I was talking to C in the cafe this morning and she told me that her husband was bullied by his parents to take a real course in a real uni that would lead to a real job with real (good) money. She said it was the same for her brother too who really wanted to be a real woodworker but wasted years and money because of his parents who couldn’t understand his wish to waste his education working manually as a cabinet maker. At what point do parents forfeit the rights to so bully their children and use manipulative tactics to ensure that they get their wishes met? You see few parents will support their children later teen years into the early 20s if they don’t choose higher education and never consider higher education training in lowly paid apprenticeships. I mean how many of you parents would have pumped say $20,000 a year into apprenticing fees with someone like me. I mean for, say, 3 years full time? Bare in mind that we have never ever charged an apprentice in any course and they have never in the past 20 years made a thing for me to gain from. I am just interested here. It’s a real question. I know degreed people by the dozen now who have never used their gained degrees, never actually needed anything past ten years in education from 5 years to 16 years and never used their higher education in the work that they do. I ask my students most of whom do have university degrees these questions and they almost all say the same. Few ever actually used or needed their degrees but learned what they need for their jobs actually being in the workplace they ended up working at. Not saying higher degrees are unnecessary, but what support would parents give if their kid said I want to work with Paul?
Anyway, currently, as I am sitting here anonymously, I am listening to an older woman in her early 50’s telling a 12 year old girl sitting in the cafe we’re in that if she gets good results in her exams “it will set you up for the rest of your life.” I mean what does she know about predicting this child’s future? Is it based on her personal knowledge of life? Why so confident? Would she be saying the same if she said she was sitting a pottery exam. Wow! Become a good potter and you will be set up for life. I don’t think so. So all of this is leading me somewhere. What is the basis for a good job, a good life? What is the basis for you to invest in your children’s future? Is it the fine arts degree that will do this? I have known many woodworking teachers who were useless at woodworking and useless teachers too. I knew a useless pottery professor teaching ceramics in a university who couldn’t throw a pot against a brick wall and hit the wall. By what are we qualified? Most magazine editors have degrees in anything but the magazine they just started writing for out of an interest in writing. Within a year they were recognised with titles like expert. I saw this with a leading US magazine where the photographer was soon interested in woodwork because he was taking pics. One minute he was described as a novice and a year later he was “expert”. How do we get back to where things were evident as to a persons abilities?