Re: Re[2]: I'd rather teach an engineer to write than a writer (anecdotal)

Subject: Re: Re[2]: I'd rather teach an engineer to write than a writer (anecdotal)
From: Fran Freiman <ffreiman -at- IX -dot- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 26 Apr 1995 07:04:54 -0700

Karla McMaster wrote:

..As I see it,
>any one person, given desire and a minimal amount of basic
intelligence, can
>learn to do any other person's job.

>Thinking otherwise is elitist.

>If I wanted to be a programmer, I could. If the programmer (or
hardware
>engineer) wanted to be a writer, he/she could. The only thing that
separates us
>is desire...

I agree partially to Karla's spiel about "desire" being critical (but
aptitude is equally critical; more on that in a sec).

Bear with me: Don Aslett is the author of funny books about cleaning
house--I heard him interviewed on the radio onc.Hhe dropped out of
college because it was boring and he already was developing his
commercial cleaning service, which has made him financially satisfied,
if I can put words in his mouth. Aslett said that no one's time is any
more valuable than the next person's. It's all inherently equal. What
is different is that some are better compensated for their time than
others. And at the time he was promoting his books for consumers about
how to clean/organize efficiently (once), so he was talking to a lot of
women, who for some reason get stuck with most of the housecleaning.

So I agree about the elitism that relegates certain jobs to certain
people. Desire often makes the critical difference. Another "homey"
anecdote: Someone (M. Scott Peck, perhaps? I can't remember...) once
bemoaned that he was mechanically inept to a neighbor fixing his
lawnmower. The lawnmower fixer disagreed; he said anyone could fix
anything. All they had to do was to want to (desire) and to take the
time to. Given the patience, everyone can be mechanical.

I agree, to a certain extent. I've tried it (but I hate getting greasy
and sweaty--I live in Houston). So the desire is just not there. But
aptitude is equally important. I don't have the head for quick
computation. I did well in math (every year in high school), but I
don't have a numerical constitution, as it were. I know better than to
apply for a job in retail, banking, or scientific publishing, for that
matter. (I'm an editor of reference books and computer documentation.)

All the desire in the world wouldn't make me a good editor of math
texts. Even if it paid more.

But then, I've come to terms with that deficiency, and it doesn't
bother me. (There was a time when I didn't especially recognize it.)

Take care!
Fran.
ffreiman -at- ix -dot- netcom -dot- com


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