Apprentice

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

Antacid

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Antacid: (n.) a preventative to correct acidity, usually in the stomach.

All of us human mortals suffer from some form of “wimp factor.”

It’s not easy to admit, especially if you’re preoccupied with the notion of appearing macho or self-reliant.

But honestly, one of the more endearing factors about being a part of this race is that when we get candid with one another about our foolishness and silliness, we can really be quite charming.

I think the first time I was consciously aware of having a bad case of indigestion was in my early twenties. I had never even considered antacid or assistance of any sort for my digestive tract.

Being a silly goose, I assumed that the rumblings in my chest were the onset of a heart attack. Even though it would be unusual for anyone of my age to be plagued by such a tragedy, I convinced myself that I was the exception to the rule, and rather than having ingested a very greasy piece of smoked sausage, I had clogged up an artery which was trying to keep me from breathing.

So every time I felt the little twinge of pain, I frantically took deep breaths to make sure I would maintain consciousness, and in doing so hyperventilated, only increasing my worry, which led to having an anxiety attack–which, by the way, feels similar to the heart variety.

It was so silly–especially when I found myself in an emergency room and they poured out some white liquid in a small cup, and I asked them if it was for my heart. The nurse calmly replied, “No. It’s Di-gel. For your belly ache.”

I only spent half an hour there, and received some giggles from the attending physician, who told me that if I didn’t lose weight, I probably would be in there with a heart attack in thirty years or so, but I was safe for the time being.

I know there are people who have to use antacids all the time, but basically, if you don’t eat too much fatty food while also consuming large amounts of fluid, you can usually avoid gastric distress.

And if you do happen to have a twinge in your belly that radiates up into your chest, don’t immediately assume that you’re dying.

You are one belch away from salvation.

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AMA

dictionary with letter A

AMA: (abbr.) American Medical Association

Much to the chagrin of a physician or two who have crossed my path, I look on the medical field with the same level of respect–and caution–that I do with politics and religion.

I know that doctors want me to have faith in them and to accept their diagnosis and treatment without question. But like politics and religion, medicine has things it does well and other things yet to be achieved.

For instance, politics affords us a rudimentary form of democracy which is certainly better than any other style of government presently available. But it also thrusts upon us politicians, gridlock and a ridiculous amount of debate, which stall needful expansion.

In the same fashion, religion stands as a symbol of goodness and kindness in a world gone mad, while simultaneously translating the mercy of God into the misery of restrictions.

The American Medical Association is much the same. Although they offer many advances, it is undoubtedly true that much of what they do will be viewed in the future as the equivalent of placing leeches on the body of the ailing George Washington.

It’s just important to understand:

  • What medicine knows and what medicine doesn’t know
  • What religion does well and what religion does poorly
  • And how politics advances the cause of humanity, and also how it can deter

So here’s a clue: don’t do anything until you understand. And that doesn’t mean that you should comprehend, or why don’t you “get it?”

Move out on the basis of your own understanding.

Several years ago I told my personal physician that a certain medication made me feel sick, and rather than lowering my blood pressure, was actually raising it. She doubted my assertion. So the next time I went in I brought a report, explaining that the pill was under scrutiny and needed to be carefully administered. She was still not convinced, but I insisted that she take me off the medication. When she did I started feeling better.

Two months later the drug was removed from the market.

This is not my doctor’s fault; she was following the precepts of her particular religious practice. It was my responsibility to avoid something I didn’t understand.

There are many things I don’t understand about politics and religion–and also medicine.

But rather than assuming I’m ignorant, I just choose to delay joining the party … until I’m sure of what’s in the punch.