Wednesday, July 13, 2011

There is More to Education that Writing a Good Research Paper

Yesterday I had some work done on my AC and heating units. The AC was on the fritz and the heater was tagged out as dangerous. Glad I had someone inspect it recently. It was a disaster just waiting to  happen. At any rate, I used a local crew; in fact a business owned by the father of one of my rather challenging students. This kid and I have had a couple of go rounds in the time I have worked for this school district and I have sent him off to cool his heels in the "alternative learning center"a time or three. I recall one time, after I had told him more than once to get off one of the "social networking" sites, catching him still on it. I remember almost prefacing my rant with a "listen fucker" but caught myself just in time. He and his buds probably would have thought that pretty funny but does not want that kind of attention from the "administrative staff." The group of kids that I deal with at work are a special bunch and I mean that in a good way. Challenging no doubt. Interesting and fun to be around for sure.
Anyway this kid was working with his father and another man this day and apparently has been doing so all summer. He is quite a good athlete and is missing some summer work outs for the upcoming football season but it appears his father thinks it more important to work hard. Idle hands with this lad is not a good thing. He won't be in any danger of "not making the team" I don't think, and a bit of hard work is more important than some HS football summer workout nonsense anyway.
Here is what I find interesting. What this kid is learning this summer may be more important than all the readings of Macbeth or Mr. Poe and certainly more important and useful in the real world than learning the intricacies of the prevent defense (which sucks anyway). He is learning a tangible job skill. I have never seen a destitute AC/Heating man. Have you?

Don't get me wrong. I firmly believe in a balanced education which includes a familiarity with literature, music, correct history, etc. etc. I just believe that a young person should have some sort of skill to go along with it. Some of the kids who work at the Golden Arches or one of their competitors hear a good bit of crap from their peers about it. They don't realize that they have the opportunity to learn a great deal about the real world of business in one of these places. In fact a career with Mickey D's might be pretty lucrative if one sticks with it.

The point is a kid needs to learn something besides just the "college track" curriculum that is offered in most schools. Learn a trade. Learn to bartend, drive big trucks, AC/Heating, baking, carpet cleaning, plumbing, auto mechanics, or anything tangible and productive.

There are a good many college graduates out there who can do little more than tie their shoes. Quite a number of them are as stupid as a duck. Look at Keith Olbermann.

1 comment:

Jayhawk said...

Well said, sir, well said. That kid is lucky to have the father he has.

I bridled at Obama's vow that every child should have a college education. I drove trucks and sweated in factories, and I do not consider that those were menial tasks unworthy of me. We need a generation of people to do those tasks not because they are consolation prizes for failure, but because they are considered to be successful, honorable careers.