Monday, September 20, 2010

Is You Smart Enough?

Thinking of those who are pondering going back to school to better edubakate themselves for a better job (or retrain for a new job), I wondered if I could even pass basic high school.

I barely got out the first time. Though I finished in three years only because the final English exam teacher gave me a second chance. I don't think I really passed it, but the school probably wanted to get rid of me. I might still be in high school wondering why the participles are dangling.

I did graduate with an "elective" diploma. In those days, you dropped out and worked in a trade after junior high, or took elective courses, like typing, to get an office job, or took college preparatory for furthering education into the university. Only one of my friends took "college preparatory", but he was the smart one. I didn't want to take hard courses, so I choose classes like "art", "study hall", "mechanical drawing" and "yearbook". Besides, English was already my second language.

College wasn't much better. Studying wasn't on my "to do" list, so I squeaked by until my third year in college. Then, I realized it was a "read-and-repeat" rule to getting good grades. That and taking easy courses, like swimming and guitar got me a diploma.

Sixteen years of schooling didn't help me get a job. I suddenly realized, I had been taught theory, but no useful experience methods. I had to be retrained.

Recently I came across a book describing all the tools of the trade and how to use them. I studied it and practiced with a variety of knives, pens, compasses, straight edges, drawing boards, paper and pencils I purchased to master my profession. For years, my self-training kept up with the demands of the job and my production was rewarded.

But, ALL those tools and the expertise to use them are useless in today's environment.

So I wonder, if employers are looking at this new world order and changing how they "train" new hires.

Not just hire a body to fill a void, with enough education to survive minimal instructions and if evaluations fit expectations, employment may continue.

Suppose the new hire, was given basic training, evaluated, and then continued to be trained , that employee would feel the urge to become inventive with ideas for greater production and innovation.

It doesn't take long to be out of touch with what was so challenging to realize how fast it all changes.

The qualifications for the job description I had is completely different requiring totally different demands and skills, but then again, many of the tools required were not even invented or thought of 40 years ago.

And while I can pick up new techniques and methods quickly, I don't think I want to.

I is smart enough and wise enough too!

1 comment:

TripleG said...

When you get off the treadmill of working life, you trade anxiety over the future for appreciation of now, you don't have to pay for the electricity to run yourself ragged on the machine, and you can enjoy your "old school" skills without rebuke.
Learning is a joy outside of school; work is play outside of work.