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Smarter than the Average Bear.

Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
Coast News
June 3, 1999


Well ladies and germs, it's official, last weekend I graduated from college with a Bachelor's of Arts in Communications. Technically that makes me a B.A. so watch out, not only am I smart, I have a piece of paper to prove it. It's amazing what a little book learnin' will do.

Granted it took nearly two decades to achieve my degree, but hey, I needed the eighties to "find myself" in the college of life. It is hard to study for an exam while living the life of a hippy-punk rocker. To be honest though, I wasn't ready for college when I graduated from Vista High School in 1981, I needed aging before I could truly appreciate the value of an education.

Perhaps it had something to do with the education I had received up to that point. To this day I think algebra is just gibberish, and the way science is taught removes one from the wonders of nature. Leaving my history classes I knew I had been collectively lied to, and whenever I questioned something that I knew was innately wrong I was told to take a pill. Being on Ritilan, my reputation preceded me.

So here I am, a college graduate, feeling oh so proud of myself. The question is, "Now what?" When I was working for the city of Vista, as a producer for their Video Services Department, the only thing separating me and my boss was a piece of paper, and that bugged the hell out of me. Now that I have my own piece of paper I am told it has the equivalency of a high school diploma. Dooh!

So what kind of job opportunities are available for a self described, card carrying progressive, who has no patience for the status quo. I don't require a lot of money, because money is evil, and I try hard not to succumb to that whole feeding frenzy, keeping up with the Jones thing. But since I'm an American that means I need some money just to pay taxes, and afford enough chemically laden food to survive. Oh yeah, there is that whole rent thing to worry about. Luckily buying a home is not an issue because I don't believe in owning property. So a simple well paying gig should be sufficient.

I have no desire to join the corporate America that has corrupted so many idealistic college graduates. Mid-management types have a tendency of making sure your life is as miserable as their own, so that's not an option. And I could never wear one of those 9-5 monkey suits, I think I'm allergic to them anyway. Considering that saving the planet is my goal, the last place I would look for a job is one that involves pushing paper. So that means working for a Fortune 500 company is out.

Blue collar employment is also out of the question because that is actual work. Manuel labor is something I have avoided that since birth, so it would be foolish of me to start now. I could return to the food service business, but I left that when I became vegan, and since there is not one San Diego county restaurant that serves vegan cuisine, that option is also closed. Ethics are not a good thing when one is looking for work. Besides, the last thing any employer wants is someone with enough education to realize that they are being treated like an indentured servant so that he can afford a new sports fishing boat.

For awhile I considered a career in the ivory tower, but that would mean at least another two years of school, possibly four, and I had to fight the urge to go postal over the way California State University San Marcos treats it's students. And I'm sure it is the same everywhere. Although I'm told I would make a great professor because I have a beard, and I like to hear myself talk, I know that my students would not want to hear what I fell needs to be taught. Can you imagine the enrollment in a course titled Monkey Wrenching 101.

So what does that leave me? Considering that I'm already doing what I want to do, which is something I love, and something that there is not enough of, I will continue writing for the environment. O.K, so the pay is lousy. What I need is a national audience, and that shouldn't be to hard. I'm sure the good ole boys in Idaho are dying to hear what I have to say. And if that doesn't work out, I can always run for office. Hell you don't even need a college degree to do that.

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