I'm Kenney Mencher. I'm an artist who left a tenured professorship in 2016 to pursue making art full time. This blog is about art, art history, with a emphasis on human rights. I make homoerotic art featuring bears, otters & other gay wildlife.
Thursday, July 12, 2018
“Is college even worth it?”
Oh yes, but, it might be okay to work for a while first.
I think that the main reason why you should go to college if not immediately, then later, is because the pleasures and way you think now are not good be the same when you reach your 30s or 40s.
The main thing that I'm suggesting is, sometimes if you don't have enough of an education you become bored or a boring person later on in life. That's not the only reason there are many, people who graduate from college usually have a higher income than those who don't. College can train you to do things that you never imagined that you could be able to do, and some of these are very concrete skills that translate into money and enjoyment. You will read books that you will think about the rest of your life, watch movies that you will think about the rest of your life, and meet people that you may care about the rest of your life.
Before I went to college, at the age of 25, I couldn't balance my checkbook, I didn't understand basic measurements and how to translate fractions even though I had been doing construction work for several years before I went back. Basic math skills torturous for me and keeping track of my income and paying my bills and taxes was something I didn't know how to do until I took a remedial, I called a bonehead, math class. In that math class, the teacher showed me also how to use spreadsheets and computers in a basic way, and this led to a part-time job that paid at least $5-$10 more an hour than I had been getting paid to just make copies while I worked at Kinko's.
Now something that I didn't do that most people who don't go to college do, is that I worked from the age of 17 to the age of 25 at various jobs before I felt I even wanted to think about going to school. The jobs were often physically taxing and mentally torturous. I worked as a laborer on a construction site carrying bricks, I learned how to do basic construction skills like masonry and sheet rock, and I built my muscles of and was physically exhausted at the end of each day but still managed to party like an animal until until I mismanaged my money and was kicked out of my apartment. Those were some real-life experiences and often the guys on the construction site were really mean. It was a sort of best of both worlds the good and the bad at the same time and I would of given it up for anything but it sure taught me to appreciate jobs in which I basically use my brain later on in life.
My second job, or jobs, were in a series of restaurants in various tasks such as dishwashers, busboys, I graduated to cook and sometimes waited tables, but this job working in the restaurant was just as physically taxing and not very lucrative except for short-term tips that allowed me to go out and buy drinks and to party. After a while I became really tired of that life and couldn't imagine doing it for another 20 years, but, those jobs taught me how to be responsible, Pretty much how to manage my money, and also showed me a basically on educated sector of humanity who very often were not very interesting.
When I finally decided to start taking classes at college, it kind of felt a little bit like being entertained rather than being tortured with classes and ideas I didn't want to deal with. That's how you may feel about high school now, but college is much more interesting than high school and you don't have the same kinds of burnt out disciplinary problems that make the teachers crazy and make it hard to get interested in the courses.
While I was in college, the school itself gave me access to a series of jobs that were in the library, in some of the offices, and this developed my people skills as well as the skills that I would need to become a good student. It allowed me to practice some of the skills that I learned in terms of word processing on computers, using programs that have spreadsheets in them, I learned Adobe Photoshop and some other databases and I got paid by the school to go to school. These jobs were really good jobs.
Going to college, was so enjoyable that I decided I wanted to go on to become a professor myself but I wanted to study the kinds of things that I was interested in and I wanted to teach the kinds of things that I was interested in. So I studied art history and did so well that I double majored in the honors program which led me to go on to graduate school later. Graduate school led me to make the kind of money that I never imagined that I could of as a college professor. When I retired at the age of 53 I was already making $110,000 a year and because I had learned how to manage my money and budget my money in bonehead math I was able to retire at the age of 53 and now I'm a full-time artist.
So if you're asking me is college worth it I think it is in terms of finances, making me interested and interesting, and giving me a better quality of life for the last 25 years than anyone else in my family.