Saturday, June 18, 2016

A rite of spring in America

Daniels quoted Thomas Edison:

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

Hall of Fame baseball player Eddie Murray:

“Once, after his wrong-field bloop double had scored a winning run, Murray was yelled at by an opposing fan who shouted, ‘You must be the luckiest hitter in baseball.’ To which Murray politely replied, ‘You must not watch batting practice.’ ”
Mitch Daniels, former governor of Indiana and current president of Purdue University, knows that no one in the audience is there to hear a commencement speaker. When, however, he addressed his institution’s class of 2016, it heard him distill into a few lapidary paragraphs a stance toward life that illuminates this political season.

A rite of spring in America is, Daniels noted, the dispensing of diplomas that are similar in what they announce but dissimilar in what they actually denote. They all pronounce the recipient to be a bachelor of this or a master of that.

There is, however, evidence, as abundant as it is depressing, that there are enormous differences between the seriousness of the curriculums students study and the rigor with which their mastery of them is measured: “As employers have come to learn, many diplomas tell little or nothing about the holder’s readiness for work or for life.”

This matters, because diplomas often are credentials that are not credible, and because ample studies of happiness demonstrate that the most important predictor of it is, Daniels said, “earned success.”

This involves sustained, difficult effort to surmount setbacks. And yet, said Daniels, perhaps the most dangerous of today’s many pernicious ideas is that “life is more or less a lottery. That we are less masters of our fate than corks floating in a sea of luck.”

Daniels spoke six days after Barack Obama told Howard University’s class of 2016: “Yes, you’ve worked hard, but you’ve also been lucky. That’s a pet peeve of mine: people who have been successful and don’t realize they’ve been lucky. That God may have blessed them; it wasn’t nothing you did.” [Full Wonderfulness]
ASIDE: You can actually earn a college degree in (to name a few ridiculous and stupid 'disciplines' available)

CANNABIS CULTIVATION -  Oaksterdam University (CA); COMEDY - Humber College; FERMENTATION SCIENCES -Appalachian State University;  SEXUALITY San Francisco State University: VITICULTURE AND ENOLOGY -Cornell University; DECISION SCIENCES -Indiana University; POPULAR CULTURE - Bowling Green State University; FLORAL MANAGEMENT-Mississippi State University; AUCTIONEERING - Harrisburg Area Community College; FAMILY ENTERPRISE - Stetson University;  BASSOON - The University of Arizona; NANNYING -Sullivan University (KY); PUPPETRY - University of Connecticut [Via MENTAL FLOSS]

Let me offer "Black Studies" and "Women Studies" as ideologies not useful for any other reason.


Anonymous said...

Hold on now. Viticulture and enology have to do with growing grapes and making wine out of them. A quite useful little piece of knowledge, don't ya think?

Sir H the Comet

jlw said...

i'm really tired of hearing how great Mitch Daniels is. i have lived in Indiana since 1994, the entire time he was Governor and head of OMB. i voted for him, but he isn't all that great.

the small town i live in was quite nice when i came here. now it looks like an abandoned inner city. it got blown up by the recession, not Daniels fault, but the good things he is said to have done for the state did not reach here. they seem to be limited to the borders and the big cities.

i have nothing against him, but those who claim that was a great Governor don't live here. my part of the state is dying.

OregonGuy said...

The double-reed program at Arizona is one of the finest in the nation.

Just sayin'.

Kim du Toit said...

Viticulture and Oenology (correct spelling, if you wish to use your degree overseas) is a wonderful career direction. The pay is decent, you get to spend most of your time outdoors, and what you do has an appreciable impact on the quality of life in society. (I don't know how GOOD Cornell's diploma is, but whatever.)

Esteve said...

In defense of Appalachian State, they are in the midst of the fermentation industry.

Rodger the Real King of France said...


Anonymous said...

In case anybody did not get Esteve's comment, you could listen to Steve Earle's "Copperhead Road" for further explanation.

Steve in Greensboro

Post a Comment

Just type your name and post as anonymous if you don't have a Blogger profile.