We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
In engineering college I also learned welding (gas and arc), machining (lathe and mill), sand casting, investment casting, sheet metal bending, and electronics. In retrospect, all that was like wetting my pants in a dark suit - It gives me a warm feeling but nobody noticed. Not a single employer ever paid me extra for knowing any of that.
As a medical student, I learned microbiology and did lab experiments. I am uneasy that medical students don't do that anymore. I knew a Radiology professor who thought doctors should not learn to read x-rays. Just his reports. I read my own. I guess it is a personal attitude.
Photo brings back memories. I took metal shop as an "elective" in 7th and 8th grade junior HS, in Overland Park KS ~1978. Learned welding - gas and electric - braising, lathe, etc. Built things from stock! I was never gonna travel that path, but I learned so much that to this day some of those lessons inform my work as an engineer. I fear we no longer allow kids - I was ~14! - to learn and experience these things. No matter what they are headed for, some understanding of how things work is important.
Some 40 years ago I broke a finger in a pickup basketball game. I knew it instantly. Went to the doctor and got the x-ray and after looking at it the doc said I don't see a break. But right there in the first joint I saw a little chip and pointed at it and said "what is that". The doc looked closely and took the x-ray and excused himself. In a minute a corpsman came in and said "Ok we are going to put a splint on your finger.
Not a criticism, just an observation. I like my doctors and nurses and probably would have died on two occasions without good medical care. Right now our #2 son is in the hospital (out of ICU yesterday) due to an accident and I am again reminded of the dedication and skill of the nurses. Thank you all for all you do.
Say, I learned most of those skills in high school, and for the most part, I'm glad I did. Now, at 80, I can still do stuff that needs doing around the place. Except for welding - not sposed to arc-weld if you have a pacemaker. Just 'cause nobody ever paid me for those skills? Come on -