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College Degrees: What Do They Really Mean?

1016 words - 5 pages

A college degree in today’s world is like gold. It is one of the only ways one can get a decent job and is seen as a necessity in most countries, not just the United States . But , there are some jobs that one can still get without one. Jobs like waitressing, railroad workers, and most factory jobs can still be obtained without one in most cases. But, most people see these people as mindless, uneducated fools. Mike Rose shows how he thinks far differently on the subject in his article, “Blue-Collar Brilliance” from the book, “They Say I Say” by Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstien, and Russel Durst. His opinion is that blue-collar workers have much more ingenuity and heart then the world gives them. When the general population thinks of these blue-collar workers, most would visualize a high school dropout or someone who did not go to college for a number of possible reasons. Mike Rose sees them in a whole new light that could change the views of many on the ability of the middle class worker. He says he first learned of the ways that they work and adapt to their specific working environment came to him from watching his mother, Rosie, work in her restaurant (244). From then on he has spent a good portion of his life studying the thought process involved in this particular type of work (249). His article shows many examples of the working class getting it done with determination, hard work, and experience. Throughout reading Rose’s’ article it became apparent that the hardships the working class go through, the work ethic and experience they develop through these hardships along with the ability to solve problems, and the all around composure in the workplace give them the name Blue –Collar Brilliance.
My father was a man raised by working class parents that could not afford to send him to a college. Because of this, my father went straight from high school into a factory job in Taylor, Michigan. He knew this job would not give him the life he wanted and planned to change things. He went to work everyday with that thought in his mind and worked himself as hard as he could, eventually moving up in the ranks and gaining enough money to start his own business that is still running today. My father went through many hardships on the road to being his own boss, but he made it all happen through hard work and perseverance: all of it without a college degree. My father claims that one of the most important things in the business world, whether you’re you are a low level intern or the CEO, is communication. Rose states, “…the flow of talk at work provides the channel for organizing and distributing tasks, for trouble shooting and problem solving, for learning new information and revising old”(252). Rose goes on to say...

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