Tuesday, September 2, 2014

new beginnings - carpentry apprenticeship

the workshop of a very nice woman i met who is restoring old furniture
now it is only a week from now that i will start going to school to learn how to be a carpenter. it will be a year of school with a practical part and internships at carpenters workshops and then two years working with a carpenter. that is the first stage. then i could go on to master school if i am good enough and choose to do so. or work under another carpenter who is a master. 

i cant decide if i am excited or horrified. i will be spending a year in school again with about 20 16-year-old boys who where send there by their parents. 
the german school system
in germany you have three different schools you can go to after you finish elementary school (4th grade): "Gymnasium"(12/13 years), "Realschule"(10 years) and "Hauptschule"(9/10 years). 
at the archaeological center in hitzacker
if you go to the "Gymnasium" and finish it with the "Abitur" you can go and study at a university or do whatever else you feel like.

if you finish "Realschule" you can go on to the "Gymnasium" and make the "Abitur", go to a specialised school that teaches you a profession or start an apprenticeship. or a mix of those three (sort of like what i am doing: going to school one year and then apprenticeship two years and if you wanted to you could also, after you do the masters go and study at a uni.). 

if you finish "Hauptschule" you can go on to the "Realschule" and possibly then the "Gymnasium" (that is not very common as it is hard to switch between the different schools) or go to a specialised school. when some people finish "Hauptschule" they are only 15 or 16 years old, but have to be in school until they are at least 16 and as you cant study at uni if you only finished "Hauptschule" most parents send their kids to a school similar to the one i am going to go to. this results in not many people actually finishing their apprenticeship. 

of course this is a simplified version. as you can see on the picture of the school system it is a bit more complicated than that but this is the basic structure.
at the archaeological center in hitzacker
at the school i am going to they told me that out of the about 22 students only 12-5 will finish even the year in school. i put that down to the lack of interest in the topics. if you don't want to be a carpenter why would you want to learn about it? now i am sure it is not like that everywhere and for sure some of the kids going there really want to learn carpentry, but that is the picture i got from the teachers...
the workshop of a wheel maker at the rundlingsmuseum lübeln
as i have the "Abitur" i could go and study at a university; but you cant study carpentry there and right now i anyway feel like doing something with my hands, creating something more then something abstract. so i am looking forward to learning how to use all these different tools, kinds of woods and methods a carpenter uses.

how does the school system work in you area?