The Vocational Technical High School

Russ Steele

George Rebane has a post on a Vocational High School at Ruminations.  I tried to post this comment on RR and it kept getting lost in the Typepad jungle, so I though I would try it in WordPress and see what happend.

I am with George. The skills that I learned in shop class have followed me through out my career.  I still have the first wood bowl I made in wood shop.  I do not have any of my metal shop products, but when Ellen wanted a large wheel clothesline like one my mother had which was crafted from the front forks of a bicycle, I was able to weld one up for her. Our first camper was a home built in a naked Dodge van, using the wood working skills I learned in shop class. When it came time to develop some house plans for our current house, I relied on the drafting skills I learned in high school shop, and improved my first year of college engineering. It was my most successful class.  Our contractor was totally blown away by my handcrafted house plans, all approved by the County.  I will have to admit that some of my handyman skill were also learned in 4H, especially the electrical skills.

Right now there is a huge need for graduates that can operate numeric controlled machines and machinist that can produce high tolerance products.  I wonder if one of our local manufacturing companies have enough slack that they could provide some hands on experience for VoTech Students.

Charles Litton Sr attended Lick-Willmerding technical high school in San Francisco.

The Technical Arts program is a place where the head, heart, and hands converge, providing opportunities to tackle real world design challenges. Remaining faithful to its century-old history as an innovative institution in the technical arts, Lick offers a unique collection of shop classes. This is an important part of the school’s mission of developing in young people those “qualities of the head, heart, and hands” which will serve them well in college and in life. Lick students learn to work conceptually and physically, moving from theory to practice in order to bring the designs of the mind into the physical world. Technical Arts Department objectives include cross-disciplinary and collaborative learning, skills for engineering, effective problem solving, creative expression, competency in the language of craft and design, and personal empowerment through self-confidence and self-esteem. All advanced courses (e.g., Fabrications 2, Glass 2) can be taken multiple times for credit with the permission of the instructor and when space in the course is available. To enroll in an advanced course, you must have successfully completed the first level course. The school requires all students to take a minimum of four semesters in the Technical Arts. Besides taking Design and Technology (DT1) in the ninth grade, students must choose two other semester-long classes that meet in the shops: Electronics, Fabrications, Glass, Jewelry/Metal Art, or Woodworking.

Litton had this to say about his experiences in a letter to the Head Master in 1954.

[When] “I look back, it is easy to see that the head/hand program a Lick-Willmerding, contributed a great deal more to my life’s work than did the subsequent university education.” Litton graduated from Stanford as an engineer.

Climategate Press Coverage

Russ Steele

It took a while for Climategate I to get very much press traction, while Climategate II is doing little better.  While the lame stream press is ignoring the Climategate II, some business and political magazines are covering it in more detail. Here are some of the magazine stories.

The Weekly Standard has the story to the front page with a feature story by Steven F. Hayward

Climategate (Part II),  A sequel as ugly as the original.

The conventional wisdom about blockbuster movie sequels is that the second acts are seldom as good as the originals. The exceptions, like The Godfather: Part II or The Empire Strikes Back, succeed because they build a bigger backstory and add dimensions to the original characters. The sudden release last week of another 5,000 emails from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of East Anglia University — ground zero of “Climategate I” in 2009 — immediately raised the question of whether this would be one of those rare exceptions or Revenge of the Nerds II. 

Forbes Magazine had has a Open Letter by Patrick Michaels to the Director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

 Climategate II: An Open Letter to the Director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research

To: Dr. Roger Wakimoto

Director, National Center for Atmospheric Research

Boulder, Colorado

Roger, you are the head of what is perhaps the most prestigious atmospheric science laboratory on the planet, and, as such, I presume that you will always go the extra mile to protect the reputation of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and its related University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).

I’m sure you have seen and discussed with your staff many of the “Climategate” emails released first in November, 2009, and then more recently, earlier this month.

Everyone agrees that the tone and content of many of them is a bit shrill and occasionally intolerant (kind of like University faculty meetings), but there is one repeating thread, by one of your most prestigious employees, Dr. Tom Wigley, that is far beyond the pale of most academic backbiting.

The revoking of my doctorate, the clear objective of Tom’s email, is the professional equivalent of the death penalty. I think it needs to be brought to your attention, because the basic premise underlying his machinations is patently and completely false. Dr Wigley is known as a careful scientist, but he certainly was careless here.

The Union and our local lefty blogger has not stepped up to the challenge of explaining away the impact of Climategate II. The Union’s excuse will be it is not a local issue, but we all are squirming under AB-32, which is based on the sloppy science created by the Climategate hoaxers as justification for new carbon taxes. The lack of assessment skills would be the lefty blogger’s excuse.