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Too Snobby for Shop
http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0803/jjacobs.html ^ | July 21, 2003 / 21 Tamuz, 5763 | Joanne Jacobs

Posted on 08/29/2003 7:34:18 PM PDT by paltz

With a few years of experience, an auto mechanic at a dealership can earn $80,000 a year. But high schools are eliminating auto shop classes, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The equipment is costly, industrial tech (shop) teachers are hard to find and students' schedules are filled with college-prep classes. Students assume the only way to make a living is to go to college, but many don't have the motivation or the academic skills to earn a college degree. Only about half of students who enroll in college ever earn a degree; most of those who graduate won't be earning $80,000 a year.

(Excerpt) Read more at jewishworldreview.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: education; vocationaleducation; votech
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1 posted on 08/29/2003 7:34:18 PM PDT by paltz
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To: paltz
LINK
2 posted on 08/29/2003 7:36:30 PM PDT by paltz
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To: paltz
Too Snobby for Shop http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | With a few years of experience, an auto mechanic at a dealership can earn $80,000 a year. But high schools are eliminating auto shop classes, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The equipment is costly, industrial tech (shop) teachers are hard to find and students' schedules are filled with college-prep classes. Students assume the only way to make a living is to go to college, but many don't have the motivation or the academic skills to earn a college degree. Only about half of students who enroll in college ever earn a degree; most of those who graduate won't be earning $80,000 a year.

Community colleges are picking up the slack. But students often enter with no hands-on skills: They don't know how to change the oil, or how big a 13 mm wrench is. And many can't read well enough to understand the manual or use the diagnostic data on the computer screen. Qualifying for a skilled trade  is more demanding than qualifying for most colleges.

Many slacker students, bored and frustrated by college-prep courses, would work much harder on reading and math if they knew what they had to do to get an $80,000-a-year job. But the snobbery of the times tells students they have to sit in a classroom for 16 years -- with or without learning anything -- to earn a living.

BA, Then GED

A New York City father is being investigated for "educational neglect" for failing to send his daughter to high school. Daniel Lipsman enrolled his daughter in college after she finished eighth grade at P.S. 187. Now 15, Angela Lipsman has a 3.84 average and enough credits for an AA degree. But she's considered truant from high school till she turns 16, and she can't take the GED till she's 17. By then, she's likely to have her BA, reports the New York Daily News.

"It's very demoralizing," said Lipsman, who vowed that he'll "go to prison before my daughter goes to a city high school."

He's a retired teacher.

'Highly Qualified' is a Long Way Away

Only 54 percent of middle and high school teachers were "highly qualified" to teach their subjects in 2000, by the standards of the federal No Child Left Behind law, Associated Press reports:

Nearly half of the nation's middle and high school teachers were not highly qualified to teach their topics in 2000, a report to Congress says.

Federal law defines highly qualified teachers as those who hold a bachelor's degree from a four-year college, have state certification and demonstrate competence in the subject they teach.

The 2002 law requires that by the school year beginning in 2005, there must be highly qualified teachers in every class for core subjects, including English, math, science and history.

Meeting that deadline is "going to be challenging. It's going to be tough," Education Secretary Rod Paige said Tuesday. "But it's necessary, and it's going to be done."

It will not be done. It can't be done. Not unless "highly qualified" is redefined as "having a pulse."

Teacher Pay Rises

The average teacher earns $44,367 a year, according to the American Federation of Teachers  annual survey. That's an increase of 2.7 percent. New teachers average $30,719. California tops the list, paying $54,348 to the average teacher; Michigan, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York also are at the top of the list. The cheapest teachers work in South Dakota, earning $31,383.

While the teacher shortage has eased, AFT said math, physics, biology and Spanish teachers remain in short supply.

By the way, while the National Education Association has declared war on No Child Left Behind, AFT is trying to take the middle ground. AFT plans to challenge the criteria used to determine failing schools, but isn't opposed to testing students.

Union Cracks Down on Teacher Who Worked Too Hard

An Ontario teacher faces a reprimand and fine from his union because he tutored students after school. Jack Nahrgang, an award-winning English and history teacher, has admitted violating his union's work-to-rule campaign.

Also in Ontario, the teachers' union is trumpeting an anti-testing poll. Blogger Colby Cosh rephrases the question:

From time to time, the media publish rankings of elementary and secondary schools in the provinces based on student test results. Some people say the rankings offer an objective picture of student achievement in mastering basic skills like reading and mathematics. Some people say that these skills are completely unimportant, and that no one but a teacher should ever, ever, ever have the sheer bleeding audacity to gather data about a teacher's or school's performance. What do you think?

It's true, as the teachers' union leader says, that tests don't measure creativity, initiative, love of kittens, etc. But schools have a responsibility to teach reading and math, and neither the responsibility nor the competence to teach creativity, initiative, love of kittens, etc. Nor is there any evidence that students who can't find the main idea in a paragraph are superior in unmeasurable traits to students who can read.

3 posted on 08/29/2003 7:40:40 PM PDT by paltz
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To: paltz
They don't know how to change the oil, or how big a 13 mm wrench is.

Ummm, 13mm?

Also interesting to note that the author, presumably a professional writer, is ending a sentence with a preposition.

4 posted on 08/29/2003 7:45:35 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (Peace through Strength)
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To: paltz
With the high cost of college and outsourcing of white collar jobs, the trades may start looking attractive to more people. They offer not only the potential of decent pay, but the opportunity to be self-employed and do quite well.
5 posted on 08/29/2003 7:47:00 PM PDT by Think free or die
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To: freedumb2003
So you got an issue about people using prepositions to end sentences with?
6 posted on 08/29/2003 8:04:31 PM PDT by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: paltz
have state certification and demonstrate competence in the subject they teach.

It's called the teacher protection act. College grad's that have education far and above a little teacher certificate can't teach without one. My nephew, who retired early from banking,etc., had a Dr's degree and a CPA, but he had to go back to school and get a certificate before he could teach grade school.

Anyway, as to the area of shop and auto, the average shop teacher just CANNOT understand and teach the computer stuff that makes a car run today.

7 posted on 08/29/2003 8:05:47 PM PDT by org.whodat
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To: org.whodat
" the average shop teacher just CANNOT understand and teach the computer stuff that makes a car run today."

While it's true that the electronics in cars have changed the picture, they still have a heck of a lot of mechanical stuff in them. There's also a place for learning building trades, and for those kids who aren't college bound, some instruction during high school would seem to be a useful and productive use of their time.

8 posted on 08/29/2003 8:20:16 PM PDT by Think free or die
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To: paltz
Federal law defines highly qualified teachers as those who hold a bachelor's degree from a four-year college, have state certification and demonstrate competence in the subject they teach.

I'm confused. In my state, to receive state certification one must have, at minimum, a bachelor's degree from a four-year college, and have passed the PRAXIS in one's subject area (which I assume demonstrates competence in the subject area).

Somehow, I can't imagine other states requiring less than Georgia does...so shouldn't all certified teachers meet the Federal definition of "highly qualified"? What am I missing here?

9 posted on 08/29/2003 8:23:21 PM PDT by Amelia
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To: paltz
The dirty little secret is that master plumbers make much more money than college professors.

But what high school councelor is going to tell a student that plumbing is a highly lucrative field?

LOL
10 posted on 08/29/2003 8:30:58 PM PDT by Conservababe
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To: Conservababe
"The dirty little secret is that master plumbers make much more money than college professors. "

We recently had a bathroom re-tiled. The tiling firm is a 2nd generation family business started by a Polish immigrant in the '50's. They've built the business into a fat little vehicle to prosperity. The family members have vacation properties at the seashore and the mountains, big homes, etc. They worked hard for it, provide excellent quality work and they've done well financially. The American Dream. Our next door neighbor is a very successful roofing contractor. While the rest of us worry about outsourced jobs and layoffs, they carry on and live well.

11 posted on 08/29/2003 8:45:39 PM PDT by Think free or die
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To: Think free or die
One plumber in our small town has an answering machine that says "if this is an emergency, I will get back to you tomorrow".

Job security? Yes.

LOL
12 posted on 08/29/2003 9:25:09 PM PDT by Conservababe
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To: freedumb2003
Ending sentences with prepostions is something with which I will not put.
13 posted on 08/29/2003 9:28:37 PM PDT by Freedom4US
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To: freedumb2003
Also interesting to note that the author, presumably a professional writer, is ending a sentence with a preposition.

There's actually nothing "wrong" with ending a sentence with a preposition. The entire concept of it being ungrammatical comes from a single textbook written by a single author a couple of hundred years ago. And even he admitted he just made the rule up because he didn't like the way such sentences sound, and his opinion on the matter shouldn't be taken as gospel.

14 posted on 08/29/2003 9:30:18 PM PDT by Timesink
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To: Think free or die
There's a lot to be said for teaching them how to fix lawnmowers, or older cars that have simple push-rod design and antiquated carburetors.

The educational part comes with overcoming reluctance to "tear into" something, to see how components interact with each other, how to correctly tighten fasteners with a torque wrench, all sorts of things. The importance of good electrical grounds, etc etc. I've fixed countless items just by "fiddle-faddling" with them, the important thing is to get people out of the very un-Zen mentality of "Oh, it's broke, better buy a new one or spend $$$$ paying someone to repair it.
15 posted on 08/29/2003 9:33:48 PM PDT by Freedom4US
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To: Conservababe
The dirty little secret is that master plumbers make much more money than college professors

My grandfather was one of the first black master plumbers in DC. The family legend is that he made $30,000 a year during the Depression. They had their own house, car, my mother went to private camp, was a debutante, and she and her 2 brothers all went to college, back when blacks had next to nothing and whites had only a little more. My family still has much of the estate my grandfather was able to build up from being 'just' a plumber.

ps, my mother taught me to do a lot of my own plumbing. Since i'm going to be a college professor, maybe the plumbing skills will come in handy. : )

16 posted on 08/29/2003 9:36:46 PM PDT by radiohead
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To: Conservababe; Think free or die
We just had a tree cut down in our backyard about a month ago (it was already weak from a storm last year; new storm damage caused it to break in half, and it looked like the remaining half was ready to fall onto the house). We called several tree removal people over for estimates. Some of them wanted as much as $450 (though we found someone to do it for $250.) All of them wanted to be paid in cash and offered us a substantial discount if we would do so. (Hey, fine with us.)

Amount of time from their arrival until all signs of the ex-tree were gone, save for the tiny stump: About fifteen minutes.

The "team" was just a guy and his wife. And they were out of here as fast as they could get their buzzsaw and chipper back onto their truck, because they had a number of other jobs to do that day. They must be rolling in cash, and I'll bet not even half of it ever gets reported to the IRS.

17 posted on 08/29/2003 9:39:15 PM PDT by Timesink
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To: Freedom4US
The educational part comes with overcoming reluctance to "tear into" something, to see how components interact with each other, how to correctly tighten fasteners with a torque wrench, all sorts of things. The importance of good electrical grounds, etc etc. I've fixed countless items just by "fiddle-faddling" with them, the important thing is to get people out of the very un-Zen mentality of "Oh, it's broke, better buy a new one or spend $$$$ paying someone to repair it.

Don't forget the concept of "planned obsolescence"!

18 posted on 08/29/2003 9:41:28 PM PDT by Timesink
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To: Amelia
PRAXIS Please explain this word. I've heard it used in relation to protestors who were praxis artists.
19 posted on 08/29/2003 9:46:00 PM PDT by Libertina
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To: radiohead
What a great story of your family's success.

Yep, keep your plumbing skills handy.

Even Audie Murphy always kept his railroad license up to date. He said being an actor was just temporary.

20 posted on 08/29/2003 9:46:25 PM PDT by Conservababe
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To: Amelia
In many areas, that have similar requirements, teachers teach outside of their subject area on an "emergency" basis. In other states (like in VT) teachers are either elementary certified or secondary certified. There is no requirement for training in the field they teach.
21 posted on 08/29/2003 9:53:32 PM PDT by Straight Vermonter (...they led my people astray, saying, "Peace!" when there was no peace -- Ezekiel 13:10)
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To: radiohead
Since i'm going to be a college professor, maybe the plumbing skills will come in handy. : )

You know, you have a good point. I bust my but working in engineering when other opportunitinies are in everyone's bathroom and kitchen. And help is ALLWAYS needed, because folks don't like being "inconvenienced". I'm just an average white guy, too!

22 posted on 08/29/2003 9:56:47 PM PDT by BobS
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To: Timesink
A sharp businesswoman once told me that; "Money is a substitute for confront". In other words, you can't "confront" growing your veggies, so you get them at the supermarket instead.

For $250 you could have bought a decent chain-saw, did it yourself, stacked the wood to dry for your fireplace at a later date, and could have wound up with a brand-new chainsaw to boot (plus the firewood).

Your net worth would not have decreased by $250 (the new chainsaw a simple conversion of paper wealth into physical wealth), you probably would have had fun using it to cut up the tree (remember the Rush parody bit with the chainsaw audio track?), but instead the $250 went into some other guy's pocket for 15 minutes worth of work.

23 posted on 08/29/2003 9:57:35 PM PDT by handk
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To: Timesink
Funny you should mention tree downing.

I had a large, and I mean large, oak tree in my back yard. It was dying and becoming dangerous.

I called all over to get estimates to fell it. The problem was that no one could get that machinery in to ride in the little booth to cut the limbs, because of other trees and uneven terrain of my natural yard.

Finally, after many months, I heard of a man who still climbed trees to fell them. I called him out and he gave me an estimate.

When I saw him and his two other helpers climb that tree, saw off limbs and trunk by degrees and finally fell it, I was glad to pay the $800.

But, I am guessing that they are the last of the breed of professionals who used to do that sort of work.

24 posted on 08/29/2003 9:59:09 PM PDT by Conservababe
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To: paltz
If there's one class I wish I would have taken in high school, it's auto shop. Granted, there was a major stigma attached to the class, but guys who had no clue about cars came out with a lot of practical knowledge. I also remember that one of the local dealerships routinely donated their old electronic diagnostic stuff - that's perhaps the way to keep these programs alive.
25 posted on 08/29/2003 10:00:52 PM PDT by July 4th
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To: BobS
maybe i'm weird, but one of the proudest days of my life was when i bought my own plumber's snake and used it.

my son thought i was nuts.

i am woman, hear me roar, etc. etc.

nothing wrong w/being an average white guy. they are usually the nicest ones. (late hubby was average white guy)
26 posted on 08/29/2003 10:05:00 PM PDT by radiohead
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To: Conservababe
Not exactly a dying breed. There are several companies I know of that do this work. Davey Tree service was just out this week to trim a tree on our property that grows under an electric transmission line. They couldn't get the truck close enough so they climbed up the tree and trimmed it.

Most companies will stick to the easy jobs if they can keep busy.

27 posted on 08/29/2003 10:51:49 PM PDT by eggman (Social Insecurity - Who will provide for the government when the government provides for all of us?)
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To: radiohead
I'd just call you smart in that you probably saved yourself a good bit of money and got the satisfaction of fixing it yourself.

Me, I'm just too suborn and cheap to pay somebody to fix something. Don't think I've had a repairman out here in at least 15 years. I took shop in school but I learned a lot more from my dad. I just tinker with things and usually spend way to much time but get it working. And if I can't fix it my younger brother can. You just can't be afraid to learn something new.

28 posted on 08/29/2003 11:03:26 PM PDT by eggman (Social Insecurity - Who will provide for the government when the government provides for all of us?)
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To: Libertina
The PRAXIS test(s) are used to determine whether or not beginning teachers have adequate knowledge of their subject matter.

A different test was being used when I obtained certification, so I have no personal knowledge of this PRAXIS, but I know we've had trouble at times getting new science teachers because our system doesn't like to hire teachers who haven't yet passed the PRAXIS.

A couple of years ago, there were news stories about all the new prospective teachers who were unable to pass the test, particularly minority teachers, but I haven't heard much about that lately.

29 posted on 08/30/2003 4:19:06 AM PDT by Amelia
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To: freedumb2003
I thought "is" is a verb.
30 posted on 08/30/2003 4:26:18 AM PDT by Movemout
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To: Straight Vermonter
In other states (like in VT) teachers are either elementary certified or secondary certified. There is no requirement for training in the field they teach.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 94% of Georgia teachers are "highly qualified" - but sadly, Georgia students are 50th in the nation in SAT scores.

Odd, huh?

31 posted on 08/30/2003 4:26:54 AM PDT by Amelia
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To: handk
>>>For $250 you could have bought a decent chain-saw, did it yourself, stacked the wood to dry for your fireplace at a later date, and could have wound up with a brand-new chainsaw to boot (plus the firewood). <<<

Or he might have brought the tree down on his house, and severed a limb with the chainsaw.

Felling trees is a skill and art to be respected. Beginners should also get a set of personal protection equipment, hardhat, goggles, gloves, etc.
32 posted on 08/30/2003 4:30:43 AM PDT by MalcolmS (ing Taglines Here . . . Get Your Scroll)
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To: paltz
... students' schedules are filled with college-prep classes... And many can't read well enough to understand the manual or use the diagnostic data on the computer screen. Qualifying for a skilled trade is more demanding than qualifying for most colleges.

I wonder which college prep courses this writer is talking about, that don't prepare a student to "read a manual?"

Mark

33 posted on 08/30/2003 4:34:41 AM PDT by MarkL (Get something every day from the four basic food groups: canned, frozen, fast and takeout)
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To: Conservababe
The dirty little secret is that master plumbers make much more money than college professors.

But what high school councelor is going to tell a student that plumbing is a highly lucrative field?

And plumbers, electrician, HVAC technicians, etc, are jobs that can't be outsourced over-seas...

I've got an aquaintance who couldn't get a job with a BSEE right out of college. Through some family connections, he managed to get into an electrician program, and he's now both a "real" EE and a journeyman electrician... Quite a combination...

The problem is that too many in "education" feel that it's demeaning to get one's hands dirty and actually do some work.

Mark

34 posted on 08/30/2003 4:39:46 AM PDT by MarkL (Get something every day from the four basic food groups: canned, frozen, fast and takeout)
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To: Movemout
I thought "is" is a verb.

It depends on what the meaning is "is," is...

Sorry, you know I couldn't leave that one alone...

Mark

35 posted on 08/30/2003 4:44:11 AM PDT by MarkL (Get something every day from the four basic food groups: canned, frozen, fast and takeout)
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To: MalcolmS
Yes. Cutting down trees is one of the most dangerous of pursuits. Trees have to be cut in a certain way to make them fall in the correct direction. They can sometimes twist and fall in unexpected ways. Families of professional loggers often have at least one death in their family from tree-cutting. Even a small diameter tree can easily kill you as it falls.
36 posted on 08/30/2003 4:51:46 AM PDT by NoControllingLegalAuthority
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To: Movemout
I thought "is" is...

Channeling Clinton?

;)

37 posted on 08/30/2003 6:37:05 AM PDT by freedumb2003 (Peace through Strength)
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To: Timesink
Don't forget the concept of "planned obsolescence"!

That's part of it, but the technology has changed. I'll bet high schools used to offer radio and tv repair too, back when those items were easily repairable. Consumer products today aren't designed to be repairable it would seem.
38 posted on 08/30/2003 6:38:33 AM PDT by Freedom4US
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To: freedumb2003
Also interesting to note that the author, presumably a professional writer, is ending a sentence with a preposition.

"Is" is a form of the verb "be." I may be mistaken, but I don't believe "is" is a preposition.

39 posted on 08/30/2003 6:46:52 AM PDT by pickemuphere
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To: Timesink
Don't forget the concept of "planned obsolescence"!

THAT is truely an overused saw - I have *never* been on a project or in a meeting where we 'planned for obsolescence'.

The objectives were always, however: cost of components, cost of manufacturing (labor), meeting applicable safety requirements (e.g. UL listing, etc.) ... HIGHER levels of integration *can* lead to non-repairable units (not repairable at the user level) BUT this more than offsets the cost of new units ... BUY a quality product and the service you'll get from such items will be more than just proportional - the TROUBLE is, MOST PEOPLE BUY CHEAP (on the basis of initial acquisition PRICE alone)!!

40 posted on 08/30/2003 6:55:59 AM PDT by _Jim (Resources for Understanding the Blackout of 2003 - www.pserc.wisc.edu/Resources.htm)
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To: paltz
"Community colleges are picking up the slack. But students often enter with no hands-on skills: They don't know how to change the oil, or how big a 13 mm wrench is. And many can't read well enough to understand the manual or use the diagnostic data on the computer screen. Qualifying for a skilled trade is more demanding than qualifying for most colleges."

Son #3 is under 30, and is an ASE Certified Master Auto Technician. He just moved here to MN to be with me since the death of his father, and immediately began an online search for a job. He submitted his resume repeatedly, registered with numerous "headhunters," and was offered a job which was too good to pass up within 36 hours.

All his life, he has had a desire to be a mechanic, and has studied everything he could on the subject, took auto shop in high school, and read every technical manual and parts catalog he could get his hands on, and virtually committed them to memory. By the time he was offered the job with General Electric here, he had a resume that was so impressive that he is still getting offers from the submissions he made online.

Blue-collar jobs will always be with us, as long as people need homes and cars, and they need these things to be maintained.

Construction trades (carpentry, heavy-equipment operation, electricians, plumbers, etc.) and auto maintenance will probably be among the most stable places for work, from what I can see. I live in a rural area, and don't see a lot of city life, but after watching my two sons look for work during the same period of time, I am inclined to believe that the son who is in IT and communications might do well to brush up on his motorcycle mechanic's skills and apply for work in any blue-collar area besides IT.

41 posted on 08/30/2003 7:12:57 AM PDT by redhead
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To: freedumb2003
Where's the sentence the writer ended with a preposition at?
42 posted on 08/30/2003 7:19:38 AM PDT by openotherend (I'm their leader! Which way did they go?)
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To: pickemuphere
Is, am, are, was, were, be, being, and been.

Now how did I remember that!
43 posted on 08/30/2003 7:22:56 AM PDT by openotherend (I'm their leader! Which way did they go?)
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To: freedumb2003
"Is" is a verb, not a preposition.
44 posted on 08/30/2003 7:38:29 AM PDT by Junior (Killed a six pack ... just to watch it die.)
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To: Movemout; Junior; openotherend; pickemuphere
"Is" is a form of the verb "be." I may be mistaken, but I don't believe "is" is a preposition, "Is is a verb" etc.

I stated re-reaserching this and I think I pulled the trigger too soon. In some contexts, "is" can be a preposition, but in most it is merely a (linking) verb. It is an oddity to end a sentence that way, since it gives the appearance of not being complete, but I do, indeed, stand corrected.

Also, my research shows there is a big movement to eliminiate the reliance on this rule, since propositions so frequently accompany linking verbs that reconstructing the sentence usually brings the preposition along. Except for the dreaded "where it is at" redunandcy (it is probably where it is) I think the whole dangling participle and preposition-ending thing needs a good shake out and the result thereof a public airing.

I bet my auto mechanic can't parse a sentence and I know he has the handwriting of a doctor. But my car runs great, even thought I have to take out a second mortgage to pay for the repair.

When I was in HS I could strip and rebuild am 8-cylinder Engine wth my eyes closed. Nowadays, the engines are so computerized (and jammed into the car) that you need special tools and diagnostic equipment just to change the doggone spark plugs!

45 posted on 08/30/2003 7:49:20 AM PDT by freedumb2003 (Peace through Strength)
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To: freedumb2003
They don't know how to change the oil, or how big a 13 mm wrench is.

Ummm, 13mm?

Also interesting to note that the author, presumably a professional writer, is ending a sentence with a preposition.

Before you correct someone else's writing, you might want to review the differences between verbs (e.g. "is") and prepositions (e.g. "with").

A preposition is generally considered a bad thing to end a sentence with. On the other hand, I have been known to sometimes split an infinitive. :=)

46 posted on 08/30/2003 8:19:12 AM PDT by Bob (http://www.TomMcClintock.com)
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To: freedumb2003
That would be a verb of being.
47 posted on 08/30/2003 8:21:33 AM PDT by Redcloak (All work and no FReep makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no FReep make s Jack a dul boy. Allwork an)
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To: Bob
Note to self:

Read all the way through a thread before posting to avoid making redundant posts.

48 posted on 08/30/2003 8:25:05 AM PDT by Bob (http://www.TomMcClintock.com)
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To: Think free or die
An electrician in my town had his daugher's wedding pictures featured in TOWN AND COUNTRY magazine.
49 posted on 08/30/2003 8:36:27 AM PDT by ladylib
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To: Amelia
They just have to get a better caliber of kids into Georgia's classrooms.
50 posted on 08/30/2003 8:38:37 AM PDT by ladylib
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