I have posted before about the many people who helped me along the way to becoming a productive member of the gear community. Today I would like to thank the like number of people who have let me participate in their gear education. You cannot really know a subject until you try to explain it to others.
The teaching community is under lots of pressure these days because our young people are perceived as not measuring up to standards as defined by government mandated tests. Sadly, this complaint is as old as education itself. There are historical accounts of the same rant being uttered by elders thousands of years ago.
Compulsory education is barely 100 years old; it is shocking to some that in 1900 only a very small percentage of children went to high school. Even fewer went to college. The traditional method of educating children was them working along side their parents or a trusted family associate. The odds were that if your father was a farmer you became a farmer. Most of our surnames are rooted in either our parentage (Johnson, for example) or the family trade. My last name is the German word for overseer or supervisor. That might be why there are so many branches on our family tree!
There are few surnames that even remotely connect to the gear trade but our community needs to maker sure that the knowledge we have worked so hard to develop gets passed along to our youngsters. It is one thing to point new employees at a stack of books or to give them a link to Gear Technology’s archives. None of us learned to read or wrote or to do math on our own; access to information is not the same as being taught.
Sure, my “students” took time out of my day that could have been devoted to my project list. At a certain point in your life you recognize that sharing your interests with others is as much a part of your “job” as checking things off a list. If each gear guy or gear gal makes the time to teach just one newcomer a year we will all be rewarded with a more active and vibrant gear community.