This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration BradHallArt.com


How Community Colleges teach job skills


I just watched Mike Rowe's latest show (you may know him from "Dirty Jobs") and he was presenting his case about the importance of young people learning job skills. And I agree with him, but he seems to think that high school is the place for that. And I beg to differ with him on that point.

Speaking for myself, I really don't remember learning much in high school. At that age I was still pretty much of a wild animal, and thoughts of learning a job skill really hadn't even entered my little brain. And I was a pretty good student! The skills that I learned to prepare myself for a job didn't happen until I was out of high school, and had begun college.

Now waitaminute, if you're picturing me walking onto a big campus, you're seeing the wrong thing. I started at a Community College, which were called Junior Colleges back then. And at age 19, I was ready to start learning job skills.

Your local Community College is still doing a great job teaching job skills, from welding to graphic design. If you've missed that, I'm so sorry, but it's not too late to find out about it.

Go there, and take a class. Sign up for welding, or something. Community Colleges aren't the "ivy league" useless colleges that just give pieces of paper (degrees) and say, "Good luck!", Community Colleges teach valuable skills. And most of those classes are taught by people who worked in the industry, not just people with fancy degrees. I know, because I became one of those teachers.

Somewhere along the line, people have gotten the wrong idea about what they need to prepare themselves for success in life. A fancy degree, with no useful skills, is just something to hang on the wall. If you want to be successful in life, and earn a living, you're wise to learn a job skill. And don't let me tell you what it should be - it could be nursing, it could be welding. Heck, you might even like to begin a career in computer graphics (that's my specialty)!

I'm proud of having gone to a Community College, and proud to have been a teacher at one. I learned useful job skills there, and I also taught them. If you think that this kind of thing isn't happening, you need to look again.

Why you should use PayPal, and what basic Capitalism is


If you're interested in getting, and giving money, the best place to start is with PayPal. No, they're not paying me to say this, I just like using their service, and I like it when people give me money through Paypal, and the convenience of giving money with PayPal. I could, of course, go to a bank ATM and get little pieces of paper with numbers and presidents on them, and exchange those. But since all that's really happening is an exchange of money, that has turned into a silly process in my opinion. Of course you can still do it, just like you can still buy turntables for vinyl records. It's your choice, of course to use the latest technology, or stay with something which makes you more comfortable. I know people who always prefer to pay for things with paper money, and really aren't even comfortable with writing a check. I understand, it's a matter of comfort. So there are people who will hand me paper money, or give me a check. I find it kinda quaint.

And it all has to do with understanding what money is. Or in more general terms, capital. And PayPal isn't dollar bills, or Yen, or Pounds, or Rubles, or anything like that. It's money in its purest sense, the way that gold used to be. It's accepted all over the world.

And yes, of course PayPal charges for their service. It's done as a percentage of each transaction. And if you're under the impression that they shouldn't be doing this, you need to consider that they, like banks, aren't doing all of that work for free - they're not a charity. If you never really realized that companies that handle money do it so they can make money, you probably slept through your Econ 101 class (and I really can't blame you, it's a boring class).

And yes of course there's competition for PayPal - that's another basic of businesses. Just like banks, they compete with each other by offering their services at a lower rate, or offering more services, or whatever. That's a basic of Capitalism, companies compete in order to attract customers. There are lots of competitors for PayPal, and of course I recommend that you check them all out. My preference is PayPal, and I'll tell you why.

When dealing with money, it's good for people to be comfortable. PayPal is the one thing that just about everyone has heard of, and it's been around for a long time. And that in and of itself doesn't make it better than any other money-handling software, but since we're humans, and money is pretty darned important to us, their track record means a lot. If someone asks me if I could send them some money through "Monkey-Money" or some such thing, I scoff them and tell them that I'd rather they use PayPal. Of course, it they're sending money to me, I'll be more flexible, but really I'd prefer PayPal. I know it, I've used it for years, and everyone I know uses it.

At the risk of sounding like a commercial, PayPal is easy. For people like me, who've used it a lot, all you have to ask from me is my email address. For newbies, you can make up an invoice in PayPal, and send them that. You don't need to invoice me, just send me your email address. It works great on your desktop computer, and on your Smart Phone. Yep, it's just another app!

I hope this helps. Unless you're on a strictly barter system, you're a Capitalist. And being a capitalist means exchanging money. And money is a concept, not little pieces of paper with presidents on them. It's based on trust. There ya go, no need to review your Econ 101 class!