Could You Learn More in Your Working Life Than In College?

According to a cousin of a mine, the short answer is yes.  College simply orients you to a particular field, and isn’t that rigid.  In fact, college helps you learn more over the years as you work in your field (and beyond).

You may think you have a spot-on freshman major choice, but major changes are very common.  Furthermore, people change careers later on in life.  Also, you can advance in your career when training comes knocking on your door, or for the more erudite crowd, peer-reviewed journals.  And you’ll understand them much better.  (People in those fields have gone to college

For many years, I have had a dispensation to study biology, but that interfered with certain circumstances.  For instance, certain biology labs were confusing and time consuming.  Moreover, chemistry isn’t that promising either. For example, you needed to make exact measures of substances by subtracting the “tare” weight (namely, that of the container).

The common denominator?

First, my autodidactic potential.  So I love to acquire new facts of any kind, and hopefully, utilize them when appropriate,  Among such tasks are sharing fun facts, lecturing to people about a topic, or even a hobby in an amateur scientific field, This is one of many ways to glorify God by getting to know the created (and civil) world.

Second, even though you may forget some details of your curriculum, you get to know, and most of all, appreciate what you studied as a unit.

Third, I’m wrapping up a Liberal Studies major at my local community college.  It’s mostly all general education courses with a few electives.  When I graduate next year, I worry too much about transfer concerns.  God is sovereign though, and He will help you determine what you should do when you reach such points.

The Collegiate Colander

(I communicated with an anonymous brother in Christ, to help for the bulk of the article).

K-12 education, whether in elementary, middle, or high school, chiefly focuses on the 3 R’s.:  reading, (w)riting, and (a)rithmetic.  Everything else is supplementary and could be done without.

Well, the same applies to college.  About half your degree is “general education” courses, which gives some broad benefits even though it is not your major.  And even the other half, the major, isn’t designed to be amazingly indelible.  It is typically expected to be a more specialized foundation for a career, but alumni tend not to remember a substantial amount of what was taught in college.  Worse, some people can’t find jobs relevant to their degree.

A strictly thorough and specialized knowledge of an academic subject is much more expected in graduate school.  For undergraduates, it is enough to know things more broadly, even in the major.  But if you want to zero on in a subject, go for a master’s and/or PhD.

But seriously, what is my issue here?  In a word, money.  Receiving grants and loans will facilitate education, but as time goes on, and you are forgetting more and more of the material you have learned as you pay back your loans.  Fortunately, your resume is building, so that can help with the loan cost, not to mention that it the resume will gradually mean more your degree.

But again, consider the K-12 level.  They are learning facts, many of which we have forgotten since then.  If they go to public school, people pay for it through tax revenue (including yourself!).  If it’s a private school, parents pay.  Problem solved.

Aside from money, there is another issue, on specialization.  Not even college can get you on target in a deep knowledge of a scholarly topic.  It basically becomes a means to an end.  Yet if you pursue a much deeper knowledge, graduate programs may be knocking on your door.

In any case, you should always discern what God what he wants you to be.  Whether it is college, trade school, or just a plain job, God can use you in His kingdom in whatever kind of work.  I am seeking a Biology degree and I feel that is my calling.   But will it win me a job?  We’ll see.  But for now, I’ll just get through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the new year of 2020.  One step at a time.

Finally, because I believe God is totally sovereign, He may be “weeding out” course areas not useful or relevant.

Amen.

The Carpenter-Supplier Metaphor

An anonymous scientist I know from my church made an interesting comparison concerning doctors and medical scientists like himself. Medical doctors get their prescriptions thanks to medical scientists (especially ones in the pharmaceutical industry). Similarly, this “brother in Christ” compared the doctor to a carpenter and the Big Pharma industry (who employs him) for supplies.

And there can be many ramifications of this metaphor. Examples:

-Waiters and waitresses serve food, chefs and cooks make it.

-Printed materials like books, newspapers, and magazines, must have the appropriate crew (including editors, reporters, journalists, authors, those recruited for research, and of course desktop publishing and the printing press operators). In this case, YOU are the “doctor.”

-Radio and TV programs are observed (and hopefully enjoyed) thanks to DJ’s, journalists, announcers, cameramen, stations, networks, etc. And these viewers and listeners are, again their own doctors.

There are scores of examples, but the basic connection is that doctors and carpenters, like any occupation, cannot provide their goods and services without third party supply of necessary components.

The ultimate comparison, though, is when Jesus was among us, He was more than a carpenter, and far more than a doctor (and even more than his divine title of “Great Physician”), but He does more. He saves souls! And all temporal careers are welcome, for true believers glorify Him. In His Gospels, much is reported about physical miracles that albeit had a primarily spiritual message of salvation. And it all culminated in the cross, dying and then resurrecting.

Alleluia!

Beautiful Maturity

After having a grueling 20-something career ending in March 2018, my 30s are far better. Alas, there may be more responsibilities, among them keeping your your health, wealth, and if applicable, family in stride.

We will focus on beauty today. In my 20s, I thought anti-aging products were a hoax. Apparently, 30-plus women want to compete with their sexy 20s counterparts. Well, my 31 year old head was buzz cut. And while I have fine lines on the top, so be it.

While inner beauty should lead over outer beauty, middle-aged and senior women can look just as wonderful as 20s people, no matter how wrinkled or gray they might be, because it fits their age. Whether you are a baby, a kid, a tween, a teen, or in any adult decade, whether 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, or even over 100, you can be beautiful for your age. That being said, this is your OWN age, not representative of another (e.g., 50 but looking 30).

And if inner beauty is more important, why do I write this blog post? Well, first your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor 6:19-20) Moreover, the older you get, the harder life gets. So if you have a combination of both, you will be personally, loving neighbor and self, as well as God, the One who gave you life — the Great Commandment!

To conclude, in my 20s, I thought I couldn’t speak for my thirties. Well, here I am — doing so now! Seniors obviously can’t be “young and beautiful,” but definitely beautiful. (The question is what dominates — inner or outer!)

And for all my brothers and sisters in Christ, this life is a minute fraction of what the awesome life have in our heavenly eternity. But let’s not get too speculative, otherwise we wouldn’t be any earthly good!

Planned Parenthood: Keep the Care, Drop the Abortions

As an Evangelical Christian (and an ex-Catholic), I am strongly pro-life.

If the United States to reverse Roe v. Wade, people will understand that while we don’t count age until birth, Americans will appreciate human life as of then.  And within the uterus, the fetus has one job:  growth.

Planned Parenthood does not need to be defunded, let alone defunct.  It just needs some services removed, especially abortion.  One great and noble practice they can do is tackling female cancers.  Among them are breast, cervical, ovarian, uterine, and perhaps some others.

Whether you believe in it or not, they also advise couples on birth control and what may be the best fit for that couple.

In fact, if Planned Parenthood only did abortions, it is basically an oxymoron!  Their clinics would be merely mills for dead babies!

Join me in prayer!  God bless all the children who make it through.

Episode 92: Faith in the Marketplace – John Venhuizen, president of Ace Hardware

You may have heard that businesses like Chick-Fil-A and Hobby Lobby (among others) were founded by Christians, but believe it or not, Ace Hardware is run by one as well.  And Ace Hardware has never had moral controversies!

If you get a chance, listen to this roughly 40-minute podcast for details.

Source: Episode 92: Faith in the Marketplace – John Venhuizen, president of Ace Hardware

Time to Hit the Books!

This Wednesday,  I start my last semester at Montgomery County Community College.  And this semester, we must buck up and get ready to study for four courses.  These courses are Management, Western Civilizations, Computer Science, and last but not least, majors-level Biology I.  The Biology course is a decisive factor on my attitude toward studying it as a major in the university I transfer to.  Biology has been a passion for me for quite a few years, for I really enjoy God’s created world.

However, I wasn’t sure if I like learning the “technical” terms and information of the courses (as noticed on websites for college courses), or performing the lab exercises.  Fortunately, a friend from my new church (who is a pharmaceutical scientist) said such facts and jargon has use within a given line of work or study.

Also, this man told me, as a full-time student, I should not dawdle in collateral reading or even parts of my assigned textbook that aren’t in the instructor’s current lesson.  (Unless, of course, I had time to do so.)

Also, keep in mind that different universities have different course offerings, as well as the necessary decision of textbooks to use for such.  But again, you won’t know the ins-and-outs until you enroll, especially in that the entire text is not usually taught, and instructors often add material.  Some elective courses are often a hit or miss deal.

But what do we make of this?  Well, consider the following Scripture:

I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity.  Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.  I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.  (Phil 4:10-12, ESV)

Incidentally, not only was this today’s personal morning devotional, but since it is Sunday today, I got my share of corporate teaching and preaching as well!  And with the friendly and useful advice of this friend of mine, I’ll be well-prepared.

As we conclude this last weekend before the semester, this gave some powerful preparation for my first full-time college semester.  So keep on praying for discipline as we get down and dirty with things.

So whatever you get, be content!  Onward and upward!