Monday, October 31, 2005

Abby is full of crap!

This appeared in a weekend edition of Dear Abby. I generally think that Abigail Van Buren provides crap advice, but this column was particularly bad!

“DEAR ABBY: When I was a student, I was encouraged to further my education. I hold two bachelor of arts degrees plus extensive training in emergency services. To my dismay, however, having an education has been a problem, not a plus, for me in my employment.

“People tell me I am "overeducated" for the job I so dearly love. It didn't bother me until I took a new job that required both my college degree and my technical training. One co-worker complained that my education "intimidated her" so much she "felt she couldn't do her job." Our supervisor said it was my fault that she was lashing out at me.

“Since then I have moved away from that city. I have asked several friends about the "intimidating education factor" and was told it's also the reason I'm still single. I know that having an education is important, and I don't understand why it's having a crippling effect on my life. (I'm not pompous about my education. People have asked and I've told them.) What I don't tell them is I have a "genius" IQ, but it apparently shows when I talk. How do I cope with this? Is it me, or the society we live in? -- OVEREDUCATED IN THE SOUTH”

“DEAR OVEREDUCATED: Although I have never met you face-to-face, I can tell you with some certainty that it isn't the society we live in. So, that leaves "you." The problem isn't that you are "overeducated." It may be something to do with your personality -- the way you present yourself and the way others perceive you. I have met "brilliant" people whom I would describe as intellectual super-athletes. Some of them are socially adept and make those around them feel comfortable, regardless of their level of education. However, some of them are not. You may fall into the latter category.

“I would recommend that you now invest in a different kind of "education" -- the "University of You." In other words, find a psychologist who can help you figure out why, with so much to offer, you are not able to fit in. It will be money well spent.”

Dear Abby,
I am writing in response to you advice to OVEREDUCATED IN THE SOUTH. I have to say that your advice was not necessarily “spot on.” Abby, you made assumptions about the writer that are not supported by the evidence you provided to your readers. Too often intelligent people are made to feel bad for their knowledge and skills.

It comes from a society that increasingly lowers expectations on everything. We teach kids that competing with each other is bad. Excelling is not rewarded any more than mediocrity. This is a prevalent problem in our society and you should not have brushed it aside. Intelligence is not seen as a strength by a majority of our society and is certainly valued less that athletic ability or celebrity in our society.

It is possible that she may have social problems. If anything it sounds like she is the victim of low expectations. Having two Bachelors degrees isn’t “overeducated,” that is just good ol’ educated. Perhaps the problem is that the writer has been surrounded by people less intelligent and that has made her feel that drive, intelligence and determination are not “normal” traits. It sounds like they have been programmed to believe that they are weird for wanting to excel. Nothing could be more venomous for a person with intelligence and purpose.

My advice to this reader is it is time to surround yourself with people smarter than you. Nothing will fuel your drive more then that. Find people who push you. Find people who appeal to your intellectual side. Once you are surrounded by these types of people you will no longer feel like a “duck out of water,” but among peers. You will not intimidate others because your “peers” will be secure enough in their intelligence to see you as an EQUAL. Chin up!


gracie said...

send it in
send it in
send it in!

the old hag needs to hear it.

Ghost said...

** snort **

I must have missed this one. Thank you for pointing it out.

My last annual evaluation at work said -- in a format that goes in my permanent file -- that I was "very, very, very very" smart, and very arrogant. Also, I apparently expect other people to work to my standards. The supervisor recommended that I bring myself down to a more accessible level.
From my son's guidance counselor at school: "He has trouble with socialization. The other kids don't understand him. It's like he's speaking Russian or Greek . . . maybe if he used monosyllabic words instead of all the stuff he usually says." This was my first clue he had an expanded vocabulary.
Her: "Are you reading again?"
Me: " . . . . "
Her: "Is that a different book from the one you were reading yesterday?"
Me: " . . . . "
Her: "I never liked reading. It's too boring."
Me: "Maybe you've never found the right book."
Her: "Maybe. What are you reading?"
Me: "er . . . Physics for Game Developers."
She actually scooted her chair away from me.

That girl needs to embrace her inner geek and trust that other intelligent people are out there.