Monday, January 12, 2009

A Tale of Two Degrees

The other day, I was talking with one of the engineers in my office, and telling him that my oldest daughter has the opportunity to graduate from High school with an Associate of Science Degree in general studies, but to do that, she’s going to have to take some night school classes at SLCC and probably have to take some classes over summer breaks, which means that she’ll have very little time for summer jobs, or extracurricular activities while she’s in High School.
He asked me if this was something she was willing to do. I said that, yes, she’s willing to do it, but that she’s frightened by the whole idea. It’s a pretty big decision for a 14 year old to be making.
Then he says to me, “You know, she’s a pretty bright girl, she could forget all of the college courses, enjoy High School, get really good grades, and then go to a real school.”
“Real school?” I asked.
“Yah,” he said, glancing up at the two degrees I have hanging over my desk, “ya know, SLCC isn’t a real college, and frankly, an Associate Degree isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.”
I ended our conversation at that point, but it got me thinking. I have two degrees, the first is an Associate of Science in Architecture from SLCC, and the other is a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Utah. The AS degree, I paid for out of pocket, so I owe nothing on it. It currently pays my mortgage, feeds and clothes my children, and provides my family with a few of the comforts of life.
The BA degree… well, it pretty much sits on the couch, eats potato chips, and watches cable all day. And… since I still owe a sizable amount on my student loans, the AS degree pays for the BA’s upkeep as well. Last week it started to demand it’s own room and phone line… I don’t want to know whom he plans on calling… Probably some Whitman Wannabe.
So, when I really take a hard look at it, which of my two degrees isn’t worth the paper?
As for my daughter, well, she’s decided that she’s going to take as many college courses as she can and still be able to have some fun while in High School… as it should be.
I think that with congruent classes and AP exams, she should be able to get out of High School with about 30 college credit hours… which in the long run are 30 really cheep credits as compared to paying full college tuition, despite what the engineer in my office thinks.


Melissa said...

Sometimes people just can't leave their comments to themselves. :) Good for you daughter. I do hope she squeezes in some "nothing" time just to enjoy the years, but if she can get some college credits too, that's awesome.

Angela said...

Pompous arrogant engineer. My associates degree has done me very well. I have to finish my Bachelors so that I have the paper...not for really any other reason.

Terri said...

As always you have a way with putting things in perspective. I love to read what I don't always hear when you tell me. I love the way you write. I like the conclusions you draw when you get heated up by someone or something.

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