Hall 1101-351

Angelica Salazar

English 1101

              Manual skills are something that everyone should have the option to learn, learning manual skills or manual labor at a young age can be beneficial in the future, there can be more job opportunities for those who have the skills to work in physical jobs. Learning at a young age can be great because as we are young we can retain more information and as we’re still learning there are many other skills that can be learned or skills that can be improved throughout time. Crawford is a man that has learned many skills throughout his lifetime, he learned so much about the manual trades in the book “Soul Craft as Shop Class” Crawford states on page 8 “I began working as an electrician’s helper at age fourteen, and started a small electrical contracting business after college, in Santa Barbara. In those years I never ceased to take pleasure in the moment…” in this quote we understand that Crawford had started learning trade skills at a young age, he shows us that he has improved his skills throughout the years and he has done what he’s most passionate about he enjoyed working in that specific area and even opened up his own little business in Santa Barbra. In my opinion I believe that since he had learned trade skills at a young age that gave him the ability to determine what he wanted for his future, he enjoyed working with his hands he loved the experience that he had and the ability that he had to put things together and make them function together. This is an example why vocational skills should be reintroduced in schools, students who can explore how the manual trades work have more of an idea of what they want to do in the future.

              In present day vocational skills are considered a thing of the past not many schools have a shop class, they are not appreciated anymore for instance in the article Crawford states “Today, in our schools, the manual trades are given little honor. The egalitarian worry that has always attended tracking students into “college prep” and “vocational ed” is overlaid with another: the fear that acquiring a specific skill set means that one’s life is determined. In college, by contrast, many students don’t learn anything of particular application; college is the ticket to an open future.” What he means is societies fear it that they assume because a person is skilled and is really good at it, that it will be their future, and that “one’s life is determined” however this is not always the case some people are just “testing the water” by this I mean they are just exploring ideas of their future and are deciding whether or not they like trade skills, if they have the option to learn manual skills then they should go for it because it’s good learning experience for them to know what are the options of jobs that are out there besides white-collar jobs. Also just because they are good at a specific job doesn’t mean they are going to stick to it, in my personal experience in the part time job that I have I mostly work on the computer putting in information that is required for my job and picking up the phone if anyone calls, I am good at what I do but it doesn’t mean that I am going to stick to it the job that I have can fall under the category of a white-collar job and it does get a little boring at times, this is why its good to learn manual skill you can do a lot more that just sit you have the opportunity to learn and get to know what you like best and what can help you in the future.

              Many young adults entering the world are learning how the world around us works, many of us have an idea of what we want our future to be like, having the option or experience of learning how to work manually can give them an idea of other jobs that are available in the world in addition to white-collar jobs. Though white-collar jobs are good they are just not the same has blue-collar jobs. Crawford himself writes “Such a partition of thinking from doing has bequeathed us the dichotomy of “white collar” versus “blue collar,” corresponding to mental versus manual. These seem to be the categories that inform the educational landscape even now, and this entails two big errors. First, it assumes that all blue-collar work is as mindless as assembly line work, and second, that white collar work is still recognizably mental in character.” This quote is trying to break down the difference of white-collar work and blue-collar work it shows that some say that blue-collar work is just manual, and people just being instructed what to do and not using any knowledge and that white-collar work is skillful and requires knowledge. Meanwhile it’s the opposite and its blue-collar work that requires lots or skill and knowledge for instance another quote from Crawford states “When I would come home from work, my wife would sniff at me and say “carbs” or “brakes,” corresponding to the various solvents used. Leaving a sensible trace, my day was at least imaginable to her. But while the filth and odors were apparent, the amount of head-scratching I’d done since breakfast was not.” This give an idea of what is asked of blue-collar jobs it conveys that manual work requires lots of thinking and not always instructions to do so are included. As for the white-collar workers they are usually “stuck behind a cubical” meaning it’s all office work and people are barely using any knowledge everything is right in front of them and doesn’t require that much thinking. Working hard and thinking trying to put the puzzle together can be a great experience for young adults because they are not only just focusing on one part they are looking at the whole picture and looking how to fix what isn’t functioning. White-collar jobs are just those who are working mentally, they are focusing on a specific item  and are not doing anything physical, so why just focus on something small that would probably end up being boring at the end young adults should expand their knowledge into learning how new things work and not just technology but also something that would make you feel proud of yourself and that can come in handy in the future. Learning manual trades can be enlightening to those who want to have the experience and can be something that they can enjoy and learn from. Having manual skills can be very beneficial and school should include then in students learning process to be more educated and prepared for the future.

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