Saturday, February 19, 2011

A rant on education and jobs

After speaking with a close friend of mine, I remembered what I used to say about education when I was 3 years old. Why do we have to pay for education?? Why isn't it free?

And now, years later, my friend and I are asking that question again. Really, why ARE we paying for education? Now, economically speaking, teachers gotta get paid, I understand that. But how come at such a premium? How come there is a price on knowledge? 

In this horrible economy, everyone is struggling. My dad is a huge fan of the barter system. And it's a bloody good one. You know, if you fix my plumbing, your rent is waived for a month. Or, hey I will give you ____ in exchange for ______. And it works!

We need to get rid of our obsession and fascination of money, fame, power.

There was a time in my life that I lived in St. Thomas for 3 months. I'd like to go and do something like that again. Live somewhere, maybe do jobs here and there, then move on. Except I'm attached to money. Is it hard to let it go? Isn't there a movie like that? Eat, pray, love? I don't think I would mind living in Hawaii, working at a surf shop.  ...Of course I might end up being really high all the time. Well, that's OK, too. (And that's a completely different topic as well.)  Do I need money to be able to let it go? Can I just let it go without worries right now? Am I bogged down with responsibilities, to self, family (and pets), banks, etc?  What is so bad with being a drifter?

I do like modern plumbing and hygiene. Maybe I can't really be too much of a drifter. I'd be too high-maintenance! OK, let's modify the 3-month drifter plan to taking random jobs for a year or 2, in random places.  Since I live in the US, we'll keep it simple and work just in the states. That way I don't have to worry about visas and such.  Though I wouldn't mind working in Canada.  Yeah, I could probably do that.

What about college or education beyond college? There are people with no college education who are succeeding. There are those with multiple degrees who can barely make enough to survive. There was a point when those who were educated were given more money, but those barriers aren't there as much. In the IT industry, it's certificates. "Oh, you've got a Master's degree but no Microsoft ____ certificate? Sorry, you can't get this job." I mean, what's the point then? Here's another: "We're looking for someone with a Master's degree in graphic design, 5-10 yrs of experience. The salary will be $38,000."  Really? Unbelievable. This is across the board, in any field.

Yes, I'm bitter. I've been applying to places based on qualifications. I may not have a lot of experience, but I can do the job. And there's on the job training! Why can't I get a job?? Why are you insisting on paying me pennies for my effort??  It is depressing.

We all know that money doesn't bring in happiness, yet here we are so attached.

A part of me wants to run away from all forms of monetary responsibility. Even drop off the face of the internet and live life in some random place, off of some beaten old path. And a year or 2 later when I return, when you inevitably ask where I went, I will tell you that I found freedom by fixing the pipes in people's houses as I've moved across the country and back.

Note to future self: Keep it in mind.
Note to near-future self: Don't forget the post-script notes!

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