I know this isn’t supposed to be funny…
I work in an industry that used to have apprentices. Though sometimes they weren’t formally identified as such, they nevertheless had a time period of relatively low responsibility in which to acquire skills and ask hundreds, even thousands of questions. They also got all the crap jobs.
In some ways it was a useful system. There were some older guys that I learned from, that watched what I was doing, and that generally seemed to care whether I was getting it. At the time I barely noticed that I was being trained, and spent a fair amount of time complaining about the tedious nature of the work. After time passed and I learned a bit more, I could see the method of it.
In other ways, though, it could at times be an impediment to learning. Some of those “master” workers were completely full of themselves, so much so that they refused to keep up with the changes in technology. The old ways became officially broken in the late 1980’s. Even today you still can hear some idiot moaning about how much better things were before computers f$cked everything up.
As a computer-savvy technician today you can out-produce the old technology by leaps and bounds, particularly with regard to product quality. It’s not all just scheduling spreadsheets.
But the apprentice system pretty much died too. There are very few workers now that understand the complete product they are working on. The focus on method ended up costing breadth of knowledge.
We still need apprentices to do the crap work, but now they have to be expert in one tenth of the time, without the benefit of a broad understanding.
I bought a little back-packing stove off the Amazon. It’s stainless with all kinds of air holes in it, the idea being to use small pieces of wood to do your cooking. It’s simple enough to put together, and the design seemed good for the purpose.
Since it was a beautiful day, I thought I would give it a back-yard test run.
I haven’t started any fires in a while. When I have they usually require striking a match and turning a knob, or, at most, squirting some sort of petroleum onto some charcoal. I seem to have lost some of the basic skills of hobo life. I had to start over at least once, and expended far too many matches in the ignition of this device. Once I got the hang of it though, it burned quickly and went through my little pile of sticks in no time. I wonder if I have to give any Boy Scout badges back now.
Having obtained glowing coals at last, I could finally start to heat the water.
The plan was to create a cup of tea.
I’m not sure this didn’t end up being some kind of Buddhist frustration activity. It took a ridiculously long time to boil that water. Talk about being in the moment. « Would you freaking boil already?!? »
Finally it worked. It wasn’t stellar tea, but it was adequate. Next time I will try to feed myself. I sincerely hope I won’t have to kill something first.