Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Mr. Know-It-All

And now, Mr. Know-It-All will answer the first of several questions he has received in his mailbox.

Dear Mr. Know-It-All,
My parents keep hounding me about going to college. My dad went to college but he never finished - and now he's a successful business owner. If college didn't do anything for my dad, why should I have to go?
-Don't Wanna Go

Dear DWG:

First of all, as the father of two high school teenagers, the oldest being only 776 days, 15 hours, 3 minutes and 24 seconds from starting college, I can only say YES - you must go! In fact, go as soon as it is possible and go for a long time. And don't come back.

But then that doesn't answer your question now, does it?

The truth is, your father DID benefit from going to college - and you will too. In fact, the reason he is successful today is because of the time he spent away at college. Now, notice I didn't say he is successful because he graduated from college, only that he was successful because he went to college. There's a big difference.

Oh sure, they've created huge institutions with professors and schedules and big halls with crappy seats, but in reality the classroom experience is no different than high school. It just costs a lot more and the teachers are a lot harder to hear. The formal courses themselves are just an administrative necessity designed to meet government requirements, but the act of going away and living
the college experience is where the real learning takes place.

Here are some examples of how college courses really apply to life as a result of your "at college" experience:

Biology - Research how many hours pizza can sit on the counter before it becomes contaminated with botulism. Learn first hand how your body responds to the deadly bacteria.

Home Economics - Experience the longest number of days weeks you can continue wearing the same pair of jeans and teeshirt before your mom has to do your laundry. Or, if mom isn't an option - calculate how many pounds of clothes can fit into a washing machine at the laundromat before it will cease to function.

Finances - Learn about borrowing money. Learn how interest works, or more accurately how interested your friends become when you don't pay them back. Learn the value of discounting during happy hour.

Nutrition - Discover how to subsist solely on carbohydrates and caffeine.

Research Skills - Become an expert at finding important information on the internet such as pre-written essays, thesis papers and book reports.

Physics and Math - Only a college student can cite the transfer rate of 32 ounces of beer through a funnel and down an esophagus.

Medical - Gain critical knowledge on the fastest cure for hangovers. Quickly learn the most effective combinations of nausea suppressants, pain relievers and stimulants.

So you can see my young friend,that it is truly the act of going to college where the real life experiences are gained. You may think you're learning all of these lessons in your classroom, but the reality is you're learning them all on your own AND applying them at the same time. How valuable is that?

So yes, you should go. And as I said earlier, the sooner you go and the longer you stay, the better off you will be.

Got a question for Mr. Know-It-All? Just leave it here or send me an email.


Ashley Lasbury said...

Thanks Jeff. I just inhaled my sip of wine threw my nose and down the wrong tube. Oh, wait....I learned the name of that tube in college.

Dang! I can't remember it. But I do remember how to play Dungeons and Dragons, how to play spades, how to inhale though a snow bong and how to recycle undies (turn them inside out).

None of these things I practice in my current incarnation.

Older and wiser. (most days)

Ashley Lasbury said...

change that first "threw" to "through"...spelling...another thing I learned in college.

Whit said...

solid advice!

*lynne* said...

very nice! now I know who to ask advice from :-)

Julie Pippert said...

I found research most useful. My Ph.D in Googlology impresses everyone, especially at cocktail parties during martini round three.

yellojkt said...

College is where you learn how little sleep you really need. When you live with parents they have a pesky habit of making you go to bed.

robkroese said...

Is there going to be a test? I was really hoping to coast on the participation grade.

yoo hoo said...

My step daughter is a senior in high school this year, she will be receiving a copy of this very sound advice. thank you Mr. Know-it-all.

Anonymous said...

This July and August Saturday Evening Post has an article called, "The Cutting Edge: Killing Cancer With Protons". It states that there are five centers in the U.S. that successfully kill cancer with protons, and do not destroy good tissue. I have had the surgery, followed by full radiation. Six months ago I had a P.S.A. of more than 5 and climbing. Is the nearest treatment center the one at Indiana University Cyclotron Facility, and can they cure my cancer?

Unknown said...

Thanks for the speedy reply. I will contact them.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

otm - In a snow bong, the smoke comes threw the snow, threw a tube and threw your lungs bringing the drug threw your blood vessels into your brain. See, I remember how it works.

whit - Especially if you have teenagers. ;-)

*lynne* - Ask away. But be careful what you ask for!

julie - They're offering a Master's program for that now? I seriously need to get me one of those.

yello - Sleep schmeep. You can sleep when you're dead.

diesel - Yes, but it's open book so you should be ok.

carla - Just cross out the parts about the happy hour, and beer bong, and stealing the thesis papers and... on the other hand, I wouldn't recommend it at all.

dad - Not the funniest comment I've read so far, but still - ask and you shall receive.

Anonymous said...