Perspectives

Honorary Degree

By Contributing Writer, Terry Pettee

Originally Published on December 30th, 2017

Once a man or woman reaches three score and ten they deserve an honorary degree and all the privilege and respect that goes along with it.

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For you youngsters who lack a senior’s classical education in mathematics, a score is 20 years.  If you do the math, three score and ten is 70 years.

Upon attaining that noble age of distinction, I find those of my generation are gathering in places befitting our peerage.  As seekers of wisdom we congregate where the most skilled practitioners, prognosticators and technicians await to attend to our every need whether it be health, wealth or I.R.S. divination.

As a congregation we gather in the anteroom from which we as individuals are taken into private chambers for consultation.  In other words, we are held in a waiting-room until a doctor, lawyer, accountant or whoever has time to see us.

It seems to me many of these professionals, although knowledgeable and well educated, have a glaring flaw.  They often suffer from T.M.D. which is Time Management Dysfunction.

So, we sit in waiting-rooms reading magazines that date back to our childhood or watching closed circuit tv loops on the virtues of proper foot hygiene.  If you, like me, are a homespun philosopher, you can contemplate the natural life cycle of the waiting room plastic foliage or the origin of dust balls as the minutes pass slowly into hours.

Clocks and watches are apparently no antidote to T.M.D. so I suggest a psychological approach.  The very name, waiting-room, means the room’s purpose is only served if a person is left to wait.  The further implication of a waiting-room is that the longer you wait, the more busily important the person is you are there to see.

Professionals suffering T.M.D. are often as likely to suffer from S.I.P.A. or Self-Important Person Abnormality.  S.I.P.A. is psychological disorder which can easily be remedied.

Instead of calling it the waiting-room a simple change in wording is guaranteed to cure T.M.D. and the accompanying symptoms of S.I.P.A.  Here are just a few examples.

The-soon-to-be-with-you-room or The-very-temporary-room or even The-just-passing-through-room changes the entire purpose of the room.

Just about anything would be better than the implied you-will-be-here-for-as-long-as-it-takes-so-bring-along-a-thick-novel-but-no-sleeping-bags-in-the-waiting-room.

It is unlikely my still small voice will be heard among the waiting-room throngs seeking professional services but I, like most seniors, am not without my resources.  I ponder the waiting-room diplomas and certificates hung on the walls.  For my personal amusement I conjure up my own interpretations of the letters after the names of those poor unfortunate T.M.D and S.I.P.A. sufferers.

Did you know A.A.R.C.F. stands for American Association for Respiratory Care Fellow.  If you use your creative imagination it could just as easily be an acronym for Ardently Active Retired Citizen Floristician.  

What is that you may ask?  

It is a person whose passion is growing flowers.  Put A.A.R.C.F. after your name whenever you complete a form, sign a check or on a Christmas card and I promise people will take notice of you.

I personally lean toward adopting F.I.B.M.S after my name.  In this elite club a member is a Fellow in the Institute of Bio-Medical Science.  In my case it reflects my skill as a Fabricated Information Based and Misinformation Specialist.  To affiliate with this group you need an honorary Master’s Degree in Fibiology, which is the science and art of telling whoppers to the gullible.

I love this one too!

A.B.S.M. stands for the Associate, Biometric Sports Medicine.  If you know a cranky senior, award them the honorary degree of Abundantly Bad Senior Model articulating it as abysmal so there is no doubt about its distinctive qualification and specialty.

This aging process is serious business.  You take it too serious and it only leads to a laundry list of more maladies.  My medical recommendation – get serious about having a sense of humor.  Humor is a non-prescription salve that you smear on aging’s scrapes and bruises guaranteed to remove some of the sting.

Every practitioner needs an anacronym of letters after their name.  I hereby award you the honorary degree of Sr.T.S.T. – which stands for Senior Three Score and Ten.  

Think of your Sr.T.S.T. as a general graduate degree.  Each of you is a specialist in some field or another.  For example, I am a Sr.T.S.T. with a F.I.B.M.S. as my specialty.

You can be imaginative and award yourself your own specialist degree or you can drop me a request in the comment section below along with a brief summary of your specialty and I will award you the appropriate honorary degree.  

You can trust me.

After all, I am a Fabricated Information Based Misinformation Specialist.

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Terry Pettee is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University where his undergraduate study prepared him for a career in secondary education. Prior to attending EMU, he was Editor-In-Chief of the Erie Square Gazette while a student at the St. Clair County Community College. Between his community college and university years he was Marysville Editor of the St. Clair County Independent Press where he was a newspaper reporter and columnist. After a brief teaching stint his life’s journey led him into human resource and industrial relations management; a career spanning four decades. Now retired, Terry writes both Christian value based fiction and non-fiction for his own amusement, which is babble-speak for saying he has only a single published book to his credit.

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