Sunday, February 26, 2012

Jack of All Trades, Master of None

I grew up in rural farming town and went to a very small school.  There weren’t a lot of options for elective classes. Actually we didn’t have a lot of options for core classes either.  There were certainly no AP classes.  There was one option for a foreign language, Spanish, until the Spanish teacher got fired for smoking weed or some other similar scandal.  Those students who had already taken a year of Spanish were allowed to continue in Spanish with lessons that were played each day on VHS tapes.  Everyone else had to take French from the English teacher. 
All freshmen (all sixty something of us) were required to take a “vocational rotation” for one semester as an elective.  This “vocational rotation” consisted of six weeks of home economics, six weeks of horticulture, and six weeks of welding.
Yes, you read that correctly, WELDING. 

We learned both gas and electric arc welding! How’s that for diversity?  Our teacher was a brilliant guy. I’m not being sarcastic here, he was actually a member of Mensa.  He was also a bit overweight and had a tendency to doze off during class and was frequently called out of class to handle other duties, like checking out flat tires and yesterday's catch. I’m still amazed that no one was critically injured. 

Don't let anyone tell you that highschool doesn't prepare you for the real world job market.
During home economics, I learned the basics of sewing and cooking, or as much as you can learn in six weeks.  During horticulture, I learned that Georgia leads the nation (or did so at the time) in the production of the four Ps.  That’s 1) Pine Trees 2) Poultry 3) Peanuts and 4) Pecans.  I’m sure we learned something else in horticulture, I just can’t remember exactly what it was. I do know that we spent a lot of time in the greenhouse watering plants.  All my house plants are currently alive so I'm going to attribute that to my horticulture training. 
In later years I took a semester of drafting and a semester of small engine repair. During small engine repair I learned how the four stroke engine works and how to change the oil in my car.  Most importantly, I learned that it’s a lot easier to pay someone $30 to change your oil than it is to do it yourself. 

I was also involved in 4-H so I participated in land judging, forestry juding and poultry judging. 

Need to know the approximate grade of your eggs or how to tell if your chicken will by a good layer? Give me a call

Since highschool I've taken classes in acryclic painting, pottery making, and cake decorating. 

Unfortunately six to twelve weeks isn't exactly long enough to master small engine repair, or cake decorating, or most of the other things I've dabbled in.  So I'm mediocre in a lot of things, but atleast I'm well rounded!

That’s me, Jack of All Trades (including Welding, Sewing, and Small Engine Repair),
Master of None.  


  1. I'm taking a class next week offered by the National Weather Service and NOAA on basic weather spotting. Isn't that exciting? So I can save my friend's life on the beach by being able to tell which thunderheads are actually threatening. I believe this to be an important life skill.

    But I love your high school stories.

    1. That is exciting! Now maybe you can explain what all those weathermen are talking about. Like "high pressure from the north?" Now does that mean its going to be hot or cold tomorrow?

      Can't wait to find out!!!