Sunday, October 5, 2008

Needed: Hands-on Experience

In the Sunday paper this week, there were two articles that are more interesting together. One article described a children's event connected with Hatchfest, in which kids built things with wood scraps and real tools; the man behind the event worked construction before he went into films and is concerned that kids aren't picking up trades the way they used to. Tradesmen are aging, and there won't be anyone to build things.

The second article was about large-animal veterinarians, especially those who work with cows, pigs, sheep, and other food animals. They are getting harder to find, apparently because kids aren't growing up on family farms and learning about the animals early. Without hands-on experience, kids don't have the interest or the background to follow the profession.

So thanks to our increasing emphasis on computers and urban living, we may be starving our construction and agricultural future. That is good news for the few people who do want to build things or take care of farm animals, but not for the rest of us.

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