Saturday, June 13, 2009

Personal Tutor Model

Just as gyms have personal trainers, so does a workout shop like Free Geek, a place to learn bash (a shell language), have its coaches, its designated "show me" types. I've worked this angle myself, in cahoots with Rita, rounded up a bunch of home schoolers and transmitted some skills, had a good time doing it.

In merry olde England, the spoiled rich kid in the castle usually got some Merlin type. This was long before the scandals of the late 1900s, with people waking up once again to various types of abuses, however we don't have historical evidence Merlin was gay, just turned into various animals and stuff, per job description. And even if he was, he didn't mess with King Arthur (Merlin, living backwards, was jail bait by the time that one ended).

As I pointed out to an associate, if you wanna work directly with teenagers, as I do sometimes, you need to be fingerprinted up the wazoo, have a pretty spotless record, which I do, on top of two years in an all-girls Catholic school, lotsa knock outs, lotsa beautiful mind types like I go for, me one of the lucky few male faculty. We'd look at each other (me, Joe, Jim... Eddy) and go "B movie" (like one of those old black and whites, not sure of the plot, but definitely lots of sisters in uniform, maybe a Robert de Niro or Meryl Streep, so OK, way better than B some days (most days, really a great job, recommended)).

Anyway, back to my topic, the corporate environment has lots of ways to accredit itself in the eyes of the state, to where it could do more outreach in terms of rotating its management through teaching and teacher training positions. Woman engineers are of course in hot demand as we have a perceived lack of role models in that department, although in some companies the women slaughter the guys on most aptitude tests that we care about i.e. we know it's memetic, not genetic, these various "management design patterns" (lots of professors of that by now right?).

My point here is I think we'll continue to get creative when it comes to bringing back the personal tutor. It'll probably be a lot like a personal trainer in fact, with some workspace or open projects area, lots of shared tools, people sitting huddled with their Ruby on Rails coaches, like seals snarfing fish (or sea lions, as the case may be).

I'm reminded of a somewhat improbable movement, 1980s maybe, when the philosophy degreed, me one of 'em, were wondering what it'd mean to hang out a shingle. We felt in competition with psychotherapists somehow, maybe because of est I'm not sure. However, the whole phenomenon makes more sense when you look at the FOSS revolution that's happened in the meantime. Why waste your life in some backward-thinking day care situation, when you could be enjoying some real skills building, courtesy of daily practitioners of said skills? "There's gotta be a way" is what many are thinking.