Not all Newspaper Columnists are Created Smart

Yes, I have a blog.  And yes, it’s been a few months since I last posted.  Blame my hectic work schedule or my complete lack of motivation to post anything: your choice.

At any rate, I’ve gotten a tiny bump in motivation from this article:

Now, Ms. Singletary seems like she has all her ducks in a row today.  I have no idea what she was like in college, but if she was even close to this ridiculously stuck-up, I’m sorry to hear that she missed out on all the fun bits of school (and life?).  She seems to be laboring under the impression that life is a game, and your score is quite literally based on how much money you’ve made.  If you have a job making a lot of money, you’re winning.  If you’re in the arts, you’re losing.  And who cares about the human element, right?  Life isn’t about whether you enjoy what you do every day.  It’s about whether you can get into pissing contests with your old friends at college reunions.

And I don’t wholly blame the author for her views.  She’s been conditioned by the relatively recent change in how we perceive a college education.  A university education was never supposed to be mandatory, at least not until recently.  University was where you went if you wanted to further your education and generally increase your knowledge.  When you went to school, you didn’t necessarily need to know what field you were going to go into, but you’d generally know that you were going to university in order to pursue an intellectually demanding career path, in medicine, the law, the sciences, and even politics (back in the day, that used to demand some intellect).  Today, you are expected to go to college if you want to work anywhere above the sales floor of a major retailer.  As a result, we have this cultural expectation that college is about preparing us for the “real world” (as opposed to the vastly underrated imaginary world), and that our professors are supposed to get us jobs instead of educations.

Jobs are great.  And there’s nothing wrong with centering your life around getting a good job to get more money so you can have better stuff.  Go for it.  If that’s what makes you happy.  This seems to be the crucial point that Ms. Singletary missed in her article.  Your job isn’t just about the paycheck (as someone who worked their way up through the newspaper business ought to know).  It’s about how you feel after a day of work.

Up next: Why that common household item not more than two feet away from you is giving you cancer.  News at 11.

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