Saturday, May 30, 2009

Graduation Season

I've been out of school for a number of years now, and not having any children in school myself, the graduation season seems to sneak up on me each year. Last week I mentioned that I'd been away for my sister's junior college graduation.

This week I received an invitation to my second-step-cousin's high school graduation also up in Humboldt. Or is that step-second-cousin, or second-cousin-step? I dunno, she's my step-mom's sister's oldest daughter's daughter. I call her and all her first cousins little cousin--though seeing as how she's now the 5th of the little cousins to graduate high school, I may need to rethink that, but some of them are still little. (Turns out I'm totally wrong, she's my step-cousin once removed.)

Graduation is June 12th, and I'm not sure if I'll go, we'll see how life plays out. I would actually kind of like to. The whole extended step-family thing can be a little awkward, even after 35 years, and she's always been one of the kids that makes me feel welcome rather than tolerated. So, like I said, we'll see.

In other cousin once removed news, my other cousin's bundle of joy arrived May 17th! Both baby and mom are safely home now, and everyone is adjusting to the new addition. My mom and grandma (now a great-grandma!) are making the trip to Portland to visit. Some eighteen-odd years from now, it'll be her turn to graduate high school.

Isn't she adorable. (No, that's not a question.)

Anyhow, keeping with the graduation theme, I ran across this Dilbert strip. On one level, it's a pretty cynical take on things, but on another level it's a good reminder that we're all the same.

For those folks trying to choose a major or career, here's a helpful career-planning infographic illustrating the amount of fame you can expect to achieve in a variety of careers along with the amount of skill necessary for each.

And lastly, to prepare you for the future, once you graduate college, your college will beg you for money. Incessantly. I think I've finally got my university off my back. Here's how Alex D. Reid handled it. (The original is posted here, but I was experiencing some speed issues while on their site and the fact that the letter is posted over two pages just compounded the problem, so I've reproduced it here.)

Dear College,

You and I parted ways a few years ago. It was amicable. I gave you four years of my life and thousands of dollars, and you gave me a piece of paper saying that I graduated from you.

I was to understand that this was the end of our business together. However, shortly after we parted ways, you asked me, quite insistently, to join your Alumni Association. Though your pitch, which involved access to your library and various other offerings, did not blow me away, I joined your Alumni Association as a lifetime member. At the time, I remember thinking, “I can now put college behind me and go out into the real world.”

However, recent events force me to ask for some clarifications about your intentions. For the last six weeks, you have been calling me daily at 7pm, asking for a donation. I have told you time and time again that I have no desire to give you money. Yet, your representatives continue to call me, seemingly unaware of this fact.

So allow me to set the record straight. I am not able to give you money right now because the degree I bought from you is worthless. The value it holds on my resume is nothing more than the cost of the ink used to print it.

The feeling I experience when I think about the four years and thousands of dollars I paid for it can best be described as a sort of “savage betrayal.” Sometimes, the anguish it causes me is so paralyzing that I am unable to do much else but lie in bed all day and masturbate.

So no, I cannot give you any more money, as the degree I purchased from you is barely earning me enough money to pay for my daily expenses, let alone your lofty ones. Furthermore, even if I were in a position where I could afford to give you money, I certainly would not. I find your aggressiveness off-putting and, quite frankly, I think you are nothing more than a common, rotten charlatan.

Please cease and desist or to put it bluntly, stop begging me for all my fucking money. It's pathetic.


Alex D. Reid - Class of 2007

Despite what Mr. Reid says, a college degree is not worthless. Go to school, kids.

Here's a great comic strip site about life in academia, PhD (Piled Higher & Deeper). Check out this strip about how research gets misreported by the media.

No comments:

Post a Comment