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by Abigail Van Buren

Lack of College Degree Becomes Reason for Ridicule

DEAR ABBY: I have been going through some tough times during the last few months. I have handled them as well as I can, but something just pushed me over the edge.

I'm not formally educated. I have no college education. I graduated from high school, but I was home-schooled and people tend to not take me seriously when they find that out. I opted out of college because I couldn't afford the loans. I love to learn and have continued to educate myself.

But today, someone I respected told me I'm not as smart as he is because I never went to college. He outright called me stupid and said I should stop pretending to be intelligent.

Abby, I am skilled with my hands. I own my own business and spend most of my time reading on various topics. When I told him his comment hurt me, he laughed and said that just proved I wasn't as intelligent as he is. I know he's not right, but I can't stop thinking about it. Can you help me? -- STREET SMART IN ALASKA

DEAR STREET SMART: Gladly! The individual you were talking to isn't intelligent; he is a classless boor who tries to make himself feel superior by putting down the people around him.

If you are as smart as you say you are, you will avoid him as though he has an infectious social disease. It's true, because cruelty can be contagious.

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