Wednesday, August 27, 2008

And Now For Something Completely Different

If you happen to be one of the 2.5 people who have been following my blog for the past few months, you might be in for a surprise as the content starts to include some things that are very not gaming related.

You see, I have this dirty little secret I've been hiding for a number of years now. I attended college back in the early nineties, but I never finished. I may have gone on to manage a retail store, work at WotC, and write some gaming books, but the fact is that in the real world, employers generally tend to treat you like an uneducated schmuck if you don't have a degree. This was somewhat true a decade ago, but it seems to be more true as time goes by because nearly every kid who manages to graduate highschool is now going on to complete their college degree.

While that begs the question of how a degree gets a person ahead in life if everyone has one, that doesn't really address the question of what happens to the people who don't have one. My experience is that it leaves them looking at the options of perpetual retail or fast food hell. You know, I've done my time in those trenches and I'd rather be standing on the corner hustling random strangers for their spare change than go back to it.

What's sad is that when I decided that I wasn't going to go back and finish, oh something like thirteen years ago, I was only three semesters from graduation. That's one and a half years. Back then that seemed like such a long time, and I was so burned out, and I assumed that by demonstrating competence, I could be successful without that expensive piece of paper. Frankly, I have been successful in many areas, but not as successful as I should have been. What's the reason I didn't land any upper management jobs, or get the editor positions I applied for, or even be interviewed for some jobs that randomly applied for and still feel are beneath me? My work references were good.... Its that lack of a degree.

So I'm going back to school to finish my degree, and I'm not giving up until I'm successful. I might even try to go on to grad school if I can figure out how to fund it.

One of the classes I'm taking is an introduction to rhetoric. Based on the classroom discussions and the reading I've done so far, I really think I'm going to learn a lot in this class (and I'm not just saying that to suck up to the professor, who will be reading this blog). Part of my grade for the class will be to keep a blog that addresses some of the subject matter we will be studying. I've decided to just merge it in with my regular blog to keep things easy for me.

So if you happen to be one of my very few regular readers, prepare to learn something that has nothing to do with games. If it seems a little esoteric, don't give up, there will also be gaming related ramblings posted here whenever I feel the need to post about it. In fact, I'm not turning my back on the gaming industry. I have some small projects currently in the works that will be manageable with my class schedule, and then I have some hopes for where I might end up after I have my degree. I'm not done with gaming. In fact, after my eight years in the industry, I'm just getting started.


Walt said...

Since I only count as half a reader, that will bring your total count to three. In any case, a college degree doesn't really measure intelligence, just the fact that you are able to put up with some one else's interpretation of what educated means. In the state where I live, many who go onto graduate college often times still end up in dead end jobs for many years due to a lack of decent jobs in the area.

In any case, keep writing, keep shooting for greatness, eschew mediocrity, and never miss an opportunity to make a college educated punk ( some one talking down ) feel like a dope.

Best Regards,

Walt said...

By the way, who is the other half of a reader?


Darrin Drader said...

The half a reader was a figure of speech, indicating that this blog doesn't get a whole lot of traffic. Thanks for dropping by!

Walt said...

I have your blog up on my RSS reader so every time you post I tune in. Just to let you know... I have RoD and it is next on the chopping blog of stuff to read. Since I got back from Iraq, i have been stupid busy getting things back on track (I work the fringes of the RPG industry). The setting looks top notch. What kind of support are we looking to see down the road

Darrin Drader said...

That sounds like the subject for another blog. Right now, the first adventure, "Virus" is on sale.