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01/07/20 09:26 AM
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#11711 - 08/28/06 02:40 AM Are you at your best?
jjw Offline
Superstar

Registered: 09/07/05
Posts: 636
Loc: USA
Not quite science- possibly if people are not science subjects.

I would like to know, just for my after life projections, how many of us in this life feel or possibly consider that they failed to choose their best life occupation or their best professional choice- taking into account how much better you may have done with a different choice.

I am quite private about my life but I will offer some personal groundwork. First of all I was a high school dropout. I became a lawyer in California as a result of a dare by my wife who was impressed with some lawyer friends of ours, that I thought were <> the smartest. My wife was a college grad and she made a big exception to her way to get involved with me. After my wife died I met a lady that was very successful in her own right, giving classes in her area of expertise and having multiple offices. When we met we were both retired and widowed. Our past was totally unknown to either of us.

I have been reading the stuff here for about a year now. Formal education appears to be a premium here or at least there are some that want to carry their burden by reference to the school type subjects they have studied.
I have just two examples (for now) where the uneducated, me too, were teaching their peers that in most cases went through the system. This is not a poll.
Respond- does success and self assurance depend on the idea that you went to the best schools or on you?
Do you think you would have had more success in a different field of endeavor?

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#11712 - 08/28/06 04:08 AM Re: Are you at your best?
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
I have had several careers and expect to have at least one more before I stop turning oxygen into carbon dioxide.

In each and every case I was successful and have no doubt I could land on my feet just about anywhere doing just about anything. Provided the skill required was mental rather than physical.

At this point I am very close to the top of my profession. I am recognized internationally as an expert in my field and am in the process of writing a book for a name publisher. But I can't tell you that I expect to be doing this in two years or five years but most definitely won't be doing it in ten.

With respect to formal education ... quite frankly I don't have a lot of respect for it in some contexts. Some of the most respected and talented people on this planet are dropouts. But one must also acknowledge that they are the exceptions not the rules. And anyone contemplating being the next Bill Gates is likely in for a life of asking "do you want fries with that."

What does impress me, and often does come with formal education, is the ability to use one's brain for more than keeping track of Paris Hilton's latest imbecility or who won the sixth game of the 1995 world series. Unfortunately though these seem to be what most amuses those unfortunates who share this planet with me.

If I had my life to do over again, yes I've made a couple, well three to be exact, world class stupid acts and I'd probably not do them again ... though likely I'd get the opportunity to do other equally stupid things as they are also known as learning experiences. But career wise ... I am mentally challenged and that is precisely where I want to be.
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#11713 - 08/28/06 05:14 PM Re: Are you at your best?
TheFallibleFiend Offline
Megastar

Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 1940
Loc: http://thefalliblefiend.blogsp...
"does success and self assurance depend on the idea that you went to the best schools or on you?'

Depends on what one means by success. I think self-assurance comes from knowing what one is talking about. If it doesn't, then it's just bluster. Creationism tends to produce people with little knowledge and lots of bluster.

I did not go to the best of schools. I went to a solid engineering school. But you confuse schooling with education. Schooling and education are like sine waves that can interfere constructively or destructively. Schooling is what gets done TO you. Education is what happens between your own ears. I've known lots of people who were poorly schooled, but well educated. I've also known lots of people for whom the reverse was true. But formal schooling - particularly a good graduate school - can help a person learn how to do research and how to really focus on a topic.

When I was in HS, my dad told me across the dinner table one night that I was flat out not going to college. Period. Get any idea of it out of my head. I went anyway. Schooling and education are both important to me. It is one of the priorities in our household:
1. Health and Safety,
2. Happiness and General Welfare,
3. Education and Personal Development.

Even though it's listed as number 3, I'll bet my girls often think I consider it number 1.

I am a redneck. I will always be a redneck. I accept it and say this unashamedly and also not proudly. But I don't have to be stupid. I'm very often mistaken, but most of the time I try to figure things out, if it's important to me.

I have only one real virtue - I can respect a person for who he is, and not what I expect him to be. I was not born with this virtue. It was not nurtured in me. Rather, it just sort of overtook me.


"Do you think you would have had more success in a different field of endeavor?"

In my life I have only wanted to be one thing - a scientist (including mathematician). I don't know that I have the intellectual capacity to be a very good one. It seems now that I will never be one. But I do work with a lot of scientists and generally enjoy a fair measure of respect from them.

I have tried twice to go back to school to get my PhD. My employer pays for my classes and is very supportive. But I have two girls - and my wife who also works full time is not very good with them. She just can't take stress and so I've had to quit. I get depressed about it sometimes. This is my life's dream. But I figure I only have one chance to give my daughters what they need and I'm not going to miss it.

In the meantime, I've taken more statistics courses than most statistics majors. I've reviewed a lot of computer and math stuff. I get to study on my own the things that interest me. I even get to read for fun sometimes.

I also do a crapload of volunteer work - tutoring kids, guest lecturing, mentoring interns. In fact I'm the volunteer coordinator where I work. (Also the intern coordinator for my division.) I believe it is my duty - and it's more important than anything I want for myself.

One thing that irritates me about creationists and others of that ilk is the fact that these guys could really be doing something useful if they took the energy they had and invested it in helping some underprivileged kid learn to read. Instead they've put all their efforts into maintaining and spreading ignorance.

And I can still fantasize about maybe going back to school some time. Maybe, if I do a little more research on some topic like evolutionary programming I can con university into granting me a doctorate. (But I doubt if they do that kind of thing any more.)

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#11714 - 08/29/06 07:32 PM Re: Are you at your best?
jjw Offline
Superstar

Registered: 09/07/05
Posts: 636
Loc: USA
Hi guys.
Thank you for your thoughtful response.
I question myself at times because of the way I went about choosing my profession. It turned out to be a good one for me and I enjoyed it for 32 years. There has always been this bit of doubt that I may have missed the best choice for me but it is moot now. As it turned out I was very lucky.

From your comments I see that this wisp of wonder about ourselves is probably common to many of us that search for answers. The search is the goal.
jjw

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#11715 - 08/29/06 10:47 PM Re: Are you at your best?
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
jjw wrote:
"The search is the goal."

I think you are correct. But one of my favorite sayings is that it is all about options. The happiest people are the ones with the most options.
That doesn't mean you have to act on them but just knowing they are there means that you continue to do what you are doing by choice ... rather than because it is the only thing you can do.
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#11716 - 08/31/06 08:27 PM Re: Are you at your best?
soilguy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/28/05
Posts: 414
Loc: North Carolina
After a particularly difficult day in the field, I often say to myself, "Mom was right. I should have gone to med school."

One day I said to myself, "I should have gone to the Culinary Institute."

Yeah, I guess I second guess my life choices. Who doesn't?
_________________________
When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
--S. Lewis

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#11717 - 08/31/06 09:34 PM Re: Are you at your best?
Lenore Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/14/05
Posts: 26
Loc: Ohio
The definition of "success" varies from person to person. To some, a successful life means having loads of money, while to others it may just mean paying the bills and raising a family. To be successful, you don't have to go to a top-notch school. I'm sixteen, and currently attending a vocational school. More than likely, I will not even attend college. Will I be successful? Yes. Maybe others will look down upon me for not continuing my education after high school. Already others hear that I am attending a vocational school and think of me as being of a lesser intelligence. Do I care? No, because I will be doing something that I enjoy, and that makes me a success. wink
_________________________
"A plague on both your houses!"

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#11718 - 08/31/06 09:44 PM Re: Are you at your best?
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Soilguy wrote:
"Yeah, I guess I second guess my life choices. Who doesn't?"

Never have ... doubt I ever will.

I guess I am just willing to accept that life doesn't come with any promises or guarantees. Somewhere out there is a bus waiting to land on someone. Somewhere out there is a lotto ticket waiting to be collected. And I am perfectly happy not being in either location.
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#11719 - 08/31/06 11:12 PM Re: Are you at your best?
Wolfman Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 264
Loc: Pago Pago, American Samoa
I'm of the belief that "Education" is over-rated, but I sure didn't tell that to my two grown kids. They're both well-schooled; my son's going for a Phd.
I always did well in school so University was a logical next step. Except that I hated it. This was in 1970-71. I am from a Working Class background, all the other kids were White Collar and I felt like the proverbial 5th wheel. So I did what any adventurous 18 year-old would do. I dropped out, sold my car and emigrated to Australia. I wound up travelling all over the World, working in such diverse places as Germany, England and Tahiti. I even had a chance to work on Gibraltar. Eventually I served an apprenticeship as a Carpenter. The Apprenticeship Board allowed me to work overseas, as long as I kept records of my hours. Construction is something that comes to me first nature; growing up on a farm, I was always building something. I built a 200 gallon aquarium when I was 14. I had to pull out the rear picture window of the house to get it inside!
That allowed me to get started in Contracting. I went broke twice, also part of the learning process. Now THAT, going under, is a REAL learning experience. Self-doubt, sleepless nights, people laughing at you behind your back. It's definitely not for everyone. The third time around, I found my niche.
But, as is often the case, $ucce$$ came with a pricetag, in my case, my marriage. Rather than acquiesce to the Draconian Matrimonial Laws of Canada, I ended up down here in American Samoa with two teen-aged kids. They've since grown up and moved to Seattle and Vancouver, BC respectively. Now I live with a Polynesian woman 22 years my junior. We have two little girls. They are also extremely bright and are already being groomed for college. I do Construction Contract Administration for the Department of the Interior, the local Department of Education and the LDS Church.

At my best? Let's just say, I've done the best I could with the tools given me.

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#11720 - 09/01/06 05:44 PM Re: Are you at your best?
soilguy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/28/05
Posts: 414
Loc: North Carolina
Quote:
Originally posted by Lenore:
The definition of "success" varies from person to person. To some, a successful life means having loads of money, while to others it may just mean paying the bills and raising a family. To be successful, you don't have to go to a top-notch school. I'm sixteen, and currently attending a vocational school. More than likely, I will not even attend college. Will I be successful? Yes. Maybe others will look down upon me for not continuing my education after high school. Already others hear that I am attending a vocational school and think of me as being of a lesser intelligence. Do I care? No, because I will be doing something that I enjoy, and that makes me a success. wink
Lenore: For someone of lesser intelligence, you can surely express yourself well in writing.

If you know what you want to do at 16, go ahead and take that path. If you change your mind in the future, change your path.
_________________________
When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
--S. Lewis

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#11721 - 09/01/06 05:55 PM Re: Are you at your best?
soilguy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/28/05
Posts: 414
Loc: North Carolina
Quote:
Originally posted by DA Morgan:
Soilguy wrote:
"Yeah, I guess I second guess my life choices. Who doesn't?"

Never have ... doubt I ever will.

These things don't weigh heavily on my mind. Even though I might jokingly say, "I should have gone to med school," I know I certainly shouldn't have gone to med school. I don't think I have that sort of dedication to care-giving in me.

After a 95 degree day of slashing my way through a thicket of briars in order to map the soils on a piece of land, it does occur to me that there are easier ways to make a living, preferably in air conditioned splendor. I don't spend a lot of time on "if only..."
_________________________
When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
--S. Lewis

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#11722 - 09/02/06 04:24 AM Re: Are you at your best?
Eduardo Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/10/06
Posts: 106
Loc: Guildford, UK
'He who has no regrets has not lived'

Do you know who said that?

......I just did.

But I am sure I am not the first to express the sentiment. ( If I am I'll regret not copyrighting it)

Anyway, if you have managed to go through life without making any mistakes you must be some kind of freaky automaton, devoid of human emotion and doubt.

And I assure you...very....very...boring.
_________________________
Eduardo
Resistance is futile. Capacitance is efficacious.
There are 10 types of people in the world... Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

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#11723 - 09/03/06 08:16 PM Re: Are you at your best?
Lenore Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/14/05
Posts: 26
Loc: Ohio
Soilguy;

Thanks...very touching!! smile
_________________________
"A plague on both your houses!"

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#11724 - 09/13/06 08:49 PM Re: Are you at your best?
Rigor O'Mortis Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/13/06
Posts: 12
I feel humbled by you people... Careers and stuff... Wives / husbands... 32 years or so of practice...

Heck... I turned 18 almost 4 years ago... since then I've been working in IT (officially). I still have 3 out of the 5 years at the University (computer science) and all 4 of the years at the Institute (law). I've read literature, I've read scientific dissertations and I generally consider myself quite well educated (not the best you can get, but enough for me, as it comes for the moment).

Proper schooling, however, is a totally different topic. In my opinion, it cannot be obtained unless one of the following things happen:
a) all teachers are replaced by standard, uniform teaching machines / systems, so that everybody gets the same type and ammount of schooling, their minds making the difference
b) you find and assign a teacher for every student, so that each can be educated at their standards and according to their personalities, cultural heritage, etc.
... so it's pretty much out of the question.

To me, success until now meant that I needed to prove nothing to nobody: that I could live at my own expense and by taking care of my own self. I got a well-paid job that I like, I've got a GF that I will probably marry in a few years, etc.

Success until now. Simple as that.

Did it have any connection whatsoever with schools and schooling? No, it didn't. I went to the "best schools" (you should read "highest quoted schools"), and I realized that they're full of older people who dislike to admit that you might be more intelligent than they are, or that it is possible to know more than they know. In other words, not something you'd like to take as a role model. Instead of making me feel more confident of my well-being, schooling made me feel more confident about my misery.

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#11725 - 09/13/06 11:21 PM Re: Are you at your best?
jjw Offline
Superstar

Registered: 09/07/05
Posts: 636
Loc: USA
Hi RoM:

The teacher may be more important than the school but we may expect that quality schools will have quality teachers. No doubt probable.

I went to Law school at night while workin full time with a great gal and two children. Some thought it would be a detrement due to the school subjects being taught by practicing attorneys. I gave it no credence beleiving we make our own way and while a top school might make me some important fellow student contacts I did not care. Also there are only a few night schools for law students and my choice was close by so that was important.

I know not if professors are better at the highly rated schools. Working lawyers as teachers appealed to me because that was what I aspired to. I was not a devoted student but in the long run I did better than very many.

The bottom line is the student. Pick a subject you love and work it hard with an abundance of imagination, more than your professors, stand by your conclusions and be prepared to justify them to all commers; especially the other students that lack your imagination and insight.
You will be a winner, take it one step at a time.
jjw

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#11726 - 09/14/06 11:20 PM Re: Are you at your best?
Lenore Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/14/05
Posts: 26
Loc: Ohio
Rigor O'Mortis;

You said it yourself, you don't have to prove anything to anybody. Just remember that when you have to be in the same room with those pretentious snobs!
_________________________
"A plague on both your houses!"

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