Don’t confuse educationz with brainz

Getting a PhD has had some interesting social ramifications. Some fab, some.. drab. #myrhymesareacrime

In many ways, getting my PhD has freed me to be much less guarded in what and how I communicate – especially to snobbish strangers. When I was majoring in psychology in undergrad, it was way more likely that I would be dismissed as another vapid college student who thought that her Psyc 101 course qualified her to give sage mental health advice to friends and family. So, I tended to be the quiet one who would wait until I had a read on people before I participated in whatever convo was going on. When I did participate, it was usually some rando sarcastic comment. People usually conveyed a sense of amazement when they found out I had some brainz. Now, I am free to make an idiot of myself by loudly saying whatever makes me lolz. I know that even if I’m being a cotton-headed ninny muggin,  people will think “Well, she has her PhD, so she has to be smart…” and give me the benefit of the doubt. So that in of itself has made the last 6 years worth it 😉

Don’t be fooled by this guy! He can write a book on 16th century technology but he ain’t no genius! (pixabay image)

BUT in different contexts, or at least with some people, getting my PhD has set up this expectation for me to have deep and well-developed thoughts on every aspect of the brain, anything remotely related to life-sciences, theology, politics, organic farming, and T-Swizzy’s latest attention-whoring bout of drama. People will say, “Hey, you have a PhD. What do you think?” Usually I haven’t thought about it at all, so I try to nod slowly, stare out in the distance, and say something vague, like “Well, I think both sides have merit, but I have heard some convincing criticisms of each position, too. It’s certainly a complex issue.” Then I smile winningly and change the subject.

I s’pose the point of this post is two-fold. One, although I appreciate people giving me the benefit of the doubt now, it annoys me that some of these same people would probably completely dismiss me if I had gone on to be a .. Idk, palm reader. Rando example, but my point is— it’s not really fair for people that don’t have their degree to have this undue burden to prove their intellectual worth. Just because someone is being silly at a party or dropped out of high school doesn’t mean they’re an uninformed buffoon.

Two, just because someone wrote their dissertation on the astrophysical epistemology of the Ornithorhynchus anatinus and never confuses “your” and “you’re” does not mean they have something meaningful to say about the science of climate change, or have great insight into international affairs.


So.. yah. PhDs aren’t ignoramuses, but they’re not necessarily brilliant. They’re just people who chose to geek out on a subject for a few years. And uneducated folk may not be be brilliant, but they’re not necessarily ignoramuses. They’re just people who may not have had the opportunity or necessary masochism* to go into 20+th grades.

So.. yah yah yah — evaluate ideers for their own merit, and don’t be snobby.


 *I mean this in the general use, DON’T BE A PERVO!

— ALSO — This post has some similar ideas to this other brilliantly written, amazing post.


4 thoughts on “Don’t confuse educationz with brainz

  1. *No one was thinking of anything other than the literal definition lolol #FreudianSlipMuch?

    But more to the point of your blog post:

    I do agree that the specialization of higher learning puts some opinions of the “intellectually elite” on the same level as the “not-so-educated”. As you said [paraphrasing] “someone who geeked out for four more years in a sub-field doesn’t necessarily have opinions of politics/ethics/theology more worthy than an ‘average Joe'” Granted. But I think a problem we as a society are facing is not so much {the highly educated think the opinions of the less-educated don’t matter}, but rather, “the less-educated think every conclusion they come to is as valid as the conclusions of the highly-educated.” This egalitarian trend within “Americanism” is what leads to pseudoscience becoming regarded as science, in. my opinion.

    In conclusion: we all bow before your greatness, Dr. Galloway 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear ya, I hear ya. I think I should have added a lot more caveats to this post, but… borrrriiinnnngggg. jk jk. I guess I just get irritated when self-declared experts – who usually are highly educated – step outside of their academic bounds. Or, only present one side of the story, a story that anyone outside of that field would never know is unsettled or disputed by other experts within that field.
      But anyway.. the point is.. I except everyone’s bowing 😀 jk jk jkjkkkkkkkkkk

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Except those with English degrees. Don’t “except” their boughs 😜 jkjk

        But seriously, I think those are valid things to be irritated about. I support any and all anger directed toward intellectual arrogance (even my own 🙏). And blog posts, as you implied with “bor[…]ng[…]”, are probably not the place for expressing every minute caveat. If your blog posts were as caveated as your academic articles, your readership might tumble by 50% +- 13.78%.

        But one thing I appreciate about the NT Wright book that Robert Lee recommended is how he most definitely does not “present one side of the story […]” He mentions specifically the disputed and unsettled portions. It is more work to work through this more academic work of his, but I really appreciate his effort to, as objectively as is possible, work through the questions arising around the question, “What can we say about the life and words of the original Jesus?” (with Wright granting that the Gospels do not represent in a “snippets of security-camera” fashion the *exact* words and acts of Jesus and his followers). And he presents the variations of his views and the diametrically-opposed views alongside his own. He comes to an orthodox view of Jesus (spoiler alert), but without the simplistic bumper-sticker mantra, “God said it–that settles it.” I think you would appreciate the book, although it is a bit disheartening when you feel like you’ve absorbed a good number of fairly-dense pages, only to have your Kindle app inform you “4% completed”, or even worse, “100 hrs left” 🙀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ha! If my readership tumbled that much, it would be down to just my Ma!

        Oh wow, I really want to read it. Actually, RLW actually gave me a free copy of that book I think, but I’ve had 0 time to read it. That sounds really good, though. Does that mean you believe in the resurrection of Jesus now?!


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