Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What I Would Have Done Differently About My Education

What would I have changed about my education if I could change the past? To change that, I would also have to change the health issues of my youth, as that is the primary cause of my not doing what I would have wanted to do about education.

First, I would have somehow prevented my becoming too ill to attend school. Being unable to attend  school on a regular basis, kept me from being advanced to a higher grade.  Even so, I maintained almost perfect grades all through school, so I would have advanced more quickly than only passing every year, except for first grade.  While in first grade, I became very ill, and had to drop out of school, spending nearly the entire year in bed, and having the doctor attend me at home.  I ended up having to take first grade over,  due to being bedridden and fending off death all along. Thanks to my parents more than due diligence, and penicillin, I made it through, though I still am dealing with the effects of chronic nephritis. Ever since then, I have had autoimmune problems, most likely also because of what taking so much penicillin does to a person's innards. But, it was yet unknown, so that is something which any antibiotic will do, killing off much needed enzymes and good bacteria in the intestinal tract. I hope I'm not being too graphic here, but things are what they are. The more people learn about these things, the better they can deal with it all. Had my parents not allowed me to be so medicated, I would not have lived, so I am grateful for what they and my doctors did to save my little six year old body from passing on. 
Woman Attorney
and the
Wheels of Justice
Woman Doctor

Now, about my education: I would have studied human and/or Veterinary Medicine, and law, and excelled at both, becoming most likely a good attorney, who used my medical knowledge along with my sense of fairness and decency to help others, along with being a prosecuting attorney to right many wrongs done to so many innocents. 

Now, what really happened? Unable to even quite finish school, I learned much about many things, and taught myself to read and develop engineering blueprints, as well as how to design and develop things from retaining walls, landscaping plans, landscape grading plans, commercial as well as residential irrigation systems, heavy, sturdy patio covers for all of the applications where they were needed or wanted by various clients. I also designed parking lots, per various cities regulations, for a few clients who were unable to get their plans passed and accepted by the city.  I also am self-taught in hydraulics, and used that to design landscape irrigation systems of varying capacities, from front lawns, to those necessary for proper irrigation of large complexes of commercial and multi-residential, parks, and hospitals, as well.  

Pondering Contract
While working along with my late husband, I managed our office, doing payroll, preparing bids for large commercial builders, as well as for custom landscape projects for homes, parks, malls, hospitals, schools, as well as for apartment complexes and condominiums which we landscaped, and coordinated all the sub contractors, which we had hired, as several of the builders we did work for, took a chance on us, to see if we actually could manage their job site better than they could. And we did a good and competent job of it. They liked the way my husband managed and coordinated the various subs, so the various trades actually worked smoothly, and the finished products were finished ahead of their scheduled completion dates, and they saved money paying their superintendent who was not able to coordinate things nearly as well. 
Professional Custom
Landscape Project

When we bid larger projects, we bid everything except for the swimming pools, and the actual buildings. We bid the finish grading, parking lots, walkways, pool decking, patio covers, and any fencing, in addition to the actual landscaping, irrigation, and drainage required for the project. We also bid and installed all exterior lighting, for the landscaped areas. Finally, we provided full maintenance, usually for the first six months to one year after completion, allowing all landscaping to become established. 
Garden Path

Our firm was almost never called back to repair things which we had installed, since it was done right to begin with, and nothing was haphazardly done. We cared, and it showed. 

Successful Contract Meeting
Managing several contracting trades can be challenging, as no one really understands or cares about what the other contractor needs or wants to accomplish on any given day. They usually fight over who gets to do what, since they are both fighting over getting their job done, while the other guy is in their way. When we managed it, my husband already was hands on, knowing each trade, and had already done most of them before, himself, so he knew better who to have come in at the right time, without overlapping trades. 

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