Paging Dr. Fredman! Paging Dr. Fredman!

April 11, 2011
Kermit was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Amphibious Letters from South Hampton University.

I was almost a doctor before it was cool to call yourself one. I was matriculating in a Ph.D program in Anthropology at Temple University back in 1970. I always thought Pompous was a Roman Emperor but, good gracious, the tweed dweebs pursuing doctorates were haughty by nature and clueless that a lower class critter like me actually existed outside primitive culture.

I thought my high school friends from the bad behavior classes we shared were full of it but the academics took it to an entirely different stratospheric level of irrelevance and pseudo scientific psycho-babble.

Professionals from the social sciences will argue that their disciplines are as much science as physics, medicine and the natural sciences but until they put a sociopath on the moon without using a rocket or make it safe to walk North Philly at night lost and asking for directions “excuse me Home Slice can you tell me how to get to the White Tower at Tioga and Chunk streets” they are just jive talkers like the rest of us bozos.

The quest to call oneself doctor eroded the very steep and stringent requirements for the Ph.D which included the elimination of proficiency in two foreign languages, the throwing aside of original research called a theses or dissertation and eliminating the defense of the theses in front of council of elders who actually knew their stuff that no one outside the clique cared about anyway.

Medicine has an array of doctors who don’t represent classic medical school educations and from chiropractors to osteopaths I’d like to find one who says, “you can call me doctor’ but the only MD your find in my house is on a liquor bottle.”

Professional educators turned the doctorate into an endurance degree and changed the letters to Ed.D but kept the word doctorate for salary and status purposes. Delaware was the last state in the country to recognize the doctorate by mail degree from Nova University somewhere in Florida. In fact, because I have no sense I once introduced two Nova Doctorates at a school variety show saying, “I wanted to become a doctor but I couldn’t afford the stamps.”

I once told the school secretary that anytime I was paged it should be “Doctor Fredman you have a phone call in the office.” The real pretend doctors didn’t like that and the secretary was reprimanded but she retaliated and said she wasn’t writing and mailing anymore papers for administrators.

A student once asked me “Fredman all these people around here call themselves Doctor. What kind of doctors are they?’

“Doctors of Education,”I said, as Kevin shook his head no and said, “The way I look at it, you don’t cut nobody, you ain’t no doctor.”

Celebrities get Honorary Doctorates and just to mention a few there are Bob Barker, Kermit the Frog, Bill Cosby, George Foreman, Mike Tyson, Meryl Streep, Tim Allen, Dolly Pardon, Steven Tyler, Ophra Winfrey and Billy Joel with four doctorates but no high school diploma.

I would like to be awarded an Honorary Doctor I’m at least as smart as Kermit and Cosby but alas I must settle for the honor of having a pretty cool nickname.

“Paging Doctor Fredman!”