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The Benefits of College (other than making you more likely to get a job)

Discussion in 'Education, Learning, Books' started by Aim_Goal, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. Aim_Goal
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    It's really interesting to see everyone's view on college. Basically one could see best case scenario would be go college and either focus on it and finish it asap or go on it a bit slow while trying to make the most of your time in college but stay away from debt.

    @GoGetter24
    I like the way you detailed how the education system with those 4 components. which I believe are also important components an entrepreneur should have. Problem with society is whenever you speak against the current education a defensive mode is switched on and you get attacked with the accusation that you believe that education is not important. It is but people confuse education with knowledge. Knowledge, in my opinion, is an aspect of education with another being wisdom; and wisdom is the ability to use obtained knowledge in beneficial ways. Colleges focus more on the aspect of knowledge and almost do NOT try nurture wisdom (Unless you count polytechnic universities which apply their engineering skills in college). The way colleges are right now it seems to me it would be best to approach college after obtaining some wisdom to be able to make decisions. BUT if highschool students are being sent to college who are hyped to "Live the party life with no parental shackles on" with very light limits on how much loans they could ask for, then that's just a dead give away colleges don't give a damn about the wisdom aspect...
     
  2. WJK
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    WJK Silver Contributor Speedway Pass

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    You're right. JDs are a dime a dozen these days.

    I did go to law school and I am a Juris Doctor. I never practiced. I was an expert witness and I did litigation support in real estate matters. Now, I do my own legal work for my residential real estate business. I use my education everyday of my life. I don't regret getting the education.

    BUT, I didn't want to be an attorney. I had nightmares about being locked up in an office, located in a high rise tower, waist deep in legal files, and never seeing the sun again. I figured I would develop huge "bug eyes", like a nocturnal animal. Most real estate legal work is all about the contracts -- and not about the actual property. For me the fun was the field work.

    One never knows where they'll end up. I have 4 college degrees and I'm still educating myself. During the last month I learned Word Press and built a new web site, so I can blog about business and real estate. And I'm doing my silly art again to make the blog posts more interesting. I couldn't do all of this IF I didn't have a good education and experience background. Have the tools in your kit never hurts!
     
  3. Richard Greene
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    Richard Greene Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Before College I liked computers. No... I loved computers. I would spend hours with Python and Blender. Just making silly games and doing architectural design. Long story short I went to college to be a programmer. Really can't stand computers now but they are part of the modern age and aren't going anywhere.
    I killed my love by wanting it to be a career and earned 5 figures in debt. After college couldn't find a job anyway, one that paid that is. Got offered a couple of internships and turned them down. Figured out everyone wants to be a programmer and even if I did find a job they don't pay the $200,000 a year right off the bat like I was told in college. I fell for college, thought it would be my ticket out of poverty. Really wish I could go back in time.
    I have learned more from self education since getting out of college and it isn't stressful teaching myself new skills. No-one to breathe down my neck and no-one to subtract points from my grade for a little screw up. Just me being accountable for me.
    You grow more educating yourself anyhow.
    College may work for some but not all.
    I would rather spend $10 on a book that I can take my time with and keep instead of $5,000 for a semester of someone rushing me to get this done!
    Just my experience.
     
  4. WJK
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    You sound unhappy and jaded. Your ticket out of poverty is working smart and applying yourself. -- just as it has always been.
    Welcome to Wenda's Business Blog - WJK Business Buzz Blog
     
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  5. Richard Greene
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    Richard Greene Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    I got out of poverty already. Not rich but not poor. That is just what I thought college was when I first started.
    You are correct, I should have a better attitude. I'm sorry you had to deal with my negativity. Plus the OP asked for benefits and I fire back with being negative. I apologize to the OP as well. I re-read what I said and did not realize how negative and un-helpful I was being. That's not right. Thank you for correcting me and I will be more aware of my words in the future.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  6. Aim_Goal
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    We all have topics that we would flip on without knowing because of struggle related to a topic, so I feel you. But I'm rather amazed of how sincere the apology you made was even when you were not really offending anyone + this is the Internet where nobody would care, just shows the amount of development you've had as a person as well as character at such an age. Pherhaps you could give me some advice since we're a bit close in age and you might relate more; I have a have this issue of laziness, and need to develop self-decipline, I must develope myself to where I could make use of most of my time in a day but I end up wasting most of it due to distractions and laziness. I might have circumstances that could or could have affected me mentaly but I'm sure people have went through worst and came through, yet I still feel held back by whatever it is on my mind to worry about to the point where it makes me lazy.

    Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
     
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  7. Richard Greene
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    Richard Greene Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    I don't want to hurt anyone. It may be just the internet but I care about people I have never even met. I hate to see other people hurt and if I cause suffering whether accidental or intentional I have to own up to it and try to make it right. I'm not anything special but if you think you would value my advice I won't turn you away. Feel free to PM me.
     
  8. Kak
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    Kak Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    If we are talking purely benefits... irregardless of overall value...

    -There is a bit of a polish sometimes to many people that have completed college. Not that it can’t be developed outside of college.

    -You will be taken seriously by people who give a sh*t about college... and I know you might say you shouldn’t care what other people think. Right or not, sometimes this matters in leading.

    -Alumni associations and potential preferred networking.

    -Obviously some learning will be done. I’d say economics, business law, public speaking were things that I learned in college. Not that these can’t be learned outside of college.

    I’m really grasping at straws. College is a very expensive way to learn way less than experiences. It isn’t a very good value, but it is an option for some. I define education very literally, possessing knowledge and wisdom.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  9. • nikita •
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    The experience? I wouldn’t pay thousands a year for an experience though.

    Delaying independence another 4 years? Making your parents not hate you?

    Lol okay in all seriousness, the only benefit would be if you needed a degree to work in a field that NEEDS one and if that career is 100% your passion and life mission.
     
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  10. JScott
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    Here's what I got out of college:

    - I had a ton of fun. Honestly, the best time of my life. I enjoyed my new-found freedom, made friends that I've now had for 20+ years and had the opportunity to experience a freedom I never felt before or after;

    - I learned the value of working for what you want and not giving up. I paid my way through college by working full time and getting some small loans on my own. It wasn't easy and I thought about quitting (or taking breaks) several times. But, I powered through. Whenever I question my ability to do something, I remember the fact that I was able to accomplish a whole lot in a very short period of time strictly based on my sheer will to not give up;

    - I made some life-long friends and colleagues. Because people in college tend to congregate in groups where they have similar interests/goals, I have a number of friends and colleagues I've been close to since college (20 years ago). My three best friends were guys I met in college, and I've started businesses with all three of them;

    - I learned how to write. Probably the most important overarching skill I learned in college was writing. Sure, I could have learned this in high school (I didn't) or after college, though I probably wouldn't have. Due to my second major in Philosophy, I was forced to write...and to write well. This led to a lifelong enjoyment of writing, which has contributed immensely to my career and financial success;

    - I learned critical thinking. I had two majors -- Electrical Engineering and Philosophy -- and both required strong critical thinking skills. In fact, my Philosophy coursework was a lot more focused on critical thinking than my engineering coursework. I credit my ability to think critically and logically to what I learned in college;

    - It helped me to figure out what I enjoyed doing and where I wanted to focus my career. I started college with a different major than I finished with. My exposure to coursework in that first major made me realize that I wouldn't have enjoyed that field -- had I skipped college and attempted to go into that particular field, I likely would have wasted a lot more time figuring out that it wasn't for me;

    - I was forced to focus on rounding out other aspects of education. Required electives pushed me to take courses in film, music, literature, economics and political science. I likely wouldn't have pursued education in those areas had I not been "forced" to, but in retrospect, I'm very glad that I did that coursework. There aren't too many subjects I can't hold a basic conversation about, and I credit much of that to my college elective coursework;

    - Getting my degree allowed me to get a much better job in my field than I would have without the degree;

    - Having my degree has provided me some respect among my peers and managers over the years, which likely helped me to climb the corporate ladder and ultimately led to my financial independence and ability to become a full-time entrepreneur;

    - My undergrad degree allowed me to later pursue an MBA (I completed about 90%), which provided a whole host of separate benefits. I learned accounting, management, tax and a host of other things that have made a huge contribution to my entrepreneurial and investing success. It also helped me learn the jargon of business, which helps when I'm dealing with business-people who are also formally educated;

    - Reading textbooks -- as opposed to learning from "softer" sources, like forums and blogs -- has helped me to parse information more effectively. For example, when I have questions about tax or legal issues, I go to the tax code or the actual statutes. I know a lot of people who can't handle dense information, mostly because they've never been forced to use these types of sources. I prefer them.

    This is just my experience, but in retrospect, I wouldn't change a thing...
     
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  11. Kak
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    This is a good one! Though college didn’t explicitly teach much in the writing department, it did hold me accountable for my writing skills for four years.
     
  12. LuckyPup
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    Hahaha, that decribes my MBA group to a T.
     
  13. Real Deal Denver
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    Well, THIS thread certainly blew me away. What GREAT insight here!

    NEVER apologize, and NEVER let them see you sweat. You have FOUR degrees Wenda. You, of all people, KNOW you can find the answers to any questions you may have. I greatly respect people with a lot of experience - so please, don't sell yourself short in any way!

    THANK YOU for this! My mantra through life, and it has served me well!

    Again - you learn, or if you are really smart, you learn HOW to learn.

    I'm going to be using THIS quite a bit. What a load of wisdom in so few words!

    Could not have said it better. Kudos for stating the truth so well.

    Been there - done that. I can't believe I competed in that arena - butt kissing to get myself one notch above someone else. Now, I have real knowledge. Needless to say, I've far surpassed being in that waste of time environment.

    Ka bam! This is nuclear!

    What makes you and Michael Dell, and Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Bill Gates, and Larry Ellison, and Mark Zuckerberg think you're so smart? These "under-achievers" never even finished college.

    Not to mention the sluff-offs that didn't even finish High School, such as; Dave Thomas and George Eastman and Jimmy Dean and John D Rockefeller Sr. and Kirk Kerkorian (billionaire investor, owner of Mandalay Bay and Mirage Resorts, and MGM movie studio) and one of my favorites - Milton Hershey, founder of Hershey's Chocolate; 4th grade education. Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s, and Richard Branson, billionaire founder of Virgin Records, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Mobile, and more; dropped out of high school at 16. We all know Simon Cowell, TV producer, music judge, American Idol, The X Factor, and Britain’s Got Talent. Yep - another High school dropout. Wolfgang Puck - chef, owner of 16 restaurants and 80 bistros; quit school at the age of 14. And, the man that made the happiest place on Earth - beloved Walt Disney; founder of the Walt Disney Company. Dropped out of high school at 16.

    I guess education can be highly overrated. Or maybe all these slobs just got lucky? Uh, no. These slobs are my HEROES! I can't imagine what the world would be like if these titans of business had finished a degree and taken a mundane job in some corporate setting - to only drift through life. Instead - look at the legacies they have created. Un. Flippin. Believable!

    Imagine what it would have been like to work with Steve Jobs (et al.) for four years. Or for even four months? What kind of person would you be today? I can only imagine.
     
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  14. JScott
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    Keep in mind that Gates and Zuckerberg were smart enough -- and worked hard enough -- to get into Harvard (and start successful businesses there).

    Dell was smart enough to take a high school equivalency exam at age eight.

    Woz was designing computers in high-school, before personal computers even existed.

    Ellison left Illinois Urbana-Champaign (a highly regarded engineering school) because his mother died.

    And Steve Jobs continued taking college courses after dropping out.

    For the .01% of people with the level of intellect and self-motivation that these guys had, it's probably safe to say that college isn't necessary for success.

    I've been part of several meetings with Bill Gates (I've even played poker with him) and once sat in a 16 hour strategy meeting with Steve Ballmer (that was a short one for him). And I spent years working closely with guys who reported to both of them, including one of my mentors.

    It wouldn't have been possible (well, much, much less probable) without college...

    I'm certainly not saying that college is necessary... I'm just pointing out that for every benefit you can point out of not going, there's likely a benefit someone else can point out for going.

    I notice that the anti-college sentiment tends to be pretty strong around here...while I have no issue with that, I'll always make a point to play devil's advocate on this topic.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
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  15. JohnnyAppleseed
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    I'm a minimalist. The day will eventually come that I will move out on my own. I'll eat ramen noodles and sleep on a futon in a dirty studio apartment without air conditioning if necessary. I've done the math and If I only made $30k a year working a blue collar job/sales job while pursuing the fastlane, I would be doing fine on my own living in the Midwest.

    Quite frankly I would rather be on the sidewalk after failing 10 times than to be on the slowlane. For other guys maybe that's not optimal but for me a computer science $50k starting salary is way too comfortable for my tastes. I need to put it all out on the line if I want to make it.

    It's different for everyone but for me personally a decent safety net would be a dream killer and that's a big reason why I'm not going.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
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  16. Real Deal Denver
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    WOW. YOU have a book in you that's dying to get out. GREAT stories.

    What great adventures you must have been a part of. You are in the 1% of the 1%.

    But - I am a sponge for knowledge, and I have to say that College sucked the life out of me. Way too slow. They sell it by the hour. Some of us just don't want to sit through the whole damn thing - let's get to the finale! I tend to read a book in a week or two - not for a whole damn semester. So on I go - without the college credits for what I've learned. Don't care. And, I'm in good company ~

    When - if ever - we learn to allow people to accelerate at their own speed, AND not saddle them with all the crap courses that they'll never EVER use - then we might once again be a contender on the world stage for being a true world leader in technology and innovation. Right now, college is more like one long ass board meeting after another. Been there. You won't every be able to do 20 hours worth of work in 10 hours. You're going to fulfill those full 20 hours. God forbid academia might move at the speed of business. College "is" a business, and that's why they package and parcel it out the way they do. Dollars for diplomas. Some, as you've seen in my earlier post, chose to not play the game that way.
     
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  17. JScott
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    I completely agree. And I think -- for this very reason, among others -- trade schools will become popular again in the coming years.

    I personally loved the pace and content in college, but I also realize that I'm not typical when it comes to this...most people I know would have been happy to get it over with a more quickly.
     
  18. Real Deal Denver
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    You are right.

    I also hope that colleges would streamline their courses to be much more focused and direct, like trade schools are. But I can hope all I want. I don't think that will ever happen. It's a culture. Get a degree - get a good job. Or, so they say (I know a few master degree people that can't get a job, and it's been a long long time that they've been searching).

    And, I dare say, that college might even lose its appeal, as degrees are so commonplace. I see a lot of people diving into a niche business and doing very well at it. Corporate jobs don't have the allure they once had. People are replaceable - there is no loyalty, and very little promotion - the most meaningful promotion is by jumping ship and moving to a different company. I had a corporate job, and although it taught me a lot and matured me, I am glad it's in my past. But I do use lessons I learned there, every day. I will say that I learned the systems they use, which were very effective.

    I have a book shipment coming in today from Amazon. It's like being a kid again at Christmas time! In the next 3-4 weeks, I expect to be immersed, and knowledgeable, about eCommerce, among with one or two other topics. What I will learn now, would take me the better part of a year if I signed up for college courses - and their content would not be nearly as updated as the information that I am getting.

    PS - when you write YOUR book on what you've learned from your journeys, I will be first in line to buy it.
     
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  19. NadiaZ
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    It makes you seem legit. I went to a top 50 and every employer I've had looks at that and likes me more even if I have 0 qualifications for the actual job. One job I wanted required 2 years of childcare experience. Had 0 but I went to a good college, so that helped.

    Also, it's pretty easy to sell to college students and your friends. My friends in college sold random stuff like succulents and delivered food for them or charged $$$ to have parties in their dorms. Just gotta get creative but the $$ is there and college students would pay $$ for food/being their virtual assistant/prepared meals/helping them move in.
     
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  20. JScott
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    You might be my one customer! I've written three books that have been very popular...but mostly because I wasn't the subject matter of the books... :)
     
  21. Real Deal Denver
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    Okay - I have a plan.

    Put your book together. Make it real juicy. Like the nights you spent playing poker with Gates, and he is a lousy poker player and drinks a lot.

    Give me a copy of the book for free.

    Give Gates a copy for free too.

    He'll pay you a mill to not publish.

    Done. Rinse and repeat. You must have similar stories about MJ, right?
     
  22. MJ DeMarco
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    Admin Post
    That's because you're an outlier.

    Not everyone gets to go to Stanford and study subjects that have practical applications in real life, while simultaneously getting to hob-nob with the best of Silicon Valley.

    The anti-college sentiment here is because it is insane to accumulate $150,000 in debt for a philosophy degree from liberal arts college that no employer gives a sh*t about.

    You can't argue college while selectively omitting its cost/benefit relative to the study and institution -- if the baseline for "college" was getting a computer science or an engineering degree from Stanford (even at a reasonable cost), then yea, you'd hear me screaming for college too.

    Just because Bill Gates dropped out of college doesn't mean it's the right decision to drop out (yea, he went to Harvard!) Just because you got extreme value from college doesn't mean it's the right decision (yea, you went to Stanford!)

    The parallels are the same.

    One size never fits all.
     
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  23. JScott
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    Wow. I had to go back and re-read this to make sure you really wrote that and that I wasn't missing anything (maybe I still am)...

    How is you saying the above any different than someone coming on this forum and saying to you:

    "MJ - You're an outlier... Not everyone gets to live in a big mansion and drive a fancy sports car after selling their Internet company for millions of dollars!"

    Doesn't that mentality go against everything this forum stands for? I would think that if someone started a thread that said something like that, you'd send it to the "landfill"...would you not?

    I grew up very poor, paid my way through school, started my career with an entry-level IT job for a government contractor and worked my way up to senior level jobs in Silicon Valley. Certainly I was fortunate to be born a white guy in the United States (I never discount those factors in my success), but other than that, my success was mostly the result of hard work and making good decisions.

    To say that not everyone could do what I did is no different than me saying that not everyone could do what you did. It's only true to the extent that not everyone wants that and not everyone is willing to make the sacrifices and put in the time to get it.

    I'm not discounting the fact that it take a certain level of intellect as well. But, I would contend that anyone who has the intellect to be a successful entrepreneur (do what you did) also has the ability to follow the path that I did.

    Again, perhaps I'm misinterpreting your comment, but it sounded to me like you were implying that I was either lucky or somehow had a competitive advantage over most people who would try to achieve what I did. But, I would contend that I was no luckier (or have any additional competitive advantages) in my endeavors than you were/had in yours...

    You and I got to relatively the same place by taking different paths... Why do you think my path is achievable for fewer people than yours?
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
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  24. MJ DeMarco
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    You are.

    I think when you read "outlier" you flipped and didn't read anything else I wrote.

    Not at all, you should know better.

    You got into Stanford and excelled in a competitive degree field.

    Luck had nothing to do with it.

    It shows you have an outlier aptitude (or at least 1 standard deviation above) for intelligence, hard work, focus, determination, and whole host of other attributes required to make that happen. (And if you paid your own way [or on scholarship] that adds more big feathers in your cap.)

    It's like the NBA -- you got to be pretty damn good to just get into the league, much less excel there.

    Like wise, Bill Gates got into Harvard -- he had to premise the same things.

    For one to say "I should drop out of college because Bill Gates did" is the same logical argument because they're dismissing the quality of your process before you even walked on campus.

    I'd argue you would have succeeded either way -- going to Stanford, a JUCO, or staying home and self-teaching.

    Had I gotten into Stanford (sorry I was too dumb) I probably would be preaching from the rafters too, "GO TO COLLEGE!"

    But for most people, it isn't a choice between an engineering degree at Stanford or staying home...

    It's a choice between a Poly Sci degree at Bowling Green (complete with $150K in debt) or staying home.

    Hope this clarifies.
     
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  25. JScott
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    JScott Platinum Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    That makes more sense... Apologies for assuming the worst... ;)

    (And just to clarify to avoid misleading anyone, I didn't go to Stanford. I went to the University of Maryland for my undergrad and San Jose State for my MBA.)
     
    MJ DeMarco likes this.