Is Your Schooling Interfering with Your Education?

Yesterday (6/21) a reader compared my writing to Mark Twain’s.

He wrote (via Twitter):

“don’t know if it’s the topic of death that brings it outta you, but today’s & the Monk/coffin post are funny. I mean Twain funny.”

Needless to say, I was quite flattered.

Speaking of Twain, here’s one of his quotes that’s always resonated with me:

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”

I love this quote.

I graduated high school near the top of my class (#17 out of 450-ish).

Grade point average over 4.0 — don’t remember the exact number, doesn’t matter now.

And then…

I took a year of general-ed classes at a community college and wrote some articles for their paper, The Rapp Street Journal.

Anticlimactic, I know.

But my parents weren’t going to pay for my college, and I wasn’t going to go into debt for school.

So I took advantage of the only full-ride scholarship I could get.

And I began attending Arapahoe Community College.

In hindsight, it was God’s way of protecting me from myself.

If I had gone to college — mostly party schools around here — I surely would have self-destructed in a matter of semesters.

Fortunately, God had better plans.

I met my wife right as I began my courses at ACC.

It didn’t take me long to realize I’d need to figure out a way to make a living so I could get married.

So I did that.

Quit college after a year.

Got a job at Merrill Lynch working on 401(k) plans and began to climb the corporate ladder. (I was 19 at the time.)

One year later I was making more than incoming college grads… and making as much as some guys who were in their 30s and just starting their families.

I couldn’t believe it.

Was college just a big crock of you know what?

Certainly it’s necessary for some professions (doctors, engineers, etc). But is it appropriate for the average high school graduate? No way, no how.

Here’s the point:

School does NOT equal Education.

They are two very different things.

Do you think the college grad who finally receives his degree and swears he’ll never read another book in his life is actually educated?

If you do, I’ve got bridge to sell you…

Your education is up to you. It’s not up to a school or a teacher or anything else.

A person who is self-educated — by reading books and asking questions and seeking truth — is often FAR more educated than the man or woman who has merely been to college and gotten a four-year degree.

This wasn’t always the case (college was much more rigorous 80 years ago), but it’s practically the rule now in the 21st Century.

Now how did I get here?

Oh, yeah.


Still provoking rants from the grave.

By the way, if you’re the self-educated type, and you’d like to learn more about the art and science of writing sales copy, then I invite you to become a member here:

-Ryan M. Healy

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Ryan Healy

Ryan Healy is a freelance copywriter, list manager, and the author of Speed Writing for Nonfiction Writers. Since 2002, he has worked with scores of clients, including Agora Financial, Lombardi Publishing, and Contrarian Profits. He writes a popular blog about copywriting, advertising, and business growth, has been featured in publications like Feed Front magazine, and has been published on sites like,, and