reply to post by macman
Now, on to the development issue. Who says that going to College is any better?
Development is development, regardless of the youth's social system or environment. I know at one point I entered thoughts about college vs not - I
must have deleted that bit. (In fact, very early yesterday I posted an entire reply to yours, which disappeared after I thought I posted it. oh
Okay - in that "lost" (or imagined?) response, I mentioned my two kids. One earned a full ride to a prestigious university (And I mean, FULL RIDE, we
the family have not been asked for anymore than a few $100s here and there to supplement) based on public school high school performance, and is
graduating in late June with a MS in Materials Engineering. Full-fledged scientist, and with excellent prospects for employment in the
tech/alternative fuel cells area. Has decided to go with Master's right away in Journalism - an engineer who is also a journalist (as opposed to a
"scientist" only who might not be able to address audiences who lack lingo and expert knowledge already).
The other kid chose not to pursue higher education, in fact the public school system was an extremely poor fit socially speaking - now, kid 2 is just
as bright as kid 1; they were both tested and put into "gifted" programs to keep them challenged beyond the mainstream classroom pace of learning.
Both are extremely articulate, have excellent critical thinking skills, and are flourishing - one as a student, the other as an employee (working two
jobs). Both are well-adjusted and adaptable, flexible and as sensible as can be expected. They are 22 and 20, respectively. And BOTH still make
errors in judgment.
My husband attended basic training, completed it, and then returned to finish high school after he was done - and it changed him FOR EVER. He, too,
later attended college (computer science) and works as an IT professional, BUT he has difficulty with civilian social behaviors and norms in a
corporate environment. His military training overrode his "social skills" development, and he has to fight off rigid thinking, and also work very hard
at perceiving what others are trying to get across.
I attribute this to extreme intelligence and exquisite sensitivity
(oddly enough - he's one of the most intelligent and sensitive men I've ever
met, similar in both ways to both of my kids), coupled with military indoctrination and "breakdown" he endured during programming/training (whatever)
to be a soldier. His communication skills suffered, and his insight is quite skewed. He can't read others very easily, and he can't read himself
So, those are my three closest peeps - my husband and my two kids. One military & college, one college only right after High School, and one who
decided to leave the public system and finish education in the real world and through alternative venues. All three are successful, in very different
The college kid struggles with reality in terms of budgeting and frivolous spending vs penny-pinching. While not from an affluent family the
atmosphere at the college is FILLED with students like you describe, who are handed everything (they actually call their parents "Rents". Heh) My kid,
in that respect, does not fit in, having been taught to work for what one wants and to not spend beyond one's means. It's been a struggle, but I've
seen enormous growth between freshman year and graduation spring.
The working kid has excellent people skills, is well-liked by peers and management, and is comfortable with adults and people of the same age
I actually wanted college kid to work for a year before starting college, but was disregarded on that.
Now - for myself, I have a BA in Liberal Arts and am fluent in Spanish. Twenty years later I went to Graduate School and earned a Masters in social
work. The foreign language paired with social work landed me a few jobs at non-profit (read: low-paying) salaries, and although I enjoyed it til I
burned out, my BA has been more responsible for my working path - but only because the Spanish-speaking population has exploded in the last 20
Before that, I had virtually only office skills that were transferrable to the workplace, having worked as an admin and retail clerk while in
So, I totally agree. In fact, I think college is exactly that - only necessary for those heading for academia or a profession.
I think that trades are the smartest move, actually. Learning a viable skill like auto mechanics, plumbing, electrician, heavy equipment, welding,
whatever - seems to be a far more lucrative way to build a stable work history.
Anyhow - kinda off topic regarding PFC Manning - but hope I illustrated verbosely how military vs college vs temperament vs stage of development are
all "mixed in". You can't really separate one from the others. Temperament, learning style, communication style, moral integrity, judgment - so much
of it is completely individual, and no one method of "education" or "training" is right for everyone.
Okay, thanks again for your responses - very thoughtful debate, and I have enjoyed it.
edit on 26-4-2011 by wildtimes because: TYPOS