Darwin Finches
Frank Rich’s recent piece in The New York Times, ‘Can Conservatives Be Funny?’, comes to a shocking conclusion: no. Liberals ask this question on a regular basis because they treat conservatives like zoo animals they don’t quite understand. Rich’s five page effort says less about comedy rooted in conservatism and more about him as a man pathetically seeped in his own ideological narcissism. He casts himself as a political Darwin, who goes to the a conservative version of the Galapagos Islands and concludes that the finches are not funny.

Here’s the Frank Rich scientific method at work:

The right, like the left, has a habit of overplaying the victim card. Given that there are many out A-list Republicans in Hollywood, from Rupert Murdoch to Clint Eastwood to David Mamet to Adam Sandler, it would seem that all the paranoia about left-wing McCarthyism is unfounded.

Got that? Because Clint Eastwood and Adam Sandler exist, Hollywood’s heavy-hitters don’t make it abundantly clear that outspoken conservatives aren’t welcome. Eastwood is an old man who doesn’t give a crap what anyone thinks at this stage of his life and Adam Sandler may be a Republican, but have you ever heard on a single talk show talking about? Good one, Mr. Rich.

Let’s run down the bulk of Mr. Rich’s list:

Dennis Miller: Too preachy. Not funny.
Jeff Foxworthy: Not preachy enough. He jokes about domestic life. He’s part of a “declining niche.” Not funny.
Greg Gutfeld: Obsessed with old men from the 70s. Not funny.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone: Not conservative. They don’t count.
Jeff Dunham: He makes “encoded” jokes about Jews ruining Christmas. Not funny.
Nick DiPaolo: His jokes are innocuous. Not funny.
Larry the Cable Guy: He had a few one-liners. Not funny.
Michael Loftus: He has a new show coming out and seems funny…put it probably won’t be funny.

I’ve said for ages that Greg Gutfeld is funny, saying in 2010 that if he was a video game character he’d be Bionic Commando to Mark Steyn’s Mega Man. Howard Stern (a very funny guy) agrees with me:

On his Tuesday SiriusXM radio show, shock jock Howard Stern admitted his admiration for Fox News Channel’s “The Five” and particular for show co-host Greg Gutfeld: “I love it,” Stern said. “Greg [Gutfeld], I think, is very funny. He’s a pretty conservative guy, but that doesn’t bother me because he’s very funny.”

He even said Gutfeld should replace David Letterman. As we all know, the gig went to Colbert…

Who do you trust on Gutfeld’s comedic chops: Frank Rich of the New York Times of Howard Stern? I think I’ll go with the King of All Media.

The thing is, most comedians aren’t primarily political like Bill Maher or Jon Stewart — they just want to be funny. And some really good comedians have conservative streaks in them, even if they don’t want to admit it. Remember when Jerry Seinfeld took down the liberal racial bean counters of comedy?

Buzzfeed Editor Editor Peter Lauria: I have noticed that most of the guests are mostly white males. Of 22 episodes you’ve had —

Seinfeld: Yeah, let’s get into that. Take a look over here, Peter. What do you see? A lot of whiteys! What’s going on here?!

Oh, this really pisses me off. This really pisses me off, but go ahead. […] There were a lot of things about ‘Comedians and Cars’ from the very beginning — the first ten I did were all white males and people were writing all about that. People think it’s the census or something. It’s gotta represent the actual pie chart of America. Who cares? Funny is the world that I live in. You’re funny, I’m interested. You’re not funny, I’m not interested. I have no interest in gender or race or anything like that, but everyone else is kind of calculating ‘Is this the exact right mix?’ To me it’s anti-comedy. It’s anti-comedy. It’s more about PC nonsense than “Are you making us laugh or not?”

If Seinfeld wanted, I’m sure he could write a ten-minute sketch on people who are obsessed with race…but as far as I know he hasn’t done that. Why not? I guess I shouldn’t ask that question because Clint Eastwood and Adam Sandler are alive and well, right Mr. Rich?

Was George Carlin conservative? No. But he definitely had some conservative streaks in him. Remember when he took liberal environmentalists to the intellectual woodshed? I do.

“See, I’m not one of these people whose worried about everything. … Let me tell you about endangered species, all right. Saving endangered species is just one more arrogant attempt by humans to control nature. It’s arrogant meddling. It’s what got us in trouble in the first place. Doesn’t anybody understand that? Interfering with nature. Over 90 percent — over, way over — 90 percent of the species that have ever lived on this planet — ever lived — are gone. They’re extinct. We didn’t kill them all. They just disappeared. That’s what nature does.

They disappear these days at the rate of 25 a day. … Let them go gracefully. Leave nature alone. Haven’t we done enough? We’re so self-important. So self important. … And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. What? Are these fucking people kidding me? … We’re going to save the fucking planet? I’m getting tired of that shit. … I’m tried of these self-righteous environmentalists. These white bourgeoisie liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is that there aren’t enough bicycle paths. … Environmentalists don’t give a shit about the planet. … Do you know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried that someday in the future they might be inconvenienced. Narrow unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me.”

Interesting, isn’t it? Does Frank Rich know anything about stand-up comedy, or does he only know about the comedians referenced in his Entertainment Weekly magazine that he reads on the toilet?

Louis CK is a pretty funny guy and, while he’s not conservative, it can be argued that he has conservative streaks in him. Watch his stand-up; intermixed between sex jokes and self-loathing there is plenty of social commentary conservatives can crack a smile at. Or…just turn on David Letterman and watch him rip Common Core to shreds.

In his appearance with Letterman, Louis said it’s good when his daughters face challenging test questions. “I’m there for [my kids] in those moments. I say, ‘Come on, look at the problem. And then I look at the problem and it’s like, ‘Bill has three goldfish. He buys two more. How many dogs live in London?’” … Louis said he doesn’t blame the teachers — he blames the people who write the tests: “nobody knows who they are . . . it’s very secretive,” he said.

Actually, we do know who writes the tests, Louis. They’re often weird liberal nutcase professors from New Hampshire.

Campus Reform reported May 22:

A teacher told attendees at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics Monday night that he helped write the controversial Common Core education standards to end white privilege.

Dr. David Pook, a professor at Granite State College and chair of the History department at The Derryfield School in Manchester, New Hampshire, argued in favor of Common Core.

“The reason why I helped write the standards and the reason why I am here today is that as a white male in society I am given a lot of privilege that I didn’t earn.”

Someone get Louis CK on the phone and let him know that we do know the type of person who is making his children hate math, and they’re men like Frank Rich. Perhaps then Louis CK can call Mr. Rich and talk about how he should be writing New York Times pieces on Common Core’s problems instead of exercises in intellectual masturbation that cast all conservatives as unfunny white men.

There are plenty of reasons why very funny conservatives don’t get into comedy for a living, but you won’t find the reasons for it in the New York Times. Some of the funniest guys I know are conservatives, but they tend to go into other professions. And unlike successful comedians like Aziz Ansari, they don’t think child molestation jokes are funny.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some George Carlin to watch. He spends eight minutes mocking men like Frank Rich. Watch it if you’re in the mood for a laugh.

 

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

20 comments

  1. Frank Rich: yet another narcissistic liberal ignoramus who has never met any actual conservatives before in his life and acts as though they’re some kind of subhuman species that are beneath him. And I love how he pulls the moral relativism card: “the right, like the left, likes to play the victim card.” Uh-huh. The left loves to do that more than the right does, Rich. The left has an entire industry based on playing the victim card: the grievance-mongering industry. Rich does the typical “B-but the right does it too!” whenever you bring up the left’s antics.

    Rich’s attitude toward conservatives is not unlike several liberals I once knew, including this one douche who had a habit of referring to conservatives as a “dying breed” and “your kind” when talking to me and that you will be “crushed under the wheels of hope and change, change you cannot stop because those who attempt to do so will be left behind in the dust of history.” Like Rich, this clown acted as though I was a member of some subhuman species because I’m conservative. The whole demonization thing. I recall asking this kid, “are you auditioning to become the next Bond villain with that monologue about ‘hope and change?”

    And yeah, Greg Gutfield is hilarious. Thanks for the George Carlin video too. I know Carlin was a hardcore atheist, but like you said, he had some conservative streaks in him.

    I’ve been opposed to Common Core from the very beginning. Hearing the horror stories about it makes me extremely glad I graduated six years ago and was not exposed to it. However, I do remember occasionally being told to redo math problems, not because I got them wrong, but because I didn’t use the “proper methods” to answer the question. I remember arguing with the teacher about that, saying that I reached the correct answer and that I understood it. Her response? “No, you don’t get it! Now redo it the proper way or I’ll dock your grade!” So I guess I was exposed to a precursor to Common Core.

    1. I have more to add: Common Core is like Dolores Umbridge teaching Defensive Magical Theory in the fifth Harry Potter book. It may appease the narcissistic, faceless bureaucrats who run the educational system but has no practical applications in the real world, like much of what passes for education these days.

  2. Where to begin…..

    Frank Rich was the guy who refered to Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ” as a porn movie, or something like that (don’t remember the exact quote); while we are entitled to our own opinions, i clearly I didn’t see what he saw in that movie, so I’m not sure how much credence to give him in his comedy thoughts. If he points out Sandler has had a good run in Hollywood, and he writes comedies, doesn’t that go against his arguement that conservatives aren’t funny?

    While I don’t care for everyone on his list, you can’t argue they haven’t had long careers in some form of comedy….multiple somebodys found them funny. Just on personal experience, I’ve seen quite a bit of Nick DiPaolo’s work- he’s pretty funny.

    I’m not really familiar with Common Core, but it seems to me they may want to focus on math/science/business since a good portion of the world runs circles around us in education. I couldn’t help but notice one of Doug’s tweets off to the side yesterday; referring to Stephen A. Smith defending himself for being called an “Uncle Tom”. If you watch his whole piece he gets into racial disparity compounded how one presents themselves, and that instead of dreaming about being the next great athlete/singer/etc we should work hard at our job or school. It was really good. Common Core may want to listen.

    1. “Frank Rich was the guy who referred to Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ” as a porn movie, or something like that (don’t remember the exact quote); while we are entitled to our own opinions, i clearly I didn’t see what he saw in that movie, so I’m not sure how much credence to give him in his comedy thoughts. If he points out Sandler has had a good run in Hollywood, and he writes comedies, doesn’t that go against his argument that conservatives aren’t funny? “

      He actually said that? Why am I not surprised? The Hollywood left pretty much exploded when “Passion” was released… and actually did well at the box office. I’ve never seen that movie, but I’ll take your word for it. Plus, I don’t like Adam Sandler and I only enjoyed one of his movies- Anger Management- but you can’t deny that he has a large following and there are people who find him funny.

      “While I don’t care for everyone on his list, you can’t argue they haven’t had long careers in some form of comedy….multiple somebodys found them funny. Just on personal experience, I’ve seen quite a bit of Nick DiPaolo’s work- he’s pretty funny.”

      Exactly right. I first saw Nick DiPaolo on “TruTV’s World’s Dumbest” and thought he was pretty funny there so I checked out his comedy bits elsewhere. He is funny.

      “I’m not really familiar with Common Core, but it seems to me they may want to focus on math/science/business since a good portion of the world runs circles around us in education. I couldn’t help but notice one of Doug’s tweets off to the side yesterday; referring to Stephen A. Smith defending himself for being called an “Uncle Tom”. If you watch his whole piece he gets into racial disparity compounded how one presents themselves, and that instead of dreaming about being the next great athlete/singer/etc we should work hard at our job or school. It was really good. Common Core may want to listen.”

      Thing is, not everyone wants to go into a math/science career, so I don’t see why they would force it on kids who are going to do stuff that doesn’t require it. I took multiple Algebra classes in both high school and college and I haven’t used it once since graduating. The only decent math grades I ever got were in my 11th grade Geometry class and in Consumer Math the following year, because I had decent teachers who broke it down in ways that people other than the hardcore math nerds could understand. I had the best math grades ever in those two classes.

      Common Core makes things more difficult than need be. My sister also was forced to redo math problems because she didn’t do it the “proper” way. I’ve always thought, does it really matter how it’s done as long as you reach the correct conclusion?

      I do agree with Stephen A. Smith regarding hard work. I normally don’t agree with everything he says, but he was spot-on there.

    2. Frank Rich- yes, he said that, just went looking for it; it was in a 2004 piece where Rich agrees with Christopher Hitchins about “pornographic” elements (as they see it) of the film….now, I’ll be the first to say I’m Catholic and went into the movie from more of a religious mindset. Trying to be objective, even if I thought the whole thing was a fantasy, and approached Passion like I would The Hobbit or something along those lines, and just went to see a story; I have no idea where they came up with that comparison.

      We part ways a bit with the math education; and I hear you, just let me explain where I’m coming from. I used to think the same thing you said, if I lost interest, or didn’t see the relavence in my life, I never did homework or study as a young guy. I retained info pretty well, so I got by. I never graduated college, and entered the workforce. While at college, I majored in math/stat, and as I said I retain things and found over time the train of thought required to do the proofs and whatnot helped me solve problems, the statistical knowledge helped me properly interpret reports. I decided to go back to school to get a CPA, and therefore major in accounting. I’ve found the math from my previous stint really helps me understand how things are calculated and set up better than most of my fellow students.

      Since I never graduated, I am missing some nonaccouting requirements for my degree, and I had to take marketing. The reason I hear you, is because young Patrick is still in my head; my first thought was why do I have to take this silly advertising class to be an accountant? But, when I returned to school, I promised myself I’d give it my all this time; if I were to fail it wouldn’t be self inflicted; so I studied marketing. Found out its more than advertising, talked with the instructor a bit and he’s helping me get my resume better and gave me great tips on selling myself in interviews. Also, I’ve adopted some tenants of marketing into my oral presentations in accounting: it’s been a huge help. When I gave my two cents of advice to Emanuel before, it’s from my perspective now, I hope he doesn’t let himself not get the most of his educational opportunities as I did.

      Should you have to take many years of math for an occupation not related? Of course not; but I think it helps to be exposed to a lot no matter your interests. When I read over the Dan Slott stuff, I think Truth really slams Slott good with his statistical knowledge and how to interpret sales data. Even in my accounting world, I get high marks and praise for explaining things so everyone can understand during my oral presentation projects because I use the marketing things, and keep people’s interest using pop culture references, some of which I pick up from you guys here. Can I write a book like you and Doug, probably not a good one, but maybe you guys will have your characters do something that I can use as an example later on…..it never hurts to be well rounded.

      Common Core didn’t exist when I grew up, so I can’t comment on what they say is the right way to solve the math problem, maybe they were trying to show a second process, maybe it was ment as a segue into another topic, or maybe it was just plain silly- I don’t know. But I think if we expose kids to more math and science at a young age, maybe more will go into those fields….and if they pursue writing like yourself, knowlegde of math and science open many ideas for storylines and can make the narrative richer. I know my appreciation for writing makes things richer, even facets of accounting!

      Stephen A. Smith, I don’t always agree with him either, but he really gives a good starting point for a discussion on education and racial disparity in this case.

    3. Stephen A. Smith, I don’t always agree with him either, but he really gives a good starting point for a discussion on education and racial disparity in this case.

      It’s funny you should mention Stephen A. Smith. I’ve been meaning to write on him. I woke up early this morning and knocked it out.

    4. Just wanted to add on to the main point of this reply.

      When I was in high school I didn’t give a rip about certain classes. I remember sitting down with my dad and physics teacher during a meeting, and both of them stressed how important it was for me to do my homework and take it seriously. I said something to the affect of, “I’m going to be a writer. I’m never going to need this stuff.” Well, that attitude blew up in my face because a.) When I wanted to get into USC years later I had to prove that I could actually excel in Math and Science. In addition, I’d say that learning more science and math and staying abreast of as many different subjects as possible has actually strengthened my writing. I had a bad attitude as a kid and the only person it really only hurt was me.

      Social Distortion was right: “I fighting everybody, I was fighting everything, but the only one that I hurt was me. … I was wrong.”

    5. “Frank Rich- yes, he said that, just went looking for it; it was in a 2004 piece where Rich agrees with Christopher Hitchens about “pornographic” elements (as they see it) of the film….now, I’ll be the first to say I’m Catholic and went into the movie from more of a religious mindset. Trying to be objective, even if I thought the whole thing was a fantasy, and approached Passion like I would The Hobbit or something along those lines, and just went to see a story; I have no idea where they came up with that comparison.”

      I’m not surprised. I think some people, especially inner-city liberals like Frank Rich, have a complete hatred for Christianity and that’s why they look down on movies like the “Passion of the Christ.” My mom (who like me, is a Lutheran though she was raised Catholic) saw it back when it originally came out and was said that while it was a good movie, she was a little put off by the violence.

      “We part ways a bit with the math education; and I hear you, just let me explain where I’m coming from. I used to think the same thing you said, if I lost interest, or didn’t see the relavence in my life, I never did homework or study as a young guy. I retained info pretty well, so I got by. I never graduated college, and entered the workforce. While at college, I majored in math/stat, and as I said I retain things and found over time the train of thought required to do the proofs and whatnot helped me solve problems, the statistical knowledge helped me properly interpret reports. I decided to go back to school to get a CPA, and therefore major in accounting. I’ve found the math from my previous stint really helps me understand how things are calculated and set up better than most of my fellow students.”

      I always tried my best no matter what the subject was. Even if it was a difficult subject, and even if it was one that I wasn’t particularly interested in. It’s true that it doesn’t hurt to be well-rounded, but I still don’t think they should force this stuff on people like they currently do and acting like it’ll be the end of the world if you don’t master a subject like Algebra, like so many of my teachers did whenever I did bad in their class. My mom was terrible in math too but she wound up having a successful career for over 30 years, even though she’s been laid off twice now. But she was a hard worker and it’s frankly baffling to me why they’d lay her off and outsource the jobs to the company’s Puerto Rican division.

      I don’t really see myself featuring advanced mathematics in any of my stories, but if I do, I can research that on my own.

      As an aside, I always learned more when I was outside the classroom. I always have been a big reader and I think learned more about history, science, literature and other things reading my dad’s old Golden Book Encyclopedias from the early 1960s than I did in a classroom.

      “Common Core didn’t exist when I grew up, so I can’t comment on what they say is the right way to solve the math problem, maybe they were trying to show a second process, maybe it was ment as a segue into another topic, or maybe it was just plain silly- I don’t know. But I think if we expose kids to more math and science at a young age, maybe more will go into those fields….and if they pursue writing like yourself, knowlegde of math and science open many ideas for storylines and can make the narrative richer. I know my appreciation for writing makes things richer, even facets of accounting!”

      If you want examples of Common Core silliness, look no further than here, (http://www.nationalreview.com/article/373840/ten-dumbest-common-core-problems-alec-torres) and here (http://www.theblaze.com/blog/2014/05/13/10-common-core-exercises-that-will-make-you-tear-your-hair-out/) for starters. And they even go so far as to arrest parents who speak out against it, as seen here (http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/09/20/is-this-america-parent-manhandled-arrested-while-speaking-out-against-common-core-at-public-forum/) and here (http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/04/04/moms-anti-common-core-stance-gets-her-suspended-from-sons-school-threatened-with-arrest/).

    6. “Stephen A. Smith, I don’t always agree with him either, but he really gives a good starting point for a discussion on education and racial disparity in this case.”

      Indeed. He’s been a rational voice there.

    7. I actually buckled down and did better during my last two years of high school than I did the previous two years, so that’s also why I had much-improved grades in math during those two years. In addition to having good teachers. I guess I view basic math (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, money math) as being important for the average person than Algebra. I actually liked Geometry and Consumer Math. They were the only two math classes I didn’t dread going to.

    8. I actually do like abstract knowledge, don’t get me wrong. I guess I prefer to learn about it on my own time. Like I said, I learned more about history, science, mythology and other things reading my dad’s old Golden Book Encyclopedias (and other books) than I did in school. What helped was that the articles were written in a way that everyone could understand it.

    9. I think that for many professions you shouldn’t have to go to an accredited university. If you want to study law on your own time and take the Minnesota Bar Exam, you should be able to do that. I’m not sure if there are any states that still allow that sort of thing, but I don’t see any reason to deny someone from working in a particular field if they’ve shown they know how to accomplish the task at hand.

    10. I agree. I know and have known plenty of people who have been successful without having attended a university. My dad’s buddy worked construction for over 20 years after getting out of the Army and also ran his own automotive business for a while. I also know people such as my uncle, who went to college to become a teacher, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education… and yet he’s been a truck driver since 1986.

    11. I figured math and science would strengthen writing, but my point has more weight behind it coming from a writer 🙂

      Also saw the Stephen A. Smith thing, I’ll try and comment on that when I get back tonight- happy Memorial Day everyone!

    12. Don’t get me wrong, I like abstract knowledge, like I said. I like researching things that could play an important role in whatever story I come up with.

      Happy Memorial Day to you as well, Patrick!

    13. Thanks Carl, hope you had an enjoyable holiday weekend too.

      I checked out the links you provided with the Common Core math problems and got a good laugh…..still not sure how double plus one generates a better understanding of addition at large, I would think that confuses kids when it’s no longer “plus one” but “plus two thru nine”

      I guess I’d be a bad parent in that situation, because I’d whip out the flashcards and tell my kid that at least two, if not more, generations going back of this family has learned arithmetic this way; and we’re all pretty darn good at it!

      Also in 100% agreement with you that reading outside the classroom is tremendous for education. Fortunately as a kid, my mom saw value in kids reading comics with their plot lines and wide range of subjects that they cover. I also loved history books and such. World War One always fascinated me, it really shook Europe up ending monarchies and whatnot; never thought it got its just due in the books we read for school.

    14. When I was little I enjoyed reading this encyclopedia of the world’s animals. It hard seemingly everything. Sometimes I’d see a rare bird outside or on a rare occasion I’d find a very salamander and then look in the book to see if it was there. Reading about all the different aquatic life, the numerous snakes, the insects and magnificent beasts on the planet made me want to explore. I wanted to see and experience these things in person. It inspired me to want to go places I otherwise would not have cared to visit.

      I think having many books in the house is essentially for anyone who has kids. They will pick them up and they will read them when no one is looking. They are like little sponges, and if you only leave out the intellectual sugar then your kids head will get brain rot. I think my parents did a good job finding the proper balance. They exposed my siblings and I to really serious material, but they also allowed us to find joy in comic books, action movies, cartoons, etc. Raising kids is a difficult task, but overall I’d say they did an amazing job.

  3. Thank you for the kind words Patrick (especially since you majored in stats),
    I am not a fan of the new common core idea. With that said I do think everyone could benefit from at least the basics. I have found that every class that I said “I don’t need this” I found I was wrong. Every class I had has helped me in one form or another. With that said I also do not think that everyone needs to have a college degree there are many other ways to go that can lead to success. The key is to find what is best for you with your goals and it seems that the new common core system is led by people who think they know the path. Also on education there is more than one way to solve a problem, while I see the merit in trying to teach a certain way who is to say which way is best? I work with an instructor that makes math look easy because she was taught in the Philippines and the method she was given makes math much easier (I have her teach me some from time to time).

    On a side note the math for common core seems crazy to me….it is so simplified that it seems that they made it hard. I know that sounds odd but I just can’t figure out another way to say it. It is almost like they want to remove the ability to think and solve problems which is from my opinion the major problem with people and math today.

    1. No problem Truth, always enjoy your comments!

      I agree a degree isn’t nessessary; I did alright without one for a long time; but I think it does open more doors….or at least keeps them ajar. With the ups and downs of the economy there tends to be so many applicants, if it’s possible to get one- why put yourself behind the 8 ball? (“yourself” the applicant, not yourself personally). it’s one of those things, fair or not, so many employers want to see it on the resume.

      School certainly isn’t for everyone, definitely not for me in my teens and twenties; so I think it best only to go if one’s ready to put the effort in. There are really some nice trade schools out there too; as you said its best to align education with personal goals.

      With my new profession, I really have no choice but to get a degree, but I’ve had fun going back and I’ve tried to make the most of it.

  4. Patrick, I agree with your view on having a degree for some jobs it is essential and it does not hurt when in comes to applying for a job.

    You stated “School certainly isn’t for everyone, definitely not for me in my teens and twenties; so I think it best only to go if one’s ready to put the effort in. There are really some nice trade schools out there too; as you said its best to align education with personal goals.”

    I could not agree more, it takes a new mindset and you have to be ready for the challenge. It always pains me to see students waste their money on a student loan when you see that they are not dedicated to the task. To be fair college is not the number 1 priority for most people and I respect that. I find most students that are considered nontraditional that are on track view priority in this order.
    1) family
    2) work (to support the family)
    3) school

    The order of priority is different for a single young person. This complexity provides some unique motivational challenges.
    My profession also pushed me to update and better myself as time went on. I started in the field with a 2 year degree and at the time it was a good degree to get the door open. Later when my workplace closed down I was forced to look for new opportunities and I found the two year degree was not longer opening many doors (even with years of experience). I picked myself up and went back to school (while working on average 70 hours a week). It was not fun but the hardship was worth it and I look at where I am today humbly knowing I could have done better but yet I am still proud of what I have achieved.

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