Thursday, June 18, 2015

I don't know how it is today

 but back in the day a lot of people looked down on Vo-Tech schools. Likely because they didn't prepare a kid for college.

I had a guy I went to school with until my freshman year. He left junior high and went to the county Vo-Tech. The classmate he later married graduated with me. She looks pretty good for being one of my classmates. She has aged very well.

Looking back on the guy he probably wasn't the kind of guy that would have done well in college but that didn't make him dumb, either. I remember him as a fairly sharp kid with a pretty sharp wit.

He was pretty talented with his hands and probably had no desire to be some kind of office worker. He seemed to want to get his hands dirty.

I met him for the first time in probably 45 years or more at my high school reunion. He went to the reunion with his wife and I suppose he really is one of us. I think he is, anyway. I remember him well in 6th grade and junior high.

Anyway, he's now the owner of a small business. He owns and runs a fairly successful body and fender business.  He's doing OK. He has raised a family and probably now has grandkids.

I have been a fan of vocational education for decades. College isn't for everybody. There are an awful lot of bright talented people out there that college would be a waste of time for.

Let's face it, we have no huge shortage of liberal arts majors. There is more than a kernal of truth that many college graduates wind up behind a counter at the local Starbucks in debt out the wazoo.

I don't know what they taught the guy I went to school with when he went to the regional vo-tech. I do know that besides the trade itself there are also a lot of required classes in the business end of the trade being learned.

There's more to a trade than just knowing how to fix a damaged car. You have to be able to do it at a profit.

I got clouted a while ago in Boston and spoke with the body and fender guy at the shop that fixd me up. He said he teaches  class or two evenings at the local community college. He reports that virtually all of the people that graduate the program find jobs in the business.

I have harped on this for years about how we need fewer Humanities majors and more plumbers. I actually have to give his  classmates parents a lot of credit for looking carefully at their son in a realistic light and realizing that he was NOT going to become president of the United States or some such crap.

Instead they figured he'd become a successful tradesman. They sent him in that direction which seems to have ended well for him.

By being a successful tradesman he's also become a successful businessman.

It would be interesting to see how many of my classmates that did go to college were either unemployed, under employed or doing something totally unrelated to what they studied.

I'll bet this guy that took the vo-tech route has done a lot better than quite a number of the people that went through the college route.

My classmate has done well for himself.

I wish I had more time and been able to sit down with him and chat a bit more.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

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