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Mr. Cureton's degree

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Former University of Detroit and NBA player Earl Cureton gave his mother what many consider a great gift: the earning of his college diploma, That's all well and good; there certainly is nothing wrong with earning a degree. The action, apparently made to please his mom, hints at something we sweep under the table too often. It points to an overemphasis on formal education.

Are we to assume that Mr. Cureton has not done well for himself despite the lack of diploma? Has he not been able to successfully gain employment? Has he not been able to provide for himself or his family? Has he found walls where he expected doors?

Obviously not. So why is the degree so important? Simply because mom and society think so, even though the man has clearly been able to tread water without it?

Apparently. That he has made good of himself without it seems not to matter. He has a degree and is now somehow complete. This is not to take away from the accomplishment per se but to point out the rather hollow emphasis on something which must be seen objectively as superfluous. Cureton didn't need the degree to make it in the sports world. It is very unlikely that having it will affect his future. There is no reason that it should be seem so positively, as though it were make or break for him.

We put too much meaning into formal education. People should not feel compelled to continue or complete an education which serves no real purpose. All that it does is line the pockets of academia. It's hardly a necessary step forward for the folks who have made it in the world.

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