When I was young and impressionable, I read a book on my own. It was Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden.”
Being a musician in a rock band, I found the “different drummer” quote to be compelling, but really, I thought the book was about camping.
Thoreau introduced me to a world of literature and anti-establishment intelligence, which propelled me to college and philosophy, which in turn, led to my father’s reactive uneasiness.
He accused me of forgetting my roots and thinking I was smarter than the family, which boasted no high school diplomas, never mind a college degree.
Dad loved telling the story about the major questions. The history major asked when the pizza was developed. The engineering major asked how the pizza was made. The business major asked what the pizza cost. And the philosophy major asked where the pizza was to be delivered.
In “Democracy and Education,” John Dewey wrote, “The young of human beings compare so poorly in original efficiency with the young of many of the lower animals that even the powers of sustentation have to be acquired under tuition. How much more then, is this the case with respect to all the technological, artistic, scientific and moral achievements of humanity.”
My father may have been under-educated, but he made up for it with a scathing wit and boundless humor, later admitting that he taunted me about college hoping I would disrespect his wishes and attend anyway.
He could charm the gold from your leprechaun and return it without you ever knowing you’d been detwinkled.
I could only admire his rainbow, never duplicate it.
Recently, Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum called President Barack Obama a “snob” for wanting all Americans to attend college. “I understand why he wants you to go to college. He wants to remake you in his image. I want to create jobs so people can remake their children into their image, not his,” he said.