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Author Topic: Mentoring and 8 yr. old...  (Read 2154 times)

Posts: 113


« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2008, 02:04:56 PM »

I don't think it's "wet blanket" at all Mark. It's the world we live in.  You and I grew up in a less urgent period.

American kids in say Waterloo, Iowa or Chicago are not competing against kids in Dallas or Atlanta. They are competing against kids in Jakarta, Bangalore, Prague and Shenyang.  And as we know all too well.....many American kids are not doing well in that competition.  And it begins at age 8.

Here's an example of doing well. Two kids who interned for me during their Senior year of college in 2005. Both finished their undergraduate degrees in 4 years flat and are now 25. One is a Multi-media developer at the State Department in DC and finishing a Masters Degree in Instructional Design. The other works for a large PR firm in NYC and is going to Law school at night. They're both over achievers. Both are single and have salaries well north of the national median household income (2006 data).

That is their beginning. They both know they will have to keep going back to school repeatedly through their lives and they will switch jobs  if not career fields every few years.  (The stultifying analog practice of a person working for one firm for many years is over! And they know it.)

Working class families are especially vulnerable to being washed away by this new reality. They (the low skilled and poorly educated) will be rendered irrelevant in a world wide economy where knowledge is all that matters.

So I say again, don't emphasize  to kids a deadend hobby like ham radio. The Norman Rockwellian image of an old man sitting at a desk with a Swan 350 is long gone. And that is as it should be.

Posts: 1316

« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2008, 05:42:43 PM »


I agree with you in principle, especially about the need and value of getting a good education, but in my opinion you're shooting your logic in its foot. Ham radio is, by comparison to what most kids do these days, the antithesis of a dead-end hobby.

As far as devoting time and effort to education in lieu of a "dead end" hobby, I'll have to disagree with you there, in several ways.

Ham radio requires some effort, tenacity, responsibility and a little bit of technical knowledge. Ham radio is far better than "Guitar Hero," "Wii" (or however the hell that is spelled) or the other mindless, useless hypnotizing, brainwashing video games kids spend so much time and a LOT of money on.

I mean, think about it. Why play "guitar hero" pushing buttons in front of a video display? Why not just learn to play the d&^n guitar? Learning to play a musical instrument is one of the best ways a child can stimulate his brain, as it uses so many areas of the brain simultaneously.

Ham radio is very similar in that aspect. CW requires and develops simultaneous use of motor, spacial, cognitive and verbal skills, for example.

How about setting up for a satellite? That requires a bit of planning and effort. Where is the dead end?

Kids are walking around today developing skills in the oblivion, earplugs in, eyes transfixed to their ipod, cell phone or portable video game on the way to spend money they did not earn to get yet another tattoo on the back of their neck or low on their waist, and are gaining no real understanding of what responsibility is.

That scares the hell out of me. One of these snot-nosed, disrespectful, lazy, unmotivated, narcissistic kids will be my health care provider when I get old. That REALLY cares the hell out of me.

Also, with ham radio kids will get more time with their parents, older siblings or older family members for mentoring and development of values. This provides the very thing that kids don't get enough of today.

No one expects anything in today's world to be Rockwellian. Maybe your expectations of what Ham radio is, was or will become is the basis of your disappointment. To survive and continue to be a useful hobby, Ham radio will have to evolve, just like anything else.

Looks to me like it is doing that.

Sure, the curmudgeons operating cw on old tube rigs will still be with us, forever (or at least as long as vacuum tubes are available!) But no one says Ham operators have to do that.

I could go on, but either we agree or we don't. You get the idea.

Posts: 2193

« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2008, 05:03:26 AM »

Hey WAD,

I don't get your post at all. Maybe to you this hobby is dead, and what you do with this hobby is mundane, and that's one opinion. I have a 6 year old who is scientifically minded, he's fascinated by radio... to the point of asking how antennas work, how the signals bounce around the earth, and is totally absorbed by the 600W amplifier I am building in the garage. He knows more about science, math and engineering than any other kid his age who I've met.

I dont think the poster is saying "Hey kid, get a ham license and you'll go far". I think he's trying to use his own interest in something scientific as a gateway to something more. THAT should be encouraged and not pooped on.

Ok, so a PSK demo might be a snoozer for an 8 year old and it probably would be to me too. How about building a dipole with the kid, tossing it up in the trees and talking to someone 1000 miles away all the time explaining why it works the way it does.

Be positive and creative and kids will learn.

Posts: 33

« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2008, 05:42:33 AM »


Couldn't have said it better myself. Your son sounds a lot like my nephew, and yes, to the average 8 year old PSK might be a bit boring, however, since mine can sit next to me for hours at a time while I'm on the PC working or playing (I'm and ex-IT professional with a few clients hanging around), and ask intuitive questions , I thought why not. The worst he can say is "I didn't like that, can we do something else".

Definitely not trying to push anything on him, just giving him a taste of some of the things I enjoy and from there, who knows what direction he will take. I know a lot of electrical and mechanical engineers who are not hams, and one in particular is a good friend of mine. How did he get interested? His dad was an insurance salesman and ham operator for most of his life. It was his dad's tinkering with radios and electronics that got him interested and eventually pursuing an education and career in EE...however, he never wanted to mess with getting his ham ticket.

At any rate, thanks to you and almost everyone else for their posts. Oh, and Mike talk about silly posts, I've often thought the same thing when I read the stuff you spew on these boards, your post here is no exception. It's also painfully obvious that you know absolutely nothing about interpersonal skills and communications, but that's just my observation.

73's to all

Posts: 2086

« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2008, 01:49:29 PM »


Go ahead and give it a try. It will certainly be worth it if he falls in love with the hobby. If not he will find his own way into Ipods, video games and cell phones. The alternative is that he will become involved in non-relevant educational projects floated by bed wetting, liberal educators. Mercy, he might even learn to read, write and do arithmetic within the hobby. Best of all he will have some common sense.

73 de Lindy
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