My dad is going back to college!
Not full time, but he’s going to take enough credits to finally get his degree in electrical engineering.
Let me tell you a story:
My dad went to college in the Philippines. He got his degree in electrical engineering. But then he got my mom pregnant. They moved to America to give their children a chance for a better future. Here, they don’t accept his degree. He couldn’t get a job as an engineer. He was treated as if he didn’t have anything higher than a high school education. He had to be a bag boy. A cashier. All these menial jobs he was far over-qualified for. Finally he got a job as an electrician (a step in the right direction). He is still working this job, 15 years later. A job he is, again, far over-qualified for. My dad had to overcome an unexpected pregnancy, a move to a new country, and raising 2 kids. Slowly, he’s been trying to get the qualifications to be an engineer. Very, very, very slowly. So slowly that he gives up from time to time because he simply doesn’t have the time or the energy to do it because of his strenuous and labor-intensive job. This year, he passed some kind of engineer test or something (I DON’T KNOW WHAT IT’S CALLED OKAY BUT IT WAS A BIG DEAL). Everyone was happy, but he didn’t really know what to do. Recently, my mom called the university near our house and asked about how my dad could approach enrolling as a part-time student to get enough credits to finish his education to be an electrical engineer, and he’s now in the enrollment process.
I’m so happy. I’m so proud. Through all the hard work and shit he’s been through, he did not give up, even when it seemed like he did. He’s going to accomplish his dream and finish his education and get the job that he should’ve had 18 years ago.
It’s my belief that it’s never too late to get an education.
Now, I’m going to start to rant.
A while ago, I was talking to my friend about how there are so many old people on campus. And I say “old” as in adults with grey hair. There’s one old guy in my biology class, and another in my philosophy class. I was talking to him about how I thought it was great that they’re finishing their education.
His dad heard what I was saying, and they both had the same reaction. It was something along these lines:
“Wow, why? Don’t they have families or jobs? Education is great but there comes a point where you shouldn’t need to go back to school because you have enough experience to get the job that you want. They’re wasting their time and money.”
This just insulted and angered and disgusted me to my core, and let me tell you why.
First of all, his dad ACTUALLY IS AN ENGINEER. By “experience”, I assume he was talking about his own life. As in, he got his education IN AMERICA where jobs and companies actually recognize him as qualified, and he worked his way up to the position he’s currently in. Obviously, he doesn’t understand how different it is for people that weren’t born and raised in this god forsaken country.
Second, yeah, my dad does have a job and a family actually. That’s why he hasn’t been able to get his SECOND education in the first place. And he’s trying to get this education so he can get a BETTER job to support that beautiful family of his.
Third, that’s just such a judgmental piece of shit thing to say. “Wasting time and money.” Fuck that. I don’t even have words to describe how awful and downright disrespectful of a thing that is to say.
Sure I know that my friend and his dad only say those things because it’s what they’ve grown to know. But my anger stems from the fact that they didn’t even try to see things from other people’s points of view.
The title of this post is a play on the phrase “Check your privilege”.
In a more socially-equivalent world, my dad would’ve come here and gotten a job as an engineer. He would be making approximately $40,000 more than he’s making right now. He wouldn’t have had to go through this long and painful process of getting his degrees again. He wouldn’t have to go through the scrutiny of people that didn’t have to go through all this because they are privileged and didn’t come from an under-educated and poverty-stricken country.
Whenever I hear that “immigrants are stealing jobs from hard-working Americans” I want to throw up. Then I think about how white men came from the east and ruined the lives of Native Americans and I get really racist all of a sudden. That’s just the phrase this situation always brings to mind.
My dad is the most respectable and under-appreciated man I know, and I’m so unbelievably proud of him and anyone that thinks otherwise can **** a **** because they’re a ************* ***** ** ****.