We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
When I was about to graduate from high school as an amiable screw-off, ranked barely above the lower quarter of my class, my father, who had not gone to college, told me that if I wished to go he would pay my way, but he encouraged me to consider whether my going wouldn’t be a waste of time. He personally thought I might make a hell of a good salesman, which was a compliment, for he was himself a hell of a good salesman, and a successful one. I eschewed his advice, not because it wasn’t sound, but chiefly because I felt that, at 18, I wasn’t ready to go out in the world to work.
In those days, the University of Illinois was, at least for residents of the state, an open-enrollment school. If you lived in Illinois, the school had to take you, no matter how low in your high school class you graduated. Lots of kids flunked out, and my own greatest fear on the train headed from Chicago down to Champaign-Urbana, in white bucks and reading The Catcher in the Rye, was that I would be among them.
"Lots of kids flunked out, and my own greatest fear on the train headed from Chicago down to Champaign-Urbana, in white bucks and reading The Catcher in the Rye, was that I would be among them."
Go there for an Engineering degree and that fear is well founded. My son got his B.S. in Mech. Eng. there. The incoming class into the School of Engineering his freshman year numbered 850 students. When he stood up - 5, not 4 years later - to get his degree there were 250 students in the auditorium. He came very close to making it 249, but he persevered.
Now, most of those don't flunk out of the school, they drop down into Business or some other less rigorous (or at least mathematical) curriculum.