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Tracks and Animals

HeatingHelp
HeatingHelp Posts: 464
edited December 2017 in THE MAIN WALL
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Tracks and Animals

In America, if you don't go to college, people shake their heads and feel sorry for you. Shop is gone and everyone gets a trophy. But things weren't always this way.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • fixitguy
    fixitguy Member Posts: 83
    Thanks Dan for putting a name on a problem that has plagued me all my life. Numbers have always bounced off my brain, but words get absorbed like a cracked boiler gets water. Digital controls will drive me into retirement. Nowadays they would give kids like us Ritalin and the world would be a different place. I need to have tools nearby. I have had a diverse and wonderful work life and been a success with the gifts that I was given.
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,241
    I feel sorry for those people who go to college and have to work in a job that keeps them behind a desk. Look at all the fun stuff they are missing being out in the field. All that fresh air and exercise. A different working environment on each job. All the challenges of doing things hands on and getting to see the results of our work when it is done.
    They don't know what they are missing. So sad.....
    I went to a technical trade school in Oregon that used some of the same curriculums that you speak about in Germany. We had to take 8 different shops for the first 2 years there, and then we could pick the one we wanted to pursue for our last two years. Man I loved that time and wish I could do it again.
    The times they are a changin', and not for the better.
    Rick
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,025
    The best straight plumber in these parts is the son of a plumber (who is also very good). The high school told him to go to college (he's a really bright kid). He did, and was bored stiff. He went to his dad one day, and told him he wanted to be a plumber. Dad took him on as an apprentice and worked him just like any other apprentice. He's now fully licensed and a happy man -- but the educational system didn't help him a bit.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,235
    I remember 7th grade. I was flunking math and my old man was taking a fit, I was probably a "C" student overall and he was having a fit about that too. Fortunately or unfortunately for me my sister who was brilliant (of course) had just graduated college and was going to be a teacher.

    Out came the "flash cards" every single night, day after day after day .If it wasn't my sister it was the old man. I felt like I was in jail. It worked. My math grade came up. But I'll never be a math genius that's for sure.

    Well, there going to have to bring shop back.

    A couple of years ago they said the average age of plumbers, electricians etc was like 53. They have been predicting shortages for the last 10 years... maybe longer. I'll be 65 in June still working (but not too much longer).

    From what I see now the shortage is here now....for real.
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,471
    Amen. I was told by different teachers and guidance counselors that I HAD to go to college
    And, conversely, that I wasn't college materiel!
    Fast foward: I took non-traditional paths, didnt follow typical EXPECTED curricula, but today at 50, I have am a College Graduate from a great school with honors, a licensed Master plumber, father, and a free spirit who follows the "sounds of the artillery." I agree, too many folks that we ALL know have shunned the trades and their kids ""not getting their hands dirty or doing what
    We (menial jobs) had to do!" Thomas Edison Vocational in Jamaica,Queens turned out TOP NOTCH plumbers for decades! When a 18 yr old took his diploma there, he was ready for his NYC LMP license. Some genius in the 1990s decided
    Plumbing wasn't COOL and canned it. Trades are envied and ridiculed, simultaneously. "Plumbers make more than Doctors!!!!!" And in the next breath: "I'm a lawyer, phd, teacher,
    [Insert your profession]...Thats a lot of money for an uneducated person to Making!"
    Do a 5 year apprenticeship and you can
    Make close to 100 K w no loans to repay..do the math! Mad Dog
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  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,471
    Me too Ed. I remember my father grilling me on
    Times tables and "ort [electrical term for zero] orts are ort!" We all said we'd never need math! Ha ha. Mad Dog
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  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,025
    One problem now is for a young person to find a really qualified tradesperson to apprentice to. Given how few really qualified folks there are these days, that's not so simple. Further, the apprentice earns some pay -- but there are a lot of cheapskates out there who don't want to pay one person to come on the job, never mind two.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,471
    The Golden Era of Mom & pop businesses are OVER.
    Onerous rules & ridiculous compliance mitigate them training a nice young LASSIE or lad for the trade. Mad dog

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  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,228
    i went to a technical high school - 4 years of electronics, 6 years of math courses in those 4 years. When I got invited into the army a buddy who went to the same school went to Wentworth, in 3 years there he he never learned anything new in electronics. He then went to Northeastern for his bachelors and finally saw new information in his last year there. Five years of tuition for less than one year of information in his field.

    i worked in electronics most of my life but the last 8 years I spent repairing mail sorting machines at USPS. I was told the reason I got that job was because of the technical school education, it seems they had not had good luck hiring degreed people for that job.

    I've been retired now for almost 9 years and never tire of telling contractors helpers what a good choice they made by working in the trades.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
    rick in Alaska
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,471
    I see two reasons the average suburban American kid doesn't go in to the trades in the past 35 years since I entered the trade:
    1) They have been discouraged by society at large and the "everyone-should-go-to-college" thinking.
    2) I've seen a marked push away from ruggedness in boys, i.e.,
    Football bad, soccer good. Charles Bronson bad, Tom Hanks good, et cetera. I think mine was the last generation where the vast majority of boys had regular fist fights, played hockey in the street, jumped big ramps with their bicycles, played with B.B. guns, got stitches, made campfires in the woods and drank beer! Plumbing and heating in particular are rough, rugged, physical, sometimes brutal, nasty & filthy trades. In my Union apprenticeship, over the 4 years, 70% stuck it out and became JOURNEYMAN. Today, those numbers are flipped. I can't tell you
    The dozens of kids that claimed they wanted to be plumbers, I connected them up with jobs and they washed out. Some within a few days, (you can ask JohnnyNY and Dan about that one!) 95% within 2 yrs. One kid, Mark, has stuck it out. He's tough and scrappy and not afraid to "get in there." He's an old school throwback. Mad Dog


    ,
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  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    Sad part is, the few who make it through that are willing to work, get used and abused. The lazy one's "making the hours" cause them to work harder and companies are afraid to let the slackers go. Treat the young, hard working, willing to learn kids right and toss the trash...
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,471
    Yup..see that too. Sometimes you need a warm body to show up, till the brain trusts can get there...ha ha. When I had the fulltime contracting business, we had 1 or 2 very good guys and then a B guy and a C guy. You just needed someone to show up set the tools up for the cavalry. One time, the A team running late, when we got there the H.O. asked me
    "How old is that guy? He was in his 40s. What he really meant is who is this dope? Ha ha Mad Dog
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  • Sal Santamaura
    Sal Santamaura Member Posts: 348
    edited January 2018
    While nothing so formal as "tracks," when I attended a public combined junior high / high school in Yonkers during the late 1960s, groups of us we were generally kept together based on our academic performance. During the entire six years, if memory serves, essentially the same 30 or so kids ended up in most classes; probably no more than one or two roster changes happened each September.

    While my cohort included those who would become professionals (today Google reveals that an extraordinary number of them are MDs, lawyers and even elected officials at the state level), we all took shop or home economics. I am firmly convinced that my subsequent career as a degreed engineer benefited greatly from that shop experience. In my opinion, shop classes should be mandatory parts of the curriculum for every student.

    I was never going to be an animal. Although a fair bit older than Matt, being of slight build the only things on his list that I did as a kid were jumping my bike off a big ramp and shooting a BB gun. :smile: Some have aptitudes compatible with office work and others with plumbing, etc. To me, the most important lesson Dan's story conveys is that all students should be exposed to a broad spectrum of experiences. It's just as important for tradespeople to understand some math as it is for engineers to know how to operate a lathe.
    Canucker
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,235
    @Sal Santamaura 100% agree
    Sal Santamaura
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,471
    I concur on shop classes. Even Matt Jr's all- boys Academic high school had wood working. He enjoyed it. I had metal shop, wood shop, mechanical drawing, automotive. BB. Guns and jumping ramps. Good enough to hang with my crew. :p:p . Mad Dog
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    Sal Santamaura
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,425
    I had Electrical Shop. We made a buzzer. We spent a week just making the buzzer base out of wood. Nothing but hand tools and it had to be perfect before we could move on to cutting the sheet metal and learning how to make a magnet and how to wire.

    I also took typing. That was life-altering.
    Retired and loving it.
    Canucker
  • Sal Santamaura
    Sal Santamaura Member Posts: 348

    ...I also took typing. That was life-altering.

    We had a typing class too. While not life-altering for me, it sure did come in handy later when, as the corporate world eliminated secretaries and typing pools, we all (even engineers and managers) became our own data entry clerks. :smile:

  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,471
    My buddy Joe took Home Ec. Just to hang with the girls and get free eats...Mad Dog
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