Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Vocational Education Can Lead To Great Things!

Dear Tazi:

I am thirteen and will be entering the ninth grade this coming school year. My local high school has a vocational school on campus, and students who go to the main school can take classes there in addition to their regular classes on the main campus. I would love to take classes in auto body work or auto mechanics, but my parents refuse to let me. They say that no child of theirs is going to grow up to be a “grease monkey” and that I need to take courses that will get me into a good college.

Tazi, I have loved cars since I was a little kid. I want to learn how to restore classic cars, and this would be a great opportunity for me to learn how to do that. I could take these classes along with my regular college prep classes, so its not like I have to trade one for another. My parents think it would be better for me to take an extra history course or art appreciation course to “round out” my “educational curriculum”. I have tried to convince them that classic cars are a form of art but they are standing firm. How can I convince them that this is what I want more than anything? My guidance counselor is cool with this, but I need at least one parent’s signature before she will sign off on me signing up for these classes.

Hot Rodder

Dear Hot Rodder:

What decade are your parents living in that they think auto mechanics are “grease monkeys”? Today’s cars are all computerized and require a high degree of skill and technical training to repair. Expensive post-secondary education is required to learn how to fix mechanical problems with cars and most shops and auto dealerships prefer that their employees come on board with at least some knowledge of how to make these repairs.

Or is this guy their mechanic?

Auto body restoration and repair is also skilled work that many consider an art. People who are well trained and show talent in this field generally have no problem finding well-paying jobs after high school graduation – well paying jobs that can assist with the cost of college tuition, thus reducing the financial burden on your parents. Do you see where I am leading you?

I suggest that you ask your parents for a compromise: If they let you sign up for the automotive classes you want you in turn will promise not to let your grades slip in any of your other classes. This will require a lot of hard work on your part, but the result will please both you and your parents: you will get to take the classes you really want to take and you will be getting good enough grades to get into a good college.

Many vocational schools have open houses or informational pamphlets for parents to learn more about the programs offered to their children; I suggest you look into both and find what you can as you prepare to make your case to your parents. If they agree to let you take the classes, you will not only need to keep up your end of the bargain but also keep your parents in the loop on what you are learning and why you enjoy your classes so much. Good parents want two things for their grown children: for them to be happy and for them to be successful; show them that these classes you want to take can bring you to both ends.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.


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