Value Of A Degree HS & College.


Today’s topic for the LBC comes from a list of suggestions made by Shackman whose take on it promises to be very interesting, coming as it would from a self acknowledged jock.

Unlike many of my contemporaries, my late wife and I never pushed our son to acquiring a professional degree and simply accepted that his choice of a liberal arts higher education will be as good as one in a professional course.  He has grown into a fine young man with a sound career and is a role model for many.  In his circle of friends, I also see a number of dropouts who have done just as well and so to put a value on a degree perse is difficult.

In my own case, I have written earlier about it here and here.  Unfortunately the illustrations will not appear in the latter but the gist of the argument should still be obvious.   I have little to add except to offer some platitudes.

I have no doubt whatsoever in my mind that I was destined to get my degree in management and reach corporate heights.  I have always maintained and continue to do so that I had little to do with that as I am not ambitious at all but some force got me where I eventually got and have now become.

For every half a dozen success stories about MBAs reaching glorious heights, there are as many frauds cropping up and what is more important, dropouts seem to do well as entrepreneurs, inventors and game changers.  Except in the case of medicine, law and engineering, I wonder what real purpose a degree offers except of course a well rounded personality if one takes the humanities or the liberal arts route.

What however would appear to matter is a good High School education which gives the basic tools needed to survive successfully in a highly competitive world.  In my case, even that I could complete successfully only by failing to pass the examinations the first time around and reappearing for them after some tutorial help later.  But without that little qualification, what I achieved later would simply not have been possible.


Clock Watching.


A favourite pastime for the working classes!

As another case of synchronicity, there was an exchange of comments on the blog Still the Lucky Few earlier today as follows:

The start to the discussion was the writer’s comment on her post “I’ve been waiting for a few minutes, and take out my iphone to check the time. I’ve already done this twice.”

I commented – “I think that it was easier to watch one’s wrist watch every few seconds while waiting than the cumbersome mobile telephones all of us seem to use now instead of the good old ww. There is a story waiting to be told there and I think that I will do just that over in my blog.”

The writer responded – “Well, girls will be girls, Rummuser. Thanks for reading!”

Though I had a different post in mind when I commented, the way events unfolded today leads me to post today’s experience, saving the wrist watch / iPhone debate for another day.

I watch the clock when in a time bound situation like this morning, my friend Neena was to arrive by a flight from Delhi at 10.50 am and to ring me up as soon as she cleared luggage to enable me to fetch her without parking the car inside the airport. From 1050 am I started watching the clock to await her call which never came. I simply decided to take the chance and requested Manjiree to go to the airport anyway and while she was enroute there I got the long awaited phone call from Neena saying that she could not get through to me on the phone and so was taking a cab. I rang up Manjiree and aborted the trip to the airport.  In the meanwhile, yes, you guessed it right, I watched the clock till Neena reached home safe.

Neena’s daughter Anisha was to land at Mumbai Sahar Airport at 3.50 pm and I had arranged for a cab to go from Pune to fetch her. The cab driver was given detailed instructions and all went well and as I write this, Anisha is well on her way and will reach home in another half an hour or so. But, I watched the clock from 3.50 pm till 5.30 pm when I got the call from the cab driver that the passenger had been picked up and I spoke to Anisha on her phone.  I am watching the clock till Anisha reaches home safe.

And I watched my wrist watch though what I did was really Clock Watching.

Being Alone.


Synchronicity strikes again.

Number one development – Yesterday my niece Anjali posted a link to an article on her facebook wall that took me to this author and her book.

I bought the Kindle version of the book which I have now started to read and will review here after I finish. My initial take is that it promises to be interesting.   I also exchanged these comments with Anjali on facebook.

I : “I am not exactly alone but I have bought the kindle version to read at leisure since you have recommended it.”

Anjali : “Experiments with solitude are a good thing. It doesn’t matter if we live with other people or like the author, live alone in a remote shepard’s cottage. She has raised some valid and extremely interesting points and should be read keeping in mind The Case For Boredom. ( Jiddu, UG, Russel and many others have written on the subject)”

Number two development – This morning, it being a nice lazy Sunday morning, Ranjan, Manjiree and I were sitting around chatting when Ranjan mentioned that his classmate and friend Prasath from Thailand had spoken to him and specifically asked Ranjan to take good care of me because I am now alone!  Prasath was one of the many young people who used to flock to our home during Ranjan’s college days and were very attached to Urmeela.  Prasath and his family had visited us last month while on vacation here and he kept on ruing her absence.  He must have felt that I too must be missing her and had kept that thought to himself but had mentioned it to Ranjan in his chat.

I am no stranger to solitude and my regular readers will know of my innumerable retreats to practice Vipassana Meditation and my continuing practice.  These two developments coming as they did, immediately one after the other, has led me to give serious consideration to going off on another ten day retreat soon!  My readers will know about it much before I actually do.

Once Upon A Time.

How apt that this brand new year starts with a Loose Bloggers Consortium (LBC) post the title of which has been suggested by the newest member of the consortium, Lin.  Appropriate, because it is the discipline of that one post per week that kept me posting with some kind of regularity in my blog.  It was otherwise a lacklustre year for blogging for me with posting very irregular and the inspiration to write posts for the blog rather insipid.

And, what a topic to start the year off on!

Like most of us, I too grew up with stories that started with “Once upon a time”!  And almost always ended with, “And they lived happily ever after!”

I wish that I had never grown up.

There have been just too many stories that started with “Once upon a time” and most of them did not end up with “and they lived happily ever after.”  In all fairness though, some of them did.

I am sure that this would be the take of almost all of us if we are honest with our stories about ourselves.  And we keep starting new stories with the same beginning hoping that there will be the happy endings.


We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.

~ E. M. Forster,