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Wasted minds???

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  • #16
    russ,the world needs more people like is a good thing you have done (helping someone with an interest)and we should all strive to help someone that truly deserves it.


    • #17
      Great post. Interesting story and perspective. It reminded me of a post i saw on one of the other forums discussing hiring people just out of school. One of the guys said that he never hires someone right out of school, "...they ain't gonna get trained on my dime..." or something similar. While I can understand where he is coming from in a strict "dollars and cents" sort of way, the flip side is that he is very likely never discover one of these sorts of people, like you have. It won't always happen, and sometimes you get burned, but when it does, it is both impressive and satisfying. Good for you both.



      • #18
        Russ, I can honestly say that your postings and updates on this young lady's progress and accomplishments have been some of my favorite readings here. They have been truly heart warming, as well as educational, and I hope you'll continue to share them with us, since obviously many others feel the same.

        I never gave it much thought in my early years, but over time thru life it becomes apparent that things like attitude, determination, desire, etc. are FAR more important than innate intelligence or natural ability in achievement. And that hardship and struggle does in fact make one stronger. Most of us are actually victims of too easy experience, and would have been better served by more challenge and adversity.

        I wish the very best to that lady (and to you), and salute you both.

        Lynn (Huntsville, AL)


        • #19
          I grew up with a mentor like your folks are describing.

          He owned a garden center and had his own greenhouses. Guy born and raised as a kid 'in the old country'. Iit was a family owned business and his two son-in-laws and their wives also worked there.

          From the time I was 14 till I got out of high school he had us doing all kinds of manual labor( like emptying out a boxcar filled with bales of peatmoss several times a year), shoveling dirt (tandem dump after tandem dump in the summer) building large greenhouses, boiler making, building a big house addition, salesmen, running the place by ourselves when business was real slow.

          Maintained all our own equipment, did plumbing, electrical, you name it and we did it (under his and his son-in-laws supervision/help).

          We learned what hard work was and learned how to be self sufficient in life. To this day I thank that man (and his family) for their wisdom and guidance.


          • #20
            Personal Lessons Learned form the "wasted minds"

            Good job!!!!!

            I can somewhat relate, been teaching "wasted minds" ending nineteen years now for kids and 16 for adults. Many a young man or lady who has been cast off by the Ed system as a "problem child" or just - I hate this label -dull or uninterested in "education" - or as i say - the "standard" model of education.

            Many adults I have taught over the years who have taken advantage of my 'sneaking them in" because they do not qualify for various gubbermint programs for the very poor or umemployed, but make too much to afford the class. Many a Walmart or Kmart employee or a low level cleaning person in a shop who just wants a "leg up". People we look at and smirk about, the cashier, the cart gatherer, the busser at a macs.

            The ones I help like this always pay me back.

            I learned a great lesson in life this past few months. Over the past year, I have gone through some very tough personal times. Not divorce, legal or health/abuse problems, but tough times all could see. Many people supported me during this time, but there was some support that got me through when it all culminated and when I was at my lowest point about three months ago. It was the most meaningful support I could ever have.

            I can walk into a shop in a 50 mile radius and find someone I have trained, right through management by this time in life. I kind of forgot to visit my friends for the past year and 1/2, but when all was said and done, it seems my phone rang from these people - the "wasted minds" who are now the brightest people I could ever know - who have exceeded my own machining and industrial knowledge - or those who are working well and successfully - those who just wished me well and invited me to come see them, and came out to find me. When I wanted to hide, they pulled me out and gave me more than I think they ever gave me. People I had all but lost track of for years, trainees, those living well because of a small time and faith investment because - well, this is just what is done - that is all, that is the job done right.

            For Russ, you are doing well. She will always remember and will repay you in ways you will never know. Small things become great things. I have always known this in my own "smug" way, but then realized it when all my smugness was stripped away and all that was left was those who I taught and whom I invested a little faith in (as a habit of life) when others would not.
            Last edited by spope14; 05-02-2008, 09:35 PM.
            CCBW, MAH


            • #21
              Russ: well, you never know where life will take ya. I think that most people are exposed to many things in their lives. Some take advantage of the oportunities that come along, some ignore them. I have tried to do the best with what has come my way. I guess I'm the only one who can judge how I've done. Mom wanted me to have a college education, and be a businessman, or such. But my Dad was a good carpenter, and had he lived a little longer, I'd have followed in his footsteps, and likely taken over his construction business when he was ready to retire. It's the same mechanical ability, making and fitting parts together. So now I've been a diesel mechanic for 35 years or so. Also a home shop type for even longer. I'll put my knowledge up against anyones bachelor's degree. Many who post here are very knowledgeable, weather or not they have any formal paperwork. So, it's great that the gurl is doing fine, but really, it's only natural that she find the thing she's suited for. Knowledge comes easily if you're suited to the subject and have reasonable intelligence.Best of luck to both of you.

              Regards, TC
              I cut it off twice; it's still too short
              Oregon, USA


              • #22
                Wasted minds. Don't get me started. My oldest son is a perfect example. A straight A student, after his first semester in college he decided to switch majors to something easier. He didn't want to apply himself.

                Maybe it worked out for the best. Time will tell. He eventually wound up teaching third grade for many years and now he's teaching sixth. Perhaps his mentoring will shape many lives for the better.

                Then there's the neighbor girl next door. Barely an average student through twelve grades, she got married right out of high school and gave birth to four kids as fast as they could come.

                But, when she got away from the influence of her high school peers, she experienced an intellectual awakening and curiousity drove her to take a few university courses. She surprised herself by getting straight A's, so she switched to full time.

                She graduates this weekend and she is mainlined to continue her studies until she gets her PhD.

                My son and the neighbor girl were unduly influenced by the attitudes of their peers. One never will realize his full potential. The other will.

                So many projects. So little time.


                • #23

                  Aw, SHUP. I have a mother-in-law to remind me what an enormous failure in life I am. (ROFL)
                  Today we carve our own omens Leonidas at Thermopylae


                  • #24
                    Wasted Minds?

                    Thank you. The words are somewhat changed and perhaps simpler now.
                    They are carved in stone to remind the world of a forgotten Army- and a forgotten bunch of airmen in a more recent war.

                    Might I repeat them and the words of an Australian Pilot who flew unarmed DC3 to tend the survivors?
                    Frank Johnson wrote of those days as a jungle pilot as follows
                    For me the Squadron was a family, such as my school, my university and my own family. It was a body of persons with common objectives and faults, and I cherish my sojourn there.
                    Of the forgotten army, the epitaph is clear on that Kohima Stone
                    'When you go home, tell them of us and say
                    For your tomorrows, we gave our todays'

                    The other Norman


                    • #25
                      First off great thread it has really made me think. I've known some really sharp people in the trades who had some type of learning disability or another. They were pushed toward shop classes, who knows what they could have been. Now days they realize kids learn in different ways.

                      Most of us are actually victims of too easy experience, and would have been better served by more challenge and adversity.
                      That sums up much of what is wrong in the US today. I am almost ashamed of myself when compared to my Grandpa. Born in a sod house, spoke only German until grade school, the first in his family to finish high school, did all sorts of hard migrant labor during the Great Depression, rose to "lead" lumberjack and then welding instructor in the shipyards during WWII, moved back to SD & farmed and spent the last 20 years of his life housebound with emphysema (shipyard asbestos) and heart problems. I never heard him once complain and he was a very sharp self-educated man. Yeah, I've had it easy.

                      Orrin-IMHO, maybe being a teacher is your son's best use of his abilities. I would say that grade & high school teachers make more of a contribution to society than a lot of other professions. I have to wonder sometimes about PhD who spend their lives on some narrow aspect of their field. Is it making the most of their potential to studying the mating habits of chimps or if Shakespeare really wrote his plays?
                      Jon Bohlander
                      My PM Blog


                      • #26
                        Torker.......sometimes, the best education does not come from a classroom. It comes from leadership, listening and sharing ideas. And then there are times, when the student, in their hunger for knowledge, teach the teacher. As much as you have taught her about , heaters, locks, and welding....she has taught you that sharing your knowledge and genuinely caring, can have a profound impact.....on the student and teacher. You taking the time to write your post is evident of that.
                        What a great story....thanks for sharing it. It made my day

                        Success is found in "cans"....not "cants"


                        • #27
                          student - teacher

                          I have tried for the last month or so since I joined this forum to remember the exact machining procedure I was teaching in high school but it really doesn't matter, the outcome is what's important. They were all machining a project and one student was following a different sequence from the one I had laid out. When I asked him why he was doing it that way he said he thought it was quicker and easier than the way I had outlined. When I followed his reasoning, damn, it was a better method. Instead of blowing my stack I called the rest of the students over and we showed them his improved method. Of course he got extra brownie points for his insight. When you know you're right it aint always necessarily so. We can learn from anybody. Peter
                          The difficult done right away. the impossible takes a little time.