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No. of Recommendations: 6
I certainly haven't ruled out college. The problem is that I haven't found anything that I'd especially enjoy studying.


I've spent the majority of my still fairly young life in school, in one way or another and have experienced a fairly wide spectrum of schools and schooling: the new york city public school system; a suburban new jersey high school, an elite bucolic liberal arts college; i then taught summer school in the Bronx in NYC, and high school english in an impoverished and troubled school. I spent another summer in a fancy sleep away prep school, and now I teach English literature at the University of Texas at Austin. All of which is to say, "school" comes in many shapes and varieties.

The most profound impact on my own education was during college, which was of the liberal arts variety. I entered thinking I was going to be a biologist or doctor. Note that I now teach literature. What happened in those four years? Explosions and dynamite, mostly, and mostly through the interaction not with books (you can get those for free in the library) but with deeply humane, intelligent, compassionate and wildly interesting people. While studying Biology I always took at least one English course, as well as organic chemistry, physics, art history, music theory and philosophy. As my mind matured, I began to get a better sense of which subject(s) I wanted to dedicate myself. But it was then that I went into the world to help underprivileged students before returning to school to get advanced degrees.

As my man Milton said: I cannot praise a fugitive and cloister'd vertue, unexercis'd & unbreath'd, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race, where that immortall garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat. Assuredly we bring not innocence into the world, we bring impurity much rather: that which purifies us is triall, and triall is by what is contrary. That vertue therefore which is but a youngling in the contemplation of evill, and knows not the utmost that vice promises to her followers, and rejects it, is but a blank vertue, not a pure; her whitenesse is but an excrementall whitenesse.

All of which is to say: 1) if college seems an uncomfortable choice, explore the root sense of that discomfort. 2) All colleges are not created equal, and for someone in your position and with your gifts, the liberal arts education which teaches you how to think more deeply, not necessarily what to think, would probably be of immense help to you later down the road.

My only regret is that I never took any business or economic classes, which is why I rely on your wisdom on these boards.

With only humble advice,

Slothrop and his Monkey
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