“….a surprisingly good school.”

October15/ 2012

At a dinner party recently, I engaged a UNC PhD candidate who noted, with noticeable surprise, that “NC State has a surprisingly good engineering program”.  Duh! Really !!  I did not further inquire as to his opinion on the future of mankind or his favorite Bond Girl.   It did cause me to ruminate upon “what makes ‘a good school’” and “says who?”….. and Week Seven in review.chemstud

I had never met this young (26-28-ish) man before nor do I even recall his name.  He is in the final year of his PhD in Chemistry program at UNC (the Chapel Hill branch).   He did his undergrad at a small expensive school in the Triad.  He was very polite and relatively well-groomed.   I have no doubt he can quote the Periodic Table backwards in pig latin, knows a precipitate from a reagent and can turn on a bunsen burner with either hand.

He did not know who I was.  My awareness marketing campaign among PhD in Chemistry-types has been only moderately successful.

Earlier I had overheard him noting he had not yet decided upon his choice for President in next month’s election.  That shoulda prepared me for the “pretty good school” comment.  I understand why some people support Obama.  Obviously I understand why people support Romney.  I understand why some “dislike all politicians blah blah…” but the “haven’t decided yets” flummox me.  I digress.

He had recently attended some sort of job fair sponsored by the NCSU Engineering School.  He would like to apply his extensive Chemistry schooling in some engineering-related way that made my teeth ache.  That’s another way of saying he can’t find a job in Chemistry.  Next week he might attend a tele-marketing job fair at Wake Tech.  Does Wake Tech have “a pretty good tele-marketing school”?

Maybe it was his first visit to the NC State campus and he was shocked that it wasn’t in a soybean field outside Spivey’s Corner.  Maybe he thought NC State “engineers” drove choo-choo trains.  Maybe he has consumed way too much Hate State Kool-Aid in his quarter century of life.

He pontificated on the state of big time athletics at UNC et al but I was taken by his faux-erudite opines about NC State.   I’m sure I could find equally faux-erudite opines by brain-washed Wufflings as relates to UNC-CH programs of study.  As veteran BLSays loyalists well know ……. “ALL UNC / NCSUers are ‘a buncha ______” and that goes for their school curricula and the horses they rode in on too.   YIKES!

Our Kid chose The University of Missouri because (1) she wanted to really “go away to college” and (2) she had met some nice Mizzou students at a summer camp she attended while in high school.  We have family relatively close by and both Blondie and I were very familiar with the school, campus and community.  But Kid just liked the kids she had met at summer camp.

It worked out incredibly well for all concerned.  She attended three sports events in four years and left all three before they were over.  She LOVED her four years there regardless.  Go figure.

Like 93.8% of incoming college freshmen, Kid had no clue what she wanted to do of an occupational nature.  98% of that remaining 6.2% say they want to be “something pretentious that makes a lot of $$$$ and doesn’t involve a mean boss”.

I probably need to re-post my classic column about “I shoulda checked Forest Ranger” – the penultimate treatise on why the masses of men (and women) lead lives of occupational misery.

I view “going to college” as a 4-year gauntlet to traverse twixt naïve adolescence and naïve young adulthood.  You win IF you manage to learn that (1) underwear does not wash itself ….. (2) sheets don’t change themselves….. and (3) all those yucky things your mom and dad warned you about really are “out there” and really are yucky.

You can traverse that gauntlet at any number of academic institutions all of whom have pretty brochures….. tantalizing websites….. some semi-famous alumni…. and promise they are NOT “dens of iniquity with evil lurking ‘round every corner”.

If you emerge after four or so years confident of what you want to “be”, you only have another twenty or so years to learn yourself well enough to “be” something else that actually fits “you”….. sort of.

What will our Chemistry PhD end up doing?  He was polite and well-groomed so he may overcome his “waaaaay too much education” or maybe move to China and get a job wearing a lab coat and swishing stuff around in a beaker.   Maybe he gets a job delivering pizzas to Engineering PhD candidates at State.


Speaking of “getting a job”….. Have you seen The Butcher’s latest infomercial?  Yes, Drew’s daddy filmed an infomercial with local sports guy WRAL’s Jeff Gravely.

It was supposed to be a for-real in-depth interview….. but it turned into one of those faux-things you see on obscure cable channels after midnight.  You know the ones promoting trial lawyers or “get rich quick” schemes or “that certain part of the male anatomy”.

Jeff didn’t simply lob Butcher softballs.  Jeff set’em on a tee for Butcher to swing away at.   It made Obama being “grilled” by Wolf Blitzer seem penetrating by comparison.

You’ll be surprised to know that Butcher is still purer than Mother Teresa’s lingerie drawer.  He has still never jaywalked nor even thought about tearing that label off his mattress.   He still can’t fathom how John Blake managed to fool him….. for 25 years.

All this lacked was an 800 # to contribute to the Redeem Poor Poor Butch fund.  It’s comforting to know that some things never change.


Week Seven:   Not a good week to be Mack Brown’s neighbor.  The eggs and epithets are going to be prolific around Austin for sure. …… No sofas burning in Morgantown as the “Neers got lambasted in Lubbock. ……. Mike The Tiger took a bite out of a certain visor down on the bayou. …… Mizzou received yet another Welcome To The SEC kick-in-the-teeth from St Nick. …………… and before 50,000 empty seats at Name De Jour Stadium outside Miami, Gio Bernard established himself as the greatest export from Florida since grapefruit.

Is Russell Wilson the Greatest Wisconsin QB in NFL History ??? ….. Hey, I gotta do something to piss off Wuff Clavins!

BobLee’s latest Huddle W/ The Heels column exposes THE LATEST conspiracy at The Flagship….. READ MORE – CLICK ….. and I’m sure you will!

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