In Memory of Chinook Winds

The time comes. A Siberian Husky lifts up its head. There is an untested adventure beyond. Time to go.

Across the Rainbow Bridge is a place for all dogs. A river runs wide and shallow with tennis balls that fly with their own wings; that is the place for a Labrador or Golden to await its master’s arrival.

The Siberian is not content here. Northward is its trail….

There are soft pastures for Aussies and Border Collies, with sheep and geese to pen. Agility equipment grows like trees amid Frisbees and flyball.

But the North continues its sure wild call, and the Siberian’s journey continues….

Now the air is colder. Now the moon is always full. Now the light is silver and it breaks and shimmers on fields of bright snow. Now there are no roads, no walls, no pens, just endless space to run. This is where Siberians gather, North of the Rainbow Bridge.

They wait in this beautiful place, happy, but not complete. Suddenly, a howl begins, as one dog senses someone coming, someone very special. All the Siberians raise their heads and join in the ancient chorus. They dance like moonbeams and sing like winter winds.

There are red ones like dawn streaks, black ones splattered with many colors and silver ones like the first strange hour before light. They line up as if in harness and run together, in a scintillating, many-colored streak. The leader of the team guides the others past the fields and river, with racing feet and racing heart. They rush to greet the new arrival at the Rainbow Bridge, where the leader is rejoined with its beloved person, never to be parted again.

The glory of the reunion is celebrated by all the Siberians dwelling beyond the Bridge, a glimmering, multicolored team leaping and whirling with joy. The light from that scene is what we see on magical evenings in the northernmost parts of this Earth: The Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights beyond the Rainbow Bridge.

–Author Unknown

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How to Write a Resume (for Teens) Part III – Work Experience

Link to Parts I and II.


Purpose of First Job
Most teens are thinking about working for money to purchase something, perhaps a car, a degree, some novelty, whatever. That should be of secondary concern. Primary aim is to learn skills and to develop good work habits.  So perhaps the barista stand job will pay you more than say, Starbucks, but you’ll probably pick up better work habits and learn more working at the latter.  Think long-term, the habits, mindset and attitude you acquire from first job can have significant impact on lifetime earnings!  So pay attention to the reputation of each business.  Read their yelp reviews.  It pisses me off when teenagers wander around seeking a job, any job, just so they can have a job and some money.  Put it this way, when I review your work history and notice that you’ve worked at places with poor Yelp reviews filled with complaints about “nice but slow and spacey” employees, your resume gets trashed.  And there’s a reason why my employees who have been with me for over a year are highly desired by local business owners.  They know they’ve been tested and have developed good work habits.  They’re faster, more efficient, more tenacious, focused, intense, etc.  Put simply, pay attention to work culture.  If it isn’t challenging, where people are constantly pushing each other to be better, don’t take the job.  Not worth it, you’ll learn too many bad habits that’ll ruin you regardless of career you ultimately choose.

No Work Experience
Some of you reading this don’t have work experience.  So to most businesses, you’re useless, you’re likely to produce negative value (your fuck ups cost a lot of money to fix).  Fine, offer to work for free then.  Think of it as getting a free education and something to put on your resume.  If you think that that’s wrong and demeaning, that your labor is actually worth something, then start your own business.  Mow lawns, sell lemonade, walk dogs, sell porn, pick up dog shit, sell crack cocaine, whatever.  Prove your worth.  If you can’t prove your worth, work for free.

Side note: most teenagers I’ve seen can’t prove their worth on their own.  The year it snowed for a week, teens spent all week sledding down my hilly block (making road trecherously slick).  It didn’t occur to any of them to offer shoveling driveways and part of the street so cars can get up and down the hill (keep one side for sledding).  They could’ve made good money for just an hour and two of “work” per day and I and my neighbors would’ve felt warm and fuzzy giving them our money because we all really want to believe that average American kids today aren’t indulgent, lazy, dumbasses who can’t even handle a paper route because someone decided it’s ok to praise them throughout their formative years for tying their fucking shoes.

Volunteer Work at Church and School
Probably best to skip.  Likely to teach bad habits.  Few are willing to get on someone who works for free and nothing is at stake (working for free — interning — at a for profit business is a different matter because your fuck ups have serious consequences). Volunteer once you become good at something and learn to care about standards.

Selling Your Work Experience
Once you have work experience, you have to sell it.  Listing it isn’t good enough, you have to sell it as something valuable to others.  If possible, use metrics.  Check this out:

– Worked as cashier.
– Stocked inventory
– Cleaned bathroom as needed

versus

– Handled 50% more sales and 40% more transactions per hour than average cashier, while maintaining lowest error rate.  (In other words, this person is fast and makes few mistakes)
–  Improved product search and tracking efficiency by 10% through reorganizing inventory of 40 items.
– Maintained health standards by inspecting sanitary conditions whenever possible.

Whom would you hire?  Who thinks about the value of her labor?  Who knows how to sell?  Who is engaged with work?  Which will pique interest of employer?

Random Thoughts on Work
Most of you will learn more at work than at school.  Twenty years from now, most of you will forget about calculus, historical facts, difference between metaphor and metonym, and so forth.  Most jobs, including being a millionaire, require an 8th grade education.  Don’t let them fool you into thinking that you have to have a college degree to become successful and wealthy.  All you need is grit, ambition, and good work ethic.  Most of you will not learn any of those traits at school.  Most schools teach its best students to become stupid, needy, self-righteous, and bored.

So take work seriously.  More seriously than you take school.  At most schools, you can bullshit your way to a “B” (because the teacher just doesn’t care). Not so easy to do that at work, where there may be serious consequences to each one of your fuck ups. And choose where you work carefully.  The reason why chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Marco Pierre White are great is because they worked at the best restaurants during their formative years.  The reason why most cooks at Red Robin will never become great is because they’ve acquired poor habits and the best restaurants know that.  Which is why they don’t hire anyone from such places.  The best surround themselves with the best, are constantly trying to learn from the best.  Everyone else just work for a paycheck.  Figure out which life you want.

Next section on Education, Hobbies, and References.

 

 

 

How to Not Become Stupid in College

It’s 1355, Oxford University.  What do you think Oxford students are doing?  Pick:

a) Studying theology, reading Latin and Greek
b) Debating deep philosophical issues of the day
c) Fucking whores, getting drunk, beating up and murdering townspeople

Correct answer is C.  Read about St. Scholastica Day riots (1355) if you don’t believe me.  Historian Andrew Larsen on college life in Medieval times:

The students were living away from their family and while theoretically they were supposed to be studying, they were out drinking, cavorting with prostitutes, and fighting. It was fairly easy for students to get their hands on weapons. Coroners rolls can attest to that fact because they were full of homicides perpetrated with swords. Surprisingly, in the thirteenth century, less than 10% of murderers were executed. Since many students were clerics, they knew their chances of being executed or severely punished were small. The worst that could happen was being exiled and expelled from the university.

And you thought the rioting at UC Berkeley when Milo Yiannapolous was to give a talk was bad. Millennials nowadays don’t even know how to make a proper molotov cocktail, much less impale someone with a sword.

This Chinaman went to Oxford because he wanted pretty Anglo girls to brush their teeth with his penis. He later went fled to Harvard and Columbia for grad school because back in China, his parents were in deep shit: mother convicted of murder and father for corruption.

 

Some of you still want to go to college.  Fine.  I’ll show you how to go to college without turning out stupid.  First, understand the main purpose of college.

Origins of the Modern University

Point of the Oxford question is that institutions don’t change much even as society and technology does. If you want to understand what’s going on in the present, look to the past because it’s a mirror of the present. Just don’t fool yourself into believing you’re better than the past because that’s your narcissism talking.

The modern university started as a place where wealthy families could drop off pain-in-the-ass boys and make them someone else’s problem.  These universities — which grew out of monasteries — of course obliged because some faculty eagerly looked forward to yearly arrival of fresh boys (students started at ages 13 or 14 until boarding schools took over the job of socializing teenagers that young).  Another reason to send a boy to college was that clergymen (what graduates became) had a lot of power and powerful families depended on The Church to legitimize and grow their own power.  Meaning, the University served as the locus of collusion between The Church and the Aristocracy, and political and social indoctrination of students was the norm from the beginning.

Classmate says UK Prime Minister stuck his penis in dead pig’s mouth during Oxford initiation ritual. Not much has changed at Oxford.

So the original and primary purpose of the University and of sending kids to college wasn’t to make kids useful or employable or scholarly, it was to consolidate family power.  Sure sure, a few became great scholars but most fucked around while trying to not get expelled.

As the power of the Church waned, the University became more secular and clergymen and theology were replaced with lawyers and legal study. A legal career became the path to political power, as it still is, especially in Anglo nations such as The United States.  Aristocratic children were sent to college not to prepare them for a trade, but to socialize them for leadership and power.  The growing bourgeoisie — particularly wealthy merchants — wanted that power and began sending their sons to college to acquire it.  And the battle between the bourgeoisie against the aristocracy was on.

Fetishizing the Modern University

Modernity and democracy made everyone want a spot at a University, which became synonymous with and fetishized as a source of power.  Universities responded by becoming more meritocratic, so that the best and brightest from the working class were given spots usually reserved for an idiot aristocrat.  But many unqualified working class wanted to go to college too but couldn’t get in.  Society responded by creating new universities of dubious value, and converting teaching colleges and agricultural colleges into universities of inflated value that professionalized trades such as medicine and engineering.  The trades welcomed the intrusion because it inflated the social and economic value of their work, even though schools did and continue to do a shitty job of preparing their students for those jobs.  Historian Sir Spencer Walpole on the value of a college education for those interested in learning a trade:

“…few medical men, few solicitors, few persons intended for commerce or trade, ever dreamed of passing through a university career…The education imparted at Oxford was not such as to conduce to the advancement in life of many persons, except those intended for the ministry.”

Then what’s the point of going to college if not to train for professional employment?  Walpole:

If the average undergraduate carried from University little or no learning, which was of any service to him, he carried from it a knowledge of men and respect for his fellows and himself, a reverence for the past, a code of honour for the present, which could not but be serviceable. He had enjoyed opportunities… of intercourse with men, some of whom were certain to rise to the highest places in the Senate, in the Church, or at the Bar.

The point is, and has always been, social networking.  Which is why the sorority and fraternity or eating club you get into matters more than your GPA.  Unless you want to become an academic, in which case, continue studying and hang out with graduate students.

With social networking in mind, pick your school carefully.  The most prestigious and influential schools produce Presidents, Prime Ministers, Dictators, other high level politicians and business leaders from around the world.  (The most academically prestigious produce Nobel Laureates).  Next tier of schools are influential regionally, such as University of Washington in relation to the Pacific Northwest, or demographically, such as BYU within the Mormon community or Spelman within the Black community. Most schools have no influence.

Question:

Which soon to be graduate will get offers from top tier Wall Street firms? 
a) Lacrosse player from Princeton, 2.4 GPA Sociology major
b) Math and Economics double major from MIT, 3.6 GPA
c) Math major from University of Oregon, 4.0 GPA

Correct answer is A.  Wall Street prefers athletes from top schools because competitive sports mirrors Wall Street work.  His low GPA works in his favor because his major is Sociology and they prefer that he not pay attention to most Sociologists.  Only a few eggheads (MIT) are needed on Wall Street.  And the nerd from Oregon hasn’t been properly socialized for Wall Street.  Medical, business, and law schools also prefer athletes because of applicability of what’s learned from competitive sports to work in medicine, business, and law.

How to Choose a Major and Course of Study

Anyone who tells you to “follow your passion,” imagine beating the shit out of that person.  It’s a stupid cliche and if everyone followed their “passion,” 80 percent of people would be working in the sex industry. Now that you’ve blocked bad advice out of your head, you’re ready to navigate academia.

Hannah wants to get into medical school?  Which major should she choose to increase her chances? 
a) Physics
b) Biology
c) Philosophy

Answer is A because there are few physics majors who apply to medical school and physics majors are better problem solvers than biology majors (and they can be radiologists).  Philosophy is also a good choice, as pre-med philosophy majors have highest overall MCAT scores.  Biology is the worst choice not so much because that’s what most pre-med majors pick, but because it’s not a challenging major.

How it works: there’s a hierarchy of academic disciplines and Math is the mother of all of them.  You need math to understand everything, including music, art, and literature; and to build things, like bridges and phones. A mathematician doesn’t need to understand chemistry or philosophy or sociology or economics to do his job, but everyone has to understand some Math (if not formally then intuitively).  Disciplines are split into four groups, with the physical sciences being the most prestigious (and least popular in the US).

Physical Sciences
Most prestigious because conclusions made in these disciplines are most reliable.  Every physicist agrees that gravity exists.  They also help engineers make things that we use everyday, like bridges.  Must be a disciplined thinker able to create reproducible experiments and results.

Biological Sciences
Not as prestigious as physical sciences because conclusions are often not reliable.  That’s why medical doctors often don’t agree with each other and why they’ll tell you to get a second opinion.  Still, they help medical doctors fix things.  Must be observant thinker and tolerant of ambiguity.

Social Sciences
Most popular but not prestigious because experiments are not replicable and conclusions are thus useless. Sociologists, for instance, can’t agree on why the poor are poor.  Psychologists can’t agree on what makes people and who is batshit crazy. Anthropologists can’t replicate what they observe.  That leads to sloppy and biased thinking, making many of these disciplines the primary sources of political indoctrination at college campuses.

Humanities
Popular because there are no experiments, more prestigious than Social Sciences because here is where you’re supposed to learn to be cultured.  Less prestigious than other sciences because professors can’t agree on what’s good or bad about something and it’s unclear why we need to read Chaucer to live well. Some political indoctrination, especially in literature departments.

Ranking Academic Disciplines in Order of Difficulty and Usefulness

  1. Math — requires precision, logic and creativity
  2. Physics — requires precision, logic and creativity
  3. Philosophy — requires precision and logic
  4. Chemistry — requires accuracy and reverse engineering skills
  5. Economics — requires a bit of this, a bit of that
  6. Biology — requires you to memorize a lot of stuff
  7. Literature — requires a lot of reading and writing
  8. History — requires a lot of reading and writing
  9. Sociology — requires agreeing with whatever professor says
  10. Psychology — requires talking about yourself a lot

Comments on Popular Pre-Professional Majors, 

Note: more traditional schools won’t have some, if any, of these majors.

  1. Business — Very general education, but some companies like this degree because it signals you want a business career.
  2. Finance — Superior to business degree because it requires more math.
  3. Marketing — Useless degree, no skills taught, most end up in sales.
  4. Environmental Science — Not a science major, this is public policy major with focus on the environment.  People who can make things to improve the environment, like a better solar panel, get the green jobs.  People who talk about helping the environment get to be unemployed.
  5. Education — Avoid.  The best private schools avoid hiring people with education degrees for a reason.
  6. Nursing — Very general education but it signals you want to be a nurse and they like that.
  7. Communications — Avoid unless it’s Technical Communications, that actually teaches communication skills.  Frat boys think it’s an MRS degree.
  8. Engineering (Mechanical, Chemical, Electrical, Civil) — Shows you can solve a few problems and maybe build a few useful things.  Employers like that and will teach you the rest.
  9. Accounting — At most schools it only prepares you for bookkeeping.  Others prepare you for CPA.

Summary

  1. Not all colleges are equal, socially and academically. Most colleges shouldn’t exist.
  2. Not all majors are equal.  Some make you smarter.  Others make you dumber.
  3. College is a networking event.  Note if college has a worthwhile social network.
  4. College is a social and political indoctrination event.
  5. College doesn’t teach you how to do a job.  Most of work — including medicine and engineering — will be learned on the job.
  6. You can learn anything that’s taught in college on your own. If you can’t, you won’t learn it in college.
  7.  Most college students shouldn’t be in college.  Most colleges are too easy to get into.
  8. Nobody needs college to become a billionaire, just as nobody needs a Ferrari to get to work.
  9. College is a scam. So why do politicians want to make taxpayers businesses pay for something as useless as “free college’?

Three Years Old

So we’re three years old.  Meaning it’s possible for a bit of Capitol Hill to survive in SnoKing neighborhood.

This is the most rewarding job I’ve ever had.  (And the most stressful). Just want to say thanks for your patience and support. Some of you I see everyday.  You’ve become like family to me — some as my mother or father, others as my (younger) sister or brother — even though I think most of you are fucked up.  Whatever you need, I’ll be there for you because you guys have been there for me so many times, especially when I don’t ask for help but clearly need it. Except you can’t drop off your kid at my store and have me discipline him/her.

Thanks to employees for putting up with me.  My faults are many and I know you find them intolerable. I’m especially touched when you run yourself into the ground for me.  You’re the best.

Thanks to God for giving me life, for giving me the energy and discipline and focus to do his work.  Agape.

There’s still a lot of work to do.  Let’s kick some ass.