09:59:42 am on
Friday 23 Jun 2017

When an Idiot Speaks
AJ Robinson

Recently I heard of yet another stupid remark by another moronic member of the republicans. This time out, some joker had the nerve to say that poor people wouldn’t be poor if they just got an education. I don’t know the name of this person, I don’t even want to know his name, for the simple reason that he’s an idiot; I will only say that he is completely wrong.

Now sure, some of the people across this country and even around the world are poor because they lack the skills necessary to get a good paying job. I can tell you with absolute certainty that most people are not like that. I know this for a very simple reason: I am one of the modern poor and I am definitely well educated.

Oh, let’s see. First, I was a straight A student for two out of three years at Florida Southern College. Honor roll for two-plus years, close to a four-point-oh grade point average and I even helped at the Theatre Department. Yeah, that was my real passion; I loved hanging out there.

Then I transferred to an engineering school to get my final degree. You may have heard of it: the Georgia Institute of Technology (GIT). At the time, it was among the top three technical schools in the country; right up there with MIT and Cal Tech. In fact, while I was GIT, some KGB spy defected to the West and brought a list of institutions the Soviets wanted to infiltrate. Georgia Tech was one of the top of their list. My friends and I even joked about how much money it would take for us to sell out all the secrets we knew.

Then, in March of 1987, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and started my career. I had to pass a very long and difficult Engineering Intern Exam, eight full hours of testing. Yet, I did it, and did it in my first try, which is not something many people are able to do.

Then I had to work as an intern for four years before I could even apply to take the Professional Engineer Exam (PEE). Yeah, bet you never knew that engineers had to work as interns like doctors. When I sat for my PEE, it was another grueling eight hours of all essay questions. Yeah, I had to write out all my calculations and results. Most people have to take the test at least two or three times, before they pass it.

I did it on my first try!

I then spent the next twenty years as an engineer. I worked on shopping plazas, airports, roadways and quite a few residential developments. My projects are all over Florida and the United States.

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur
Thursday 17 July 2017 to Sunday 6 August 2017.
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