As the fall of 2017 comes to a close, I am one step closer to a new degree and one step closer to a new adventure. When I attend these welding sessions, I am reminded of the engineering classes I took in high school. CADD, circuitry, machine tool; in high school they were to highlight of my day. This is why I am a firm believer that shop classes such as these are more valuable than most academic courses. For me, learning with real-world tools was more valuable than learning from books. As started before, I’m a visual learner and a practical learner. If I’m given a history book and asked to memorize what happened between 1677-1754, I’m only going to use that information once and then never use it again. In an industrial arts class however, you wake up and learn something that you will use in the immediate future and you learn how to be self-reliant in the real-world.
If my school had a class for cooking, I wouldn’t need to rely on fast-food for meals. If there was an automotive course, I wouldn’t need to rely on mechanic as much to fix my truck. If there was a ceramics class, then I could create my own dishes instead of relying on a big-box story for my home needs. The list can go on! Plumbing, glasswork, metalwork, carpentry, and even hunting.
Just to clarify; I am NOT a hunter! I have no desire to hunt. I have a deep love for animals. With that being said, even I can see value in hunting classes for kids. Such classes can teach gun safety. How to hunt responsibly. And most importantly, how to respect your kill.
If my children ever ask me to ask me to take them hunting, I would have two conditions. (1) Be safe. (2) Make dinner out of whatever they killed. Hunting should be related to survival, not killing for the sake of killing. A hunter should kill for food, not acquiring ghoulish trophies. If children learn from the being what a hunter should be, then maybe we can begin to eliminate some of the many murderous poachers in the world.
To be independent is a difficult ability to most people, especially if they are on the spectrum. There are plenty of things I don’t know how to do to survive in the real-world. As such I constantly need to refer to my parents anytime something goes wrong because I wasn’t prepared beforehand. The long and short of the matter is I believe school need to care less about memorizing useless trivia and needs to be about teaching skills they can use to be self-reliant.