Bill Hewgley: Getting An Education, The Easy Or Hard Way

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Foundation to Everything is Elementary School 

Reading, writing, arithmetic and personal communication skills form the basis for all careers that pay more than minimum wage-skip this and go straight to poor…period.

I was taught many years ago to not judge abilities, but rather the skill sets of individuals under consideration for employment.  We may not be qualified to assess your innate ability to learn, but we can easily observe you and determine if you have put in the time and effort to master certain skills and prepared yourself to convince a businessperson to invest more time and money into you in hopes you can be profitable for the company.  Formal education, training, emotional discipline, personal grooming, combined with good language and social skills are for the sole purpose of becoming economically valuable at work (or getting the mate of your dreams). If you are going to be a hermit and live off the land, no formal education is required, but you will have to learn some pretty harsh lessons, really quickly to survive in the wild. So, the question is: “What do you want to be in life?”   

No matter how you answer that question, elementary and high school are the greatest gifts that society will ever give you. Until you are almost grown, we will provide you a free public education…if you will just take it from us.  We don’t expect much from our young people, other than going to school and maybe a little part time work or chores to learn work ethic, until you get to age 21. Heck, we won’t even draft you into the Army and send you to a “tropical paradise” like Vietnam any longer.  You do not have to go to college to be educated. You do not have to go to college to be successful. You do not have to go to college to have a great life, but you desperately need these skills/personal traits in your tool belt. Why not?

Just knowing stuff is not being educated 

I was told that the red eye on Mom’s stovetop would burn me, but I was not fully educated until I touched it to find out for myself! That rule applies in love, too. 

Working as a construction welder at age 19, I was wavering on going back to college when an older journeyman told me this: “Ninety-five percent of the people tighten a bolt into a hole…3 percent of the people tell them which bolt, which hole and how tight…2 percent know why the darn thing’s there.  Which one do you wish to be?”

I have always wondered if the kids who have memorized the entire Webster’s Dictionary for the Spelling Bee can use the words in real life later on. Never use a word without understanding it…friends have been lost and wars started for less. 

Today’s spelling bee word and sentence: Tattoo. Never tattoo a place you cannot cover up when required…it will be much appreciated at Grandparents’ Day or family wedding photos in the future. Barbed wire Granny biceps are not cool.

Next week’s topic: Back up your new skills and personal presentation with good values. Note: It is much harder to be good than to look good. 

Please send topics or questions for future discussion.  Conversations lead to understanding; understanding leads to vision, vision leads to wherever your hard work will take you. 

Email Bill Hewgley at 
bill@metalworkingsolution.com

(About the Author: Bill Hewgley is president, Metalworking Solutions, LLC. Bill grew up near South Pittsburg, the youngest son of good parents of humble means. He married the girl of his dreams at a young age and worked his way through college at the University of Tennessee.

He is currently reaping the true rewards of a faithful hard working life with his bride of 40+ years in being able to enjoy their four wonderful grandchildren. Bill is having the time of his career heading up the team at Metalworking Solutions, a company he founded after retiring as President of American Manufacturing Company. One of his chief priorities now is to mentor this upcoming millennial generation, while honoring those who helped him find his own way in life, by passing it on.)

Jermaine L. Swafford Named CSX Vice President Regional Transportation-Southern Region

Jermaine Swafford, a native of Hamilton County, has risen through the operations ranks at CSX since he joined the company in 1998.  From an assistant trainmaster in Russell, Ky., to his most recent position as division manager in Atlanta, Mr. Swafford has consistently demonstrated team-focused and results-driven management, according to the company officials.   "Under ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Business Calendar For Feb. 28-March 6

March 2015   SA/28 24Hour Generator at Mad, Bad, and Dangerous 3:00 p.m. Girls Preparatory School: 205 Island Ave. 24Hour Generator is a new event designed for enterprising high school girls across the region. Hosted by The Company Lab (CO.LAB) and held as part of GPS’s inaugural  Mad, Bad, and Dangerous  event, 24Hour Generator ... (click for more)

1 Arrested, 1 Sought In Shooting On Rawlings Street

One man is in custody and another is being sought in the shooting of a man in the 2000 block of Rawlings Street on Sunday morning. The Chattanooga Police Department responded to a local hospital on reports of a man suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound he received during a verbal altercation with two other individuals. Police said 29-year-old Kenneth Dixon ... (click for more)

Woman Stabbed By Husband In Dalton Dies From Her Wounds

A woman who Dalton Police say was stabbed Thursday by her husband has died of her injuries.   Glenda Dyer had been transported to Hamilton Medical Center. She initially was listed in stable condition.   The incident happened at the couple's home at 1603 Elaine Way.   Police said a murder charge will be added to the counts already facing ... (click for more)

Net Neutrality: The Beginning Of The End Or Just A New Beginning?

“The Internet is simply too important to be left without rules and without a referee on the field,” says Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, “Today’s order is more powerful and more expansive than any previously suggested.”  The FCC’s vote for so-called Net Neutrality purports to allow the agency to regulate the Internet as a public utility.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden On March 1

As I try to do at the beginning of each month, I stroll through my garden to see the good and the bad. This morning there is still a solid covering of snow but, as usual, there is still a lot to see. March is historically known for “coming in like a lion and leaving like a lamb” so let’s see who gets what: A LAMB to the fact 90-year-old Floyd Hartwig of Easton, Calif., and his ... (click for more)