Amidst planning my re-purposing work, I’ve reach a point of great clarity in who I am writing to, at, and about.
The about never changed. The original piece was a profile written about my cousin/employer/small business operator, Jeremy Wilhoit. On a more general level, this speaks of all other persons who have made success for themselves, not by pursuing a college degree, but through their own devices–more specifically, their drive in a specific field of work. For Jeremy, that field was landscaping and construction. My unique relationship, as both employee and blood relative, permitted me to fully explore the intricacies of his path to success. That is, being his only employee (and working upwards of 50-hour weeks from April to September), we worked side-by-side and shared a great deal of personal discourse and being blood relatives added a great degree of intimacy and, thereby, honesty to that discourse.
I’m writing to the future proletariat: the black-knuckled, working class. My argument stands to help those who would be better off (financially and mentally) going straight to work (public or private), community college, or military service. The trade-offs between attending 4-year college and not aren’t as one-sided as old school university proponents make it seem. University education is both more expensive and less rewarding than ever before. On the other hand, four years of full time work (even at $10/hour) is a staggering investment. This is the backbone for my argument and Jeremy’s story is the vessel for that argument. The Jeremy narrative, rather than being dissected for the intellectuals, ought to serve as a working (pun heavily intended) example for those like Jeremy–discouraged by the negative trade-offs associated with college, but willing to pick a field fit for them and work to no end.
Originally, I wrote to the intelligentsia: the well-off, college-educated, 6-figure income class. That doesn’t really make sense, though, because my argument stands to help those who aren’t cut out for college in the first place. I would like to modify my discourse so that I’m writing at the college-educated–not everyone with a degree, but certainly those who propagate the antiquated siren that “everyone ought to go to college.” I still want my original audience to be weary of my words; however, this time around, the words are not meant for them, though they can certainly follow. A manifesto for blue-collar-work-driven persons does nothing for the white-collar man, but it might put him in his place if he wants to protest that every young person is wasting his life if he doesn’t attend college.