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apprenticeship advice

updated tue 5 jan 10


Elizabeth Priddy on mon 4 jan 10

The advice that you have to get your advice from one who has done it is bog=
us. The only perspective that will give you is the experience of that one =
person and that one master.

I can guarantee you that your experience with mel's master in Japan and you=
r experience with me in NC would differ so much as to render the the recomm=
endation of either one for the other useless.

An apprentice who hated it will not recommend someone. I can tell you that=
one candidate of mine did not last 2 months and left crying. One went out=
on her own after 2 years. Two others stayed with me for 8 years a piece i=
n varying levels of responsibility. Also, I don't treat my students the sa=
me way I treat paying students. So you can't ask students of a person what=
they are like in an apprenticeship.

Visit any situation before you commit. Your gut will tell you if you want =
to be there for 6 months or a year or more.

Some minor advice on two points of associating closely with a master:

An apprenticeship should include a stipend. If they are not making enough =
to minimally pay their apprentice, they don't need one. I would only take =
an apprentice under the circumstances that they are paid out of proceeds fr=
om their own labor. If you and they cannot discuss money during the intervi=
ewing phase, you should run, not walk away.

Your drinking styles should match. If you can't bond unless there is wine =
or whiskey and your master doesn't drink, you will not be companionable, an=
d that is a necessary feature(they will not want to buy you liquor, and wil=
l see you using the few resources you have for alcohol as a weak mind and w=
ill). Also, if they do not open up without a cup in hand, and you don't to=
uch the stuff, you will never hear the real stories and you will have to si=
t through boring drunken evenings.

There is only so much work you can do and then you need to be able to be so=
cial with your co-workers in a manner that fits. If they all retire to the=
local pub in the evenings and you are an alcoholic and cannot, you will no=
t bond with the group.

Politics is also something to consider when planning to spend 8 hours a day=
with people. I was needled by someone of the other party for several year=
s and I can attest that it just got more and more fun to have someone razzi=
ng me every day about something stupid that nonetheless made me angry! And=
they were my boss, so I had to keep my mouth shut. Political harassment..=

An apprenticeship is just another relationship with the common denominator =
of work.

- ePriddy

Elizabeth Priddy
Beaufort, NC - USA

Lee Love on mon 4 jan 10

On Mon, Jan 4, 2010 at 4:08 PM, Elizabeth Priddy wro=
> The advice that you have to get your advice from one who has done it

Nobody said anything about advice.

Because apprenticeships are experiential, I would hesitate
recommending someone doing one with someone who has no personal
experience with them.

I would rather study with that person the way they were
taught. Then you know you are getting the real deal.

>someone razzing me every day about something stupid that
>nonetheless made me angry!

Traditional apprenticeships are pretty tough. Many folks drop
out early on. But you do learn how to handle your personal anger.
It is a important aspect of the early training.

I'd recommend the movie Kamataki. You can see in this
movie, how one's ego is tested before any real learning begins:

Lee, a Mashiko potter in Minneapolis

"Ta tIr na n-=3DF3g ar chul an tI=3D97tIr dlainn trina ch=3DE9ile"=3D97tha=
t is, "T=3D
land of eternal youth is behind the house, a beautiful land fluent
within itself." -- John O'Donohue