I agreed to let a high school student shadow me for three hours. (I work in a lab.)
He just left.
Damn. Just damn.
I must be getting old. I forget what it was like to be in high school.
He wreaked of pimple cream.
I couldn't stop thinking that HE could single handedly be the solution to the world's oil shortage.
I usually don't mind job shadowing, because the kids are usually pretty bright and interested
in what we do. .... usually...
And usually, they are girls. Nothing like a hottie high school girl following you around
pretending to be interested in you and what you do.
His high school offers all kinds of "AP" (advanced prep) classes.
You know... the classes that are transferrable to colleges for real college credits.
He could be taking AP calculus, AP chemistry, AP physics, AP english....
But he isn't taking any of them. Normal chemistry, normal physics.
He is a Junior, and is just now taking Geometry.
"why?" because his mom didn't think he could handle Algebra until he was a sophomore.
None of this would matter if he wanted to become a laborer or something.
But I knew he was shadowing me because he has an interest in chemistry and physics.
So I asked him where he wanted to take his life.
He said "my mom wants me to be a pharmacist"
I said "don't let your counselors, advisors, or mother tell you what to be. What do YOU want to be?"
He said "I'd either like to be a chemist, or an air force pilot". me ->
He went on to explain that he thought the airforce would want him as a pilot
because he is fast and smart. Quick reflexes. "Great for dropping bombs."
At this point, I'm wondering how many X-Box 360 users fantacize about becoming an airforce pilot.
It reminds me of an episode of That 70's Show where Kelso says he wants to be
either an astronaut, or a rodeo clown.
I advised him that I was not familiar with what the military had to offer as far as
post service education, but that he should look into it if he was interested in serving.
I also advised him to find out what percentage of people who want to fly actually ever get
to touch a plane.
I took him to the machine shop where our machinist was cutting up steel plates for analysis.
One plate was 12x12x2" . He asked if I wanted him to save the scrap for target practice.
I said sure.
Kid says "target practice, on THAT???".
I said sure, but the bullet may or may not go all the way through depending on how hard the steel is.
A while later, we walk past my desk and I hand him a BMG cartridge.
I said "bet you haven't fired one of those before".
He said "I thought you were talking about a BB-gun. My mom just threw mine in the
trash the other day and I had to dig it out".
And I just realized he didn't ask me either of the two most common questions I get asked.
Normally, high school age guys ask me if I know how to make drugs, or explosives.
Poor kid. I wonder how old he will be when he sees his first girl boob.
C'mon dude, I was just trying to learn something from you......
What type of lab do you work at?
My HS had no such program, and I'm glad. That way the truely motivated students will have to go through the process themselves of finding a job.
When I was a sophomore I ended up calling labs in the yellowpages asking if they needed any help with slavework. Luckily I found a cool lab not too far and they let me do some more involved stuff (after cleaning the floor of course).
Now I'm at a university and found an awesome lab job. Peers frequently ask me how I found a job. I try giving them some tips but it's like you're at a major research university, if you really want a job it's not that hard dude...
My highschool had a program like that. The difference is my teaherrs were pretty smart instead of sending me to things that I thought I wanted to do they sent me to things that I would end up doing if I keeped getting the graded I was. I got to work at the car wash, and a fast food place, retail, trash removal, and i got to follow a grease monkey at an auto shop. I figured out that those were the jobs I didnt want.
ETA: After my grades came up they let me go to places that I wanted to.
So you have a machine shop, and .50 BMG rounds in your desk, and lab....ATF?
I work at a lab that does metallurgical and environmental analysis.
(and other general analysis that we think we can do)
When I grow up, I want to be either a lawyer or a security specialist in a high risk environment.
I can't make up my mind!
We get "junior volunteers" at the hospital. Gofers really. The home schoolers are there for college entry transcript purposes, a few of the "regular" kids want to go into healthcare, most are there because their mommy made 'em. You can tell those because they are the one's looking at the clock and spinning around in a chair...should've just went on to Burger King.
I want to be a Playboy model. Do they take 'B' cups, or will I need implants??
Some things never change, except to worsen. Back three decades ago shortly before my dad retired from civilian contract engineering for the Air Force, they had one of these "programs"
His office got a "triple threat" (female, minority, and *ahem* challenged). What could they do with her? Couldn't let her answer phones even. First they tried putting her to filing. Disaster. They had to put one of their own secretaries to immediately re-filing everything. And the guys had to answer their own phones, which engineers are loathe to do.
Finally, they came up with an idea. They dug out some totally obsolete years old files and told her to rearrange them according to whichever pages had the most "numbers" on them (as in count up all the numeric digits vs alphabetical characters on a printed page. As if that were some sort of valid criteria for sorting anything.
No further damage was incurred to their projects, and the first generation of poor saps who were afflicted with affirmative action do-gooder programs saw the Future before them