In the early 1980’s I was a young kid in high school. I certainly wasn’t at the top of the class, and the kids with lower grades were typically directed by school administration to auto mechanics. My Dad, as most parents do, was hoping to motivate me to work harder, get higher grades and pursue a career path other than auto mechanics.
He was geophysicist working at the Geological Survey of Canada, and a Adjunct Professor at the Ecole polytechnique in Montreal. My Dad could also fix cars – sort of. We had several old beaters, a couple of which were destined for the scrap heap by the time we were done with them. For him – fixing a car was more out of necessity than pleasure. One car had a massive hole in floor at the back seat. My brother and i would sharpen sticks on the pavement while my Dad dove us to school.
My brother is also pretty smart, so there was no need for Dad to give him a “pep talk”. But me – well, I sometimes needed a bit of extra motivation. I remember my Dad saying “Study Hard – Or you will be a Mechanic” . Not sure if that particularly motivated me, though i did graduate high school, and went on to get a Bachelors degree and Masters degree.
And now now i am closer to the tail end of my career, and also a parent trying to motivate my own kids, i find myself more and more drawn to auto mechanics. It is mostly for pleasure as long as I am able to keep at least one of the fleet in operating condition. Safety in numbers doesn’t always go in my favour…
Most interesting, the vehicles that I am most drawn to now were new back when i was a young kid in high school. !! Yes – these vehicles are really…really old ;>. Actually, one is nearly as old as I am, and that is more that half a century old.
Obviously, I don’t say to my kids….”Study Hard – Or you will be a Mechanic”