Ask James: College, Confidence, Radical Honesty, Success After 50, Guilty Pleasures, and MORE!



CashN1n9 michael cash  asks: You said don’t go to college, may i know why???

ANSWER: I’ve written many blog posts on this. And I’ve had at least seven death threats on this topic. Here’s one of my posts on the topic. Here’s one of the death threats.

But I’ll try to summarize quickly:

  • –          Student loan debt is higher than ever. Tuitions have risen even higher than health care costs since I went to college. So why isn’t there a national discussion on this
  • –          Kids take the money and we all know what they do those four years. Don’t DENY it!
  • –          They’ve just spent 12 years behind a desk listening to boring teachers and taking tests. Why don’t you let them try one of these eight alternatives.
  • –          There’s a big stat: kids with college degrees make more money. Unfortunately anyone who took statistics 101 knows the flaw in this statistic. Can you explain in the comments below?



Jas_Cheng JasCheng  asks: How to gain more confidence and be sure on what we say?(In case people are trying to bring us down)


#1: Try as hard as you to not be around people who are trying to bring you down. Walk away. Don’t engage. Don’t talk to them unless needed. This part of my advice on “How to Avoid Crappy People”. A few months ago I sent an email to a formerly close friend of mine saying how glad I was that he had once been in my life. He wrote back with a litany of all the reasons I was a bad person. No problem. Now if he ever tries to write me it instantly filters into the Spam box and I don’t even see it. That’s how you deal with crappy people (along with what I suggest in the above link)

#2: If you have an artery that is clogged, then blood doesn’t get through properly. You get heart disease and eventually have a heart attack. You might die from the heart attack.

So I’m about to explain what I really believe in philosophically. We don’t have one body. We have four, and they are all mirrors of each other:

Physical, Emotional, Mental, Spiritual. And there’s one “virtual blood” that flows back and forth between all of them to keep the whole entity (the “I”) alive. If the bodies are not aligned, then the virtual blood gets clogged

When the virtual blood gets clogged: “heart attacks” happen in one or more of the bodies. Or heart disease, or some other discomfort. This leads to self-doubt, sickness, and other bad things. When the bodies are not aligned, you can’t have confidence. You can’t have success. You can’t get off the floor and find motivation or be creative. You can’t be a beacon to others.

This is where my ideas for The Daily Practice comes that I recommend in this post.

I also provide modifications in my recent book  and explain it further. That’s the original material in that book.. The book is free for Amazon Prime members. $1.99 for everyone else.

But that’s how you have confidence. Doing that Practice and aligning those bodies

(Gratuitous self-promotion)


Bmp135 Benjamin Michael  asks: starting out as a writer, how much time should I budget daily. To reasonably get going.


The most important thing is consistency. Every day. Seven days a week. Writing is like a muscle. You start to get writer’s block more frequently when the muscle atrophies. I’ve been writing consistently since 2002. Before that I wrote consistently from 1991-1995. Nothing good, mind you. Just writing.

(Hemingway wrote 500-1000 words EVERY DAY)

But, I’ve also read a lot of books on writing by well-known and successful writers. Here’s the general consensus that I’ve experienced myself and all the writers I have read seemed to have lived by:

Three to five hours a day, every day.

Walter Mosely (one of my favorite mystery writers) has written that if you just write 500 words a day (three paragraphs) then in 100 days you have 50,000 words. Which is a roughly the length of a small but publishable novel. So you can write 3.5 novels a year. Or write one really really good one that you’ve rewritten quite a bit. Try it.

One of my new year’s resolutions is to try it.



AmanAlam Aman Alam  asks: how do I motivate others?

ANSWER: This has the exact same answer as “HOW TO BE MORE CONFIDENT” above.

Basically, if your bodies are aligned, if you are keeping healthy physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually then you will shine and glow and be a beacon to others. That’s the only way to truly motivate others.

Else the ones you are trying to motivate will sense where your bodies are weak and you will come across as false.



jaideepkhare jaideep singh  Asks: How to stop yourself from wasting time. It has become an addiction which leads to frustation at the end of the day.


I’m the biggest time waster of all. I was having breakfast a few weeks ago with Naval Ravikant, the founder of Angelist. He refers to the ritual of doing all the internet checks as “the loop”. The loop of checking twitter, facebook, emails, blogs, analytics, news, etc etc.

So I timed how long my particular loop took. I thought it  would be about three or four minutes. It was eighteen minutes. And that didn’t count me responding to anything. And I do that loop about ten times a day. That’s 180 minutes. THREE HOURS! HOLY….!

So here’s what I’m doing. You can’t stop cold turkey. that’s like a complete alcoholic stopping cold turkey. You wake up in the middle of the night with the shakes right away, and if you don’t end up in a hospital where they are pumping new blood into you then you can die.

One minute a day I’m taking out of the things I do to waste time. There’s the loop, there’s playing extra games of chess online. Etc. One minute a day. By the end of the year I should be down from about 250 minutes a day to about 20 minutes a day. That will be good.

And my three year goal, as I mentioned in “My Minimalism Manifesto” is to get down to 30 minutes of internet time a day. Maybe I will find other things to fill that time but I hope they are fun, productive things.

That’s it. One minute a day get rid of. Don’t kill yourself trying to do it all at once. You’ll get the shakes and die. One minute a day.

socialhotchoco Priscilla Wood  asks: How do you tell the truth w/o sounding like and a$$?


In my post, “Seven Things Happen to You When You Are Honest” I advocate, obviously, honesty.

But not “radical honesty”.

Radical honesty is when you have no filter between brain and mouth and is advocated by many as the right way to live. For instance if you want to have sex with your wife’s best friend you just blurt that out to both of them. NO GOOD!

Most people don’t know how to do what I call “constructive honesty”.

I always view honesty as “Rule #2”. Rule #1 is don’t hurt anyone. I try to make it a discipline not to even have bad thoughts about someone  (very hard for me! Particularly at three in the morning or with random bank tellers.)

But I definitely don’t want to say something that will hurt someone.

Let’s say a friend asks me to look at a blog post. I look at it and don’t like it. I will take the time to think about it and then say, “do X, Y, and Z and this will be a good post.” That’s an honest answer, it helps them, and it helps their readers.

Let’s say someone asks me about a business idea they have. If I don’t like it I will say, “A lot of things have to happen to make that idea work. I think there;s a few ways you can simplify it to make it easy to do and still valuable to you.”

In other words: put effort into your honesty. Honest without effort is like shitting on the floor in the middle of your house. Nobody will visit you after that, and before long, you won’t even like yourself.



@JenShahade Jennifer Shahade  asks: what do you think of the phrase “guilty pleasure” and do you have any?

ANSWER: Before I answer this: Jen Shahade is one of my favorite chessplayers. A former US Women’s chess champion and author of two great books, “Chess Bitch” and “Play Like a Girl”. I’ve read both and benefited just as much from the second as the first.


Everything has consequences, good and bad. Everything you do. You can’t avoid it. Keep that in mind with this answer.

There’s three types of guilty pleasures:

#1 Those that hurt others. For instance, cheating on a wife. The consequence is that your pleasure is fleeting. Your sadness is painful (when you are back with your wife and miss the other person), and the consquences could be awful (the pain you cause everyone or even the pain caused by the withholding of love you are giving to your guilty partner).

#2: Those that hurt you. For instance, eating that huge chocolate cake at 4 in the morning when nobody else is up. The pleasure is delightful. The consequence is when the cake is gone, and when you go back to sleep and wake up later, feeling ill.

#3. Those that give you shame. For instance, a guilty pleasure for me is playing chess online. It doesn’t really hurt me. But I feel ashamed that I’m not being more productive.

My goal is to eliminate #1 completely from my life. #2 mostly (but be aware of the consequenes) and with #3 it’s trickier. I want to turn guilty pleasures into real pleasures.

Where does the shame come from? Some sense of “I have to be perfect”.  Or “I must NEVER procrastinate with games.”  Perfection only leads to shame because the only way to be creative, to be fun, to be flexible in life, to roll with life’s punches is to be imperfect. My goal is imperfection. To thrive in it. To thrive in my guilty pleasures until they transform me into a life of contentment.



linoxgill Lino M. Gill  asks: I’m acing your writing tips (thx!), but could you give us some tips on public speaking, presentations, etc.?


I’ve given five talks in the past three weeks. They’ve been on four different topics so I had to do a lot of preparing. I think four of the talks went well (people laughed at all the jokes) and one was a little flat but I was able to improve it for a later talk.

Here’s my post on “11 Unusual Methods to be a Better Public Speaker”.

Nobody believes me on this but the most unusual method is to “slightly slur your words”.



tombakalis Tom Bakalis  asks: Is it too late to start all over at 47 and still make it big?

ANSWER: The answer is, “of course not”. There are so many examples.

I can start off with this one I wrote about. He started his career in his mid 40s and became a billionaire.

But there are many other examples:

  • Laura Ingalls Wilder (author of “Little Women”) published her first novel at age 65
  • Colonel Sanders (who was only an honorary colonel) started his first KFC at age 65. Sold it in 1964 for $2 million when there were 900 of the .
  • Tim Zagat started Zagat’s at the age of 51.
  • Raymond Chandler’s first novel came out at 51.
  • Rodney Dangerfield was a used-car salesman well into his 40s before switching to comedy
  • Gandhi’s political career started at age 61
  • Frank Mccort wrote his first novel in his 60s.

(remind me to tell you my Rodney Dangerfield story)

And so on.

Focus on having high quality of life into old age. You have to plant those seeds now. Then today’s 50 is yesterday’s 25.



@JenShahade Jennifer Shahade asks: does twitter make us worse writers or better writers overall? Do you think <140 characters is about right or would u prefer more?


I like Twitter because there’s a “time limit” just as much as a word limit. The time limit forces people to ask you or interact with you in a way that takes no time at all to read and understand and no time at all to respond.

We can then take the time (like I am now) to expand on the answers. So I think twitter is a wealth of non-stop short ideas and we can pick and choose which ideas become bigger, become the ones that consumer our minds with more words than are probably necessary.

My answer at the time was slightly different but I stand by this also because Twitter is a place where many friendships develop over 140 words:

140 words is a great way to begin a conversation. More than 140 words (via email, say) is a great way to continue a conversation, and face-to-face is a great way to end a conversation, and perhaps begin a real friendship.



@NickHarleyNZ Nick Harley  asks: What is the best way to get the chance to pitch your product to big corporate business? Just call up the CEO out of the blue? They don’t care?


The question answers itself with the healthy skepticism at the end. So I agree with what Nick is saying: you can’t just call the CEO out of the blue and they DO in fact care

A good recipe for failure is to have ONE idea that fits ONE business and then they will almost surely reject you, even if you get through to the CEO, which is almost impossible.

A recipe for success then is the reverse.

Have ten ideas for thirty businesses. And then move up the ladder, pitching the head of business development at each company. Or using your network to find people at the company you can pitch to.

Will all 30 respond? No! But 6 will. And 3 will want meetings. And 2 might like one of the ten ideas. And one will say yes.

And that’s all you need.



socialhotchoco Priscilla Wood asks: Is there such thing as good, honest and fair negotiator?


A very good negotiator once told me, “In a good negotiation, all sides walk away happy.” Everyone gets what they want.

If this doesn’t happen, then the results of the negotiation will have negative consequences down the road. Maybe people won’t work as hard because they feel they got the short end of the stick. Maybe lawsuits will develop, etc.

(See, “The 3 Secrets of Negotiation”)



socialhotchoco Priscilla Wood  asks: Any political predictions for 2012?


I have no preferences one way or the other. Everyone thought Obama was going bring peace. Instead we’re bombing six countries and have military in 130 others, healthcare is more complicated than ever, taxes are killing us right in the middle of economic troubles, etc. And Bush was no better. And Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, Eisenhower, Truman, Roosevelt, Hoover, etc etc was no better.

Everyone says Ron Paul has no chance even though I find him to be strikingly honest for a politician and he’s winning in the polls. It reminds me of a stock I once owned. I called another hedge fund manager who had 10 million shares of it. He said, “listen, this stock is going to go from $1 to $5 and then shortsellers are going to spread nasty untre rumors about it and it will fall back into the$2s until the next move up.” He was exactly right and Ron Paul reminds me of that stock right now.

I’d really like to be surprised and find a President who actually makes my life better. But I don’t think it will happen which is why I think we should Abolish the Presidency and take it one step further: Abolish Congress. Then I think life will be better. But those things are not going to happen. So I never rely on politics for my happiness. Or it’s outcomes.


But, like anyone, I enjoy watching the sporting event of it.

So my one prediction, whether I like this prediction or not, is:

Republicans: Romney is the Presidential candidate and Chis Christie is the VP candidate. This keeps both Wall Street and the Tea party happy and they raise a zillion dollars.

Democrats: Obama is the Presidential candidate and Hilary Clinton is the surprise VP candidate. Hilary’s served her time. Biden is nobody. And Obama needs and extra oomph to overcome his poor ratings.

After that, it’s a close race. It’s hard to unseat a sitting President.



@rajlikes Raj  asks: Is there one simple. common feature, one element you aim to achieve in every blog post?


In every post, try to do these three things:

–          Bleed. Sharing intimacy is a way to connect with people. Share an intimacy you are scared to share. That is bleeding.

–          Tell a story. If your post is just “top 10 ways to be a weightlifter” then nobody cares. You have to tell your personal story of how you went from a 98 lb weakling to a Charles Atlas weightlifter. Remember those ads in the back of comic books? In just a panel or two you go the story. The 98 lb weakling was at the beach with his girl. He got sand kicked in his face. He got angry, he did the Charles Atlas method, and now he’s ripped and shredded like Mr. Universe.

–          Deliver value. Since I started writing I make sure I deliver value in each post. Has to be value you can’t find anywhere else. There’s seven billion blogs and articles posted every day. How does your feeble words stand out amongst all that. You have to deliver huge value.

(See, “33 Unusual Ways to Be a Better Writer”)

Follow me on Twitter Please.

And next week will be the last (for January) Twitter Q&A because I’m going to India from jan 15 until Feb 1.








Enjoyed This Post? Get Free Updates

  • TheAcsMan

    In regard to “Is it too late to make it big…”

    A few weeks ago you had written about how a lawyer you had known passed away by age 49. His life was defined by his feeling of being trapped in a profession that he detested. That same evening, the founders of appeared on Bloomberg Rewind. Their organization is one that promotes the concept of re-inventing yourself to save your own humanity and to make better use of your creativity and skills.

    The next day I wrote “Re-invention” (giving you ample credit), in my own blog, reflecting on my personal path toward re-invention of self and philosophy.

    I don’t think that in my re-invented self I’ll ever “make it big”, at least not to the extent of my previous life, but everyone can decide for themselves which of their 4 bodies they want to most enrich. Making it big needn’t be limited to the financial aspect. Making less money, but enjoying life more is a great trade off.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with you about skipping college.  Then yesterday I saw an article about NY floating an idea to require all new applicants applying for jobs in the nursing industry to have a college degree.   I don’t have a degree and am not going to be getting one.  There are already a lot of companies that require you to have a degree even to get an interview.  It will be even worse for folks like me if states start making degree requirements for even more jobs.  Sucks…

  • Andreas Moser

    RE college:
    I would amend it and say “don’t go to college in the US or UK” where fees and subsequent debts are high. Most European countries still offer excellent universities for free or almost free, also to foreign students. You can study in English in many countries of the continent or pick up another language, explore a diverse continent and you are farther away from your parents.

  • Andreas Moser

    I just noticed that I already have a beard that is similar to Hemingway’s. Now I better start cracking on my first book.

  • Andreas Moser

    RE motivating others:
    I try to do this here, with my New Year’s resolutions for 2012: 

  • Andreas Moser

    RE stop wasting time:
    The only solution is to do less. Stop doing thinks that you don’t enjoy or are not important. I don’t go to parties or any social events, for example. I don’t do small talk. I don’t go to church.

  • Andreas Moser

    Starting over in middle age will keep you younger in mind and at heart.
    I returned to university when I was 35 and I am enjoying it. I guess ‘ll embark on a PhD when I’ll be 45 or 55.

  • Feng


    I wanted to write some comments and talk some shit here as usual. Then I realized that today is the last day of 2011.

    What a fucking year! For myself personally, I am sure for many other readers as well.

    But you know what? This year could have been so much more painful had I not found your blog.

    I cannot tell you how much I wanted to thank you for that, for all the effort you put in to each article, each word, for being an inspiration, for being a voice for many of us.

    With a future to look forward to, I have nothing but the Best Wishes for you and everybody.

    Thank you

    • jaltucher

      Feng, thanks very much! You too and best wishes for 2012

  • Priscilla Paredes Wood

    Altucher, I appreciate the fact that you seem to think my questions are worthy of posting here but there is a typo in one of them and it’s killing me. I was hoping you wouldn’t post it at all. Perfectionism sucks.

    • jaltucher

      Now I,ll keep the typo there on purpose. You ask good questions always, prscilla

      • Priscilla Paredes Wood

        Altucher, only the best for you and Claudia in 2012. You two are inspiring me to do what I thought it was impossible and that is to find the right partner for me. :-) 

        • jaltucher

          I have no worries for you. You speak your mind and are not afraid to put yourself out there.

  • J. R. Nova

    Great post! I especially like the one about writing just 500 words a day. Consistency is so important to writing successfully.

  • Roy

    this applies here….about education:…why finlands education system is better and how its different than americas 

  • EntrepreneursKorner

    James, you have to answer this if you have time. Most CEO’s that you pitch to want a product that has already been created, so that they can see what your talking about or your potential. For example in your case Stockpickr, had to be created before it was pitched. So what can one do to pitch an idea that has not been created to a CEO, Let me know if you can.  Thanks. Also check out this when u can:

    • jaltucher

      To pitch it all o did was a design that took outsourced indians 5 days and three hundred dollars

      • EntrepreneursKorner

        Wow very inspirational, thanks for the tip and happy new year. Its hard being young and trying to make it in this entrepreneurial world. Thanks again.

  • Anonymous

    The flaw in the statistic that people who go to college make more money vs those who don’t is simple to understand.

     The statistic separates people into two groups, those who went to college and those who didn’t;  It really should be three groups: those who went to college, those who alternatively invested in their future with the same tuition costs, and those who didn’t do either. For example, you could have one person who spends 100k going to college but you could also have another person who spends 100k in self education(interviewing mentors, touring the world, testing business ideas, taking specialized classed, getting credentials,etc..) and of course you could have another person who enters the work force right after high school. the statistic groups those who entered the work force and those who spent resources elsewhere in the same group when they should be separate. Yes it would be difficult to track such a statistic, but it wouldn’t be off to say that the statistic might favor the self educated type.
    Of course some degrees are absolutely necessary to advance in some fields but who’s to say that is the primary path of success?

    • Leti Watson

      There was an article I think in last sunday’s LA Times about some survey or study on such wage differences. The most striking point for me was that you are about 200k inthe hole if you do go, accounting for costs, lost wages, etc. It said ths was approximately the same cost as a Subway franchise!

  • Anonymous

    What’s the flaw in statistics?  Mark Twain said it best:

    “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”

    – Mark Twain

    Statistics is in the eyes of the beholder.  You can present statistics in anyway you want to support your own bias or agenda.  Or ignorance.   I recommend people to read “Fooled by Randomness” by Taleb. (not to you James, I have a hunch that it’s already in your list of 2-300 books that you devoured when you transitioned to trading).  I taught statistics, I read that book, and still got fooled by statistics consistently, but at least I am aware of it.

    Anyway, James, great post as usual, I’m glad I found this blog at the end of 2011 and look forward to enjoying it even more in 2012.  Wishing you and yours and fellow readers the very best for 2012.

  • Anonymous

    Long-time reader, first-time poster. Thanks for the insights, James.

    No one has gotten the statistical flaw yet. The flaw is that *college* is not the determinant in whether someone makes more money than others. That is decided well before these people make a decision to go to college or not. The smartest and most likely to succeed kids before college have, historically, gone to the best colleges and then landed the best, most highly paying jobs. 

    Now, you can spin that history and say “well, those who get college degrees make more money than those who don’t.” That’s false. 

    What you should say is “Historically, there’s been a strong correlation between high earners and college degrees. As we know, however, correlation does not imply causation.”

    If you took 1,000 kids today who were seniors in high school and separated them into two groups – the 500 most likely to make more money, and the 500 you think will make less money – James’ argument is that college will not change how the results shake out.

    That’s the statistical flaw. Tell me if I’m wrong, James!


    • Anonymous

      Some of the most successful entrepreneurs; Jobs, Gates, Ellison, Zuckerberg; are dropouts who in turn hire the best college graduates to run their companies.

    • Zip22

      I don’t disagree, but Gary North has been writing about this for years.

      • James Altucher

        Gary wrote a very nice review on Amazon for my latest book.

  • Anonymous

    Wilder didn’t write “Little Women.”  Not to be a perfectionist or anything………

    • James Altucher

      Ahh, I confused my “Little..” books. Little House on the Prairie.

  • Anthony

    I understand the argument about not going to higher education however there are a lot of jobs, several extremly important, that require further education. You do not want the bridge you are crossing to be designed by an 18 year old just as much as you wouldnt want an 18 year old performing open heart surgery on you.

    An individual may decide that they do not need to go to college just as an individual may decide that they may quit their job as Altucher advocates, however everyone cannot go down this path as it is not practical. The whole of the western world cannot make its money off the internet and we cannot all be our own boss.

    I love this blog and I think that Altucher may have inspired people to try their own thing, which is excellent, however back in the real world it isnt the Mark Zuckerburgs or the high earners that post here that make the earth spin, its the sheep both uneducated and low paid and highly educated altuistic and comparatively low paid for what they provide the rest of society.

  • Vishal Chowdhary

    >> kids with college degrees make more money. Unfortunately anyone who took statistics >> 101 knows the flaw in this statistic. Can you explain in the comments below?
    i think it’s probably the correlation vs causality problem. Going into college doesn’t guarantee (cause) you making higher $$.

  • Nick Kravitz

    The flaw James is referring to is commonly called a “selection bias.” This means the populations of college-bound and non college-bound people are not randomly sampled from the same population, but that college-bound people are smarter, more motivated, richer etc. and therefore more likely to succeed whether or not they had chosen to go to college. A more accurate statistical test would be to take a group of people eligible and willing to go to college and randomly force half not to go and see the results.

    However, I only know this since I went to college and majored in mathematics (followed up by a masters in statistics).

    • jaltucher


  • Anonymous

    I’ve been told by lawyers that the sign of a good negotiation is that everyone is UNhappy, which is 180 degrees from your statement, James. Anyone got thoughts or comments on this? I’d really like to know. Seems to me the “unhappy” statement would be more accurate, because in a good negotiation, everyone gives up something. That doesn’t generally make people happy.

    • jaltucher

      Lawyers often have the opposite agendas of their unhappy negotiation leads to later litigation and legal fees.

      People on both sides of negotiation have happiness as a goal. A good negotiator ee on one side will get both sides that goal else there is unhappiness later. I know this from much experience in both good negotiations and bad.

  • Anonymous

    You forgot the Intellectual part. It’s right next to the 4 pillars.

    • James Altucher

      Well, I don’t know too much about “intellectualism” so I throw it in with the mental pillar. The key is not to know things but to have a mind that is flexible, creative, and innovative.

  • Rait Ojasaar

    Regarding your goal of imperfection, I encourage you to check this TEDX talk by Brene Brown: “The power of vulnerability”. Brene studies human connection and has some quite interesting findings that you could also find useful.

    Keep up the good blogging! The way you dare to open your kimono in front of your audience is inspiring and sometimes even scary. Brutal honesty 2.0

    • James Altucher

      I enjoyed Brene’s book very much. I’ll check out her TED talk. thanks.

  • Matt Wagner

    I actually boycotted sixth grade for my son. More in a second.

    The cost of college, plus the foregone income, is enormous. This is obvious to people in their forties considering a full-time MBA program. 3 years of lost income plus the cost of the program? Depending on where you live and where you go to school, that could be a half million easily. How long will it take to break even? This is less obvious when you’re 18 since your earning potential seems lower, but you can learn to program in a few months and get a job paying about as much as a college grad doing the same task, plus then you get a minimum 4-year experience head start. Or you can become a nurse in a fraction of the time it takes to become a doctor and start making money right away.
    Also, a lot of people (women mostly) get their degrees, then promptly drop out of the job market to raise families. Is their zero salary and their debt included in the statistic? This is important since “household income” is what matters a few years down the road for most college grads.

    Back to my son. He started school a year early. He was too small and immature for his grade, but he was the top student. We couldn’t hold him back for a lot of obvious reasons. So before sixth grade we moved to Korea. He spent a year in a second-language program, learned to navigate Seoul on the subway, learned out to live in an electronic metropolis, learned food, culture, distinguishing among various Asian languages, etc. We’ll be here for two years, but we’ll put him in seventh grade when we get back. Tell me that missing a year of public education was a loss!

    I think it would be great for 18-year-olds to do something similar to gain experience and perspective before “deciding what they want to be” and jumping into a degree program that they’ll change twice and after which they’ll find employment in an unrelated field.

    College might be right for a lot of people. I would love to redo college if I could actually become educated, but colleges don’t do that anymore. They just provide training. You can get that anywhere, especially if you’re in a tech-related field.

    • Jscott

      Jonar Nader wrote a few chapters about that in his book, How To Lose Friends and Infuriate Your Boss.  

      Good on you for doing that with your kiddo.  Thanks for sharing. It caused me to question areas in my life that I sleep walk through.  

  • Sri M Kanth

    James, India…