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Thread: The Case for Working With Your Hands

  1. #1
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    The Case for Working With Your Hands

    Hey, folks,

    Interesting (long) article in the times today, by a guy with a degree in political philosophy from the U of Chicago who now has made a career as a motorcycle mechanic. Many, many of the ideas are transferable to woodworking, and this community is uniquely positioned to appreciate it, as so many of us are nominally 'knowledge workers' by day, who directly interact with the physical world in our shops. I spent a lot of time laughing and nodding at many of his points...

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/24/ma...nted=1&_r=1&em

    hope you enjoy it as much as I did...

    Thanks,

    Bill

  2. #2
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    Thanks Bill. I read it all. Agree with a great deal of what he says. Certainly food for thought. I have a very bright son. Always expected him to go on to school and succeed in the "intelectual side" of some career. He abandoned college and is now working as a trade. Goes to work whistling and comes home smiling. Has a real tough day and very harsh in winter. But he enjoys it for many of the reasons mentioned in the article.

    How many of us hail from a time of tech when we were in the lab creating and producing something real and meaningful. Now we get that through our shops.

    In some ways its sad that the new generation will miss this "manual" part of life. Lucky for us our local high school still teaches shop and has a couple of huge ones. Also do motor mechanics and other things of a similar nature besides the tech factor.

    Worthwhile read.
    cheers

  3. #3
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    I didn't read the whole thing but agree with his premise.
    Being a former city boy, for whatever reason, I always wanted to experience the country life. And, I'm certainly no 'Mother Earther'. As soon as we landed in Arkansas, I started raising animals. Started with rabbits, graduated to chickens, then hogs and finally cattle. We kept the cattle for 25 years, complete with a lot of heartbreak. But, there was a lot of joy helping to nurture nature. Even when I was standing on a frozen pond during a sleet storm and breaking ice there was satisfaction in the work. I felt more alive with the physical exertion than I ever did operating a clothing store.
    We would do better as a society to offer more options to our youth.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    I didn't read the whole thing but agree with his premise.
    Being a former city boy, for whatever reason, I always wanted to experience the country life. And, I'm certainly no 'Mother Earther'. As soon as we landed in Arkansas, I started raising animals. Started with rabbits, graduated to chickens, then hogs and finally cattle. We kept the cattle for 25 years, complete with a lot of heartbreak. But, there was a lot of joy helping to nurture nature. Even when I was standing on a frozen pond during a sleet storm and breaking ice there was satisfaction in the work. I felt more alive with the physical exertion than I ever did operating a clothing store.
    We would do better as a society to offer more options to our youth.
    The farm-city thing must work where each goes to the other. I grew up on a farm. During college, I told my dad that one thing that kept me going was the fear that if I flunked out, I'd have to go back to the farm. I simply never understood the city people who saw "romance" in farming. It was just hard dirty work, all day long, with little financial reward.

    I spent my career as an engineer, and loved every minute of it. The most I want to have to do with raising animals is having a pet cat.

    Mike
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  5. #5
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    very good article!!!
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  6. #6
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    well written article bill, found myself chucklin` several times, thanks!
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  7. #7
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    Wow, summarize 28 articles completely outside your field per day? It takes me a good hour or so to really understand an article within my own field. Craziness. Glad he's finding happiness and success all at once.

  8. #8
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    I really enjoyed the article. I've just finished my 16th year teaching school. The demise of the shop class is one of my biggest pet peeves. I for the life of me can’t figure out why “they” think every kid should go to college. The county that I work in has a pitiful vocational program. They have one or two options at each high school and nothing at the middle school level. I’ve seen many kids with an aptitude for a skill and no inclination to go to college. They usually end up working a low paying job straight out of school. If they would have had some sort of training in a field they could have greater opportunities.
    Last edited by John Daugherty; 05-25-2009 at 06:27 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    The farm-city thing must work where each goes to the other. I grew up on a farm. During college, I told my dad that one thing that kept me going was the fear that if I flunked out, I'd have to go back to the farm. I simply never understood the city people who saw "romance" in farming. It was just hard dirty work, all day long, with little financial reward.

    I spent my career as an engineer, and loved every minute of it. The most I want to have to do with raising animals is having a pet cat.

    Mike
    I was born on a farm and my father was a share-cropper, so there was plenty of work, no reward to speak of, but you are right, farming is hard work. My parents split up when I was 13.. never wanted to go back to the farm. I did a 30 day sprint just before I went in the navy when I worked in my step-father's place while he healed a broken arm... got my fill of farm work for life. I do like living in the country, but only farming I do is a small garden plot and mowing the lawn. No animals - except house pets!
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
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  10. #10
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    Strange, I got one thing out of the article. I'd always considered my job to be a professional, white collar type job. Most of the time I sit in a cubicle, in an office, working on a computer. There are the few times when I heft a new server around or play taxi for a router or two but for the most part I sit and type and troubleshoot. After reading this article I'd be more inclined to list my work as a blue collar worker. The same troubleshooting techniques, including the nationwide cadre of friends to call on when you're totally stumped, that he mentions in the article are what I do. Granted mine are about server and router issues and not about starters that don't spin, etc. but the process is the same.

    Food for thought . . . . .

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