Yesterday saw the completion of a wall board repair project in this study where I am writing this post. After a completely botched job by a previous tradesperson, our new worker did an amazing job. In just a few hours over two days we have a very satisfactory outcome. All this has reminded me to appreciate skilled persons in the various trades. Be it electricians, plumbers, masons, metalworkers, or various kinds of mechanicians. I know from experience that I am what is called "a jack of all trades but a master of none". I'm an engineer and although I probably have a deeper understanding of structures and machines than the trades people, I certainly cannot execute the designs as well as they can. In summary I really appreciate the work of skilled people. By the way our most recent experience underscored that diversity in the work force is a boon. Traditionally big burly dudes often are the vision of people in the trades. However in our recent project we had a slightly built woman that worked wonders! Liberation! I especially appreciate the removal of stereotypes since we have two daughters who are engineers. Both were pioneers in breaking the stereotypic barriers to success as civil and electrical engineers.
I had a long active career as an engineering professor and certainly value higher level education. However a college education is not the path for everyone. As a society and a country we desperately need qualified and skilled doers! People who can fix and build things! During this coming ski season, I surely will be calling on the ski mechanics to sharpen and tune my skis!