If I learned anything in college it was how to bullshit. It was how to fake my way through sounding like I knew something. I got really good at it. And it often turned out the thicker the bullshit, the better the grade. In carpentry, if you bullshit, the drawer won’t close, the threshold will squeak, the tiles will crack, you’ll trip on the stairs, and the walls will fall down. Corners can be cut, no question, but when you fake it, you know. Your boss knows. Your client knows. You are answerable, in a direct and tangible way, for your work. There’s a subjectivity to a grade (when we’re talking American Lit as opposed to Principles of Engineering). Carpentry has objective results. The floor doesn’t cave in when you walk on it, for example. The books don’t tumble off the shelf.
I wrote about the ways college did — and did not — prepare me for carpentry work. You can read the piece here.
September 2, 2011
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