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Old 03-31-2011, 11:16 AM
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Default There is hope yet

Great article in today's NYT

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/31/ga...kids.html?_r=1

I hope you can read it and don't get caught outside their new paywall.

Be sure to click on the pic&video links!

Jay
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Old 03-31-2011, 12:56 PM
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Default Re: There is hope yet

Excellent article and it does give some hope as suggested by the title of the thread. I had no idea people were doing this, it is about time we started turning back to kids being able to do things like this.

Back in the old days there were no videos, DVDs, Internet, iDevices, etc. so we entertained ourselves building forts, carts, and whatever else we could think of and "obtain" materials for. This type of activity along with shooting, hunting, climbing trees and similar have been largely crushed by various aspects of over-protective parenting, liability concerns, media nonsense, "security" considerations, time pressures and other dubious aspects of modern living.

So while I doubt we will get back to the unstructured and unsupervised (not to mention unwise and sometimes un-legal) activities that characterized how some of us grew up in the 1960s, I am glad to see people and organizations that are providing some opportunities for kids to do stuff with their hands and tools.

Thanks for posting.
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Old 03-31-2011, 03:53 PM
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Default Re: There is hope yet

What a wonderful, inspiring article, Jay. Thanks so much for posting. As I read it I recalled my childhood, and realized how much I learned from my parents - like using a chainsaw at age 10, and getting my first pocket knife (I still have it) at 6. Such important experiences that our kids aren't getting these days.

Gillian! To the shop! Let's BUILD!
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Old 03-31-2011, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: There is hope yet

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Originally Posted by Poto View Post

As I read it I recalled my childhood, and realized how much I learned from my parents - like using a chainsaw at age 10, and getting my first pocket knife (I still have it) at 6.
And now they call you "Peg Leg Pete".

My Dad was a contractor, and very skilled at carpentry, plumbing, electrical, and masonry. Unfortunately, he worked so much when we were small that he had little time to teach us much. That all changed after I bought my first house and he was there to help me with everything, including room additions.

My first experiences in working with my hands came from shop classes in junior and senior high school. I still remember how much I loved wood shop, electric shop, metal shop, and later, auto shop. Those shops really got me off to a good start, I wish they still offered them here in the local public schools. Not everybody is cut out to be a scientist.


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Old 03-31-2011, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: There is hope yet

I was fortunate to have wood shop in 7th and 8th grades. One of my all-time favorite classes - and I have the scars to prove it! I wish I had more of the sorts of classes you had, John. I'd love to know how to weld and do metalwork, fix a car, etc. I'm certain it would have made me a better scientist.

(And just for the record, while you might not have become a scientist, I still think you'd be an awesome political analyst. I'd much rather hear what you have to say than most of the talking heads on TV.)
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Old 03-31-2011, 04:59 PM
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(And just for the record, while you might not have become a scientist, I still think you'd be an awesome political analyst. I'd much rather hear what you have to say than most of the talking heads on TV.)
Nice of you to say, Peter. I'm going to print this out and show it to my wife. She's always asking me if I have an "off button" like the TV.


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Old 03-31-2011, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: There is hope yet

My Dad started me with hand tools probably when I was about 5. He built me a little workbench out of 2x10 & 2x4s with a bench hook on one end to make sawing boards easier. I built a whole fleet of "gutter boats" to float down the street after a rain.

I'm not sure, but I think that bench is still buried in my Mom's basement. I'll have to retrieve it the next time I'm in NY.
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