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patterns of ink

How fruitless to be ever thinking yet never embrace a thought... to have the power to believe and believe it's all for naught. I, too, have reckoned time and truth (content to wonder if not think) in metaphors and meaning and endless patterns of ink. Perhaps a few may find their way to the world where others live, sharing not just thoughts I've gathered but those I wish to give. Tom Kapanka

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Earning Your Keep and Then Some

This was not written in 2004. This is not a finished post but rather a collection bin of ideas for a future series here at Patterns of Ink that will discuss the value of family chores, labor-for-hire, and seeking gainful employment even if the work involved does not reflect one's long-range career goals. In more recent years, I have found fewer and fewer students who understand the value of hard work in exchange for needed income. Worse yet, we are becoming a nation of employees not workers, and many employees have focused so precisely on one "gift" that they have forfeited the common sense and practical skill-sets that come from gladly accepting a variety “jobs” in search of experience as well as the funds needed to pursue other long-range ministry and/or employment goals.

Chapters in this series will include things I learned from jobs I’m glad are not my career. Below are simply “topics” to jog my memory for when I begin this series;
Paper routes
“Will Work for Money for Camp” [Working for the gypsy lady “See how nice?” pulling the mower behind my bike; mowing the church lawn—there’s no such thing as under-delivering just because you under-bid, etc. drinking from a hose]
Building a house with Dad (see Unsettled)
Being a Bus Boy at Sveden House—yuk!
Landscaping
Night cleaning crew during first two years of college.
“Tender to the Ground” (my month as a cemetery care-taker)
Four summers in the Ford Vinyl plant.
Night custodial worker at McDonalds.
Selling Kirby vacuum cleaners (foam up the pant leg) met the goal of ten in two months, but hated the job.
Substitute teacher in L’anse Cruise District Macomb Co. MI. tech center assignment.
Christmas Tree farm December 1979
Working in a rock quarry summer 1980 Crop duster “marker-man”
Hospice worker / handy man for Julie’s dying grandfather summer 1981
Painting a barn roof $50 death mission in Indiana 1981 wrong number
Detasseling corn in Iowa. A job I never did but want to write about. Unbelievable and unknown to most non-Iowans.
Video Business 1984- 2000. Started with Ray Debar $100 ended with over $1,000 per typical job.
School Administration

The purpose of the posts will not be about the obvious things one can learn from these jobs but how those experiences apply to so many other things in life during my thirty year career (thus far) in the classroom and school office.

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