Thursday, March 23, 2006

What do you think?

I came across this quote a couple of days ago and it has since become a topic of great discussion between my husband and me. Sterling and I are both very right brained people. However, thankfully we can both view things from a left brained perspective. We both graduated from college with good grades. We were both able to survive the "system". However, we both have our personal issues as to why we wish that college could have been different.
In my case, my parents did not let me study art as I so wanted to do. They thought that this type of degree would not be good for "providing an income". I studied Psychology instead and, while I did enjoy it and learned a lot from it, I have always come back to art. In fact, after graduating, I have made more money from my art and creativity then psychology.

Sterling, who studied computer science, had a hard time with some of his classes. He felt that they were either redundant or not valuable. He now is an entrepreneur with many brilliant (I might say) ideas.

So, is higher education important? I am posing this question for debate. I do feel that it is important in that a) you do gain knowledge, b) you gain discipline and commitment, and c) it does say something about you to your employers- that you can go the distance, work well under pressure, and all of those other things that college entails.

Now, don't get me wrong, I know many brilliant people who have never gone to college . . .and some who might not have excelled in the public school systems. But, they are creative and motivated enough that they have accomplished great things in life. (If we are basing this on money, we have several friends who are millionaires without any real education.)

On the other hand, I also know some extremely intelligent people who have several degrees and qualifications in life. Unfortunately, they sometimes have a hard time fitting into society and they also have a hard time making that knowledge work for them.

These examples are just a couple of the extremes. I realize that there are a lot of people who fit nicely in the middle.

So, here is my take. I do think that knowledge is so important. I personally daydream about having years to study every book in the library (given that it is not boring :)! I definitely want to encourage my children to gain as much knowledge from this life as they can. However, I recognize that not all knowledge comes from an institution. We can learn from everything around us.

As for imagination . . . this is something that I think we can spend our whole lives developing. Many of us have it and perhaps are too unsure of ourselves to trust in it. Some of us might feel like even our imaginations have limits. I disagree. Anything that we can dream can come to pass.

And so, that is my motivational thought for the day (LOL!)- we all have the potential to reach beyond the stars if we trust in ourselves and believe that we can do it.


Sterling said...

It's not that I didn't enjoy college. It's just that they pushed me through the system to make room for "better" students.

I got burnt out going to school year round. I'm much happier now running my own business!

smartmama said...

I learned to work the system (grad from college at 19)it was a lot of hoop jumping-which was lame-- grad school was such a better story-- i really got to study and learn in a way that totally changed my thinking and who i am--I want my kids to have more of what i had at the end -- its sad to me though you have to endure so many years to get to the good stuff (something that almost had me forking it out private K for ds next year) I will definteily tailor thier educational experience more

funny about the art-- I use my art now as much as anything- sometimes i wish i had gone all the way with it but i am too risk averse i told myself it wasn't responsible enough- do show some of your art...

moe said...

I don't think higher education is nescessary to get on in the world. However now that I am older I really wish I could go back to University and that isn't really practical right now. It is much easier to go to college & university when you are young then if you need the piece of paper later you have it.

Lei said...

My college experience is so responsible for shaping me into the person I am today - not just academically, but emotionally, socially, too. Very rgateful fo rit and glad I perserveared through it.

Nutella said...

Hmmm...Didn't ever really like the structure of higher education. I do think it is important though. I am glad I did it.

However, I remember relishing the opportunities that my teachers gave me to think for myself and use my imagination to learn. To me, that builds more character in the long run. I wish jumping through hoops and doing busy work were never part of education, but they are.

I could write a lot more, but thanks for the interesting discussion point. My husband is an engineer, so he has had the same kind of experience as yours...I am sure we will have some good debates about this!

Bumbling Bav said...

Well I think money wise it does not make a difference. My husband has a grade 11 education and makes more money or the same as our friends that went on to do Higher education.

However it was a MUST for me to attend and it will be a MUST for our children. Even if it is to have a ticket for milking cows! It is an adventure I would not want them to miss out on.... and hello I am willing to pay for the first yr atleast!

Lei said...

Would you believe I am still thinking about this? :) Sign of a good blog entry, I guess!

Imagination gives depth to knowledge. So, I suppose I believe that one cannot thrive without the other.

Zoe said...

Thank you so much for all of your comments. I wish that we could sit in a room . . . (with lots of food of course!) and discuss it together. It really is interesting to hear everyone's take on it.

I have another thought to think about . . . one that I have been pondering. Here it is-

*If you could only have one OR the other, which would you pick, imagination or knowledge? Somethin' to think about?

smartmama said...

oh i'll bring food-- how about cake

to answer...I skipped a grade so i was 17 when i grad from hs- did byu in 3 yrs and sneaked out just before my 20th bday-- it sounds more glam than it is...

like lei said though- loved the experience and yes a must for my kids-- college and grad school were fun rockin parties-- oh yah and learning was good on the side...

you need picture comments- I have a painting of einstein in my son's science area--

okay you can't ask hard questions- they hurt my brain

Jen Stewart said...

I think it's important to do both - play time and hard work in college. I went to community colleg, I took some hard business classes and great desk top publishing classes, but I aslo took a couple of country western dance classes and sign language classed (ok that was both fun and educational for my life long future:)

I don't make money with my danceing, nor my desk top publishing cirtificate, but I know how to make my own webpage on the computer, and digital scrapbook :)

Anonymous said...

Your mother is a brilliant woman for helping you choose an academic course of study that compliments your artistic talents.