dictionary with letter A

Apprentice (n): a person who is learning a trade from a skilled employer, having agreed to work for a fixed period at low wages.

Perhaps it is too late.

Yes, maybe Donald Trump has ruined the word “apprentice” for all time by misusing it as the title of his NBC show.

But I will take a risk. Yes, I will step out and say that if we could return the word “apprentice” to our lives, and especially to our business practices, we would be much better off than we are today in our commerce.

For the truth is, we send people to college, hopefully to gain general knowledge and for them to finish wild-oat-sowing, only to place them in an occupation where they start all over again as an apprentice. Because after all, every company has policies and practices which are different from the competitor next door.

To think that we can teach art, business or education in a college atmosphere and transfuse the blood of the business world into a student is absolutely ludicrous.

What we are hoping is that a twenty-three-year-old is going to be more prepared to apprentice than an eighteen-year-old.

We are assuming that the four or five years of maturity garnered by attending college, being forced to interact with other cultures and races, will make our potential employee a more well-rounded individual. Truthfully, it is dishonest to convey that a college education prepares someone for success in the market place.

It does not.

It does keep them learning until they can finally arrive in a place where they truly do learn.

It keeps the edge and acuity of thinking in practice while we prepare a place for them in line, to see how they measure up against the other applicants.

Are there occupations that demand higher learning instead of apprenticing? I will probably frighten you by saying that even a doctor could apprentice a student. Certain things would have to be done slowly and patiently, but eventually terminology and certainly, more importantly, operations, could be transferred from physician to intern.

So am I saying that a university degree is meaningless? Absolutely not. For some people in our culture just aren’t ready at eighteen years of age to listen to anything but their ear buds.

During the time of Dickens and Mark Twain, young men were allready mollified by the age of fourteen. It is not so with our rendition of humanity.

So college gives young men and women the chance to be kicked in the face enough to learn how to handle a punch. At least, that’s what we hope.

But we will do better in this country when we finally admit that no one walks from academia into the board room.

Everyone spends some time sorting mail before they get the privilege of receiving it.



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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —¬† J.R. Practix


Words from Dic(tionary)

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Acuity: (n) sharpness or keenness of thought, vision or hearing. e.g.: intellectual acuity, visual acuity.

This was interesting to me.

I have always associated the word “acuity” with some sort of sight. As I’ve gotten older, my eyes still function quite well except for a little dimness. Perhaps it’s the punishment for longevity–a general darkening of the corners of eyesight, earshot–and dare I say, flexibility of thinking.

I would suggest a much better way to ward off the woes and worries of aging, rather than tummy tucks, wrinkle creams, Botox and face lifts.

Just stay sharp. Exercise the brain.

Find the kind of glasses, magnifiers and various tools available to make sure you see the best you possibly can.

Sit closer to people so you can hear better. Rather than distancing yourself and secluding from the world around you, close the gap between the generations and remain current to the affairs.

Acuity is something that we can FAKE. Isn’t that GREAT? I know that sometimes faking is viewed as a vice, perhaps coming across as phony. But acuity merely requests that we take in what’s available instead of pretending that we didn’t notice or aren’t interested.

Start with your eyes. Yes–the light of the body is the eye. I can always tell by looking in someone’s peepers whether he or she is still with us, or if behind that glazed expression is the whimsy of reminiscence instead of hope for the present.

I love my children and grandchildren but they are not my life. I have a life, I include them in that life and they’re welcome to keep up with me if they can. None of them would ever call me “old Grandpa.”

Even as my body starts to betray me, insisting on some token measure of “decrepit” in order to fulfill my years, my mind, spirit and emotions remain youthful and alive.

There’s not much we can give to one another which will be universally accepted as generous. Staying alert and using our acuity, free of judgment, is the best way to give the whole world a hug.