Saturday, August 31, 2013

Lazy, Dirty Losers

I have to admit - I find human nature endlessly fascinating.  Often, I write blog posts that I am certain will offend everyone who happens to read them.  More often than not, the comments I receive on my most "shocking" posts are nothing short of positive.  And then, out of the blue, I will receive a scathing, hate-filled comment on a post that I thought was completely benign.  Go figure!

Recently, I wrote about Master Hand Grenade returning to the nest.  I wrote of his achievements and how proud Sir Knight and I were that he was not only well thought of but that he had the wisdom to discern between the wheat and the chaff of life.  Pretty unobtrusive, huh?  Well, apparently not.  In response to that post, I received the following comment (anonymously, of course).  I chose not to publish it on the post, but rather save it for another day.

Why don't you get Mr. Dumb Ass, er, I mean, Mr. Hand Grenade into a college so that Mr. H.G. won't be yet another loser walking around armed waiting to go postal when the world, which he is not prepared for, overwhelms him and he realizes that he is a working class cog and will never get ahead or have anything on a butchers wages. 

Stupid asses. 

Wow!  So much hatred in such a small package.  The night this comment came through, I began praying for the writer.  I woke up praying for them the next morning, as well.  You can be sure that I will continue to pray.  I am certain that whomever wrote that comment hates themselves.  With a passion.

Anyway, I digress.  The comment made me think of a blog post that I had read recently, that summed up my personal thoughts regarding higher education.  The writer, Matt Walsh, made more than enough valid points to make any parent (or child, for that matter) rethink their higher education position.  He said:

Hi kids! Hey, let’s discuss college! Actually, this is not a discussion. You WILL go. You MUST go. Only lazy, dirty losers don’t go to college. You aren’t a lazy, dirty loser, are you? ARE YOU?
Good. I didn’t think so.
This week, the President has been making his pitch to “fundamentally rethink and reshape” the higher education system, and so the conversation has once again turned to the importance of cramming as many warm bodies as possible into colleges and universities — at any expense to themselves, their parents, and the taxpayers. Over 70 percent of college students are already on some form of federal aid, and damned if we can’t get that number to an even 100 percent. Meanwhile, outstanding student loan debt has long since surpassed a trillion dollars with no signs of slowing down. If you had a math degree you’d know that a trillion dollars is, like, a lot.
You see, kids, as executives at the academic and banking institutions make billions from this setup, a bunch of 20-something’s with no assets, little to no income, and no work experience, are left with an accrued debt many times higher than the GDP of a small European nation. Millions of college graduates haven’t been able to find a job, with even more either moving back in with their parents or refusing to leave the nest in the first place. We are now faced with legions of young adults who have sacrificed their financial future — and whittled away several years of potential life and work experience — all for the sake of a piece of paper and a severely damaged liver.
Clearly there just isn’t any conceivable reason why any rational person would want to miss out on all of this!
That is just the beginning.  To read his entire post, click here - it will be worth your time. 

And so, we will be encouraging Master Hand Grenade to pursue his desired career path.  We will encourage him to value a good name over riches and wisdom over status.  We will be thankful that he is growing in favor with God and men.  But mostly, we will be praying for the unhappy writer of that comment.  God has plans for him, too.   


  1. Ignore them, don't respond, don't try to understand, don't give them the attention they crave. It is indeed possible to disagree on something without being disagreeable, but if all the troll wants is negative attention I say starve them.

  2. Regardless of what that commenter might think, some day they will have to try and explain him/herself in front of Christ. I don't envy that.

    You definitely should be proud of his accomplishments. Too many people put so much focus on things which moth and rust destroy, and completely miss the bigger, more important picture.

    Props to you for praying for that person. That takes a lot of faith and wisdom. I pray that person sees this followup post and realizes despite their hateful comments that you still are praying for them.

  3. Oh, I was so happy for your son when I read the letter from his employer. You all must be so proud! I will pray for the angry commenter, too - that's a sad place to be in your own head and heart. Thanks for sharing your son's journey. Jennifer in western NC

  4. Amazing how different people's responses are. That writer was full of hate, while in our house, your post was read to the family at breakfast as an example of a young man who is finding his way and had found an apprenticeship that will enable him to build a life and be a solid contributing member of his community.

    Certainly he would be welcome here in Ontario. Many of our small abattoir's and stand alone butcher shops are now run my members of the Muslim community and unsurprisingly they will no longer process pork products. We have farmers who are giving up livestock because they no longer have a licensed facility to take it to (in Ontario only meat processed at a license facility can be sold to the public).

    So we take out hats off to MHG for choosing a career that will enable him to build a life and your family for supporting him. We hope that many more will follow him into the trades. Our best wish and prayers to you all.

    Lake Lili

  5. Enola, good for you!! I graduated high school in 1979 and never set foot into another school again. I retired this last November at the tender age of 52, after hitting my all-time high salary of $140K per annum. Unless a person goes for a technical or hard science degree, college is a waste of time. Too many psych, phil, lib arts, music, etc. graduates work as waiters or minimum wage earners at Starbucks.
    I applaud Master HG's choice of butcher school! It's something I have always wanted to do, and having lived overseas most of my life where the neighborhood butcher still exists, I can attest to just how WONDERFUL it is to have someone like that in your community. It's something we have lost here in America, along with the other neighborhood shops and services. Now, it's all Target, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Lowe's etc. Our loss.
    Keep encouraging him! And when he opens his own business, I'll be sure to be a customer of his!

  6. Best thing I learned in college was when I was trying to leave with only a very basic Bachelor's. My academic advisor said "college is where people go to learn how to learn. You knew how already." And he signed my paperwork allowing me to go out into the world.

    Master HG has been brought up in a culture of learning. He's doing just fine.

    I will join you in praying for that detractor. I hope s/he finds joy and contentment, at nobody else's unwilling expense.

  7. To the irate oaf who puts all his/her trust in higher education, let me enlighten you. I have one year of college. I quit because I realized I needed a trade. My husband has a bachelors degree, a masters degree and a doctorate degree. He has $140K worth of student loans. He is currently unemployed and I earn over $75K a year. We told our son that unless he was going into a career that REQUIRES a college degree (law, medical, accounting etc) he would be better off pursuing a trade. He is in a tech school preparing to be a respiratory therapist. I think you are training your children to have WISDOM and that is PRICELESS!! Lori in Missouri

  8. Good for your son! Trades are necessary. Sheep skins with academia accolades are worthless without mastering life experiences outside of textbooks.

  9. the smartest thing i ever did was to learn a trade, while all my peers were going to college and accruing debt. most of them ended up in dead end jobs with a ton of debt. i owned my house and had zero debt before most of them threw their hat in the air.

    trades are the way to go these days.

  10. Enola,


    First I gotta say, don't you just love keyboard commando's that blast people in order to make up for their own pathetic lives. I pity the poor soul that said those things about MHG.
    In the old days before computers real men would confront their antagonists with clinched fist and set them straight outside of bars, alleys, school playgrounds or wherever it was convenient at the time. I was never too good at turning the other cheek but I was sure better with an "upper right hook" to the jaw.
    Too bad your son won't have the opportunity to confront the "keyboard commando" in a parking lot of a bar at 2:00am.

    Second, on the college thing. College is great if your getting a degree in an applied science or skill such as Registered Nursing or Engineering or something that involves a higher level applied skill. That's were the universities actually do some good.

    On the bad side with all the silly, communist stuff going in in universities around the country. I actually look forward to at least half of the college's and universities in this country shutting down during a massive economic collapse. I really look forward to seeing many of the "liberal elite staff" being brought down several notches and seeing them rummage through the dumpsters looking for lunch (It really happened in Argentina in the 1990's)

    My Grandfather always said, "The Chickens will come home to roost"

  11. The trades in this country are dying for motivated people to step up and learn. We have our fill of business majors, who end up working in service jobs.. A GODLY son with a trade can go far...

  12. Enola,
    I graduated in 1968, spent the next 14 years as an at home mother of 3, and went into the work force at the age of 31. I retired in 2010 after 30 years in the mortgage servicing industry. What I saw over the 30 years that I worked was the number of new entry level workers, ages 18 to 25, who were hired based only on SOME kind of degree - it didn't matter what it was. Something financial/business oriented was preferred, but I saw people whose degree was in Social Work, Teaching, Liberal Arts, even a Masters in Medievil Literature. Seems the thought was that if you were able to stick to college for 4 years (or more), it meant you were stable and trustworthy. And the kicker is, these kids received a starting salary that was no higher (relatively speaking) than the salary I received when I entered the work force with a low C high school grade average. And they had the same boring day to day job that I had. Only I had no student loans and who knows how much these kids owed. AND, the employers were only hiring temporary workers so that they could avoid having to pay any benefits such as insurance. If you were extremely lucky, you were hired permanently after a couple of years. I use this long commentary as an example of what a college degree does not give you - any kind of an advantage in the work force. In fact, I foresee a time where college will be considered as high school was considered in the early 1900s. My advice to any high school student is to find something you love to do and train for that. To paraphrase Robert Redford in Out of Africa - You don't want to wake up at the end of you life and find out you lived someone else's dream. Good luck to MHG, and praise God that he found what he loves to do while still at the beginning of his life.

  13. Consider spending $60,000 and four years (as a recent talk show caller did) to get his degree in "Humanities" - and no job in the end. Versus invest that 4 years in an apprenticeship as a plumber AND ending up with good career prospects with $60,000 in the bank (if you are thrifty) after 4 years. Remember until people's life styles change they will need running water and bathrooms.
    JW M

  14. Sooo this young is like 16? He spent the summer away from home working? And that's dirty lazy.....right. Um. What would the writer prefer this young man to do. Sit and play video games? Piddle with Facebook? His Iphone? Chase girls? Spend the entire summer in the weight room so the football team has a good offensive tackle? (that one was true from our household)

    He spent the summer learning work ethic. They don't teach that in college.

    Good for HG. Education is only part of the equation.

  15. Oh wait a minute! Did I note he wants to be a butcher. Silly on you guys! Those colleged folks who make $140k a year don't need butchers. Don't you people know that meat magically appears in the fridge case all tidy on a cute, reusable foam tray all snug with plastic wrap. They don't kill and cut up cows to make steaks and hamburger. There's a meat machine that stamps them out.

    You guys crack me up --- get some student loans, McMansion loans, Jag loans, boat loans and get with the program!

    (and I'm being totally sarcastic of course!)

  16. Wow! I'm a mortgage loan officer and for the first time in history student loan debt just passed the amount owed on credit cards! That is HUGE! Our young people will have no chance of paying this off and subsequently will never be able to purchase a home either. And they can't get rid of it other then paying, and paying, and paying. The only youth that need to attend college are those that are entering a career where the college training is REQUIRED...doctors, engineers, etc. The rest or these kids need to follow Master Hand Grenade's lead: find a job, work hard, establish a good reputation and a good work ethic. That's really what it takes to get ahead. I hate student loans. I really think they are the work of the devil!

  17. Well,I went to college and I loved every minute of studying and learning. My qualifications helped me to find a job that pays well, that I love and that I am good at.
    My son, on the other hand, is much less interested in intellectual pursuits and higher learning, but very good at more "hands-on" work. Why should he go to college, when his gifts - as, I suppose, master hand grenade's - lie elsewhere? I was so impressed with and happy for your son when I read what a good letter of recommendation he was given, and so glad that you gave him a chance to do work he is obviously good at. So, congratulations to Master Hand Grenade! (And shame on the troll!)

  18. The letter your son earned from his employer extolling his honor and character is worth much more than any piece of parchment that can be bought from our so called higher education. Comparing your son's attitude and performance to that of the keyboard flame flame thrower it's obvious who has earned self esteem and self confidence and who is struggling to earn the same by conforming to the societal demands of a worker drone and/or sheeple of the Emperor's flock.

    Not only should you be proud of your son, he should proud of his parents for teaching him the true value of a God fearing life.

  19. College isn't for everyone, and the classes they require you to take are often not related to the career you are perusing. For employers to require a college degree is unnecessary most of the time and often detrimental. But to go to college in itself I don't think is a waste of time. It never hurts you to be a little smarter. For certain career fields, I think it is necessary. But most of the time, it is not.

  20. I'm walking proof that not everyone needs to go to college. Unfortunately, I didn't figure this out until AFTER I had $12,000 in student loans under my belt. I have to date never gotten a job that requires my degree, and since it was in Graphic Design, 12 years ago, it is completely worthless now. Still paying on those loans thought! Whoohoo!

    Master HG is learning a trade that will NEVER go out of style. People will always need meat (unless the greenies get their way), so he will always have a job opportunity. Not so the History Major :P Or liberal arts? Please. Master HG can start making money now, with no debt and his break even point comes immediately, not decades down the road when one finally pays back all those loans. Also, I'm sure he already has the financial skills and frugality to buy anything his little ole heart desires. And I better things he desires are far from frivolous.

    Now, depending on what you want to do, a college degree may be required. Both of my sisters have used their degrees because they were needed for what they wanted to do. I only wanted to be a housewife, so I guess I should have made better choices. Hidesight, gotta love it!


  21. I work in higher ed - technical training I might add. Students either are motivated and do well and go to work or are wasting time, space AND (95% of the time) your hard earned tax dollars. I tell those who will listen it is not what you WANT to do, but what will feed you that should be considered. That said - as dear as many of my colleagues are - it has often been observed that the closer to a PhD the less likely one can change a lighbulb without help......!

    If a skill is not learned the time/money spent is very often pointless. A lot of debt and a piece of paper may get you only that....a lot of debt and a piece of paper. Anola, the commenter is a very sad and bitter person who apparently has made many mistakes and has many regrets. Praying for him/her is the right thing to do..... Natokadn

  22. I should also add - a long time friend is a CEO/founder and owner of a consulting company and a licensed Power Engineer. She went in to the industry in the '70's on the business end of a shovel,took a few select college courses, studied on her own and passed the PE Licensing exam without an engineering degree. Then she went on for her MBA. A license and a Masters in Business. It can be and has been done. Natokadn

  23. Last week we entombed my mother-in-law. She passed away at 83 and as a multi-millionaire. She finished high school, but never went to college. Her husband, who passed a few years ago, finished only through the eight grade. Together they built a local company that employed a great number of people. They gave to their church and to the community. They quietly loaned money to others so they could start their own businesses. Their generosity touched hundreds if not thousands. I married their daughter.

    I am college educated with a few advanced degrees. I was involved in a start-up in the Silicon Valley some many years ago (back when stock options were worth more than wages). I commonly put in 70-80 hours a week as a norm. Later I became a college professor and a dean of the college. I've also run my own (successful) business.

    A college education works well for some (as I am an example). A great work ethic and a willingness to take on tasks that others shun is worth more (as demonstrated by my in-laws). A combination of the two is ... unstoppable!

    My mother-in-law died a multi-millionaire - and nobody knew she was that wealthy! Her church will soon learn just how wealthy she was as they are about to receive an incredible gift. As for me and my wife, lets just say that hard work pays off handsomely, be it with a college degree or not.

    We've a butcher in the town just to our west. While the merchandise he sells is more expensive than what you'll find at the local grocery store, he does a very brisk business of repeat customers. Why? Because he delivers a quality product superior to that you'll find anywhere around town. Whoops... let me rethink that. There is another butcher up north, small business too, that offers similar quality but at a price. Hmmm... come to think of it, he does a brisk business too. College educated? One is, the other not.

    As Martin Luther King, Jr. noted: “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

    There is only reward to doing your chosen profession well. To heck with the naysayers!

  24. lets see...some of the top earners in the job market have no college degree and are the butchers, plumbers, carpenters, roofers, and so on. not only do they make a great salary, but they all usually are happy with their choices in occupation...they generally get great satisfaction from the jobs they do, good pay they earn, but the jobs they do are also not just needed but necessary in this life. it is a wonderful thing to have skills that earn a living no matter the times, and should hand grenade decide later to get that college degree in something, he will still have great skills already to fall back on just in case. that is part of the problem with the unemployed right many do not have alternative skills they can employ while seeking what job they do want.

  25. He had a summer job then came home to finish high school (be it at home or whatever) and pursue an excellent career. A bit of life experience, some work and a few bucks in his pocket, plus an excellent recommendation from a past employer. I'd call that a win and a solid path.

  26. Enola- Please do not allow that commenters foolish words to darken even a corner of your mind. There has ever been such anger in the world. You and your family are on the right path. You know this. Stay strong.

  27. A recent college grad called a local talk show REALLY upset - he had graduated with his degree in Humanities (and $60,000 in student loans) but no one would hire him. My suggestion was that he should have taken an apprenticeship as a plumber. Currently the median wage is $46,103, so at the end of the 4 year apprenticeship he would have earned something like $147,500 and had an almost guaranteed job for as long as he wanted to work.
    JW M

  28. As a young person these days, it irritates me how often I hear the chant of "get a degree, get a degree!" as if we are not worth anything without a piece of paper and $75 grand of debt. Sure, some people need to have some sort of schooling, like doctors and nurses, but we also need people to go dig ditches or other non-technical jobs, and college is not for everyone. Besides, if something were to happen to take down technology, how is a programmer supposed to earn a living? This is why I encourage everyone old enough to learn a trade. I have been to college, and am finishing a third degree, but I have also learned three trades. Even if I don't get a "real" job working in one of those trades, I still know I have the skill to do the work.

    Not so old timer

    1. We also need to refuse to hire foreigners- we no longer need them, cuz there are no jobs left in this country.

      They are taking YOUR jobs.

      Last year, 3 out of 4 jobs were taken by legal (yes, legal) foreigners. They're here to work for less, to undercut you.

      Um, I'm sorry, but we Americans come first.

    2. The issue is that most "americans" are lazy, entitled, pieces of garbage.. we have to import engineers since most american kids are too damn lazy to study hard and decide to get a business degree which everyone and their mom can get online. The carpenters union in my area had to suspend their apprenticeship program due to lack of interest, since most young americans are too lazy to work hard, so most construction jobs go to "illegals" who know how to work hard. Why work hard if you can live at home and get money from the government? If anything we need more illegals and less citizens

    3. we've got a prof. at UVA. says the kids think they're gonna be handed a good grade. worked for them all through high school, apparently.
      he was surprised as he was always an interested student and enjoyed the study.
      d. h.

  29. Enola and family;
    Please do not get discouraged and keep up the GREAT work!

  30. I have noticed that in the country club district in my old hometown that there are many plumber, electrician, and construction workers' trucks parked overnight. Not that I even wanted to live there, but I could now afford it, too. I am content with my paid off home and my 4 acres.
    MHG will be fine, as will your daughter who is a midwife. People who look down on others for useful work in my book are snobs and who needs them?
    I am cleaning this up, but I heard on the radio that kids who want to party go to college; kids who want an education go to the library. I wouldn't want my kids in one of those institutions anyway.

    1. son was required to take and pay for 2 feminist courses in order to graduate. if it had been horse pucky at least it could have gone on the garden. it wasn't even that useful. when he came home in summer he had strange questions, indeed!! able to clear it up for him. you would not believe what they are passing off as knowledge!!
      what burns me is that he had to pay for it !!

      p.s.- might as well throw your kids in a sewer full of maniacs!

  31. It is funny because I was just telling my husband that I wish we had a real butcher around here (very rural GA). We have processors but the just cut everything into big squares and call it a roast or ham or just grind it into sausage or burger. I would pay more for real butchering. I hear there are some around Atlanta but that is too far and way too much traffic for me.-Miss Georgia

  32. Enola,
    At some point and time in our lives we all have ugliness directed at ourselves or our families. The sweet, gracious way you have dealt with the situation is exactly the way we all should. Thank you for sharing and for "living" your faith. I hope I remember this lesson the next time ugliness comes my way!
    Cricket (GA)

  33. When I first read your post about Master HG coming home, I could tell you're very proud of him, as you should be. When I look to the left side of your blog I see that "Children" and "Preparedness" have the most entries. You certainly have prepared your children for whatever may come their way. Keep up the good work.

  34. I suspect the angry self-loather would be profiled as having a potential for going postal. You've handled the hater in a Godly manner & set a positive example, yet again, for your readers AND your children. Thank you for reminding me hating a hater only breeds more hate.

  35. Enola,


    I mentioned one of my friends on your blog before "Oil Field Worker"

    He went to work today making time and half on a holiday.

    $80.00 an hour......

    Not bad for a South Texas "good ole' boy" that has a high school diploma, wears a hardhat, FR (flame retardant) clothing and work boots to work everyday.

    In the trades, that's were the moneys and if you get good enough, you can work your way up if your in the right place at the right time.

  36. The unemployement rate for those with a degree is much lower than for those without.

    1. OK, but how does the unemployment rate for those with a degree compare to that of butchers?
      Montana Guy


  37. You have to wonder why Mr. Full of Hate even reads your blog.

    Master HG can come to my place anytime as a good carpenter is hard to find!! And I imagine we'll be needing butchers for some time. People who have a skill are always in demand.

    God bless you guys!

  38. We are a family of seven. I have a bachelors degree. My husband did not attend any school after high school. Guess who is supporting our family of seven. Guess who earns the money to buy our food, pay the mortgage, and keep us clothed. C'mon, guess! Yep, that's right! My husband. He went to vo-tech in high school and learned a trade. I went to college and learned a whole lot of information that is useless now as I raise and teach our five children. Go figure! Thankfully, I was able to graduate with no student loans (due to my parents' foresight and employment at the college).

    Master Hand Grenade is wise to learn a trade. When the kids are older, perhaps I'll learn to be an electrician! I've already rewired the kitchen, after all - no thanks to that college degree!!

    ~mom of five

  39. Good for Master Hand Grenade. As someone who got multiple degrees (including an MBA and Ph.D.), ran up over $120,000 in student loan debt, and paid off that debt, I certainly understand the BS of the "go get a degree" chant. Here are my thoughts:

    1) The economy and needs for different skills sets are rapidly changing. Not every career path that was successful in the past will be valuable in the future. Many career field have massive overcapacity such that degrees in those fields are worth less than they used to be worth.

    2) Avoid useless degrees at all costs -- things like liberal arts, "gender/race" studies, arts, etc are absolutely worthless and only good for running up large debts that cannot be repaid.

    3) Get a trade. Better yet learn several. Young men should learn how to work with tools to make, repair, and process needed things.

    4) Learn how to make or process things people need. Meat does not magically appear in a plastic wrap - a butcher has to slaughter the animal and carve the meat into portions one buys at the store.

    5) Some trades do require degrees and are worthwhile paths -- all engineering fields (except environmental); medicine, nursing, etc.

    6) 3D Printing is one of the next frontiers. This and associated skills like CAD/CAM, CNC machining, engineering design, finite element analysis, reverse engineering, 3D laser scanning, etc have uses in many industries. One of the best things you can do for kids now is to get a 3D printer and help them learn to use it and these related skills. It will prepare them for a trade and will help them get into engineering programs at the university level.

    7) Business education does have value but still learn a trade. These skills are very useful but there is also massive over capacity in these areas. You must have a trade. Accounting and finance are useful trades but ones with massive overcapacity. In addition, finance is dominated by certain "white-shoe" firms into which it is very difficult to enter and job opportunities are limited outside of certain finance cluster locations like New York City. There will also be less need for accountants as economic collapse and tax reform happen.

    8) Avoid law - there is massive overcapacity and way too many new entrants are progressive activist types for which there will be substantially lower demand when government eventually downsizes.

    9) Be aware of which skills can be replaced by robots, computerized expert systems, or cheap outsourced or imported labor.

    When in doubt, become a maker as our economy will be forced to rediscover hard physical work, the trades, and manufacturing...

    Dr. Richard

    P.S. Although my primary training is in finance and strategy, I am also an unlicensed journeyman electrician, am capable of doing most construction trades (anything associated with building or maintaining a house), and am currently expanding my skill sets in 3D design and manufacturing.

  40. It's his life and his choice as to what to do with it-no more complicated than that. My best wishes in whatever field he chooses. Trades will always be in demand.

  41. To Master Hand Granade and your mom. I would like to tell a rather long story but in as few words as possible. First off, I am a high school dropout (and by the way to those of you better educated then myself, misspelling of words here does not mean I am stupid)... Not really proud of that but not ashamed of it either. I quit school not because I was dumb, but because I was bored to tears.

    I entered the Marines when I was 17 with my parents blessings (more so my dads, as he was glad to get rid of me) that was in 1972. I had a few disillusions, about the military but I had come from a service family so not so many I could handle it. But it was during the Viet Nam war when I entered the service and things were challenging then to say the least for folks in the military. I had then and continued to learn, and learn a lot.

    So now fast forward to the present time. I spent a total of 30 years in the military, 5 in the Marines, 2 in the Army and 23 in the Air Force. I am and have been certified as both a State EMT and national paramedic. I have been to a LOT of countries outside of the U.S. and worked for local, and federal government as a civil servent and as a government contractor overseas and in the States.

    I have had some really great years earning in excess of 6 figures on some positions and now make a solid high 5 figure salary. I have my GED and around 50 college credits, but no degree in anything but BS or as they say " I have a BS in B.S."...

    I have few regrets in my life and do not know of much I would change if I could. But then again if I had changed ANYTHING in my life I would probably not had as much dang fun as I have had nor as many tears too. I probably would not have ever met my current wife nor had my kids with my ex wife (well maybe one thing I might change, LOL).. But it all goes as planned by someone much smarter than me. I am not a church going person, but I am a beliver and give thanks to the Lord a every day I crawl out of bed and can stand on my own two feet.

    I can do a lot of things most folks would have to hire someone to do for them. And there are times I do hire someone to do things I just cannot do now, due to the pain my body is in.

    So bottom line here Master Hand Grenade, do what makes you happy. Learn a trade, few today are. Skip college till you get a good solid foundation under you on what you would like to get out of life or at least would like to try and become if something different from what you were doing. Nothing wrong with being able to do a lot of different things in life.

    And then if the Spirit drives you then go to college (community college) lot cheaper, see how you like it and if you want to persue a degree in your chosen path then go to a good (but cheaper) college it will save you a bunch of money that way rather than waste the money and not have something you can earn a good living at. Sorry Ma'am for being long winded, your son will do just fine in the world I just have a feeling. dragonmedic out..

  42. As Elysatio stated, a degree is all well and good if you intend working in a career field that 'requires' one, having a piece of paper for its own sake is .. well, pathetic. There are very few areas where a degree is necessary initially (I worked for years without, gaining them gradually as needed - to PhD).

    Over here in the UK we have had the same drive to 'force' everyone to universities. The reason? To hide the facts that youth employment opportunities have been decimated. To do so they have dumbed-down degrees (even those in real subjects as opposed to Skateboarding and Media Studies) to the extent that employers are having to run remedial courses on basic Maths and English for 'graduates'!

    Please pass on to Master Hand Grenade that in 'this' household he, like yourself and your husband, is held up as an example of attitude, sense, persistence and maturity - to be admired and lauded. (Actually my son has shown an interest/aptitude in Carpentry directly as a result of one of your articles - could you do one on MHGs room tidying ability - please!!!)

  43. This is the same post I put on Patrice's website:

    My grandfather was a butcher. While he and my grandmother raised 8 children born during and after the Great Depression, my father told me (not too long ago), with pride, that because of grandfather's occupation, there was always meat on their table regardless of how poor they were.
    Since my father had to drop out of school at age 14 after my grandfather died and there were still 3 young children at home to care for, I also grew up poor. But we all had a great work ethic and went into careers with practical skills, after each of us began working at age 14 (the minimum age in our state, with permission from the school district superintendent). My father went on to earn his GED and associate degree and had a well-respected career as a fire-fighter. In turn, he showed us by example that you can, if desired, continue to work hard to improve your lot in life.
    My husband was raised by his grandparents, themselves growing up during the Great Depression. After his grandfather got out of the Air Force, he became a veterinarian. His children, and grandchildren, were all expected to work at his solo-practice rural veterinary clinic starting by age 10-12. He taught them all to shoot, hunt and fish. We didn't discover until after his death that he actually had been an accomplished and recognized sharp-shooter in the Air Force.
    While I may have an extremely employable doctorate, my dear husband, with his high school diploma and service-sector job history, is a brilliant, creative and successful problem-solver. I am privileged to have him in my and our childrens lives.
    MHG has made an excellent decision and will have a unique skill set that, in conjunction with the wonderful education his parents have provided him, will help make him a successful individual in his own right and by his own hard work. I personally applaud him and his family for focusing on what's important, not what's "politically correct."

    But, I'll add, as a reader and fan, I have the utmost respect for your family, faith and dedication. Do well, Master Hand Grenade!

  44. Thank you so much for that post Enola. I have done the college thing, mainly because my mother didn't have a college education so she sort of forced me into it. Even though I had no idea what I wanted to do. 7 years later, with a college degree, I still don't know what I want to do. Well that's a lie. I want to be a mother, with my first child on the way, and I want to have a simple life, such as the one you have, fullfulled with the love of my family and a garden.

    Although my mom is excited to be a grandmother, she still wants me to have a career and be the bread winner, even though I have no desire to do that. I have less debt than most college graduates but I wish I didn't have any of it. I will not encourage my students to persue a college education unless they wish to do so.

    There is nothing wrong with your son wanting to be a butcher. Acutally, the first thing I said to my husband was, "Wow, a butcher, my mom would so not be ok with that." Not that she would look down upon a butcher, just that she would want her children to have more worldly possesions that a butcher may not be able to afford (She wanted me to be a lawyer or a doctor).

    I am still on my path to paying of my horrible loan and trying to simplify my life and focus on what is really important to me. My husband and our future child.

    Thank you for the posts and I wish your son the best in his senior year and keep the great posts coming!

  45. Angie's story above is so similar to mine.

    I did the college thing because my mom didn't have the opportunity to go and wanted a "better life" for me. After 7 years I finally graduated.... morally compromised with my Christian faith tattered and torn. I had friends date raped, develop alcoholism and contract STD's...only be God's providence was I spared these consequences.

    Yet 5 yrs later after college when after repenting, marrying and settling down, I became pregnant and had to have the routine tests, one which was HIV...I was terrified because of the immorality of my college days...thankfully God was merciful and I was STD free but it shook me to the core.

    That's when I knew my daughter would NEVER go to college. I would never put my child in situations where she is unprepared, overwhelmed and in harms way!!!

    Parents need to know that the school's hide the crime rates and most rapes go unreported. Going to college is a risk to your child's life, mental and moral state.

    Also if you are a concerned parent they have a name for you, "Helicopter Parents" because they see you as in the way and hanging around...just leave and let them take over. Not making this up, heard this from administrators, student life leaders and registrar office employees.

    Why would a Christian parent throw their sheep to the wolves? A watered down education is not worth your child being raped, dying of alcohol poisoning or car wreck, losing their faith or contracting an STD that will kill them at 30 or prevent you from having grandchildren....think about it!

  46. My daughter is in college. Accepted to the U of Hawaii school of Pharmacy. We are helping, but she will finish about $130k in dept. My son, 1 year younger, started as a p/t deli worker, now is the store manager making close to $85k a year and owns his own apartment. She lives with us. Yeah, college is sooo good for everyone. You don't need to worry about HG. But your prayers for the writer will be beneficial, even if they don't know it.

  47. “A man’s ledger does not tell what he is, or what he is worth. Count what is in man, not what is on him, if you would know what he is worth—whether rich or poor.” –Henry Ward Beecher

  48. I dropped out of college a year into some serious liver damage. I thought for a long time that I would never make anything great for myself until I went back and finished.

    The week I accepted the Lord I was helping a man while working as a sales clerk. Being a new Christian man I was determined to act in a way that would not shame the Lord. The man I was helping looked at me and said "I dont know what your skills are but you need to come work for me." I told him that given the chance I would like to be a programmer. I went to work for him a month later.

    I wanted to advance my career and still thought that I needed a degree so I went back to college. After a year of working in the industry I was so far ahead of the instructor I finally realized that I had been mislead into the importance of college.

    My career has been on a steady upward climb ever since and I am able to adapt to the needs of my field and teach myself the newest technologies. With hard work, strong character and faith in God your children will find a place in the field of their choosing.

    Almost 10 years later this year I will finally pay off the debt I had to take on for that little bit of school.

  49. Thank God not everyone wants to go to college! There are many worthwhile, fulfilling careers that can be had by those who choose to apprentice or go to vocational school. Where would we be without our firemen? Mechanics? Butchers? Child care workers? I could go on and on. I feel sorry for the anonymous poster. They should take time out to look around them. They would see many people who don't seem too disappointed that they didn't go to college.

  50. Had to tag on another comment, even though it is a bit late... I am a public school teacher (went to college for that, I attended one of the largest campuses in the country and I don't look back on that as a joyful time in my life- very lonely and very depressed). Working with kids every day, I see children that I would definitely NOT counsel to attend college. "Bookwork" does not fit well with everyone's skill set. There's an ed. philosopher named Gardener who came up with a theory of Multiple Intelligences, which include talents in areas like the physical. Not everyone is born with the talents and inclinations that mesh well with college degrees. God has made us all unique! If we all had the same skills and abilities, it would be boring, and survival as a society might be difficult!

    Two other interesting points... a friend of my hubby's is actually a real live ditch digger (well, he's now in his 40's and worked his way up to supervising the ditch diggers!) He makes about 4x what I do with my college education and his family owns their own home and a beautiful piece of rural property. His job as a ditch digger has offered his family the life I wish I could provide for my family. Also- I recently read a very interesting book called SHOP CLASS AS SOUL CRAFT by Matthew Crawford. He is a PhD who gave up on the field he had his degrees in and is fixing high-end motorcycles for a living. He is making a better wage and has higher job satisfaction in this "blue collar" field. His book addresses that issue as well as the fact that there is a real lack of new tradespeople being trained. Trade jobs are absolutely necessary for our society to function and there are few young people training to fill them. Those who do will be able to command whatever wage they want! When the toilet is backing up, it won't matter what the trained plumber is charging... the women's studies major with a college degree is going to find a way to pay it!!! Mike Rowe of TV's "Dirty Jobs" even appeared before Congress trying to encourage people to take up the trades. This push for all to go to college has left huge openings in the trades that aren't being filled as the Boomers retire.

    The most discouraging thing I ever saw... I was riding home with my college roommate, her boyfriend, her twin brothers and their 2 friends (we had five guys in the car). The car broke down, and we sat on the side of the road with 5 clueless guys standing around the car-- they had no clue what was wrong. I guessed (based on what my dad had taught me) and then said we needed to call my dad, because he could fix things (he actually had both farm trade skills and a college degree in agriculture). My dad came and rescued us... and I later found and married a man who can fix things!!!

  51. Growing up it was framed as there was no choice when it came to college. You could no more decide you weren't going to college than you could decide not to go to middle school. Here I sit taking breaks from going blind staring at budgets reading your blogs to keep from going insane. I am miserable and would love to be able to work with my hands.

  52. III in occupied New EnglandNovember 26, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Mike Rowe, the TV host, has been pushing this iniative- - arguing the point that college is NOT the answer. Unfortunately the four year degree seems to be the new high school diploma. I work in the world of investments, and it's a rare event that we look at anyone who doesn't have a bachelors degree. It's sad. I've told my sons that they should consider the trades as career fields, the propaganda for college is not telling them the whole story. They'd be so much better off as plumbers or trained, certified welders than an unemployed fool with a four year degree in underwater basket weaving. I find that the men I respect the most can work with their my office we have only two males who works on our own cars, cut our own firewood, hunt our own food. The other guy is a hobby farmer who raises chickens and turkeys, too (he is also the only other veteran here). There is an entire generation (and another coming along) who are completely averse at doing physical labor.....they don't (or can't) work on their own cars, fix their sinks or hot water heaters, and won't even camp with their sons who are in Boy Scouts. They are pretty unmanly.

    Best Regards,

    a vet in occupied New England

  53. What a shame-- I feel for that fool, and hope they have no children. What a terrible attitude.

    You've raised a fine young man. Intelligent enough, I'm sure, that he will not NEED large sums of money to live a secure or enjoyable life.

    I'm thankful (mostly) for the doctors and nurses and engineers...

    ...but I suspect the world would stand longer, even without them, than it would without butchers and plumbers and trash collectors. Seems logical.

    Tell your young man that-- Actually, I'm sure you already have.

    If you want to have some unkind fun, reference that commenter to a much earlier post you made about Master Hand Grenade's early struggles. Let the fool know that s/he is Making Fun Of The Disabled, and watch him/her doggone near have a coronary backpedaling.

    Probably not Christian. But I get a good chuckle out of the thought.

    You've done a wonderful job, Enola. Keep up the good work.