Newsflash: Unlike what your sixth grade teacher told you….

… you can’t be whatever you want when you grow up. And even if you do, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re good at what you do because you were trained in it. Strangely enough, the most successful in our times seemed to do only average in education. Bill Gates did decently in high school but dropped out of Harvard. His friend Paul Allen was only an average student at Washington State University.
It’s all about the out-of-box thinking. Education is merely a foundation.

Rebecca MacKinnon, who is now running the distinguished project Global Voices comments on not having gone to journalism school herself and her experiences with j-school interns when she was the CNN Asia bureau chief:

Often times the kids who hadn’t been to j-school ended up being a lot more useful as interns (and thus better candidates for paid jobs) than the j-school kids. The j-school kids tended to be more prima donna-ish, less street-smart, less likely to think outside the box, more concerned about their careers and resumes and less interested in doing a good job at critical but sometimes menial tasks we assigned them.

This strange phenomena doesn’t just fall within the journalism arena. It is everywhere, with business majors believing that they are right for managing people out of school, and those that take leadership courses believing that they are made of that leadership material.
Sorry to break out the whip of reality on ya’ll but it just isn’t so.

Jay Rosen
believes that journalism isn’t just a profession anymore but a practice, as does Rebecca. I agree, but it doesn’t stop there. Everywhere, American educators need to stop and think about what they’re teaching the youth. Education is important like the foundation in a building. But to create your towers and skyscrapers, requires critical thinkers applying out-of-box ideas. Without those people, there wouldn’t be this thing called “Yankee ingenuity.”
And we’d all still be a bunch of great looking pieces of concrete.