Some Thoughts on Education

I went through 19 years of formal education, not counting the one-semester half-day of kindergarten I got – the price of hitting the age of five at the height of the post World War II baby boom.

That’s 12 years of public school, four years of college, and three years of law school.

The only part of that I remember fondly is college. I got my degree in Plan II, which was (and is) the liberal arts honors program at the University of Texas (of course I mean the one in Austin). I was not required to have a major, so I didn’t.

There were classes and teachers I didn’t like, but on the whole my undergraduate education was a wonderful experience of being exposed to things I hadn’t thought about before.

It was a welcome change from high school. It occurs to me that the essay I wrote for my application to Plan II was a very negative critique of my high school experience. For my senior thesis, I also wrote on education, having been influenced by the thinking of my most excellent political science professor, Elliot Zashin, about whom I have written before.

I got to thinking about all this because I read an essay Rebecca Solnit posted on Facebook about how she skipped most of high school. She took the GED at 15, headed off to community college, and then ended up at a four-year school where she at last found the kind of educational experience she was looking for.

It never occurred to me that I could do something like that.

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