Friday, April 17, 2015

How to avoid becoming a zombie


If you don't know who these guys are, you may already be a zombie

One of the problems with being raised by hippies and other adherents of the New Paradigm is that it often takes you years, and even decades longer than it used to take to figure out how to conduct your life. Or at least, to conduct it in a non-self-destructive manner. Then you have to decide to break the mould. Two brothers I knew in my teens, both raised by New Paradigm Boomers: one instinctively knew that following the peace-luv-groovy path would go nowhere, did engineering, works for an international computer software developer, got married bought a house and is now a noted freediver; the other carried on the family tradition, got busted for a grow-op and in his fifties still lives in a run-down shared rented house with a bunch of other dopeheads.

Years ago, while still dabbling in university and still not really knowing what I was supposed to be doing with myself, I asked a working journalist whether I should enrol in the J-school they had at my uni, or whether the better way was just to start writing things 'on-spec' and sending them off to magazines and whatnot. Knowing what I know now, I am amazed she was able to so politely contain her contempt and loathing for J-school and the hordes of whiney little glassy-eyed, brain-dead, marxist minions it routinely produced.

"Yes," she said with remarkable restraint, "start writing and submitting. You can learn as you go, but focus at first on learning how to construct a decent sentence in English, because that is the least-available skill in the business. No one in journalism school is ever taught to write."

So, I saw a notice on campus for a meeting of people interested in working on the campus newspaper, and off I went into my destiny. Meanwhile, I was taking courses in Latin, attending lectures on Dante and hanging around the Classics House, eating sardine sandwiches and conjugating and declining in my spare time. I can't help but think that I got a much better preparation for my work in that atmosphere than I could possibly have gained by attending the J-school's daily Two Minutes Hate sessions and readings from the Little Red Book.

So, now when people tell me about their plans for university, I ask them how long they want to wait before they flee the country to avoid their six-digit student loans...

Learn a trade. Pastry cheffing was pretty fun. And I know a guy with a PhD in mathematics who got out of uni, immediately enrolled in a 12-week community college course in industrial underwater welding, and started his working life making $80,000 a year. Another guy I know did an undergraduate in political science, learned that the world had been taken over by Gramsciite marxists so, upon failing to find a monastery to join, apprenticed himself to a stonemason and is now in France helping to restore castles and cathedrals.

The reality is that there are literally millions of people who work in skilled labor jobs, and they’re paid well, especially compared to college graduates. The average starting salary for a college graduate is $45,000, while the average salary of someone who went through trade school is $42,000. Not much of a difference, and the trade school graduate is entering the workforce at least two years sooner.

In addition, you’re almost guaranteed a job coming out of school. There are numerous stories of large energy and construction projects that had to be canceled not due to money shortages, but due to labor shortages. Companies simply can’t find the skills to complete the work needed.

Unless you're doing STEM, and often even then, university is designed to make you stupid, passive, compliant and a willing partner in your own culture's destruction.

In terms of my actual paying work, the best money I ever spent on formal education was 80 bucks for a typing course at the Y. 85 words a minute and counting.



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5 comments:

Colin Kerr said...

Okay, I was in university when we met. Where was your good advice then!?

Troll said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

If you post an idiotic comment that is obviously meant only and exclusively to provoke a negative reaction, and moreover, use the pseudonym "Troll," don't imagine for a second that you won't be promptly deleted.

Next time I set the dogs on you.

MargoB said...

Hilary, I began following your 'blog a few years ago when Seraphic Single (haha! now Mrs. B.A./McLean) linked to it...the byline was something hilarious about the Apocolypse and gelato.

Anyhow...I thoroughly enjoyed your 4/17 post, "How to Avoid Becoming a Zombie." I think a Godincident (coincident + God) happened there: I was just asking Him/thinking again about how to get out of a boring job and what, if any, more education I might pursue. For some reason, I decided to see what was going on at Orwell's Picnic today -- and found H2ABZ. Thanks for writing it! THanks for the encouragement!

~MargoB

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

Hi Margo,

what did you decide, if anything?

just for full disclosure, I'm going to be signing up for a herbalist course.