot- walker -at- JCI -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 1994 14:13:20 -0500

I had resolved to drop the issue, and had for the most part succeeded. But
Elizabeth Vollbach raised an issue that has to be answered. After which I
will again attempt to let this dragon I roused go back to sleep.

> I haven't said this on the list before because I didn't want too many
> people to take it wrong. But I've had it with all the posts from
> nondegreed people who seem to belittle my degree. I resent it.

Probably no more so than I resented what I felt were degreed people
belittling my abilities and skills. And now you belittle my determination.

>And determination
> is an important factor because it can mean the difference between a
> good employee and an all right employee.

A quote which surfaces in several motivational series is "The difference
between successful person and an unsuccessful one is not a lack of ability
nor a lack of knowledge, but a lack of will." Actually, it's not an
accurate quote, but it's close enough that I'm sure Coach Lombardi wouldn't
mind. No one has disputed that as far as I can tell.

>And that has determined my success in my profession, too.

And I'm sure you deserved it, too.

> Because you probably
> can't even imagine how hard I had to work to get that "expensive piece
> of paper" and to get where I am now. And no one had better belittle
> that! Beth

And of course you can easily imagine how little I had to work to get where
I am. Beth, no one who succeeds has it easy. It just doesn't happen. I'm
not trying to belittle your achievements; that was never my intention. I
do, however belittle that "expensive piece of paper" and will continue to
do so. The value you received wasn't in the paper. It was in what you
learned and achieved, and therefore in how you performed on the job. And I
will go to my grave believing that because you *are* so determined you
would have found a way to learn what you learned, and achieve what you
achieved, even if you had never seen a college campus.

Determination is valuable. If I seem testy about it, it's because I spent
four years in military service instead of college. And that's the bottom
line. I have my credits in the determination department as well; why are
yours automatically superior to mine? (That's what you seem to be saying,
anyway.) You overcame an automobile accident enroute to your education.
Congratulations, I'm glad you did. I'm sure you brought a lot of talent to
your field. During my hitch, even though it was peacetime, I could have
been killed twice that they told me about (who knows how many times when
they decided for one "national security" reason or another they couldn't).
I didn't want adulation. I didn't want back-slapping. I didn't even care if
I got thanked. It was my job, and I chose freely to do it. But I won't have
anybody tell me that I lack determination simply because I won't pay
someone money for something I could get on my own cheaper.

I'm sorry if I'm seem to be getting hot over it. It just seems like I'm
constantly repeating this: No one is belittling the effort anyone put into
getting a college degree. The effort and the discipline is important; the
sheepskin is not. I am asking is that no one belittles the effort *anyone*
puts into learning, whatever the setting. What matters, as I said in my
first post, is how well you do the job. What doesn't matter in the least,
is where you learned it, how long it took you, or how much it cost.

Have Fun,

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

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