College and Identity
Recently there has been a push for the federal government and public college combination to become cozier that ever before. The Executive Branch seems to think everyone should get to go to college. Really? Why?
Once again, our leadership takes the biggest brush possible to make a sweeping stroke across the canvas of life. Now, let’s take this to a practical, everyday level.
I am not an artist; please understand that. So, let’s make this even more common sense. Let’s paint a room. Let’s assume you have already chosen a color and paint. You have stirred the paint and are ready. Not quite. Lying before you are an assortment of tools: rollers, trimmer brushes, edging tools, masking tape.
Step one (at least for me) is to apply masking tape. Then edge or trim. I use the roller last. Is that how you do it? Probably. Upon entering a room, what does not see first? Ah, one sees the walls and muses the color choice. The only time someone might look at the ceiling edges or mop boards (we old people still call them mop boards) is if one stays in that room long enough, or is bored with conversation taking place.
Now, let’s go to a gathering place—say, Wal Mart. Look at the people. Try to pick out the college graduate and the factory worker. Both are in the store. Can’t really tell, can you?
Every person is important. The cashier, the custodian, the one stocking the shelves, the meat cutters, all of them are important to the success of the store.. We have now looked at the broad stroke of the brush. You have not seen the tiny cluttered office of the manager or assistant manager or even the zone managers. They are the minority. They probably do have a college degree or some sort in management. They are the “detail” work of that room I described earlier.
Now, let’s step back and take a listen to the Federal Government making college available to everyone. Yes, and no. What the Executive Branch does not want to acknowledge is the small places of education that are also providing quality education. Their prices are affordable. Students can work on campus, in grocery stores, in fast-food, and summer employment (oooo, that’s another subject—employment) and make their way through college or trade school
with determination, and probably even good grades.
One more choice: work your way up. The store manager sitting in a tiny office overlooking the store may have one day started as a stock person. Diligent, honest, courteous work promotions also educate. Once in a while, a job promotion may help by taking some night classes.
One’s identity does not lie between the glass and the college diploma hanging on a wall. Identity lies in character.
Put down that broad brush, Mr. President.