Thanks to these partners for their continued involvement in our community and education.
Author credits Panhandle influence
John R. Erickson
Occupation: Rancher, author of "Hank the Cowdog" series Where did you receive your education?
Perryton High School; University of Texas; two years Harvard University Divinity School.
How has your education played a role in your life today?
Everyone gets an education, some in college and some not. I have learned both ways, and it was often painful. College was valuable in that it forced me to do things that I was too lazy to do on my own.
What was your greatest educational challenge and how did you overcome it?
Ignorance and laziness were my main afflictions. They still are, but I overcame them enough to permit UT to give me a diploma. I'm proud to have it, but I have never taken it out of the package it came in.
What is the value of your education?
I was introduced to the great authors and thinkers of Western civilization, but that was only the beginning, not the end. College gives us the tools to expand our education across an entire lifetime, the most important being the skill of reading. A good education should also instill the values of 4,000 years of Judeo-Christian history and wisdom, giving us insight into where we came from, what we're supposed to do here on Earth, and why it matters. Education that can't distinguish between right and wrong seems pointless.
What would you say to someone who's undecided about continuing their education?
Whether you go to college or not, you can educate yourself by reading. If you spend four years attending parties at a university, you're wasting someone's money. If you spent four years in the Amarillo Public Library, reading the great books of Western civilization (including the Bible), you would have made good use of your resources.
When did you make education a priority?
When I was a sophomore in high school I spent several days working in a post yard near Mineral Wells, loading big cedar posts onto semi trucks in the heat of summer. I worked beside a wino who dropped out of school in the eighth grade. That experience increased my interest in college exactly 100 percent.
What made you realize the importance of education in your life?
Did you ever think about quitting? What made you keep going?
I have thought about quitting many worthwhile ventures, for the usual reasons: fear, laziness and ignorance. But I was raised by and around sturdy Panhandle people who considered "quit" a four-letter word. I admire that quality and have tried to absorb it into my own experience.
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