Jenna Fischer: ‘My parents saw college as personal development’

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Jenna Fischer, best known for Pam Beesly-Halpert from the TV show The Office, is featured in the January Issue of Good Housekeeping.  If you are featured in an issue of Good Housekeeping, do you automatically get the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval? If so, I would totally put that on my CV. I enjoy Jenna; she’s consistently funny in her roles and according to her Instagram, she really gets a kick out of life.  She leads an ordinary existence by Hollywood standards so she isn’t really a headline grabber. Jenna is returning to television on Sky 1 in the dark comedy series You, Me and the Apocalypse, which is about a meteor hurling towards earth and all these disparate souls who end up in a bunker together, watching the end of the world on TV; the story is how they all got there.

As for the photo shoot – boots, coats/jacket and hat pr0n, oh yes. I love the blue hat Jenna claims to have stolen; I would’ve stolen it too. Most of the outfits are a collection of smart basics assembled handsomely and then BAM! Smokin’ boots to finish them off. By the way, the fur vest is faux, I already checked so you can like it if you want to.

On her new show You, Me and the Apocalypse: “I play a librarian who has been imprisoned wrongly. I’ve taken the fall for my son who’s a computer hacker. When we find out that the end of the world is coming, there’s a huge prison riot and I break out of prison with Megan Mullally, who is a career criminal. We travel across the United States Thelma and Louise-style trying to get home to our families before the world ends.”

On the best part of life as a mom: “The best part about being a mother is having a human National Geographic nature documentary happening in your house at all times. I just love observing the growth and development of human beings through the different stages.”

On the best advice she got from her parents—to go to college before pursuing acting: “They sat me down and they said, “You can absolutely go to Los Angeles, but we want you to go to college, and it’s not just to get the degree, but because we believe there is a lot of personal development that happens in those years, and it’s best to do that outside of Hollywood and outside of the spotlight,” and they couldn’t have been more right.”

[From Good Housekeeping]

I love that quote about her home being National Geographic. I get that she means it is fascinating to watch her kids evolve but I picture my home with the Progeny lying on the countertops, licking their lips, just waiting for The Mister or myself to start limping.

Jenna did, in fact, go to college and holds a degree in theatrical arts and a minor in journalism. I want to come down strong in favor of her parents’ advice but I am aware of how incredibly difficult attending college can be in this country and I don’t want to be insensitive to those who cannot.  I think any college experience is useful, whether it is community college, trade school or public/private universities. Of course, if you have no desire to go, definitely save your money.

Jenna has a moment in the article when she fangirls over Megan Mullally even after working with her for six months. I have worked with Megan, albeit in a limited capacity, and she really is absolutely lovely.

I, too, am having a bit of a fangirl moment over the cast You, Me and the Apocalypse. Besides Jenna and Megan, Rob Lowe, Mathew Baynton, Nick Offerman, Pauline Quirke, Joel Fry – DAME DIANA RIGG! If I have to watch the end of the world on TV in a bunker, I want it to be next to Emma Peel.

That's a wrap! I stole the hat. Don't tell #goodhousekeeping #homefordinner

A photo posted by Jenna Fischer (@msjennafischer) on

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photos credit: Brigitte Sire/Good Housekeeping

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62 Responses to “Jenna Fischer: ‘My parents saw college as personal development’”

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  1. Falula says:

    I want to adopt this entire wardrobe and look this put together but normal every day.

    I completely agree with your comments about college. It sounds like their logic could be applied to a variety of different post-high school choices, and the message is more about doing something more wholly fulfilling before you dive off the deep end in Hollywood. I also think it’s cute that it implies that her parents thought she’d immediately be a superstar, like “imagine the paparazzi attention you’ll have, how embarrassing” before she’s ever even had a role.

  2. Love Jenna says:

    @hecate Did you go to college? Don’t you think it opens doors for you? I’m just curious. I’m on the fence about pushing my kid to do it. I think it’s important because I see how that degree gets people jobs but I don’t know if it’s truly necessary

    • Goats on the Roof says:

      I’m not Hecate, but I’ll chime in. :)

      I think it’s true that college isn’t for everyone and there are certainly careers where college may not be necessary. Does your son have a profession in mind? I think what he wants to do (or *thinks* he wants to do, as that can change with time) will determine whether college is truly necessary. Pharmacist? Teacher? He’ll need college. Photographer? Maybe he could apprentice and learn on his own.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      You didn’t ask me, but I would say to push them if you can afford it, unless they really hate school and want to be in a certain trade where they could just get training for that. A college degree is very common now and not having one would hold them back from advancement in many careers. It’s so common that most people need an advanced degree to qualify for promotion. My sil is a teacher, and she had to get her master’s degree to qualify for tenure. Having the degree will never hurt them, and it will also give them four more years to mature and grow, with exposure to different kinds of people and ideas before they hit the real world. As Hecate said, I don’t mean to imply that you’re worthless without a degree or can’t make it without one, but you would be at an advantage with one in many ways if you can swing it.

    • Joy says:

      Here’s my thought. It can’t hurt to have that degree on the wall, whereas it can hurt NOT to have it. As an example, a good friend of mine got a job in the tech business. Moved on up without a degree because hey who needs one in this new frontier of casual Friday everyday tech right? Had a great job and then boom it was gone. He had no degree to fall back on, and now he’s miserable working at a grocery store barely surviving. I work for the government and there’s lots a of room to move up WITH a degree. Hell they don’t even care what it is half the time, they just want you to have it. Plus college is where I met some of my best friends and had my best memories, so for what’s it worth, I would say yes for earning potential and life experiences.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        Damn, so sorry for your friend.

      • Ughhhhhh says:

        I’m very pro college but a college degree can absolutely hurt if you go into too much debt for it. Not all degrees lead to jobs.

      • Mgsota says:

        You are right Joy. Employers don’t even care what the degree is in as long as you have one. Obviously not for certain professions like a doctor, but in the business world, it doesn’t seem to matter.

        I for one have let my daughter know that college IS going to be the next step. Maybe a degree won’t help her but it surely won’t hurt and it’s an amazing opportunity in so many ways. Which is why a college education should be afforded to everyone who wants it!

      • BabyJane says:

        A college degree proves, more than anything, that you’ll stick with something for at least four years (givey-takey) and see it through, even though it SUCKS and most of it is unnecessary bullshit and you’d rather be doing something else at 8am most days. Employers expect the same. The degree is XP in sacrifice.

    • Cran says:

      Dont push your child into college. I am from a family where college is a natural next step. My parents always represented college in terms of having a solid foundation on which to build. It can be a great experience. It is also not the experience for everyone. If you live near a college, university or community college you can expose your child by attending various events held at the institutions. I was fortunate enough to grow up near the Universty of Michigan and my mom worked there. No question there are benefits I received just by exposure.

      You can also encourage your child to discuss college with their school counselor. Maybe it is better for your child to do a gap year experience. Travel or work or volunteer. My thinking is promote the idea of growth rather than necessarily COLLEGE. I said it earlier college is not for everyone and that’s okay. We all have to figure out which way to go. Life is a map of many roads not only one.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      I also have to chime in with, “Go if you can go.”

      I just think in this day and age even with how some careers progress that you’ll always be better off with a degree. Much like how many minimum wage jobs require at the most a HS degree, many higher paying more technical jobs require a college degree.

      It’s something that if you have will make your life easier as opposed to trying to play catch up and struggling with not being hired or promoted because you lack it.

    • Erinn says:

      I got pushed. I dropped out two years later because it wasn’t really what I wanted to be doing, I was diagnosed with clinical depression, and was super homesick. I protested the whole summer before leaving – but I was the kind of kid who wanted to please everyone, so I went.

      So, having chosen to go to the most expensive school in the province, because it’s where my family went, and what I was ‘supposed’ to do, and then two years in community college doing what I actually wanted to do, I am sitting on 37k of debt after being in repayment for 3 years. 37k is nothing compared to what it costs to get a full degree and a graduate degree – but $400+ a month in payments really makes it hard when you’re paying a mortgage and working a job that pays only 13.50/hour plus benefits. And while it was nice that I got my graduate bonus for two years (they promised 5 years of reimbursement for those who stayed in the province) the liberal government promptly nixed that, and instead of grandfathering those who had already started earning it, they decided to make the provincial loans interest free – which would have been great if it hadn’t been most peoples’ smallest loan, and the one I’d almost finished interest payments to.

      For the love of whatever diety you believe/don’t believe in, do not PUSH your child to make such a financial commitment if they’re not ready to. Tell them you expect them to make SOMETHING of their life, and to be happy and not sell themselves short. College only opens doors depending on your field, and depending on what they’re interested in, there are other, smarter ways to make connections.

      • Goats on the Roof says:

        Thanks for sharing this, Erinn. The enormous cost of college is really what holds me back from saying, “GO! COLLEGE FOR ALL!” My husband and I are both in professions where minimum entry is a bachelor’s plus 2-3 years of additional schooling. People own homes–nice homes–worth less than our joint student loan burden. It’s worked out in that we both have found jobs we love that pay well, but that isn’t the case for every graduate sitting on 100K-plus worth of student loans. If a kid is truly unsure about college or want to pursue a profession where college isn’t a requirement, I don’t think school should be forced on them. A college education is simply too expensive for someone who’s not sure it’s what they want.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I’m so sorry about that, Erinn. My parents pushed and pushed my younger brother to go to college and he just wasn’t ready. He tried five different colleges and kept flunking out. Finally, they let him just work for a few years and then he went back, paid for it himself (it was not anywhere near as expensive as it is now) and made straight As. College is not for everyone at every phase of their life. His daughter wanted to go beauty school rather than college, and he let her. She’s out now and she loves it.

    • wolfie says:

      I didn’t graduate from high school, but was allowed to enter college when was was 17 – way before that was a standard practice for the gifted and talented. Because I had the extra time, I thought that college was a smorgasbord for anything I wanted to learn about. My first “major” was philosophy (three years), and I took my sweet time before getting serious about working in an concrete field. After finding that many of my classroom “choices” had been in the social sciences, it was easy to buckle down for the last two years and get a degree. At 42, after my third divorce, I decided I wanted to learn how to define myself outside of the Eve myth of our Western Civilization, and spent two years in a Woman’s Studies program. Interacting with the material was so great for me – and I decided to stop getting married. I went back again to get a Master’s in Diversity, for job security, and because I love diversity. I also attended a theological seminary for three years in a Master’s program for men pastors – I was the first woman allowed in and creamed them all! I used college as a place to develop myself – not really for career opportunities, although they came. I’ve been a a life-long learner because ideas are where it’s at for me! I’m older, but I think if I were young again (and in possession of what I’ve already learned), I would be a scientist! I didn’t have money to do all this – grants put me through these fruitful good times. Scholarship has fulfilled me. I learned quite young that the answers to my most difficult problems could be found in academia. I still go the the University to peruse the books professor’s are using each year, to see if there is anything that interests me in book form – I must be extremely curious. College educated people have the liberal arts education necessary to navigate our culture intelligently, IMO.

    • vauvert says:

      This is too complicated a decision to fully cover here but several important points come to mind, if you don’t mind my throwing a few cents in:

      First of all, if you have to “push” someone, consider their personality. Is pushing going to make them work harder, perform better? Or is it likely to result in depression or fighting back, making minimal effort and ultimately looking for ways to fail but in a way they could claim they tried? What does your child want out of life?

      Second, not all kids mature at the same rate. Some simply do not have a clue what they want to do in life yet have certain expectations regarding their lifestyle. Hopefully they can see the connection between the things they want to accomplish/own/experience and the education required to generate the income they need to support such things. (My kid is a tween but he understands already that all the fine things he enjoys, from travel to restaurants to electronics are pricey; whether he becomes a contractor or a surgeon to earn them is up to him, but he is realistic about having to work very hard at something to get there. Some professions pay better than others. Simple truths.)

      Also, there are some careers that, no matter how financially rewarding, are simply not for some people. If you hate blood and the smell of hospitals, don’t be a doctor. If you are afraid of heights, you can’t install roofs, and so on. If you don’t have a head of renumbers, accounting is probably not for you, Trying to go into something you dislike simply because “it’s good money” makes no sense. Same thing for things you have zero aptitude for. It’s a lot harder to swim upstream. Hopefully your child knows what he/she is good at, and enjoys, and what s/he could pursue successfully.

      That being said – I am a huge believer in higher education and as multiple posters have already mentioned, there are certain careers for which a university degree is critical, some for which a Masters is a must, others where you need a PhD to practice. Alternatively, there are careers where a college degree suffices (Canadian here so for us the two are vastly different propositions and also cost way less than in the US unless you talk about advanced degrees. My two years of MBA combined with living expenses came close to $100K.)

      The debt can be managed with good financial planning, and is certainly easier to manage if you do certain things such as living at home if possible (I know, I am told all the time that the “true” college experience requires living and partying on campus, but I disagree. I would rather save money.) It is also easier to carry the debt when you graduate in your early twenties and hopefully have years to pay it off before you start a family and add a mortgage and children to the mix, rather than going around aimlessly in low paying jobs while you are young and then trying to do it all later in life.

      Final bit of hard earned wisdom: forget career counsellors, useless process mostly. Have your child look at the life and career of someone whom s/he admires and would like to emulate. Ask for their advice. Ask for a brief informal interview with a person working in a career/position of interest and learn how to get there. Best of luck!

      • LAK says:

        Chiming in…….

        What Vauvert said.

        I also benefited from free university for a first degree, post has to be paid for. So fees are a consideration.

        Mine was a smorgasbord of experiences. My parents pushed me to study the wrong thing, but I always wanted to go to university and even studying the wrong thing, I ended up at my first choice university. No regrets. I’ve since made up for studying the wrong thing in my personal interests, research and adult living.

        Despite my experiences growing up, with parents that travelled worldwide leading to having to live in different countries and experience different cultures, I was very sheltered. University was a very good buffer in personal development vs having to deal with real life experience. I’m not sure that I would have coped if i’d had to go from high school and straight into the adult world of living. It gave me the space to figure out what I wanted to do with my life as well as the emotional maturity to deal with life.

        And i’m so grateful for all my university experiences that i’m a big believer in it, even if you come out the other side with debt because what you get out of it is priceless.

    • lucy2 says:

      Lots of good advice here.
      My chosen profession required a degree, so I was going, no question, but there are many careers that don’t require it.
      I would say if your kid is resistant, don’t push – lots of kids don’t know what they want to do yet, and college can be a very expensive and high pressure place to figure that out. Maybe start smaller, a couple of courses at a community college – time to figure out their interests, and get some credits out of the way for less money.
      It couldn’t hurt to apply to some schools and see how it goes, and go visit some campuses if possible.

    • claire says:

      I think it’s huge for opening your mind, learning valuable schools and all that other stuff. But it’s also huge for getting into major debt and it really sucks being saddled with that the rest of your life. I went straight from highschool to college and at 17, I thought I knew what I wanted and declared a major. Within just a few years of graduation, when I was really out there living as an adult and had matured so much and traveled, I was already regretting that decision. And that’s my biggest takeaway for people thinking about college: do some traveling before college if you can, or some volunteering in different areas and really wait a little while before you declare your major. Once you’ve grown up a bit more, you might have a more clear idea of what you want to study. Of course, this has exceptions. There are people who have known their whole life what their calling was, but, as a teenager, I just didn’t know enough to make that huge decision, personally.

    • Hecate says:

      Hello @Love Jenna – I apologize for the delay, we have a bit of a situation in LA currently.

      First of all, everyone here has given great insight. I did go to college and it was expected myself and my siblings would (not even pushed, simply no alternative.) I hold a BA and am the least educated in my family. I loved college and would definitely counsel the Progeny to go for all the reasons Jenna’s parents gave. The personal development changed my life as much as my degree has.

      Having said that, I crashed and burned my junior year of school and dropped out. After a seven year “break” I went back, paying for it myself this time, and finished. It was the best decision I have ever made. I would say maybe not pushing your kids into school but encouraging it if it is feasible. In addition, be of counsel if they falter in school, allowing them to pause their education if they need to; sometimes we need time to get it right.

      • Love Jenna says:

        Thanks everyone for your comments. So much good advice. I went to community college and see the difference in not having an actual degree. I have seen people move up or enter a field regardless of their specialty, and I do feel a degree is important. I have yet to find my passion and so I feel even community college was a waste in some ways for the debt I incurred. Because of this I feel strongly about helping identify her passion and then hopefully it’s not so much a push but a nudge 😉 Thanks for all your words.

    • Evie says:

      As a person who just graduated a two years ago, and comes from a “college is mandatory” household, I would say if you guys can afford it/don’t mind taking on loans, then by all means college is great.

      It gives you a first taste of being an adult (even if you’re still living at home). There’s a bunch of social groups which can lead you to having other wonderful experiences as well (College is where I found out I really loved running, so I joined a group who went running all the time). So in that aspect, of expanding yourself as a person, college is wonderful. I have so many amazing memories that I would not have had the courage to make otherwise.

      In terms of education, that depends where you go. The school I attended was much more focused on obtaining a higher profile with their research, so they had most of the professors conducting research and not teaching classes. For my major (which I chose because I LOVED the subject) all of my classes were taught by student teachers and grad students. I did have one professor teach a class I attended, but it was because I begged my advisor to get me into her class (and it wasn’t even part of my degree track). Academically I was unimpressed.

      In terms of better chances for getting a career, it really really depends on the career your child wants. If you want to be something that you cannot be without that degree (doctor, nurse, engineer, etc…) a degree can be useless. I’ve interviewed with several companies thinking my degree would help me get in, only to lose the jobs to other people who not only didn’t have a degree in that field, they didn’t even attend college at all. And that is including positions I applied for at my alma mater. My friend (who has no degree and a criminal record) and I applied for the same job and he got it because he knew someone in the department. Most jobs seem to rely more on networking rather than a degree. (Which makes the case for fraternities/sororities as a doorway to better job opportunities)

      If you’re looking for something to get you a career, I would suggest a trade school. They make amazing money and the job security is incredible. For the personal development college was wonderful, but many new grads leave their university only to find they’re wildly in debt and there are no jobs in their fields. Most of my friends came out with student loan debt between 50-70k, and they are working several minimum wage jobs just to survive.

      • Elian says:

        This is so true! My husband is in a blue collar trade and has worked his way up to the point where he is no longer doing the bulk of the physically taxing work. He now manages and directs others and runs the projects. He makes great money, no loans to pay off, and his skillset is valuable everywhere.

  3. cannibell says:

    She sounds lovely and grounded and a complete +1 on Diana Rigg. I would totally choose to have Emma in my bunker.

    • antipodean says:

      If this comedy has Pauline Quirke (Birds of a Feather) and Dame Diana in it, it is certainly worth a look. And, Megan Mullaly, Thelma and Louise style, sounds promising. I have loved her since Will and Grace.

  4. Hudson Girl says:

    I’m in love with her parents’ attitude: They made her feel like there would be no doubt the spotlight would be hers when she wanted it. So supportive and so smart. They made sure she had something to fall back on, and also the maturity to handle the fame should that extremely rare event occur.

  5. OSTONE says:

    I love Jenna and I love the office! Miss the show! And college while is not fundamental, it unfortunately opens many, many doors. My husband and I are in our late 20s, we took a break from college to get married, we went back this year because we work in IT and are pretty knowledgeable, however to be promoted in our field, we need a degree, and the funniest thing is that the majority of coworkers who have a degree are not nearly as technical as we are. That piece of paper is costing us sweat, blood, tears and many, many sleepless nights.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Yeah that is the ugly part. I recall in HS having a teacher who said “In my day if you went to college you were ahead of the pack, so everyone went, now that everyone’s going it’s the people who have masters who are ahead of the pack and believe me when I say jobs will look and see if you have your ‘little piece of paper’”

      It kinda stuck but she made it clear it didn’t mean you were better or more experienced than the person without it, just that that was the new standard and how we’d be measured.

  6. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I’ve always liked her. How lucky she was to have such good parents. I don’t like the clothes because I feel like I wore them already in the 80s, but that’s what happens when you get older.

    • wolfie says:

      I’m 60 and still enjoy dressing fashionably – in leggings even! I remember trying to understand what getting older meant for me – was it to sit down and cripple myself by doing so? – No! Is it to try to look young forever – who cares! I’ve taken good care of my body, and so I feel good. Yet, I am now an “elder”and a “crone” and so I’m now devoting my time and study to those who can teach me how to navigate this passage to make this time in my life full and productive for me. I honestly believe that once you quit striving, life will pass you by, especially with TV and watching other people’s lives on it – which is not my one and only life!

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Oh, I love dressing well and I hope fashionably, too. I wear leggings and booties and things that seem new and modern and interesting to me. I just meant that fashion comes back around – I’ve done the shirt dress with the fake fur vest and the boots and the belt – it’s just repetitious and boring to me. Younger people haven’t worn or seen it, so they might want to wear it, and that’s fine. I just think she looks very Talbots or something. I didn’t mean that now that I’m older, I don’t care what I wear.
        I agree that this stage of life requires some thought to make it meaningful and happy, and it’s good to pay attention to those who do it well and those who don’t.

    • Melangie says:

      Totally agree- I’ve had all those outfits too. I adhere to the old rule that says if you have worn a trend once in your life, really consider doing it again- for example, a miniskirt or a coat with fringe. Having said that, I definitely wear booties, straight jeans, leggings, too
      I find that when shopping now, I get almost confused about what to buy. So many things feel too young or too matronly. At 58, I guess I am matronly. Why don’t dresses have sleeves anymore?? Waaah!

  7. The Eternal Side-Eye says:

    One of the absolutely best things I’ve done in my life is go to college and I say that knowing what’s up with my student loans and etc.

    I truly believe there’s a point in education where you stop having knowledge vomited into your brain and you actually start being challenged to come up with YOUR answer, YOUR hypothesis, YOUR perception. Not just come up with it but explain and defend it. Furthermore where the knowledge you do learn is explained more thoroughly, not just “Because it is.” but actually doing the experiments and studying the evidence that shows it.

    I truly believe it makes you a person who’s able to weigh in and examine things with a clear and logical mind. It’s the point in life when it stops being repetition and you start being challenged to figure out who you are as an adult when your Mother and Father aren’t there to answer for you.

    It’s not to say you can’t gain experience by not going to college, and there’s not a ridiculous financial burden forced upon our kids, but honestly I’ll always push my kids to college. I think financially things will improve relatively soon.

  8. Sara says:

    I like to think that you can and must learn all the time; I try to pick a new language and take classes every two years; my father who was heavily handicapped would watch university lectures on his Ipad etc. The great thing is to want to learn. If you don’t enjoy that process, college shouldn’t be mandatory. If you want to learn, you’ll figure out a way.

  9. Rhiley says:

    Pam Beesly is one of the greatest characters ever written. Jenna Fisher also comes across as an extremely self aware, healthy, well balanced woman. Her feelings may be different now, but she once said that she really didn’t want The Office to end when it did. She knew it was a good gig, it paid well, and she genuinely enjoyed going to the set. At first, reading about this new shoe I was kind of meh, but the cast is great so it may be worth trying to find. I wish it was a Netflix show, though. I have no idea what Sky 1 is.

  10. poppy says:

    ITA with her parents but not necessarily college. fame does a number on those that didn’t mature before it happens. it makes sense to have experiences pre-fame, especially as an actor.

  11. deezee says:

    The clothes in these shots are great. Kudos to the stylist(s) that put it all together.

    And funny, I had a conversation about education this morning with some colleagues and we were discussing how, to many of us growing up in Ontario, not going to university was out of the question. Even college is frowned upon here for many. (In Canada, college and university are very different).
    We commented how in the States, graduating high school seems to be treated like a big deal. Here, it isn’t. Its just that part of education on your way to your undergrad. And your undergrad is what you do to get your Masters because you aren’t getting entry level positions anymore without a Masters.

  12. Betsy says:

    Lady Holliday and Megan Mullally? Yay!

    And I realize Google is there just waiting to answer my queries, but what is Sky 1?

    • MrsBPitt says:

      I would watch ANYTHING with Megan Mullally!!!! Karen on Will and Grace was one of the funniest character ever written!!!! And Megan made that character even funnier!!!! Love her!!!

  13. Sixer says:

    Has You, Me and the Apocalypse not screened anywhere stateside yet? I wasn’t blown away by the trailers but the Sixlets wanted to watch it, so we did. It really is an adorable, crazy, original little show. I’d recommend it. Paterson Joseph stole it for me.

  14. Sue Ellen says:

    Post-secondary education was the only option in our house. I am glad I went. The three degrees are proof of my love to learn in an academic setting. I swung degree 1 with parental assistance, scholarships and summer jobs. The second was funded. The third was a student loan for law school. That said, I live in Canada where school is significantly cheaper. My brother graduates next year and starts at 100K plus. So for our family, school has been worth it.

    A co-worker of mine did his degree in his 50s and felt it was well worth it. He felt education taught him to think differently.

  15. Pondering thoughts says:

    The United States is the richest country in the world and probably the most developed one (in science/technology). Nevertheless the USA have serious inner political problems as listed below.

    Womens’ doctors get killed for performing perfectly legal (late term) abortions.
    Women don’t get maternity leave but their unborn child probably would (fetus as person).
    The workers’ rights (employment rights) as codified by the ILO have never been turned into law.
    You can’t sue violent policemen and killer cops walk free.
    Hardly any gun regulation laws which is why:
    … Cops shoot to kill and don’t shoot to stop (aiming to shoot without killing).
    Many people can’t go to college / uni. There is no alternative for post high school education.
    For decades many people didn’t have a health insurance or not an adequate one. Despite Obamacare many people still don’t get adequate health treatments.
    Environmental legislation is hardly existant and pollution happens frequently.

    The very same problems have been solved in most western countries DECADES AGO.
    US americans should be a bit more realistic about the state of their own country and the goals of the Tea Party, Donald Trump, the GOP and the Ko_ch brot_hers and likewise.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      hello, sunshine.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      I do think you have a valuable point. I know some feelings will be hurt but sometimes the things I hear from full grown adults with no shame makes me shudder for their lack of education.

      We have a school system that fails so many of our people, both young and old, and going through life ignorant is just a guarantee that you will be manipulated and controlled.

      This doesn’t have to do with a job. This is purely the ability to willingly learn new things, examine good evidence, make logical conclusions and be able to explain. Now we have idiots who go, “No life-saving vaccines because they cause autism!” leading to a sharp increase in disease we almost eradicated decades ago.

      We truly need a smarter population to survive.

  16. Lama Bean says:

    Really Hecate??? Progeny spread across the countertop lying in wait? Comedy gold. Thanks for making my morning.

  17. Kitten says:

    Eh. I’m of two minds on this issue. Professionally-speaking, I don’t see college as inherently valuable anymore in the sense that it doesn’t give you an extra “edge” over most people, as most people these days attend college. Having a college degree is like having a high school diploma these days. If I ever had kids, I’d suggest trade school so they can learn a particular skill set because electricians, plumbers, etc are always in-demand.

    That being said, I agree completely that there’s an invaluable social aspect that comes with a college education. I still maintain that college was by far the most fun I’ve ever had. Yet my art education degree is borderline useless for the field that I’m in.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      It may be useless for the field you’re in, but would you have gotten your job with only a high school education? I was a paralegal for 25 years, a relatively “dead end ” job, and a college degree was required. They didn’t really care what your major was but you had to have the degree. As you said, it’s expected, almost like a high school diploma.

      • Jay says:

        Right. Having the degree may not help you much, but NOT having the degree will hurt you in most cases.

      • Kitten says:

        “It may be useless for the field you’re in, but would you have gotten your job with only a high school education.”

        No absolutely not and I don’t dispute that.
        My point was that a college degree is no longer a guarantee of professional success or a high salary, which was how it was presented to us when I was in high school.

        I’m seeing this with my boss’s kid who is Ivy-league educated, extremely wealthy and privileged, incredibly high-achieving in both high school and college, yet is struggling mightily to find a good job now that he’s graduated.

        I still think that trade school is probably a safer bet. Of course, if I had kids that genuinely wanted to go to college, I would absolutely support that as well, just saying that I wouldn’t push them.

        It’s a really tough and competitive world out there though. Scary stuff.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Oh, I see. Yes, I agree that it’s no longer a guarantee of a good job, or any job at all.

  18. Tim Whatley says:

    Is it the same hat in both pix? I would steal if it was blue…brown, not so much.

  19. lucy2 says:

    I love Jenna, glad to hear she’s got a new series, and the cast is great so I will check it out.
    She seems so nice, smart, and normal, very down to earth. In the past I’ve seen her discuss going to an all girls high school, and the benefits from that and how much she enjoyed it, so it doesn’t surprise me to see these comments from her parents. It sounds like education was very important in their family for a variety of reasons.

  20. TreadStyle says:

    She is so adorable! That first pic, love it! I feel like she would be a fun real life friend. Pam & Jim forever!!!!!

  21. Minxx says:

    I love her. She’s so likeable and real. Like a normal woman that became a Hollywood star – she’s this approachable.

  22. wow says:

    I like Jenna and will always root for her (unless she completely spazzes out). She always been so down to Earth and cool to any fans of hers especially during her “Office” years.

  23. Dream Big says:

    @Hecate

    Adore you!