This post is part of SoCS challenge.
I don’t usually respond to prompts and I haven’t ever participated in a weekly challenge of any sort. I saw this on Sandy’s Jar, a blog that I follow but I was just about to skip this, but I like the idea of stream of consciousness writing. I’m not entirely sure that I understand it or know how to do it, but I like the idea. The prompt ‘degree/degrees’ was appropriate today. I had prepared a blog post, that was loosely coupled to the two degrees I have, chemistry and business, but on second thought and after input from my wife, I decided not to post it. It was one of those posts that are like those angry emails that you write but never send. You feel better after writing them, but upon reflection, you realize that you don’t want to go live with that idea.
I noticed that someone else participating in this challenge wrote about two degrees, but the other kind of degrees, the Celsius degrees used to measure temperature. I did a lot of that when I was working toward my degree in chemistry. Some things had to be at certain temperatures in order to proceed. Sometimes, we just had to know what the temperature was throughout our experiment. One analytical procedure that we used would measure, very precisely, the heat given off while burning a specific amount of stuff in an oxygenated container. Degrees, even fractions of degrees were very important.
The degree I was working toward was also very important. Having that degree conferred upon me meant that I was “entitled to enjoy all the rights, honors and privileges pertaining thereto.” When stuff is “pertaining thereto” you got something going for you. Those of us receiving degrees that day had worked hard and we had earned those ‘rights, honors and privileges.”
The degree itself was a bit of an honor but I never enjoyed any of those rights or privileges. I never worked as a chemist. I was prepared to continue my education in chemistry and enter the workforce someday as a chemist but my advisor talked me out of that. He didn’t think that was such a good idea. Kind of like the way my wife didn’t think that other post was a good idea. One of the important things in life is being able to realize when someone is giving you good advice.
I’ve written about degrees before. Not the temperature kind and not the conferred upon me kind, but degrees of separation. I wrote about the way they say people can be connected to other people in six hops. I also wrote about the ways retailers are injecting degrees of separation into your shopping experience by outsourcing delivery and installation to one or more contractors.
Degrees are all around us and my favorite hobby, woodworking, often involves degrees. For instance, in making the 15 frames for my daughter’s senior photography show, I had to cut 120 45° angles. That might sound hard, but the tools and jigs used to make picture frames make those angles pretty easy to cut. I’m pretty sure that the degree that I worked the hardest to understand/earn is the one that I’ve used the least. The degrees that are part of my everyday life are the ones I really don’t think about.