Another dot in the blogosphere?

Rambling to a reminder

Posted on: January 13, 2022

I did not know what I wanted to be even when I was in my early 20s. I eventually figured it out that being a teacher suited my personality and skills after being a military instructor during my full-time national service and a teaching assistant during my undergraduate years.

I certainly did not envision myself pursuing a Masters overseas, getting a scholarship for a Ph.D., and then returning home to be a professor. Those years were probably the most transformative and important in my life.

That said, I wonder what I might be now if I had walked down different paths. 

As a teenager, I was passionate about photography and wanted to build my own darkroom. I also discovered that I was good with wood and metal work because my school partnered with another to offer that subject.

I still take quirky photos when I travel and I am capable of fixing things around the house. But I doubt that these are work people would pay me for.

Video source

Of late, I have been watching the phone and laptop repair videos of Hugh Jeffreys. I embedded one example above. 

His videos are a great example of being able to see much of the process behind the final product. His portfolio of work is a perfect argument for anyone who might challenge what he charges for his services.

I wonder if I might be able to do what he does. I share his passion for not treating our devices like disposables. I admire the effort he takes to repair or refurbish devices for reuse.

While I might share his eye for detail, love for tinkering, and dedication to procedure, I realise how different our educations must have been.

Mine was largely formal and academic. His might have been informal and practical. There is so much information that one can glean from a 17-year-old repository called YouTube to then put into practice, practice, practice.

This learning alternative does not offer academic qualifications, but it seeds and fuels the passions of bakers, musicians, and handy people. Some of those passions become careers that we see on screen and in business.

I could conclude my rambling by saying that I am glad that there are non-academic paths to career-building. But that would have ignored centuries of “alternatives” like self-teaching, mentoring, and apprenticeship. I need to keep that in mind as I embark on my next work project.

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