A Degree From a Tiny College Is Like A Thousand Dollar Car

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by chrisjm18, Sep 19, 2022.

  1. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Mine was a 1980 Datsun 200SX. It was faded red, and I crunched a fender and replaced it with a black one from a junkyard, at which point one of my friends referred to it as "the checkerboard".
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  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    The worst concentration of "beaters" I've ever seen was during my year in Korea.

    It was expensive to ship a car to Korea, so the military would only do this for "command sponsored" personnel. (Like me, although I didn't send a car.) That meant about 600 people on a base with thousands assigned. Still, if you were an E-6 and above (or an officer), you were permitted to operate a private vehicle. What evolved was a fleet of "hand-me-down" cars. The cars stayed year-after-year, changing owners every 10 months or so. You'd arrive, buy your beater, then sell it before your tour was up. Imagine a rental car designed by Picasso.

    The cars themselves were a wide variety. Because Hyundai hadn't stepped up its game, most of them were American. (Few, if any, Japanese cars, primarily for cultural reasons.)

    Because I worked almost constantly, was required to live on-base, and was on 24-hour call, I didn't bother with a car. I commuted to work by bicycle (5 minutes) or walked (when it snowed). If I needed to get around the base with parcels (like after food shopping), I'd take a taxi. The very few times I got off the base to go into Seoul I took public transport. It was like going to Korea without ever being there. I've often wondered what it would be like to go there as a civilian, work a normal job, and live on the economy. And drive a nice car while doing it!
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  3. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Yeah - you could. Any of quite a few Korean cars. They've come a long way. In 1986, I bought a new Hyundai Pony. It was kinda tinny, but for seven years it RAN - always - and with less repairs etc. than any of my North American cars. Then, after nearly 100,000 miles (all mine) it succumbed, to an oncoming Buick that slid through a snowy intersection. Hyundai - scrapyard. Buick - one slight scratch. No dent.

    I gave my last car away nearly 24 years ago - but if I were still in the market - I'd be looking again at Korean cars - Hyundai or Kia. The Genesis vehicles (high-end co. owned by Hyundai) cost a fair bit - but have the same level of luxury and solidity you get in German cars for nearly twice the price, in some cases. Kia makes a car on the Genesis G70 platform - the Stinger - but I'd rather have the real thing from Genesis.

    And in Korea, Rich, you'd have other options. Plenty of interesting models they don't export - at least to North American markets. Seoul is a dynamic, vibrant, interesting city. Over 40 colleges and universities, too. But I don't think it would be my favourite place for driving. Super-busy roads.
  4. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    And a loose application of driving laws.

    The cultural differences are interesting, too. Here in the US, if a driver cuts off another, he/she is likely to get a honk, a yell, or even the finger. But in Korea, if someone cuts you off, no one looks at the other and nothing is said or done. See, if you react (or the driver who did it says/does something), then that person did it to you. That would be rude, and Koreans are almost never rude. But if no one looks at each other or reacts, then it just happened. No one did anything to anyone.

    Another thing catching me by surprise was the first time I rode the subway in Seoul. I was getting on when, suddenly, I was shoved forward by a slew of uniformed schoolgirls. I mean just pushed on and then back. It was like getting hit by a human tsunami, a wave of these four-foot-nothing teenage girls heading home after class. Again, they didn't do it to me, but with me. I just smiled at them. They giggled back and we carried on our merry way.

    I didn't care much for Korea. It was too business-like everywhere, devoid of much fun. My theory is that it is a response to the complete devastation of the country during the Japanese occupation, followed by the Korean War. They've been recovering at a mad pace ever since, becoming one of the spectacular East Asian Tigers in the process. But I thought the world of Koreans and still do.
  5. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I understand the bit about subways, Rich. I'm told in Japan, it's a little different. The subway system employs mostly men, who are "packers." Instead of teenage girls, you have sturdy guys, with latex gloves etc. - gently but firmly pushing passengers aboard - to cram them in at the maximum density level.

    As for not having much fun - I think it's no fun at all to be next door to Kim Jong-un and his crew. But S. Korea today seems to have a VERY active entertainment industry - singers, actors, musicians, TV shows etc. "Psy" had a couple of songs that did well over here, as I remember. And Lee Hyori has had a long and varied career. She's deserved it. Bit on her here, with nice pic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Hyori

    I think as another generation came of age, things have lightened up quite a lot. We have quite a few Koreans here in town. The older generation here seems to be a very serious bunch - always working. Mostly long hours in their own businesses. Younger ones, I think, are slowly breaking the mould. Maybe that's taken root back home, too. We'll see. Just like us, many of their young men, when they're not fully occupied getting to know young women, are avid gamers. Lot of that!

    Any country that has a special day every year to celebrate its alphabet (Hanggul Day) is about as good as it gets. I like S. Korea. Among other things, they value education.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2022 at 8:27 AM
  6. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    That's why we were awarded medals for serving in a war zone. We had exercises every other month to stay prepared for war. Our operations plans called for launching our aircraft, but not receiving them back. (We were not expected to survive an attack because of our proximity to the DMZ. The aircraft would be received and turned at bases farther south.) The main highway was marked with airstrip markings in case the base was bombed out. That kind of thing.

    Exercises meant 13- to 14-hour days for 3-5 days with a 24-hour pacing. I still remember sitting beneath my desk during simulated attacks, in full MOPP (nuclear) gear, editing performance reports. My office--I was the 51st Maintenance Squadron section commander--was right on the flight line. Hearing F-15s and F-16s take off on full afterburner was quite a sound. We used to call it "the sound of freedom."

    It was funny to be engaged in an exercise--planes overhead dropping flares to simulate bombs, etc.--and see the civilians (who were exempt from the war games) walking home at 4:30pm as if nothing was happening. Because, for them, it wasn't.
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  7. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    The last two new cars I bought were a 2019 Kia Soul and a 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe. Both were the best deals in their class at the time, and both were very satisfactory purchases.

    Now. if only one of them would make a roadster! My 1996 Miata is in good shape, but it won't last forever!
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  8. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Yeah. Just out of interest, I've been looking at the new Electric Soul (sounds like a 70s album title) - and the electric version of the Hyundai Kona. Both nice.
    As far as roadsters go - they're a bit of a niche thing. They're great but you can only sell so many. The Miata and the BMW are just about it - unless you go for the Alfa Romeo 4C - and both the Alfa and the BMW cost a bundle! Most manufacturers don't see a business plan in small-run builds.

    One roadster I DON'T want back is my first car - a '61 Austin Healey Sprite, bought for $300 in 1967. Cheap to buy, a fortune to repair - just about weekly. Maybe they worked better in UK. Not suited to Canadian winters. Or Canadian mechanics. The big Healey (3000) was a much better car. Still expensive to maintain, though.
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  9. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I knew it. There had to be - there are at least 4 of them - none in the 70s.

    (1) Electric Soul! - Buddy Terry (1967)
    (2) Electric Soul - Marlon Roudette (2015)
    (3) Electric Soul - Stonila (2021)
    (4) Electric Soul - The Unabombers and other artists. (2004)
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2022 at 6:31 PM
  10. Alpine

    Alpine Active Member

    I went to a very small two year college and it was the best four years of my life getting that associate degree!
  11. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I've owned 4 new BMWs. I got off that run and into a Mazda CX-5. Almost the performance, almost the luxury, twice the reliability and half the cost. Also entirely ego-less compared to my BMW 335 hard top convertible.
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