I read Shakespeare and the Bible, and I can shoot dice. That's what I call a liberal education.
When I was a teenager I carried a violin and a switch blade.
I had the violin because I really wanted to be able to play it. After several years of lessons and many hours of practice I concluded that I had no talent for the violin. Many years later I learned I had talent for the clarinet. But I was immersed in my career as an actor and had neither the time nor the income to study the clarinet. If I, like Woody Allen, had started in my boyhood I might have been able to play in jazz clubs the way he does from time to time. Now, in my retirement, I might be able to pick it up. But again I can't afford it. But I would like to buy a tenor recorder some day.
The reason I carried the switch blade is because the other guy had one. It was like nuclear missiles sitting in their silos. We have them and the Russians have them and everyone knows it. As long as they stay in the silos there is peace between us.
There are definite disadvantages from growing up without enough money. (No kidding!) But there are some advantages to be had if one is willing to face the dark. Some street wisdom isn't a bad thing to have for anyone. I have no patience with those who are easily shocked and baffled by things that human beings do. I rarely get enraged but often laugh at the pomposity and self importance of upper middle and upper class people who wouldn't know how to handle an obscure night of the soul even if they had the sensitivity to know they were stumbling through one.
I tried to go to college by working at two jobs (ok, one and a half jobs) but I soon left. It was a good school, but the ivy covered mentality was not for me. Not having a college degree kept me back from teaching Russian people to speak English. But it never kept me back from being an actor, a radio announcer, a lecturer, a teacher of public speaking and an associate of the drama department at another ivy covered college.
I read Shakespeare, the Bible and a lot of other things. I never learned about throwing the dice but I did make a profit playing the horses, which, by the way, is easier and faster than playing the stock market. I don't invest in horse races any more because of the cruelty that is sometimes involved.
So here I am an uneducated, ex street kid, with no clarinet and no switch blade, a retired actor with a true liberal education. You can have your privileges. I'll take survival.
DB - The Vagabond
Never Give Up