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Thread: The annual request....

  1. #1
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    Default The annual request....

    Here it is. Another email from a lazy teenager:

    My name is..... I am contacting you today because I am building a ukelele for a school project. I was wondering if you had any advice for building my fretboard. As is only a cigar box ukulele I am not sure about anything. It is a concert ukulele. I was also wondering if you could share any tips for me to use in the general building of the instrument.
    It's as if YouTube and Google didn't exist

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Howlett View Post
    Here it is. Another email from a lazy teenager:



    It's as if YouTube and Google didn't exist
    Well if in the unlikely event that some teenager wanting advice dug my name out of all the world's much better banjo uke makers I would be just a little "chuffed"
    Kind Regards
    Dennis

    dponeil@xtra.co.nz
    Southern Cross Banjo Ukes & Ukuleles
    Proudly Hand Crafted in
    New Zealand.

  3. #3
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    They had the skill to find me and I'm not on any hierarchial list that I know off, they should havè been able to find rverything they needed by asking a different question. Boolean sesrches are still valid....

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Howlett View Post
    Here it is. Another email from a lazy teenager:



    It's as if YouTube and Google didn't exist
    Lazy? H’mm, with respect I’d like to add some very general and broad perspective. It’s a while since my children were teenagers but I could see them sending such an email and they were far from lazy. At school (child processing plant would be a more accurate description) they were on a massive academic learning curve whilst struggling with social situations in a body that was growing and full of emotion. As a parent we were constantly encouraging our offspring and juggling limited resources - some kids had better parents than us whilst more had worse.

    Yes, Google exists and some kids do know how to use it well but they have no depth of knowledge to understand much and too limited resource to focus on much. They also have no perspective of anything but their own small world and know nothing of the multiple pressures that you are under. Many do spend hours on computer games and doing stuff we think is daft - I expect our parents said similar of us - but better that than sniffing solvent and vandalising whatever they come across as they wander around in gangs. Heck, it’s tough being a parent and keeping your kids on somewhere near a sensible course is rather hard.

    If this is an annual request then please take it as a compliment. A standard response indicating that you can’t help individuals whilst pointing them in the direction of particular on-line resources would help all concerned. Of course somewhere in that mass of emails the Woodworkers and Luthiers of tomorrow hide. As a teenager my Daughter approached and did work experience with her current employer; that employer saw her ability and attitudes, followed her progress through University and offered her a job on Graduation. It’s not possible to help every youth and maybe barely possible to help any but having been a parent (of school age children) I find another side to a rather battered coin. This parent would have appreciated the suggested response indicated above and, who knows, at some point your kindness will likely be rewarded in some unexpected way.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 10-24-2017 at 11:38 AM.

  5. #5
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    Well said Graham.

  6. #6
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    I agree Graham. Kids need encouragement. Even when it's inconvenient. Personally, I'm impressed he had the nerve to seek advice from one of the top ukulele builders out there. Hopefully that nerve will carry him to a more receptive door.

    Nelson

  7. #7
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    Interesting responses.

    As a former educator of teenagers and as one who promotes learning, I am eager to help those who have enquiring minds and less so to those who simply window shop. Had they said, "I'm a bit confused as to how to make the fingerboard. I've read about the rule of 18 and don't quite understand it. Can you help me?" or, "What is the best way to get a good sound from a cigar box? Do you have to use the box as it is or should I take it apart and work on the components..."

    I am on a huge long journey learning how to use CAD software and operate CAM technology. Most nights I am using online tutorials and then applying the learning by doing. After weeks of struggling with bezier curves and reaching the limit of my technical capabilites - I am robbed of fine motor control by PD and my CAD program has limited 'smoothing' capability I turned to friends for help. I sent my model to them and they helped me out. I didn't ask them to do it for me.

    This student is hardly out of the starting blocks and shows no signs of groping towards a solution to their problems. I'm surprised you missed that
    Last edited by Pete Howlett; 10-24-2017 at 01:33 PM.

  8. #8
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    Yes Pete, I missed that.

    Your response and attitude here, with respect, seems to me to say much more about where you are at personally than it does about where this student is at in his or her stage of learning. Remember, as a former educator of teenagers, who you are dealing with: a child's mind and personality who perhaps may have less focus and ability to clearly and concisely express in words the things he wishes for than we might.

    Of course we are all sympathetic to your health issues. But the fact this student had the courage to humbly contact you with a couple of basic questions about their project does not, of necessity, make them a lazy person. What is the problem in simply making a brief reply addressing a couple of important points to take note of, perhaps indicating one or two other online sites that could be of further help; heck, maybe even offering a small word of encouragement and leave it there. There is a bigger picture here that I think you may yourself have missed Pete.

    Sow the seeds mate. Sow the seeds. We all gotta pass the baton one day.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Howlett View Post
    Here it is. Another email from a lazy teenager: It's as if YouTube and Google didn't exist
    Pete, I love you man, but only you could find that email annoying. Maybe instead of seeing it as an "annoying teenager", see it as an opportunity to mentor and educate a future luthier. This might cause you to feel to a moment of happiness and peace which is a great thing my friend. Feel the aloha Pete.

  10. #10
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    This is definitely a popcorn post...

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