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The Value Of A True Education

679 words - 3 pages

How do we get educated? To most, education is an arduous slog through school; starting with simple stories about naughty rabbits swapping bologna sandwiches. As we grow, we move on to more and more intellectual pursuits- onward to ancient kings being depressed. By the time we graduate we are ready for a life as a ‘productive member of society’. One may find themselves wondering where that shift is from ignorant to educated. Most people will tell you it comes when you graduate high school, some will argue that it will not happen until you become a parent, others will say it never happens. David Foster Wallace and Mike Rose believe that being educated is not a matter of how well you have been educated, but how you grow as a person. Mike Rose’s life experiences illustrate this perfectly.

Mike Rose was raised in a family that did not place value on education. His mother dropped out of school in seventh grade and he never figured out if his father got through second grade. Yet, he considers his parents to be perfectly well educated. They did not pick up their education in school, but through their daily lives and their jobs. His mother learned the basics of psychology due to necessity to get the best tips. She may not have learned calculus, but she could easily remember everyone’s orders. While she did not have a high school education, she was very successful by virtue of working hard and picking up necessary skills easily. Rose did not see the value in higher education until his late teens when he was able to turn his path around and join the intellectual elite.

On the other end of the spectrum is David Foster Wallace: an accomplished author. He went through life in the lap of luxury as a star youth tennis player. College was simply the next step. He was blessed with an excellent liberal arts education through a sports scholarship and experienced massive success through his magnum opus- Infinite Jest. While Wallace experienced the...

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