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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Diploma or common sense?

By: Edvard Kadič

Did you know that there is a person in the world who has as many as 145 diplomas? He is VN Parthiban, a 60-year-old professor from India who has more than obviously become a true collector of academic titles. I remembered him a few days ago, when RTV Slovenia reported on the diploma of MP Simonovič, who, according to them, allegedly lied about the diploma obtained from one of Zagreb’s faculties (and who later refuted the media’s claims).

I have been wondering about the value and meaning of swearing to academic titles all my life. Especially because I also left academic circles without a formal conclusion, i.e. without a degree. On the one hand, it was a resistance to the system, and on the other, it was a business opportunity that I did not want to miss at the time. Even today, at least once a year, I raise a glass to that account and smile that my departure to the private business world was one of the better decisions at the time. For me, of course. Not for my parents.

Would my life be easier if I passed those few missing exams and finished formal school? I do not know. But I know it would have been different. It would probably be the way my late father wanted it for me. Finish school, find a job, spend your 40 years in the safest (preferably government) job possible, and retire in peace. More than obvious, I decided otherwise.

Years ago, when an acquaintance, a well-known Slovenian lecturer and a successful businessman, and I were sitting on the embankment of the Ljubljanica near the Philharmonic building having a beer and talking about education, he surprised me when he mentioned that he had not finished his studies either. But he added something that touched me deeply. He said: “The fact that we did not finish college (and did not even buy it, he added with a laugh) is one of the best things that has ever happened to us in our lives. This means you have to be at least twice as good as the others. First of all, in order to survive at all, and then in order to be accepted by all those average people for whom a diploma is really everything they have achieved in life, because they will do everything to trample you with the paper, since they cannot do that with their achievements.”

Edvard Kadič is a publicist, communication expert, specialised in the field of non-verbal communication. He is also the author of several books.


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