Friday, January 29, 2016

"Education can substitute for experience but experience cannot be substituted for education."

The above sentence appears in a job description for a part-time entry-level editorial/administrative opening at a university MFA program. I don't think I need to tell you how it makes me feel. I will, however, point out that the rhetorical balance of the sentence is terrible: why repeat the verbs but bulk up the second half with a clumsy tense change? Possibly some experience with sentences would have helped.

I try not to be cynical about the arts and education, but sometimes I can't help myself. Dear friends who "only" have experience: keep using it.

* * *

If you're in the Dover-Foxcroft area tonight, stop by Pastimes Pub and say hello. My band Doughty Hill will be performing, starting at about 6:30. The food is good; the ceilings are high; and there's an old bank vault you can peek into. We'll be playing some new songs and revisiting a pile of old friends--for instance, this one: Howlin' Wolf's "Built for Comfort."

* * *

Call it a gesture no one understood,
neither dismissal nor assent, but the thing
left midair when his juggling skewed.

--from Richard Foerster's "His Wasted Life," in River Road (2015)

1 comment:

Ruth said...

Yet again, I wish I lived close enough to hear your band live and to visit with you!!!

As a long time teacher, I'd have to say that experience greatly aces education. Experience usually helps us survive our own stupidity and our own strengths.