Friday Hodgepodge

Friday, March 10, 2017

Three Things

1. Pumpkin's kindergarten teacher informed me that she'd gotten into trouble. On the way home, I told her what the consequences were going to be, and she threw the book at me in return. The stiffest penalty her young mind could muster was, "I'm going to make you to go to college!"

Of course, this made me burst out laughing: There is no way to be prepared for what might come from a child's mouth.

2. My quote of the week comes from Barbara Sher, and pertains to some common career advice:

... When I was a single working mother with two babies, you know what my skills were? I could clean house like a demon; catch a moving bus with my arms full of laundry, groceries, and kids; and squeeze a dollar until the picture of George Washington screamed for mercy.

I do not want the career that uses those skills, thank you. (2)
This is just one of many jewels that litter Sher's I Could Do Anything if I Only Knew What It Was (HT: Jean Moroney of Thinking Directions, who recommends it "for its excellent advice for how to pursue a challenging career").

3. Have you ever wondered why dentistry and medicine are completely separate professions, rather than dentistry simply being recognized as a specialized branch of medicine? Wonder no more:
[T]he dental profession really became a profession in 1840 in Baltimore. That was when the first dental college in the world was opened, I found out, and that was thanks to the efforts of a couple of dentists who were kind of self-trained. Their names were Chapin Harris and Horace Hayden. They approached the physicians at the college of medicine at the University of Maryland in Baltimore with the idea of adding dental instruction to the medical course there, because they really believed that dentistry was more than a mechanical challenge, that it deserved status as a profession, and a course of study, and licensing, and peer-reviewed scientific consideration. But the physicians, the story goes, rejected their proposal and said the subject of dentistry was of little consequence.

That event is remembered as the "historic rebuff." ...
From there, the desire for professional autonomy has perpetuated the dichotomy. This might be changing, but not for the best reasons.

Weekend Reading

"[I]f you really want to look or feel differently, then work to disconnect eating from your emotions and momentary frustrations." -- Michael Hurd, in "Eating Your Feelings" at The Delaware Wave

"Staying out is actually the more caring thing, because it respects the fact that your friend has a mind of her own." -- Michael Hurd, in "Good Intentions Do Not Mean Opinions Are Welcome!" at The Delaware Coast Press

"There is plenty of pie to go around when the bakers have incentives to bake." -- Gus Van Horn, in "The Unsung Role of Patents When It Comes to Prosperity" at RealClear Markets

A Word of Thanks

I thank my wife and reader Steve D. for their comments on earlier versions of the above column.

-- CAV


Dinwar said...

#3 reminded me of the (possibly apocryphal) story of why geology is not taught in high school. Geology is the most practical scientific field, as anyone buying a house has immediate use for knowledge of hundred-year flood plains and the like, but is only touched upon in schools. When I asked why at GSA, I was told that members of the scientific community were invited to meet with Congress to discuss what to include in the national standards for education. Most other branches of science sent delegates, but geologists were too busy doing science to beg for inclusion in the curriculum. Now it's either "earth science" or "environmental science" and is so watered down that geology--which requires knowledge of every other field of science--is dismissed as the easy chapter.

Gus Van Horn said...

Interesting, and yet unsurprising, if true.

And, even if geology had been taught, guess who would have found a way to water it down or politicize it?