never a jw: "Where do you live?... I have yet to encounter a JW who is an engineer."
I went to school with four of them; we were all at about the same level at that time in JWdom - newly baptized or soon-to-be baptized. The other three were already in my former area when I moved there - one EE, one CE (civil engineer), and one ChemE (the ChemE went to the same school I and the four others did, but we didn't know him at that time.). I will PM you later and tell you where I live and give you the details. I can't give them in public (yet).
"Aren't you a bit supercilious when speaking of your peers and teachers?"
I don't think so and don't mean to be. I think I’m just speaking the truth about a subject that I’m passonate about and have given a lot of thought to. I think that if you really knew me, you'd know that I regularly sing the praises of some smart people that I know of or know personally. I have no problem doing such. In fact, I have been amazed at some of the great thinking and insight I've seen on this site. I have learned greatly here. But I also have no problem stating what I stated in my post above. I think I am qualified to make such judgments for a number of reasons.
I often hear people who have no experience with higher education naively say things like “Oh, he’s been to college”, as if they’re in awe of him and he’s so brilliant just because he’s “been to college”. That frustrates me. I strongly believe that college does not make a person smart. It can be very beneficial, and I love it and would like to be a perpetual student, but it’s not what some of those who are inexperienced and naïve think it is.
Take my example. As far as I know, college didn’t make me any smarter. I did learn a lot of things like advanced math and physics that I wasn’t exposed to in high school, but I could have learned those things on my own if I had just had the books (In fact, I did a lot of my learning in college just from reading, not from listening to instructors.). I think the benefit of college was that it exposed to me such things which I didn’t know existed before I went. So it wasn’t that it made me smarter; it more so exposed me to things and made me aware of what all there is that I don’t know.
A lot of the engineering (and other) students and even some professors I knew might have been good in certain areas, but weren’t necessarily smart in an overall, well-rounded way. They might be able (or have been able at one time) to do Laplace transforms and Fourier analysis, but are not well-rounded in smarts.
Let me give you an example. One of the JW engineers I mentionied did well in engineering school (I was there with him). He is now an elder. He's pretty good at technical stuff. His wife is the opposite, though. She couldn't figure out what 1/2 of 1/3 is even with a calculator (literally). However, she has far more common sense than he has and is far more level-headed and well-rounded in thinking ability than he is.
I know them well and often see her shaking her head in disgust at him because of his being so dense in many ways. I've tried to reason with him about some of the problems in JW land. The guy just can't catch on. He literally looks at the ground and scratches his head like some kind of moron. However, I have spoken with her, too; she catches on to what I'm saying and I think is secretly doubting.
In my previous post, I wrote “I know people with college degrees who literally shouldn't have been allowed to graduate 8th grade.” I strongly stand behind that. Example: my third grade teacher, Mrs. Jolly. I will never forget this. We were meeting in a basement room of an old, historic school building because there weren't any rooms available at ground level.
It was about 1968. She wrote on the chalkboard "go - went - gone." She then proceeded to tell the class that "go" is present, ""went" is past, and "gone" is future. I can see this clearly in my mind - where I was sitting, etc. I raised my hand and said, "But Mrs. Jolly, how can "gone" be future tense?" Her answer? In an abrupt tone, she said, "I don't know; that's just the way it is." (That is word for word what she said; I'll never forget it.) She was a native English speaker, had graduated from college with a teacher’s certification, and didn’t know the most basic English grammar.
I also had her in the fourth grade - this time for arithmetic. As in the previous example, I can remember what room I was in and exactly where I was sitting. She "taught" the class that (and this is the exact example) 12 divided by 5 is 2.2. I remember vividly knowing she was wrong. It's actually 2 with a remainder of 2; that's not the same as 2.2. It's 2 2/5, or in decimal form, 2.4. She absolutely should not have been let out of high school, much less college. I know many other examples like this.
Concerning professors…and this is just my personal experience; I won’t generalize… oddly, I found that a lot of them at the junior college and the smaller state college I attended were far better teachers and had far better overall, well-rounded intelligence than many of those at the big university. My physics professor and math professors at the state college were wonderful teachers and were really smart in a well-rounded way. The general chemistry professor at the junior college had exceptional overall smarts. Something I loved about him was that he gave guest lectures in English classes and marked off for bad grammar on chemistry tests.
On the other hand, some of the professors I had were just good at their particular disciplines and not smart in an overall way. Consider this example: There was one EE professor who taught circuit analysis and filter theory, among other things, and was the author of the textbook the university used for circuit analysis. He knew EE (evidently), but he was a bumbling idiot and nobody even knew what he was talking about in class. One student said at a large meeting of students and professors, including the head of dept, that they needed to throw his book in the trash and stick him in research (because that's basically all he was good for).
My main point: One’s having a college degree or having been to college does not necessarily mean he’s smart. It seems to me that most people who are smart are more naturally such. College can educate and can enhance, but it does not really make one smart.
Sorry to be so long-winded. It's just that this is one subject that I've given a lot of thought to and that moves me to speak out.