Roy Gilbert

History matters: Anti-Intellectualism versus the American Dream

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Dolores Pfeuffer-Scherer

Local columnist A while ago I attended a professional meeting and during the introductions I used my title, (as in “Dr.”), to tell the group who I was and where I worked. I do not use my title very much, but I do so occasionally in work-related settings. An individual who was seated next to the person beside me turned to that fellow and began to joke about introducing himself as a “BS PhD.” He knew I could hear him and yes, it was purposeful.

I confess, I did roll my eyes because that kind of leveling, talking yourself up or trying to put someone else down, says everything about that person and nothing about you. It’s all about their insecurities and feelings of inferiority. I learned the concept of leveling from Dr. Phil (who also has a PhD, but his is in psychology) and find it extremely helpful. I wonder how many times people tried to insult his education, although he certainly has had the last laugh.

The thing is, formal education (such as attending college) is not for everyone. My parents graduated high school and while my mother did receive certification in home health care, neither have college degrees. And yet, they are some of the smartest people I know. My son is pursuing a two-year degree at Western, but at present he has no plans to pursue a Bachelor’s degree. And that, after all, is his decision.

Aren’t we blessed to live in a nation where we can […]

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