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Old 07-25-2018, 10:41 PM
tr4252's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Syracuse, NY
Posts: 350

I remember a Kurt Vonnegut Jr. short story about a society which handicapped the majority of its members so that all people would be equal. For example someone who was slim would be required to wear weights to make them equal with heavier people. I don't recall the name, but I think they made a movie based on the story also. I remember the end of the story was quite disturbing (typical Vonnegut).

I work with a lot of engineers in a high tech company, and the majority of them seem illiterate and sloppy to me. Of course, I'm 67 years old; one of those high school and trade school grads from 40 years ago (oh, all right, 49 years ago). Principles of efficient design, practical applications, and even proper wire dress are lost on them. Don't get me started about what CAD programs like Autocad have done to drafting and drawing standards. They make their mistakes and often claim that the CAD program is at fault, because it did most of the work for them anyway.

Interestingly, three of our best engineers are from the UK, China, and India.

I went to a Catholic school in the late 50's - early 60's, and it was a different world. Sure, we got slapped around some, but in the long run it helped us learn good work ethics and a desire to get things right the first time. My handwriting is pretty good, though my knuckles are scarred and deformed from getting them rapped with a ruler when it was sub par. I recall an incident from when I was in the 4th grade. The sister superior burst into our classroom dragging a 5th grade student by the collar. She flung him into a vacant desk so violently that he fell off the other side of the chair, scattering a bunch of plastic toys as he hit the floor. The kid was pushed back to 4th grade, and he stayed held back one grade for as long as I knew him. He turned out OK as an adult.

The nuns encouraged creativity and personal development, though learning the hard way was the S.O.P. as I recall. Hey, we were animal children, and a little discipline was overall a good thing.

I refrain from talking about the good old days (mostly) because it tends to alienate the younger engineers and techs who think my values are outmoded, and they probably don't believe me anyway.


Last edited by tr4252; 07-25-2018 at 10:59 PM.
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