Better Late Than Never

I’m not a fan of country music, but I especially don’t enjoy the promotion of ignorance as in Gretchen Wilson’s “Redneck Woman.” However, I really admire her for deciding to get her high school diploma.

I watched This Week with George Stephanopoulos this morning, and Gretchen Wilson explained that she now wishes to earn her diploma because of her daughter. She realizes the long shot her success is and realizes now she would have “tended bar” for the rest of her life because she wouldn’t have had an education. She wants her daughter to see her as “smart.”

Now I don’t believe a high school diploma is the cure-all she makes it out to be because the same program this morning also explained that 25 years ago the difference in one’s income with a college degree versus a high school diploma was 30%. Now that difference is 70%. I know Wilson wasn’t speaking about economics when she spoke of her daughter, but the disparity is growing, and I hope Gretchen Wilson encourages her daughter to attend college rather than rely on the diploma.

By the way, Wilson also offered the local high school a deal. If the high school officials allow her to walk during the graduation ceremony, she will play at the prom for free. Sounds like a good deal to me.


4 thoughts on “Better Late Than Never

  1. The Science Goddess

    One of my grandmother’s has always regretted not getting her diploma—and has often talked of getting a GED (she’s 80 now). She married at 15 and had four children by age 20. All of her kids earned Master’s Degrees. She doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone, of course, but somehow, it still would feel meaningful to her.

  2. Mrs. Chili

    I think that a lot of the value in something like that really IS in what it means to the recipient. I’m pretty sure that a high school diploma isn’t really worth very much out in the real world anymore. It certainly USED to mean something – but then again, we USED to be able to buy a candy bar with a quarter….

  3. DrPezz

    I was chatting with the head of our union, and she told me her starting salary in the early 70s was $3200 a year. By ’78 she was making $7600 and bought a house for $26,000. She still lives in that house. 🙂

    Amazing how things change.

    You’re right, Mrs. Chili, about the meaning behind earning the diploma late. I just worry about people who rely on the diploma only because of its lack of earning power.

    It used to be that a kid could go pump gas for a modest living. That job doesn’t even exist in my state any more! We’re moving to a point where a college degree will be a virtual requirement.

    Still, I do admire Wilson for getting her diploma.

  4. DrPezz

    SG –

    There was a gentleman in the news last year who received his high school diploma in his 80s, and he walked with the graduating class. Great story!


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