The Kiplinger List of Best Value Colleges and Universities came out today and....for the fortieth year in a row, none of my Alma Maters were on it. Every college listed cost more than $20,000 a year to attend. I'm sure that I spent less than that to obtain either of my degrees, but how valuable was my eight years of higher education? For me, the main value in submitting to over 200 units of instruction was...figuring out what it was that I didn't want to spend my working life doing.
The most enlightening year I experienced was my junior year at Fresno State..the year before it was officially named California State University at Fresno. I attended poetry classes with Everwine and Levine, organic gardening with Ishimoto, enology with Gallo and contemporary dance with twenty-four of the most graceful and kind young ladies ever collected in one gymnasium.
You wouldn't believe it, if I told you, how many of those young dancers invited me over, for dinner and conservation, during my last year at Fresno.
After three years of experiencing North America on foot, mostly penniless, with backpack...I planted myself in Chico, Ca. and enrolled in the graduate school at California State University at Chico. I was interested in something I called, "Outdoor Recreation Therapy". The Rec department was goofy, so.... I pursued my goal in the Department of Education under the tutelage of Professors Russ Morris and Joe Smith. After three years of struggling to conform to that departments' guidelines and policies and receiving top grades, I was awarded a Masters in "teaching the educationally handicapped"...which I think means... everybody that didn't get a free ride to one of Kiplinger's List.
So, I've been doing that ever since...mostly from behind the counter of my little bicycle shop. Recreation Therapy and Teaching the Educationally Handicapped.... to keep rolling down the path of life, fixing their flat tires, squeaky chains and unsynchronized gears.