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What's Wrong With Being Ordinary and Mediocre?
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Bricknyce
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To the Self Help crowd: What's wrong with being ordinary and mediocre, considering that 99% of the population is ordinary and mediocre physically and intellectually and our society would devolve into chaos and savagery if all we had were a bunch of ambitious, opportunistic, genius, independent, talented people running around?!

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JLu
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Why would there be chaos and savagery if everyone wanted to better themselves?

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lawsonsamuels
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there seems to be plenty of chaos and savagery with the mediocre and ordinary folks in charge, I think having the masses better themselves could only lead to some improvements.

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polo77j
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Join date: Nov 2005
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What do you consider to be ordinary and mediocre? I personally think a lot of successful people are ordinary and mediocre and quite happy and wouldn't want to change a thing. If that's what happiness is to them then who are you, who am I, who is anyone to say they're wrong?

Remeber life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Well that last part is subjective and every person needs to figure it out for themselves and as long as it doesn't infringe on my right to my pursuit then you go right ahead.

I think ordinary and mediocre people are ambitious about certain and/or specific things/aspects of their lives. That's why the seperation of labor and specialization has made this country great. With competition in each field yields better results forcing people who are ambitious to become better. It just depends on where an individuals passion lies.

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Professor X
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polo77j wrote:
What do you consider to be ordinary and mediocre? I personally think a lot of successful people are ordinary and mediocre and quite happy and wouldn't want to change a thing.



How is someone considered to be "mediocre" also "successful"?

There is no doubt that ignorance is bliss.

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JLu
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Professor X wrote:
polo77j wrote:
What do you consider to be ordinary and mediocre? I personally think a lot of successful people are ordinary and mediocre and quite happy and wouldn't want to change a thing.



How is someone considered to be "mediocre" also "successful"?

I'm curious about this too Polo. Maybe our definitions of "mediocre" are different. When I think "mediocre" or "average" person I think of the shlubs I see around me who are content with merely surviving day to day, never striving for anything above a pass. Examples of "average" people are the majority of gym goers who just kind of show up to the gym and don't accomplish anything, people in my classes who are only there because "I didn't really know what else to do", or the people from that thread a while back about people in WalMart.

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polo77j
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Professor X wrote:
polo77j wrote:
What do you consider to be ordinary and mediocre? I personally think a lot of successful people are ordinary and mediocre and quite happy and wouldn't want to change a thing.



How is someone considered to be "mediocre" also "successful"?

There is no doubt that ignorance is bliss.


Depends on what you consider to be successful and what you consider to be mediocre ... A school teacher who produces bright, insightful young people is successful yet makes a mediocre salary

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SteelyD
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I'll bite-- I don't think "successful" and "mediocre" are mutually exclusive.

I don't understand the premise of the thread. 99% is 'average'? So, only one percent is 'extraordinary'? What about the nebulous "2%" of the wealthiest people crap we always hear about-- does that mean, in terms of wealth, that the lower 1% of that 2% is not 'successful'? After all, they would fall into the 98th percentile. By the OP's description, the 98th percentile bracket of wealth is 'average'. I would say that is 'extraordinary'.

This conversation makes no sense without defining what 'success' and 'failure' are.

Average, ordinary people live average ordinary lives, work their careers, pay off their mortgages, and raise a few kids, and contribute to society. While, not extraordinary, they certainly aren't FAILURES (ie. the opposite of success).

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Professor X
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polo77j wrote:
Professor X wrote:
polo77j wrote:
What do you consider to be ordinary and mediocre? I personally think a lot of successful people are ordinary and mediocre and quite happy and wouldn't want to change a thing.



How is someone considered to be "mediocre" also "successful"?

There is no doubt that ignorance is bliss.


Depends on what you consider to be successful and what you consider to be mediocre ... A school teacher who produces bright, insightful young people is successful yet makes a mediocre salary



How is a school teacher "mediocre"? That takes a college degree.

That is NOT "mediocre".

Mediocre is working at Target at the age of 45 as a cashier....or being 35 years old working the fry-o-lator at Jack In The Box.

Mediocre isn't about income unless we are specifically speaking of income.

Most people content to be mediocre are NOT successful unless they inherited their money or won the lottery.

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Professor X
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SteelyD wrote:
I'll bite-- I don't think "successful" and "mediocre" are mutually exclusive.

I don't understand the premise of the thread. 99% is 'average'? So, only one percent is 'extraordinary'? What about the nebulous "2%" of the wealthiest people crap we always hear about-- does that mean, in terms of wealth, that the lower 1% of that 2% is not 'successful'? After all, they would fall into the 98th percentile. By the OP's description, the 98th percentile bracket of wealth is 'average'. I would say that is 'extraordinary'.

This conversation makes no sense without defining what 'success' and 'failure' are.

Average, ordinary people live average ordinary lives, work their careers, pay off their mortgages, and raise a few kids, and contribute to society. While, not extraordinary, they certainly aren't FAILURES (ie. the opposite of success).




Yes, the discussion does need to be more defined, but "average" is generally what most people can accomplish....which in my opinion might include a basic college degree, a wife and two kids. More than that would not be "average".

Also, "mediocre" usually implies a lack of drive so I wouldn't even give that classification the college degree in most cases.

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pushmepullme
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Didn't get enough hits on FB, eh?

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SteelyD
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Join date: Jun 2007
Location: Maine, USA
Posts: 12057

Professor X wrote:
SteelyD wrote:
I'll bite-- I don't think "successful" and "mediocre" are mutually exclusive.

I don't understand the premise of the thread. 99% is 'average'? So, only one percent is 'extraordinary'? What about the nebulous "2%" of the wealthiest people crap we always hear about-- does that mean, in terms of wealth, that the lower 1% of that 2% is not 'successful'? After all, they would fall into the 98th percentile. By the OP's description, the 98th percentile bracket of wealth is 'average'. I would say that is 'extraordinary'.

This conversation makes no sense without defining what 'success' and 'failure' are.

Average, ordinary people live average ordinary lives, work their careers, pay off their mortgages, and raise a few kids, and contribute to society. While, not extraordinary, they certainly aren't FAILURES (ie. the opposite of success).




Yes, the discussion does need to be more defined, but "average" is generally what most people can accomplish....which in my opinion might include a basic college degree, a wife and two kids. More than that would not be "average".

Also, "mediocre" usually implies a lack of drive so I wouldn't even give that classification the college degree in most cases.


That gets us a little closer.

College as criteria could lead to an interesting discussion as college entrance and requirements are easier than ever. I'd offer that college graduation today is what highschool graduation was 30 or years ago (around the end of the time when someone could just make a great career around working at the local factory).

My masters degree probably isnt worth in the job market what it was 10 years ago.

As more and more people get funnelled into and through college (as it's becoming more of a 'right' than a 'privilege'), the value of that degree becomes less and the 'extraordinariness' of it becomes just a little more... ordinary.

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polo77j
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Join date: Nov 2005
Location: Austria
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Professor X wrote:
polo77j wrote:
Professor X wrote:
polo77j wrote:
What do you consider to be ordinary and mediocre? I personally think a lot of successful people are ordinary and mediocre and quite happy and wouldn't want to change a thing.



How is someone considered to be "mediocre" also "successful"?

There is no doubt that ignorance is bliss.


Depends on what you consider to be successful and what you consider to be mediocre ... A school teacher who produces bright, insightful young people is successful yet makes a mediocre salary



How is a school teacher "mediocre"? That takes a college degree.

That is NOT "mediocre".

Mediocre is working at Target at the age of 45 as a cashier....or being 35 years old working the fry-o-lator at Jack In The Box.

Mediocre isn't about income unless we are specifically speaking of income.

Most people content to be mediocre are NOT successful unless they inherited their money or won the lottery.


Who said teaching was mediocre? I certainly didn't ... I think you need to go back and read what was written instead of reading what you want to read X

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bond james bond
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Join date: Nov 2002
Location: Ontario, CAN
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What is 99.9% of the population anyways.

Also, some of the shop teachers I had in school were terrible. I find it hard to believe they had a degree in anything.

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polo77j
Level 4

Join date: Nov 2005
Location: Austria
Posts: 7666

SteelyD wrote:
Professor X wrote:
SteelyD wrote:
I'll bite-- I don't think "successful" and "mediocre" are mutually exclusive.

I don't understand the premise of the thread. 99% is 'average'? So, only one percent is 'extraordinary'? What about the nebulous "2%" of the wealthiest people crap we always hear about-- does that mean, in terms of wealth, that the lower 1% of that 2% is not 'successful'? After all, they would fall into the 98th percentile. By the OP's description, the 98th percentile bracket of wealth is 'average'. I would say that is 'extraordinary'.

This conversation makes no sense without defining what 'success' and 'failure' are.

Average, ordinary people live average ordinary lives, work their careers, pay off their mortgages, and raise a few kids, and contribute to society. While, not extraordinary, they certainly aren't FAILURES (ie. the opposite of success).




Yes, the discussion does need to be more defined, but "average" is generally what most people can accomplish....which in my opinion might include a basic college degree, a wife and two kids. More than that would not be "average".

Also, "mediocre" usually implies a lack of drive so I wouldn't even give that classification the college degree in most cases.


That gets us a little closer.

College as criteria could lead to an interesting discussion as college entrance and requirements are easier than ever. I'd offer that college graduation today is what highschool graduation was 30 or years ago (around the end of the time when someone could just make a great career around working at the local factory).

My masters degree probably isnt worth in the job market what it was 10 years ago.

As more and more people get funnelled into and through college (as it's becoming more of a 'right' than a 'privilege'), the value of that degree becomes less and the 'extraordinariness' of it becomes just a little more... ordinary.


what's the called ... educational inflation or something like that.

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jj-dude
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Join date: Jul 2006
Location: Illinois, USA
Posts: 800

Bricknyce wrote:
To the Self Help crowd: What's wrong with being ordinary and mediocre, considering that 99% of the population is ordinary and mediocre physically and intellectually and our society would devolve into chaos and savagery if all we had were a bunch of ambitious, opportunistic, genius, independent, talented people running around?!


"99% is ordinary"? If ordinary = average then shouldn't this read "50% is average"? In any case, average doesn't mean average at everything, does it? Most people do something well even if we don't like it. "My, you are a world class polka accordian player?"

Here's the answer. Freedom. Yup. This is the ability to set and follow your own rules to be the best person you can. Maybe the guy who is a slack-off at the gym has a totally awesome life otherwise? Let him live it. Why should he tell you anything? Sure sometimes people have sad stories too but then they need a bit of sympathy, not being chewed out. Privacy is just the right not to have clueless people judge you out of context.

Where did you get the idea that society will end if people were any different? That seems to be quite a stretch,

And as always, I might just be full of shit...

-- jj

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Professor X
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Join date: Oct 2002
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polo77j wrote:
Professor X wrote:
polo77j wrote:
Professor X wrote:
polo77j wrote:
What do you consider to be ordinary and mediocre? I personally think a lot of successful people are ordinary and mediocre and quite happy and wouldn't want to change a thing.



How is someone considered to be "mediocre" also "successful"?

There is no doubt that ignorance is bliss.


Depends on what you consider to be successful and what you consider to be mediocre ... A school teacher who produces bright, insightful young people is successful yet makes a mediocre salary



How is a school teacher "mediocre"? That takes a college degree.

That is NOT "mediocre".

Mediocre is working at Target at the age of 45 as a cashier....or being 35 years old working the fry-o-lator at Jack In The Box.

Mediocre isn't about income unless we are specifically speaking of income.

Most people content to be mediocre are NOT successful unless they inherited their money or won the lottery.


Who said teaching was mediocre? I certainly didn't ... I think you need to go back and read what was written instead of reading what you want to read X



I know what you wrote, but if we are now considering a teacher's salary to be "mediocre", then MOST jobs are "mediocre" unless they earn more than 50K a year.

The definition of mediocre is "Moderate to inferior in quality; ordinary.". I would not use that for a teacher's salary. They get three months off a year and insurance overage. They get paid about as much as can be expected given the perks. I know I can't take 3 months off from work.

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polo77j
Level 4

Join date: Nov 2005
Location: Austria
Posts: 7666

Professor X wrote:
polo77j wrote:
Professor X wrote:
polo77j wrote:
Professor X wrote:
polo77j wrote:
What do you consider to be ordinary and mediocre? I personally think a lot of successful people are ordinary and mediocre and quite happy and wouldn't want to change a thing.



How is someone considered to be "mediocre" also "successful"?

There is no doubt that ignorance is bliss.


Depends on what you consider to be successful and what you consider to be mediocre ... A school teacher who produces bright, insightful young people is successful yet makes a mediocre salary



How is a school teacher "mediocre"? That takes a college degree.

That is NOT "mediocre".

Mediocre is working at Target at the age of 45 as a cashier....or being 35 years old working the fry-o-lator at Jack In The Box.

Mediocre isn't about income unless we are specifically speaking of income.

Most people content to be mediocre are NOT successful unless they inherited their money or won the lottery.


Who said teaching was mediocre? I certainly didn't ... I think you need to go back and read what was written instead of reading what you want to read X



I know what you wrote, but if we are now considering a teacher's salary to be "mediocre", then MOST jobs are "mediocre" unless they earn more than 50K a year.

The definition of mediocre is "Moderate to inferior in quality; ordinary.". I would not use that for a teacher's salary. They get three months off a year and insurance overage. They get paid about as much as can be expected given the perks. I know I can't take 3 months off from work.


fair enough, maybe I should phrase it differently, there are mediocre teachers are there not? there are meidocre dentists are there not? shit you were in the air force God knows there are mediocre airmen and there are successful airmen (prior air force myself) and they got the same pay grade (let's use the E-3 pay grade) ... when I was an E-3 I helped found an airman's club which was much like the top 3 and was VP from it's inception until I left 6 months later ... I was passed over for Below the Zone ... would I be mediocre or successful or both?

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johnconkle
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Join date: Sep 2008
Location: California, USA
Posts: 227

Lots of stuff by lots of people


what's the called ... educational inflation or something like that.



Grade inflation.

I go to UC Santa Cruz (check family guy for a joke making fun of my school) and I have to say, this is real.

Some of the people that go here are dumb beyond belief. Maybe my expectation of the intelligence of a college student was idealized in some way, but man... I don't know what to say.

There seems to be a lack of motivation, and most people do the college equivalent of living paycheck to paycheck. That means that if they have a paper due, they will finish it, but it'll be done all night just before it is due, and usually very little deep thought goes into it.

Can't wait to get the hell out of here.

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Professor X
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Join date: Oct 2002
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polo77j wrote:
Professor X wrote:
polo77j wrote:
Professor X wrote:
polo77j wrote:
Professor X wrote:
polo77j wrote:
What do you consider to be ordinary and mediocre? I personally think a lot of successful people are ordinary and mediocre and quite happy and wouldn't want to change a thing.



How is someone considered to be "mediocre" also "successful"?

There is no doubt that ignorance is bliss.


Depends on what you consider to be successful and what you consider to be mediocre ... A school teacher who produces bright, insightful young people is successful yet makes a mediocre salary



How is a school teacher "mediocre"? That takes a college degree.

That is NOT "mediocre".

Mediocre is working at Target at the age of 45 as a cashier....or being 35 years old working the fry-o-lator at Jack In The Box.

Mediocre isn't about income unless we are specifically speaking of income.

Most people content to be mediocre are NOT successful unless they inherited their money or won the lottery.


Who said teaching was mediocre? I certainly didn't ... I think you need to go back and read what was written instead of reading what you want to read X



I know what you wrote, but if we are now considering a teacher's salary to be "mediocre", then MOST jobs are "mediocre" unless they earn more than 50K a year.

The definition of mediocre is "Moderate to inferior in quality; ordinary.". I would not use that for a teacher's salary. They get three months off a year and insurance overage. They get paid about as much as can be expected given the perks. I know I can't take 3 months off from work.


fair enough, maybe I should phrase it differently, there are mediocre teachers are there not? there are meidocre dentists are there not? shit you were in the air force God knows there are mediocre airmen and there are successful airmen (prior air force myself) and they got the same pay grade (let's use the E-3 pay grade) ... when I was an E-3 I helped found an airman's club which was much like the top 3 and was VP from it's inception until I left 6 months later ... I was passed over for Below the Zone ... would I be mediocre or successful or both?



I wouldn't call the Air Force mediocre at all. They are THE best as far as medical care in the military. I'll argue that till my last breath. Pointing out one or two poor soldiers doesn't change that. But I digress, this topic loses any purpose if you are just going to point out random "failures" in every activity or career.

Once again, mediocre as far as I am concerned when speaking CAREER involves someone who is just making ends meet and isn't working to do more. If you are still working a job by middle age that most people consider to be a good "first job" for a teenager, you would be mediocre as far as career choice.

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countingbeans
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Join date: Oct 2008
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Posts: 20064

johnconkle wrote:
Lots of stuff by lots of people


what's the called ... educational inflation or something like that.



Grade inflation.

I go to UC Santa Cruz (check family guy for a joke making fun of my school) and I have to say, this is real.

Some of the people that go here are dumb beyond belief. Maybe my expectation of the intelligence of a college student was idealized in some way, but man... I don't know what to say.

There seems to be a lack of motivation, and most people do the college equivalent of living paycheck to paycheck. That means that if they have a paper due, they will finish it, but it'll be done all night just before it is due, and usually very little deep thought goes into it.

Can't wait to get the hell out of here.


While unable to truly "keep-up" we have had decent success with interns, who are in their junior year.

This year in-fact we have one kid who is ready to jump in today. Very bright, and proactive. Shit I wish we could keep him full-time now. Who needs the last year of college?

Then again we aren't inviting management, marketing, communications or CJ majors to interview.

Your typical accounting undergrad is a touch "different" than the norm to begin with.

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drewh
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Location: Colorado, USA
Posts: 2002

Well according to stats only 29% of people have a degree.

The Air Force really allows for upward mobility so my dad was average or below average but he toughed it out and is well above average in terms of education and income now, he did however spend 20 plus years enlisted. So in the service I would label a non retiree as average (enlisted).

The same for my grandpa he was a trash man but stuck it out long enough to earn a nice sum of money and retire comfortably (big house, nice cars etc...)

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polo77j
Level 4

Join date: Nov 2005
Location: Austria
Posts: 7666

Professor X wrote:
polo77j wrote:
Professor X wrote:
polo77j wrote:
Professor X wrote:
polo77j wrote:
Professor X wrote:
polo77j wrote:
What do you consider to be ordinary and mediocre? I personally think a lot of successful people are ordinary and mediocre and quite happy and wouldn't want to change a thing.



How is someone considered to be "mediocre" also "successful"?

There is no doubt that ignorance is bliss.


Depends on what you consider to be successful and what you consider to be mediocre ... A school teacher who produces bright, insightful young people is successful yet makes a mediocre salary



How is a school teacher "mediocre"? That takes a college degree.

That is NOT "mediocre".

Mediocre is working at Target at the age of 45 as a cashier....or being 35 years old working the fry-o-lator at Jack In The Box.

Mediocre isn't about income unless we are specifically speaking of income.

Most people content to be mediocre are NOT successful unless they inherited their money or won the lottery.


Who said teaching was mediocre? I certainly didn't ... I think you need to go back and read what was written instead of reading what you want to read X



I know what you wrote, but if we are now considering a teacher's salary to be "mediocre", then MOST jobs are "mediocre" unless they earn more than 50K a year.

The definition of mediocre is "Moderate to inferior in quality; ordinary.". I would not use that for a teacher's salary. They get three months off a year and insurance overage. They get paid about as much as can be expected given the perks. I know I can't take 3 months off from work.


fair enough, maybe I should phrase it differently, there are mediocre teachers are there not? there are meidocre dentists are there not? shit you were in the air force God knows there are mediocre airmen and there are successful airmen (prior air force myself) and they got the same pay grade (let's use the E-3 pay grade) ... when I was an E-3 I helped found an airman's club which was much like the top 3 and was VP from it's inception until I left 6 months later ... I was passed over for Below the Zone ... would I be mediocre or successful or both?



I wouldn't call the Air Force mediocre at all. They are THE best as far as medical care in the military. I'll argue that till my last breath. Pointing out one or two poor soldiers doesn't change that. But I digress, this topic loses any purpose if you are just going to point out random "failures" in every activity or career.

Once again, mediocre as far as I am concerned when speaking CAREER involves someone who is just making ends meet and isn't working to do more. If you are still working a job by middle age that most people consider to be a good "first job" for a teenager, you would be mediocre as far as career choice.


I won't argue w/ you about air force medical, we've both experienced it but I won't agree with you that there aren't mediocre people involved in it. Agree to disagree is fine with me.

If you want to speak career, there are people who have respectable careers who are only going through the motions "making ends meet" (depends on the income but some people have LARGE ends) and there are some who are working to better their profession and careers. Could you consider that first person to be mediocre while the other is far more motivated?

This discussion could go on for days tbh and I know what you're saying and tend to agree as the 40 yr old working a managment position at BK is mediocre.

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goochadamg
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Join date: May 2007
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 1452

Professor X wrote:
How is a school teacher "mediocre"? That takes a college degree.

That is NOT "mediocre".


I think mediocrity is defined in context of an individuals potential; how hard are you working based on how hard you're able to? With that definition, there's plenty of mediocre students I go to school with (maybe I sometimes fit that bill. Ha!). And plenty of mediocre college professors I go to school with.

I've no doubt these mediocre professors I've had the pleasure of being taught by are incredibly bright; some even having multiple PhD degrees. However, they're mediocre teachers simply because they're not applying themselves as much as they could towards teaching. They're half-assing it. That's being mediocre.

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Professor X
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goochadamg wrote:
Professor X wrote:
How is a school teacher "mediocre"? That takes a college degree.

That is NOT "mediocre".


I think mediocrity is defined in context of an individuals potential; how hard are you working based on how hard you're able to? With that definition, there's plenty of mediocre students I go to school with (maybe I sometimes fit that bill. Ha!). And plenty of mediocre college professors I go to school with.

I've no doubt these mediocre professors I've had the pleasure of being taught by are incredibly bright; some even having multiple PhD degrees. However, they're mediocre teachers simply because they're not applying themselves as much as they could towards teaching. They're half-assing it. That's being mediocre.



I don't think you all understand this topic is fucking pointless as long as some of you keep trying to point out how every fucking career or level of education can be mediocre.

That isn't the point.

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