Essay on The Value of a True Education

558 Words 3 Pages
How do we get educated? To most, education is an arduous slog through school; starting with simple stories about naughty rabbits swapping bologna sandwiches. As we grow, we move on to more and more intellectual pursuits- onward to ancient kings being depressed. By the time we graduate we are ready for a life as a ‘productive member of society’. One may find themselves wondering where that shift is from ignorant to educated. Most people will tell you it comes when you graduate high school, some will argue that it will not happen until you become a parent, others will say it never happens. David Foster Wallace and Mike Rose believe that being educated is not a matter of how well you have been educated, but how you grow as a person. Mike …show more content…
She may not have learned calculus, but she could easily remember everyone’s orders. While she did not have a high school education, she was very successful by virtue of working hard and picking up necessary skills easily. Rose did not see the value in higher education until his late teens when he was able to turn his path around and join the intellectual elite.

On the other end of the spectrum is David Foster Wallace: an accomplished author. He went through life in the lap of luxury as a star youth tennis player. College was simply the next step. He was blessed with an excellent liberal arts education through a sports scholarship and experienced massive success through his magnum opus- Infinite Jest. While Wallace experienced the classic ideal of higher education, his speech to Kenyon University graduates indicates his displeasure with his education and perhaps more importantly, his views on what people should get out of a good education. Here’s a hint: It’s not technical skills.

Both Rose and Wallace emphasize the importance of living a life not based on your educational merits, but on how you choose to view the world. Wallace repeatedly reminds us of how much we must fight to not be consumed by a belief that we are the only right person in the world- a belief that is reinforced by a life spent watching ourselves succeed in higher education. Soon, everyone begins to seem inferior by virtue of not meeting the

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