When your well educated child decides to be a bricklayer Bricklaying pays.

My son has quit university in his third year of study to become a teacher and taken on an apprenticeship in bricklaying.

He has been in work as a lifesaver since he started university, earning a pretty good hourly rate that allowed him plenty of study and leisure time.

He is also a keen sportsman, playing Lacrosse for his state since he was 16, he is physically strong and smart as well.

His primary and secondary education has been at our best schools and very expensive, but he paid for half the cost by becoming a chorister in one of the larger churches although he is and has always been a non-believer.

He fitted in well and sang 5 times a week for his part scholarship so it's not as if he had it all handed to him on a plate.


Keith's beautiful brickwork.

Some of Sarah's father's beautiful stone paving. He loves his job and it shows here, there are some very historic bricks embedded in this paving. .
Some of Sarah's father's beautiful stone paving. He loves his job and it shows here, there are some very historic bricks embedded in this paving. .

A while back my boy met a lovely girl at the swimming pool where they both work and they have been together since. Her mother and father are very nice people who are both very productive in their working lives and we all socialise like one big family.

Her mom is a long term and highly skilled social worker, her father is a self employed bricklayer.

When my boy saw how much money his girlfriend's father was paying for day labour, he asked if he could work with him if a vacancy arose.

An opportunity to do a few days work came up labouring for his girlfriends dad, they both love sport, and get on well together and both were happy with the outcome. As my son is used to being fit he enjoyed the exercise associated with this hard physical work and worked hard and fast apparently.

Now apprenticeships in brick laying are hard to come by, but my son always seems to find what he wants in life as he wants it.

While at his lifesaving job, he met someone and was offered a position as an apprentice to a top bricklayer.

A bricklayer's apprentice has a tough and dirty job for quite a long time during the apprenticeship, doing heavy lifting and being a bricklayer's labourer but at the end of the apprenticeship the money is 4 times what he would earn as a teacher.

He could also afford to work his own hours, choose his work to be profitable and always have a job that pays as well as most University professors can expect to earn.

If he chooses to open his own business like his girlfriends dad did he could make even more.

He loves kids, and as we have stacks of little ones in our family we have all had the opportunity to see him with children. He is kind, patient and adores the little ones and although his qualifications would allow him to teach high school, he believes he would be more effective teaching younger kids.

Big Bucks.

The almighty dollar. This is what 6k looks like in Aussie dollars.
The almighty dollar. This is what 6k looks like in Aussie dollars.

I guess his good nature will not go astray regardless of what he chooses, but I can't help but worry a little about his decision.

Male teachers are in demand in my state and pay is about to be lifted by $6,000 annually.

His math and English would seem to be wasted as well as the opportunity to branch out into other disciplines.

He reckons he can go back to university studies whenever he wants to, having been accredited with the work he has done so far.

I guess I have to do what I always have with my other older children. Let them choose their own path.

What do you think?

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Comments 72 comments

Sa`ge profile image

Sa`ge 6 years ago from Barefoot Island

Why are you so worried about him and what he chooses? He seems to know himself quiet well and by what I see, he is and has done well for himself. If he is loving laying bricks and has and will be doing well for himself and is happy, then what more can you want?

As he says, he can always go back to university later if he so chooses. He is not locked into anything. None of us is! Instead of worrying, you should be so happy that he has chosen a job that pays well and most of all he is very happy doing! So, yes, let him be! Smile and be happy with him! :D ~aloha~


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

That sounds like sage advice!

I think you have a very loving way of seeing this, and I appreciate your thoughts very much.

I also agree with you. It was a bit of a shock, but as you say, he loves it and that is what matters most!

I guess he has a good handle on it.

Thank you for your input Sa'ge, Very nice of you.


SomewayOuttaHere profile image

SomewayOuttaHere 6 years ago from TheGreatGigInTheSky

Several thoughts - been through it myself

yes...that's a hard one...he's choosing his own path; you say he's happy (but then most of us are pretty happy at that age)..happiness that's what it's all about and he knows he can return to university if he decides to do that later.

He could be following in his 'old man's' footsteps...you've worked with your hands and so it seems he is liking that too.

He could make that choice to go back sooner than later (in a few years or less - brick laying is hard work as you know)...it might be harder to return to university later, but...he's making choices now.

It's difficult when they surprise you isn't it? It could feel like not enough thought has gone into it...because it seems sudden...and it could be...but...

As a parent...you want the best ofcourse and you want him to be prepared for his future with education behind him just in case...I've learned to listen and be supportive..but boy oh boy I was sure supportive when my stepdaughter decided to return back to university...she's doing it the hard way, but she's doing it! What I initially did was talk about the options...sometimes even though you put your life's experience out there for them...they still need to decide....and sometimes they can be influenced...I'm wondering if his g/f is studying...


fetty profile image

fetty 6 years ago from South Jersey

Your son is quite sure of himself because of all that he has accomplished in his life so far. He is obviously a skilled and patient young man who reaches each goal he sets for himself. I am impressed that he has paid for half of his education so far! His girlfriends father appears to be his current role model. This is not a bad thing. He has gotten this far in life because of all of your love and support. Why change now? I whole heartedly agree with Sa'ge. Relax. Give this very successful young man space and continue showering him with support. In New Jersey, teaching has gone done the tubes. Thanks to a new govenor with an axe to grind. So , believe me , this career decision may not be as unclear or unwarranted as you may think right now.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Thank you for you considerate comment SOH.

He is my youngest boy. I adopted him from PRC when he was 6 and had to bring him up without his mother's help. His mother was abusive, and that cost me hundreds of hours undoing the hurt.

I have been to almost every sporting event he has participated in for the last 12 years, including cricket, lacrosse, football and other events such as school outings where parents could go.

I have given him my best, and I trust his girlfriends father to do the same. It is not his fault that he loves his job. As I showed in this hub, he did not arrange the apprenticeship, it just fell in my son's lap like everything always has. It falls in his lap because he participates so well, he always has.

I guess I need to listen to the good advice here and as I have in the past .... let go. I am not afraid of losing him, he loves me to bits!

I still have grandchildren to torture so all is not lost!


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Thank you Fetty, I am sorry to here about your school options.

I can see what you are saying, and agree, I have to let him be and keep being supportive.

My daughter moved to an outer suburb to be included in a school zone for our best secondary schools.

One child is 17 and just finishing school and about to do psychology at uni, the others are 13, 12, 6 5 and 5

I hope your new governor gets rabies!


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

I know we always have high hopes, especially when they are intelligent, and it is heartbreaking when they choose otherwise. However, he seems to have plan, especially if he starts a business.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

You are right of course Hello, hello. He does have a plan.

I guess he will be just fine, thank you for your kind input.


quicksand profile image

quicksand 6 years ago

A family we know migrated to Australia a couple of decades back. One of their kids started his career as an unskilled worker while the other two selected an accademic path. Right now the accademics although highly qualified are not earning even one fifth of what the other guy is. He's gotten himself an enormous estate and goes fishing and holidaying oft with his kids and all that stuff. He's happy. Money does wonders! :)


chaoui profile image

chaoui 6 years ago from Louisiana

I think most parents would like to see there children pursue a job in some kind of academic field. I know I would like to see my children grow up to be well educated and have nice jobs that they love, while earning a decent living. It sounds like your son has a good understanding of what he wants to do in life. Although he has not finished college yet to earn his degree he is not far from it, but he is also attaining a skill that is hard to come by. Make no mistake, bricklaying is very hard work but it does take a highly intelligent individual to perfect this trade. If later on he decides he doesn't want to peruse bricklaying he does have a way out.

Myself I know I would like to see my sons do something easier on there bodies over the long haul, but if they are happy I would have to stand by there decision.


Sarah 6 years ago

Hi Earnest,

I'm glad that you've been able to flesh out your concerns here with so many helpful opinions. [For everyone's benefit, I'm the girlfriend in question]. :)

At first it was a massive shock for all involved because it literally happened over night and no one saw it coming. It was hard to understand because it felt like his motives were money driven and very ill


Sarah 6 years ago

thought out. But I'm coming around to his decision because he is enjoying his work everyday and he's much happier than he was at university. He doesn't groan about boring lectures or procrastinate pointless assignments anymore. He's cheerful and loving life more.

I guess I'm a little envious that he has been able to make this choice because I am very dissatisfied with my university education and just want to get it over with so I can move on and be happier. He's taken a leap of faith and done that earlier .... so lucky him if it all works out. :)

It's never easy to adjust to new lifestyles, and this has been a big step for both of us, but as long as he's happy ... you and me are just going to have to trust him, aren't we Ern?!

Thanks for your thoughts!

Love, Sarah.


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 6 years ago

How amazingly loving to witness/read both Ernest as devoted Dad and Sarah as devoted girlfriend!! Thank you so much for sharing!! This really is beautiful to watch unfold!!

I just left a comment for CJStone about today being a very special anniversary for me!! August 13-14th, 1992 I had a dream/vision that was so strong and so right it changed the course of my life!

I was a successful, well-known investment broker in California with clients all over the world! Completely self-made, neither of us had inherited a dime, I was engaged to marry a wonderful man, equally as successful in the insurance industry! We both came from modest families to whom we were very close! We were making more money 'than God' in honest professions and thought nothing of flying to Hawaii for lunch or New York for dinner!! We owned several homes and had a delightful staff!! We were generous to a fault! We were barely 30 years old and full of good health, good bodies and good looks!! We played tennis and snow skied!! I owned a boat and had my airplane pilot license! We both also had our own highly developed social consciousness and worked diligently on causes closest to our hearts!!

Our families were over the moon with pride! They loved bragging on our accomplishments!! They also loved many of the benefits that came with being so close to lots of money! And being introduced to social circles they only saw in the movies!! (To me, they were always just people!)

All of it didn't matter as much to my Dad; he mostly just wanted to spend more time with me!! He loved all of it yet was a bit taken back that it was his daughter who rose so quickly to fame while his gifted-athlete son struggled with addiction issues! He had lots of time with his son! But running a business the size of mine took mega-hours and so our time together was once or twice a week for dinner!!

Imagine everyone's surprise when I shared a dream so vividly real to me, it was more real than being fully awake and in front of them! On August 13-14th, 1992, they really all thought I had lost my mind!

In hindsight now many years later, I can see more clearly where they were coming from!! At the time, however I did not understand their semi-panic!!?? Or their money-fear-scarcity issues!!?? Or their resistance to groundlessness! Or their insistence on a concrete game plan being in place before I gave up one life for another! I resented them not embracing my calling as fully as they embraced my success!

From my perspective, I had spent 20 of my 30 years making good, sound, generous, balanced, productive, responsible, educated, informed, loving, compassionate decisions! I felt I had a proven track record - and my decision to 'lay bricks' was based on the same qualities I had always had!

But in addition to all that education, success and all those life skills, I had new insight! My immaturity at the time could not comprehend how they didn't see it just as clearly! If I could feed sixty people in my home for a shi-shi-foo-foo dinner, six hundred homeless could be fed with the same time, energy and money! The first choice did not feel nearly as good to my soul as the second choice!!

I wish I could say that my road to becoming an Interfaith Minister was a straight line from that day forward!! Instead it was a winding course and I often allowed the influence of others to pull me in directions not true to my calling!! But never by much!!

Have faith in your son/boyfriend!! He sounds like a really good guy and not making choices willy-nilly!! All honest work is good work!! And he may get to be more of a teacher to others by laying bricks, than by being in a classroom!!

Thank you for helping me celebrate this special anniversary!!

Blessings on your day, Reverend Earth Angel!!

August 14, 2010!


2besure profile image

2besure 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

This can be quite discouraging, especially if you put out a lot of money to education your child. One thing to keep in mind is if he ever decides to do something different, he has options. Perhaps he will own his own brick laying company.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Thank you Quicksand. I enjoyed reading your supportive post. You are always a great contributor and the example you have given shows both sides of the coin.


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

He really sounds like a GREAT kid, man, rather. I'd be proud were he my son. He really doesn't mind hard work, and I think, Earnest, that you instilled that work ethic in him that will allow him to succeed no matter what path he choses. He will live and be happy and be a GREAT DAD, just like his dad.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Dear Sarah, to say that I am surprised you found this is an understatement!

None of my kids ever read the forums, in fact hardly ever read my hubs!

It must have been very difficult for you to deal with too!

Next time, we'll gang up on him! Just kidding of course, but as Hugo can attest, I often take your side when he asks for advice! :lol:


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Thank you Earth Angel, I can see you follow your heart. Helping others when you have the means to is a huge buzz isn't it?

I am happy to hear about a good life well lived always!

I am well pleased with my son's choice of girlfriend, and her entire family are good people.

I will see them today, they have gone mad and bought a pet! Bringing it over to show the little ones. :)


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Paradise you are an angel, thank you so much! I do believe in him, and your comment about being a good dad means more to me than you could imagine. After all, that is how it works hopefully. Try to be a good dad so that your children do the same.

He reckons he will quit before his body gets sick of it. I reckon he will be in his own business running a crew from his office long before that!


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 6 years ago from Northern, California

Love your children as they are; he is smart, healthy and sounds like he has a firm grip on his current desire. University can always play into his later need to expand on his business goals. You sound like a really wonderful parent who has only the love of a father in your heart, yet the hope for a perfect future for your child. You have given him many things, he is willing and brave enough to make a go of this career, this bravery can only be derived through the gifts of the elders. Be proud that he has learned from you these things and watch him grow into the man you hoped him to be,...it may well be happening before your very eyes...

~Always choose love~

K9


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Thank you K9. "Always choose to love" sounds like the right formula to me as well. I believe you are spot on with your comment, he is a great young man, I am very proud of him and if he loves what he is doing I will share his joy and support him.


ahostagesituation profile image

ahostagesituation 6 years ago

Awwww, I hope he knows how much you love him! I've got nothing on this one, I was one of the more aimless college students...I might still be actually. But I just wanted to comment because it's so sweet that a dad would care this much that he writes an online article about his son's future. So great!


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Such a nice comment, thank you ahostagesituation.

He does know how much I love him. I tell him every time I see him! I love all my children and their children.

The twin girls at 5 are a bit much for an old softy, but so far they have allowed me to live through their various antics and two on one attacks.

As for being aimless. This is not a bad place to be sometimes, I like what comes after. In my life aimlessness has been the trigger for many of my successful endeavours! I wish you well in yours whatever they are.


Marisa Wright profile image

Marisa Wright 6 years ago from Sydney

I don't think your reservations are based mainly on the "waste" of a good education - it's the loss of status. We imagine proudly telling people our child is a doctor or lawyer - it's not quite the same to boast he's a bricklayer.

The thing is, if he's smart he will probably end up owning his own company employing other bricklayers. He may even end up owning his own construction company or becoming a developer. And as he's spotted, he'll probably end up earning far more than if he'd stuck at university and got a job in an office.


NamVetRich profile image

NamVetRich 6 years ago from Springfield Oregon

Ernest, sounds like you have been a great father and given your love and support equally to your siblings. If in your shoes I do believe that I would have the same reservations after all the schooling he has had. He does sound like he is maturing into a good man and Iam sure will be a good father also. This is a great hub, I have been in a slump but glad to be back on the hubs.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Thanks Marisa. I am past any reservations that I had. He is my son, I love him and he will have my unqualified support. You are probably right. He will end up in his own business. most likely.

As a younger man I did the CEO thing with my own company and have been on the board of many others. I also dealt with Hells angels and all the other bike club members who frequented my bike shops and found them to be very similar.

I have learnt not to care about status very much, but I do want him to use what he knows regardless of his chosen path.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Thank you NamVetRich, nice to have you back here.

I'm glad you liked the hub, I really enjoyed having the opinions of other hubbers about this.

Sometimes I need another point of view and often find it here on hubpages.


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

Try not to look at this situation as a waste of education, earnesthub. No matter what he does in life, he has a solid and irreplacable foundation of the education you provided him. That never leaves-believe me!


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Thanks Lorlie. I guess a lot of his learning will be useful in his life. I hope he has learned how to learn. I tried very hard to teach him that.


Jeff Berndt profile image

Jeff Berndt 6 years ago from Southeast Michigan

Earn,

Generally speaking I don't read introspective personal narrative hubs; they tend to be too much personal navel-gazing, and while it's fine to write them, I generally don't spend my time reading them. But yours is an exception. My response to the question posed is much like the other responses: if the fellow loves what he's doing, and he's not choosing an illegal or immoral career, what's the worry?

Education is never a waste, even if he's not applying his university studies as a bricklayer's apprentice, he still benefits from his liberal education in general life.

What drew me in to your hub, though, was the subject in general. It seems that in the US (and it seems also in Oz) there's a bit of a disconnect between the folks who work in offices and the folks who work with their hands, and this comes out mostly in the attitude of people toward their kids' upbringing and education. Many people want their kids to get a university education and 'advance themselves,' whatever that means. As a corollary, they tend to discourage their kids from pursuing training in things like bricklaying, carpentry, plumbing, etc., and the skilled trades are (unfairly!) looked down upon by many people. (Even those who do them for a living, in some cases!)

This is a crying shame. The trades are not jobs for dullards: it takes a lot of brains to do them really well. Sure, the 'heavy lifting' doesn't take a lot of brains, but figuring out how to build a wall that is strong enough for its intended purpose without wasting material, and get it done on schedule, &c &c &c, that's takes some skull sweat.

Also, when the bricklayer is finished with the wall, there's a wall there. There's a concrete (no pun intended) result of his labor. When the number-cruncher, think-tank talking head guy is finished with his work, the results are much less tangible.

There's a book called, "Shop Class as Soul Craft: an Inquiry into the Value of Work." You might enjoy it. I recommend it for anyone who is having a career crisis.


Wealthmadehealthy profile image

Wealthmadehealthy 6 years ago from Somewhere in the Lone Star State

Hi there...In our lives as parents, we always want the best for our children...your son is well educated and is also looking to the future...it is well known that you do make more money working for yourself and he has the opportunity to learn a good trade, which in times to come will be beneficial to his family....(and you know he will have a family)

He is a hard worker and obviously knows what he is doing and why, so even tho it is hard for you as a parent...be supportive in what he is doing and do not worry....Everything will be OK....Just turn it over to God and let God handle it....We parents stress too much, myself included...Sometimes, it is better to just let them "do their own thing".....Have a wonderful day!!!


Sa`ge profile image

Sa`ge 6 years ago from Barefoot Island

earnest; you make me laugh! haha!

"I have grand children", you say! hehe, ok go pick on them now, it will be fum! :D


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Generous of you to comment Jeff. I am guessing a lot of our fellow hubbers feel much like you do about these types of hubs as I do myself, but most of the comments are from people who know me well enough to take a peek.

I agree with you about the less than generous attitude towards the trades. From 1968 till 1977 I owned retail outlets and auto repair businesses. They were very successful, but when I formed my first company I recall being told by a well to do friend that I should call myself a CEO instead of a motorcycle wrecker, or spare parts shop owner, motor mechanic, motor engineer/ developer or anything else that identified me as someone who worked with their hands, especially around motorcycles.

I have had my chance to make my case to some of these people.

I opened my business consultancy in 1977 and spent the next 30 years discovering that not all academics or self proclaimed "professionals" have a monopoly on common sense and brain power.

I hope my son continues to love what he does in the way of work.

I have not worked since I opened my first business. It was and always has been play to me!

Australia is a good country to be a good tradesman.

My youngest is a very nice human being first of all, and that should get top billing whatever he does.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Sa'ge the youngest grandchildren are all accomplished grandfather handlers!

I find myself yelling out the clues in their TV shows while wearing a tutu and a silly hat far too often!

I have worked out the best line of attack though.

I go where I'm told and follow directions to the letter!


Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 6 years ago from Sparti, Greece

He'll do just fine, Earnest - I think that teaching is a vocation that you have to be passionate about, otherwise it will be a real struggle. Perhaps he realised that it was not for him.

Nothing wrong with the noble art of bricklaying - looks like he might follow in his old man's footsteps and strike out on his own, creating a business from the ground up.

Just one word of advice, after reading Sarah's comments. I am not sure what the building trade is like in Oz, but it is very cyclical in the UK (my stepfather is a builder). You can go from earning great money to earning nothing very quickly.

Make sure that he puts some money away during the boom times, in case lean times are just around the corner.

Here's to his future success :)


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Hi Sufi. I will be seeing him on Sunday, and will remind him of your sage advice to keep some of it aside. Bricklaying in Australia has been strong for many years, and we have a housing shortage that has been with us for forty years, so he should be OK for work.

Thanks for your interest and advice my friend, and say hello to my beautiful Greek friends. They know who they are. All of them!


mdizon 6 years ago

Kids are more successful if they follow their passion. Also, he more practical and knows what he want. Afterall, we want to have better education to get more money at the end. I guess this is the short cut for him. I would do the same. Look at Bill Gates, Henry Ford they also quit school but look where they are now. Nowadays, even an MBA diploma will not gurantee a six figures salary. Young adults become millionares w/o finishing college like the Yahoo owner. Let him be what he wants to be.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Great comment mdizon. I left school with 3 years of formal education, and because of passion wound up running a successful business consultancy based on my success in business, so I get where you are coming from.

I did go back to further my education along the way though when I had the time and money to do so. By then I understood what it was I wanted to learn.

You give some fine examples of great achievers in your comment. I will not only let him be what he wants to be, I will show my confidence in his decision as well.

Thanks for helping to reinforce my parenting with your great values.


C.V.Rajan profile image

C.V.Rajan 6 years ago from Kerala, India

Interesting!

It takes a lots of guts to turn to a blue collar job from a white collared one. In such matters, earning becomes secondary. Your son is definitely bold and different. (A trait from his father?!)

CV


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Thanks CV, he has got loads of guts. I guess being adopted did not stop him from picking up on my ideas!

Truthfully he has always been a strong person who stood his ground well.


kingkhan78 profile image

kingkhan78 6 years ago

educated child article is very informative about education field thanks for sharing


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Thank you Kingkhan, you are most welcome.


stoneyy 6 years ago from USA Pacific Northwest

His education isn't wasted. Things mesh more than not. Learning to teach also requires learning how to learn.

He indicated the schooling got boring and the focus/motivation diminished. There's a lot of bureaucracy that gets in the way of effective teaching. That can lead to frustration, burnout, and a 'screw it' attitude.

He's now learning the trade which is physically and mentally demanding. He's using techniques, scheduling, pacing, and the like he's learned throughout his probably 20 years of schooling.

He's also expanding his 'universe' via exploring a new avenue which piques his interest and allows the stretching of 'mental muscles' via design and such. He also sees a concrete result from his efforts which can be more satisfying than a grade on a chart.

This could be a break to 'recharge his batteries' and to let him have some fun for awhile. If it is a permanent change in focus and he doesn't return to school the education isn't wasted.

In time, he'll utilize his training to teach others. Such training will probably be more efficient and take less time and that's all money in the bank.

You've done the best you can and that's all you can do. Children need to 'stretch their wings.' If/when they 'crash and burn' you'll be there to metaphorically pick them up, dust them off, give them a hug and cheer them on as they return to the fray.

He'll do fine. No sweatski. Don't forget the pom poms when you're in the cheerleading outfit. :)


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Great comment Stoneyy.

I like the way you cut to the chase.

I can't disagree with any of what you have said and your positive approach is inspiring. Thank you for your supportive words. It helps.


stoneyy 6 years ago from USA Pacific Northwest

No worries. Glad I was able to help. I don't like posting 'books' and fluff wouldn't have helped. :wave:


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA

The truth is that there is not that much money in teaching, and many working class jobs pay more. It is the same in my field, that of social services, and my guess is that your son's future father in law earns more than his future mother in law. It would probably bother me somewhat, but the truth is that you can't make anybody, not even your child, do what you think best. He has to choose his own path, and you just have to accept it. (:v


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

true Valerie on both accounts I would guess, and I agree with you about accepting his choice.

My son did not decide on being a teacher to make money, he never seems too concerned with money although he has saved some. I think he really loves the work bricklaying.


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 6 years ago from Australia

Hi, I'm the possible future father in law, father of Sarah and good friend of Ernie, responsible for planting the seed that created this debate. Hugo worked for me for a short while and i said the same thing to him that would tell anyone. That i have a great job that i still thrive on at fifty eight years of age. It's perhaps hard for anyone who works in a different field to know what being a Bricklayer entails. Hard work yes, but a self employed Brickie needs to be a Salesperson, good communicator, labourer, craftsman, estimator, designer, architect, mathematician (basic of course), plumber, carpenter, concreter, problem solver, budget coordinator and book keeper. Luckily my social services worker wife is a self taught book keeper so i can strike off the last skill. She is also a great Mother and enormous contributer to 'our' business. If i had known the turmoil that my encouraging comments to Hugo would have caused, then i would have kept them to myself. I told Hugo that finding a Bricklaying apprenticeship was well nigh impossible. Hugo took two days to prove me wrong. As Sarah so astutely said it took us all by surprise and we are all having to come to terms with the outcome. Only the future will decide if Hugo's decision turns out for the best. But if he does follow in my footsteps then one day he will need those teaching skills, as i did when Hugo became my hard working, polite, intelligent and willing pupil. PS I wrote a 'tongue in cheek' poem ten year ago entitled 'The school of life' that fits this scenario rather well. PPS Of all the groups of people who i come across in my daily life, teachers are perhaps the most hard working, pleasant and thoughtful. Those teachers who attempted and in their opinion failed to teach me, deserve a medal. As do the wonderful teachers who taught Sarah and our younger daughter Heather, if for all together different reasons. Cheers Keith


Enlydia Listener profile image

Enlydia Listener 6 years ago from trailer in the country

I think it is awesome that he has found something that inpired him enough to "go for it".


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Thank you for the comment Enlydia.

I agree.

He is following his passion, which is the main thing.


John 6 years ago

I'm coming at it from the other direction. I'm the son of a bricklayer and am now in academia. The ironies are many in this discussion and I won't address them all, but I wanted to comment. I've spent my whole life thinking about issues of education, class, intelligence and work ethic, all centered on my upbringing as the son of a bricklayer. As in any human pursuit, there is a range of talent among practitioners from hack to master. There are those bricklayers who wake in the morning listening for drips of rain on the roof to those who tossed and turned all night dreaming of solutions to complex geometric problems. I will address the latter type here. You might assume that only those with at least nominal or maybe even engineering-rich education would represent that group, but you would be wrong; it's true that most failed in formal educational settings. I have found that those bricklayers who sincerely care about the art and craft, for whatever reason, are naturally curious, engaged and intelligent. If they come at it from the perspective of your son, they are also confident, typically run the business and/or have other pursuits. If they are like my dad, they work their ass off to prove themselves. When I say work their ass off, I mean not only mentally (a raw intelligence that is a marvel) but *physically* as well. Which leads me to my point. My father enjoyed his work, worked his ass off and demonstrated first-hand to his children the benefit of learning your trade, commitment and physical exertion all-in-one. I can't tell you how many times, anecdotally, I come across other children of bricklayers who are incredibly successful by any standard. I know I'm biased, but the story is much deeper than it may seem at first blush. Great conversation, thanks!


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Keith, thanks for coming in here and saying your bit.Hugo came to his own decision based on what he saw and liked. He enjoyed the out door work and fresh air when working with you and said so.

Hugo makes his own life and your intelligent input has been much appreciated.

You may have noticed he did not decide to open motorcycle shops as I did although he knows I loved it, and he did not start bricklaying because you love it.

He saw something he liked, and being Hugo, he went for it. I know you saw him the other day and he rang me. He told me he still loves it, and is happy with his choice.

You are an exceptional dad to your kids, and Hugo thinks you are very honest with yourself as well as him. I agree.

Both you and Linda have been major assets in his life.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

John, thank you for your interesting and informative comment.

I loved seeing it from the other side as I feel sure others will have too.


WildIris 6 years ago

So many comments. The only thought I can add is the bricklaying trade is hard on the body. While your son is young and doesn't feel it yet, he will feel the physical stress in 10 or 15 years. Every carpenter/contractor I know is out of the business or into just managing jobs by the time they hit 40.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Thank you WildIris, I can see you're not just a pretty face. You make a very good point!

He is already planning to be running his own paving and bricklaying business, so hopefully he will be keeping the body together till then. Keith, (attemptedhumour) is in his late 50's and still doing it himself despite being able to have others do the work. He plays first div soccer as well! I think he is an exception to the general rule though.


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 6 years ago from Australia

Hi Ern i've got a slightly sore left thumb from hitting it with a hammer too many times but otherwise am still intact. I know plenty of people from other walks of life half my age who would get caught in my slipstream. I would also like to read some statistical evidence of the damage manual work does to one's body. You may find most of the damage occurs after work at the local pub, or take-away outlet. Cheers


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Hi Keith. I know you are well intact physically mate! It's your mental health we are all worried about!

Just kiddin!

I wonder about this too. I think the fact that you have a loving family to come home to helps as well with avoiding the pub and the junk food.

All the fit guys I know in their 50s and 60s enjoy a bit of hard work and lot's of activity.

A rolling stone gathers no moss.


John 5 years ago

A well-educated person who chooses manual labor is a waste and a disappointment. Why a person would choose such a mindless profession as bricklaying is beyond me. The whole "let the child be whatever s/he will be" will be our downfall. No one believes in a goal-centered life anymore. Damn, "Mr. Sensitive", "everything is OK", "call your daddy by his first name", unshaven hippies!


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 5 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

John you have said a helluva lot here, but unfortunately for you, it is about your own narrow minded bigoted ignorance.

I think you owe the world an apology just for being who you are. Is that sensitive enough for ya?


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 5 years ago from Australia

LOL earnesthub you must have set John up as an alter-ego ?

Surely these days no-one is as myopic and archaic as John appears to be.

Or he may just not be fortunate enough to live in an enlightened country like Australia. lol

Isn't it great being an Aussie where you can be what you want to be ?


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 5 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

I doubt I could build an alter-ego as skinny brained as John, I think he must be from deep in the bible belt.

It is wonderful having the freedom to be who we are in Australia as you say. It is also great not to be surrounded my myopic individuals like John.


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

Hi Ern I would like to know why John chooses to be anonymous and why he would think that a street-wise Bricklayer would be silly enough to take such comments seriously. Cheers.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 5 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Hi Keith. We have both met plenty of "Johns" in our lives.

You and I both know academics who are highly qualified yet totally ineffective despite their learning. It is all about being able to adapt and apply knowledge, not accumulate pieces of paper that say you have knowledge.

I think it is funny that he seems to think there is no opportunity for Hugo to use his education simply because he changed occupation.

Like I pointed out to him, he is an embarrassment and should apologize for being who he is.

What a closed-minded quarter-wit! (half-wit is out of his league.)


sassyk73 profile image

sassyk73 5 years ago from Milwaukee, WI

Earnest......My oldest son has done something similar. Although I don't agree, I support his choice. Lol I say to myself, it could be much worse. He could have chosen a life of crime. I am proud of him for choosing to do honest work :)

You are a wonderful caring parent and I really enjoyed reading your hub. You have an awesome son. Great hub!


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 5 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Thank you for reading sassyk.

To bring you up to date, it is mid winter, so very little work is available.

He has used his education and writing skills to get up some decent adds, bought a ute and is opening his own business.

Knowing my son, he will ask for guidance from his girlfriends dad who will willingly show him how to run his business, so it's all good.

He already has some contracts in place, but they are not due for a while, so he is at his apartment writing copy and formalising his new business.

I reckon your son probably had a good start with a loving mum, so he will do just great!


MaineWriter profile image

MaineWriter 5 years ago from Maine

The question I have is. Does he enjoy what he is doing or is he choosing to lay brick because of the pay. The problem with the world today is, jobs that people like to do tends to pay less then the jobs that are less rewarding.

Wish him luck and I hope all goes well.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 5 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

I know he enjoys the work. He is a big strong lad who plays a lot of lacrosse. As for the money? I believe it would factor in my son's thinking as well.


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Tomek 3 years ago

Ek en my dogters is nou 5 jaar in Aus. Hul is aleibe gesettle, oudste getroud met 2 knders. En skielik kry ek hierdie groot verlang na Afrika! Voel of iets my terug trek na die Afrika sonsondergange Moet ek bly of moet ek my instink volg?

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