Today I was talking to a friend about writing and they said that this other writer could be good but that their lack of a college education showed itself at times.
“Really,” I said. ” I don’t have a college education.”
” Well. You’re self educated.”
” That’s like being home schooled. And I know what you think about that. Besides I didn’t pay for it and I never got tested and accepted. I didn’t walk away from my ‘self taught book learnin’ with a degree. So it doesn’t count.”
I hate having this conversation with anybody, but I will have it and I will hammer my point home with a rusty nail and rock.
” Sometimes people wave their degrees around 40 years after the fact like a girl waving her engagment ring around so that everyone notices and asks her about it.”
” Oh ” people are supposed to ask, ” what’s that” and then she’ll tell you all about it until your ears bleed.
I’ll make no bones about it.
I did want to go to College. My problem was I lacked the confidence to go and the few people who I chose to ask about the process weren’t terribly supportive.
” It’s really hard.” I was told ” and you have that good job at the t-shirt store. Maybe you should stick with retail. You’re really great at that.”
I was 16 at the time.
So I saw college as this elite group of people and it was ok if I chose to not attend because not everyone was ‘meant to go.’
I wasn’t bitter about it.
I just thought I wasn’t good enough.
Do you know who didn’t do a thing to clear that up?
So I try not to be a bitch when my College educated friends don’t understand science or physics. I don’t make fun of them when we talk about literature and the minute they open their mouths all the lines from Cliff’s Notes fall out.
I sold a ton of those things when I had one of my ‘great jobs’ at a bookstore. I always heard the same thing, ” I just don’t have the time to read the entire book.”
Let me point something out. If you are in a place where you can savor the words of Fyodor Dostoevsky fucking DO IT. Don’t cheat your way around it. I read Dostoevsky in high school for my Russian history class. I read him last year (again) for the pleasure of it.
Don’t tell me you ‘remember his books from college.’ His works were intense, dark and because he dealt so much with psychology the characters were complicated people. You’re not going to nail them down in one reading and have it stick because you understand what the characters ‘represent’
You can re-read his works a few times and you will always see a new twist, understand a bit more or depending on the social and political world see it in a new light.
Anyway that’s what I’ve done.
So no, I didn’t go to college. I don’t have papers- at least my dog does. He’s a Chocolate Lab and registered with the AKC. He also eats cat poop and licks my phone when it rings.
The only paper making me official is my birth certificate and my high school diploma.
Still. I write and read books about physics to relax.
I didn’t go to college but someday I might.
I just hope that after I don’t end up eating cat poop, licking my phone when it rings or walk away from the experience thinking it’s ok to read great works of literature only once or that you can get all the science you need from your friend who was really good at it…in College.
Anita Marie (Godfrey) Moscoso
Edmonds High School