Saturday, October 30, 2004


I have no college degree.

Halfway through my senior year I decided to go part-time, then to take a few months off. After three months away, I realized I had no desire whatsoever to go back.

This was a wonderfully liberating feeling, coming from a family and circle of friends where one degree is expected, two are normal, and three is encouraged. I do not regret leaving school.

Here's the thing: I do not like school. I do not like academic pressure and deadlines and being told what's relevent.

I do love to learn! I love the exchange of ideas. I love wandering into a library and picking up a book on a subject I know little to nothing about, and reading, reading, reading. I love listening to someone who is passionate and knowledgeable about something talk about it.

When I tell people that I'm a college dropout, I get THE FACE.

THE FACE is half pity (because obviously I wasn't smart enough to finish) and half superiority (their degree makes them smarter than me).

Perhaps I should have stated ealier that I do not regret my lack of a degree 99.99% of the time.

Unfortunately, after almost four years of seeing THE FACE, it seems to have dug into my brain. Every time I lose the calculator or my watch, every time I miss the exit to the chiropractor's office, every time spell check has to fix something obvious for me, I see it. It is tied to my evaluation of my own intelligence. Why?

Part of it is that some of the people who make THE FACE are my family and friends. Not all of them. Not even the majority, but there are people who care about me, people whose respect I truly want, who make it. They don't realize it and would feel bad if they knew (another reason this blog is anonymous).

My husband is always trying to convince me that I am intelligent. My argument boils down to one sentence: "You're in Love with me and, therefore, biased!"

Looking at it typed out...crap...that's a stupid argument.

He counters by telling me that I am using a very narrow definition of intelligence, one made by a confused society.

I decided to ask around, I sent e-mails to the most intelligent people that a. I know and b. I have e-maill addresses for. I asked them what they thought intelligence was.

I'm going to sift through them and post them later.


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