Degree Conferred

My husband ran off with a woman with a PhD. In like manner, having made my way through a big drama occasioned by the way he exited, I’d say that I too now have what would be the equivalent of a PhD. That is if you count studying the volume of data on the internet and in self-help books on the subjects of workplace politics, manipulative power play tactics, malignant narcissism, and whatever more. My honorary degree [not!] comes from reflexive scrambling trying to find out what in the name of Sam Hill happened in my life. A worthless trash degree for sure, but at least I got one—albeit through the school of hard knocks and forced portfolio development. LOL

Snark Break :My humor imp just reminded me what the letters PhD after one’s signature means: Piled Higher and Deeper.

Well, once my humor imp gets involved, it’s on, so I looked up the process of getting a PhD at her behest. My takeaway from that little detour was that getting a PhD simply means that the recipient honed the fine art of assembling and regurgitating a voluminous body of data in such a way as to appear to have somehow ‘expanded the boundaries of knowledge’. [Eye roll.] In other words, he or she—like a counter monkey—did lots of research and developed a thesis, and went on to jump through a succession of hoops to ‘defend’ their philosophy’ about said thesis in front of a panel of over-degreed narcissists. Narcissists whose noses are so far up in the air that they risk drowning every time it rains.

Let Them Eat Cake!

I find it amusing how academicians believe that since the institutions they are affiliated with confers degrees, that they somehow [by that  association], co-hold the keys to the fountain of universal knowledge. Not something to aspire to if you ask me—especially on the subject matter I am talking about here. Shrug.

Anyway, who am I? Not a scholar, that’s for sure. Nah, I’m just an everyday person — and [gasp! clutching my chest!] a non-degreed everyday person at that. Go figure.

How dare I speak and have an opinion on the learning process when I have no parchment?! Quick! Call campus security. Away with this minion!

To each his own. But honestly, consider this. Why pay tuition to conglomerate a bunch of facts these days, when anyone with a smart phone can access Dr. Google and all of his knowledge? [News flash. In case you haven’t heard it yet, Google is taking over the world, you know. Wink, wink.]

Furthermore [work with me, Pearl!] … riddle me this … Why does anyone other than those taking the Hippocratic oath and going into medicine to treat patients—even need a doctorate?  Isn’t obtaining a Bachelors and/or Master’s degree and doing continuing education enough to function intelligently and live well? My thinking is that if a person  needs to be called ‘Doctor’ for ego purposes, or to further prove to others that they have mastered knowledge in their area of expertise, I posit this—who then, is the insecure one needing external validation? Yep, I rest my case. LOL

Hold The Phone

Now before any of you overly-credentialed types start getting your gums in a flap and begin to get testy, take a chill pill. Actually, take two; they’re small. After you do that, then promptly take your testy selves on down the road.

This is humor … and it’s my humor at that … so deal with it.

Don’t get your academic knickers all in a knot because I too, have assembled a bunch of facts and developed my own ‘philosophy’. It’s this: knowledge gained outside academia can benefit one as well as a degree conferred from an institute of [ahem, excuse me while I clear my throat and cough] ‘higher learning’.

Consider the following:

    • Knowledge gained through life experience or the school of hard knocks never leaves one in debt for student loans.
    • Knowledge gained through self-study, never requires the donning of overly-starched knickers or that ridiculous-looking square hat with that tassel-thingy dangling down into your field of vision. Don’t you just hate it when it tickles your nose at inopportune moments? … like when you’re attempting to look all serious and mature for your big photo op? LOL
    • Knowledge gained through independent study doesn’t normally result in an individual with a irascible personality and a harsh demeanor that screams:”I have a steel implement permanently lodged in a place it doesn’t belong!” so as to appear educated and important. I mean, if one doesn’t pat one’s own self on the back who will? Giggle.


Acknowledgments

Humor aside, I do acknowledge that we’re all very different. Perhaps you need a PhD to prove that you’re ‘just a little more superior’ as SNL’s Church Lady would say. If that’s the case, I say … go for it! …. pull out the stops … trip the light fantastic. Pile it as high and as deep as your little heart desires.

Hey, don’t stop at the degree. Why not further differentiate yourself from the pack by rolling up to the commencement ceremony in your very own Kat Diesel front end loader?! What is it they say? … Go big or go home …

Calm Down!

Obviously, I’m being extremely sarcastic and purposely over-the-top for satirical emphasis, but know this one thing to be sure and certain. At the end of this life, when it’s all said and done,  [degree or no degree] our hearts will beat for the very last time. That’s when we all level up. You won’t get to sit in the best seats or take any titles with you.

This physical exterior that we pampered so much will go back to being nothing but ashes and dust. The mental faculties that we venerated and the knowledge we amassed and worked so hard to prove we had will be gone—worthless. Don’t you hate it when that happens?! $80,000 of student loans down the drain. At that point, there’ll be no ego to aggrandize and no [perceived] centrality to gloat over.

Game over.

Sly and The Family Stone summed it up in the stanza: “I am no better and neither are you. We are the same, whatever we do.” So, I say, go for it. Live large. Do whatever blows your skirt up. Get a degree—or not. Hey, get two or three if it makes you happy.

Just make sure that you don’t take yourself and your degrees—or lack of them—too seriously. Laugh heartily. Enjoy your life while you still  have it. No one gets out of here alive and, as they say—you can’t take it with you.

In the meantime … it’s different strokes for different folks.

And so on and so on. And Scooby Dooby Dooby.


Lyrics:

I am no better and neither are you
We are the same whatever we do
You love me you hate me you know me and then
You can’t figure out the bag I’m in
I am everyday people, yeah yeah

There is a long hair that doesn’t like the short hair
For bein’ such a rich one that will not help the poor one
And different strokes for different folks
And so on and so on and scooby dooby doo

Oh sha sha we got to live together
There is a yellow one that won’t accept the black one
That won’t accept the red one that won’t accept the white one
And different strokes for different folks
And so on and so on and scooby dooby doo

I am everyday people