Why I have not been posting

I am taking classes at a local trade school at night. You should not confuse this place with the various technical schools that are around. This place is where the mentally handicapped are sent from the various school districts. This is the place where all the people who are considered too dumb to go to college are sent to learn a trade. In short, this is a school for losers.

In keeping with the school’s mission to take care of the losers, the school also offers adult education programs that are geared towards helping those poor blue collar saps who have lost their jobs and don’t have much in the way of marketable skills. It also tries to reach out to those who dropped out of high school and/or were thrown into jail before they could figure out what they wanted to do with their lives.

I started taking a class at this institution for losers back in January with some trepidation. I already have a good job for the area in which I live and I am not looking to find another job. But there has been a shadow hanging over my job for a little over a year now. It’s not that I am in any danger of losing my job per se, it’s just that in my current job title I can be transferred into a paper shuffling job at the blink of an eye.

I don’t want that to happen. I really don’t want that to happen. But there are people in positions of influence who do. And in one sense, I can’t blame them.

Most of the people who hold my job title have more experience in the field than I have been alive. It was the occasion of some bitterness on many peoples’ part that I got my title so easily and with so little experience. The only real advantages that I offer to offset my inexperience are that I know how to handle a computer and I am reasonably hard working.

So it makes a certain amount of sense to put me behind a computer and let me solve paperwork problems, write proposals, and generally make my bosses look smart. That is why I felt it necessary to make myself as valuable as possible out in the field. And the only way I could see to do that was to get some additional training.

Still, I was not sure that the school for losers would help me out any. I could easily imagine myself being bored out of my mind and not really learning anything.
On the plus side, I had a brother who took a class at this intuition and he got a decent teacher. On the other hand, almost all my brother’s fellow students were big time losers. For example, most of them did not take a test that they were told had a good chance of getting them a job because they did not think that they could pass a drug test. Pot was too dear to their hearts to give up for an employment opportunity. Who needs a job when you are a young single male?

And if deep within your evil soul you are imaging that all of these losers were black or Hispanic you can guess again. We are talking about a class full of white guys here. There were a few exceptions, of course. But the exceptions tended to be the better students in the class. Like an immigrant from Africa who was holding down a job, taking the class, and sending money back to Africa. He wasn’t afraid of no drug test.

But such people were exceptions. Most of the class was white and on drugs. And they just did not care.

Now maybe I am weird, but the thought of spending a major portion of my free time with people like that does not exactly fill me with joy. Moreover, I had good reason to think that my brother had just gotten lucky with his teacher and I thought that it was unlikely that I would be as fortunate.

Happily, I can report that everything has gone just about as well as I could have possibly expected. For one thing, I managed to pick up a decent teacher myself. I don’t know if that is because there are a higher percentage of good teachers at this institution for losers than I had previously supposed or if it is because my brother and I have been receiving preferential treatment from on high. I do know for a fact that there are some teachers at this school that would drive me up the wall if they were my teachers because I had one of them for a sub for a few days.

Regardless of the reasons why, the fact that my teacher really knows his stuff has been a major plus. It helps that he has a real enthusiasm for teaching us. I guess that it helps that we are a breath of fresh air compared to his day class. While he is waiting for the official class start time he will usually tell us about the things that have gone wrong in his day class. One day the story will be about how he had to confiscate a knife from one of his students. Another day it will be about how he gave everyone in his day class an open book test for the third time and they all failed it (for the third time). And every so often he lets us know how great it is to be teaching a class where everyone wants to learn which makes everyone feel good about themselves.

And I have to say that it is nice being in a class where everyone wants to learn. I have to say that the quality of my classmates has been an even greater surprise than the quality of my teacher. When the lady who was giving us orientation made a general announcement that the people who had test scores that indicated that their math and reading scores were too low for the class, (they make you take an assessment test before you register) but were being allowed to take the class anyway, had to understand that no extra tutoring would be provided, I assumed the worst.

But only one guy seemed like he was on drugs and he dropped out in the first week. Almost everyone in the class already has a job, and most of those who don’t are without jobs by their own choice. So they are all a pretty responsible bunch. And these guys are not spending their evenings in class because they want to fool around. They are all there to learn and it shows.

Sadly, this does not mean that everyone is staying on top of the course material. In fact, I would say that about half the class is having trouble keeping up. The course is just too advanced for most of them. They might not have any trouble putting things together, but the abstract reasoning required for design and troubleshooting is giving them fits.

I am handling it all right but the class still sucks up enormous amounts of my time. That is why I have not been posting much on my blogs. I expect that will continue to hold true until August.

One Response to “Why I have not been posting”

  1. […] _uacct = “UA-1202685-1”; urchinTracker(); Map of the Ethereal Land The Ethereal Voice Front Page – Politics – Money – Knowledge – Art – Food – Fun Masthead About Why I have not been posting By Ape Man | April 15, 2008 – 9:28 pm Posted in Category: Front Page I am taking classes at a local trade school at night. You should not confuse this place with the various technical schools that are around. This place is where the mentally handicapped are sent from the various school districts. This is the place where all the people who are considered too dumb to go to Click Here to continue reading. […]

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