VWguyBruce
VWguyBruce Reader
6/27/08 10:17 a.m.

So, I just had my two hernias repaired on Wednesday and I'm sitting here thinking. I want to heal thoroughly and get back to 100% which I haven't been for a number of years. Sitting at home sucks as I get to see all the projects I couldn't get done because work kept me away from home. Now, I can't lift anything. Such is life.

So, over the last few weeks several events have gotten me to thinking about the future, something I rarely do. My 20 year class reunion, my fast approaching retirement from the Air Force(right at 18 years), my recent completion of my bachelors degree, my failure to make E7 this year(which I still cannot fathom, I should have made it), my extended families health, my quality of life, etc.

Until last week my wife and I hadn't made a decision on where to retire. After our 20 year reunion down in Venice, FL, we've loosely decided to start making plans to retire there. It felt good to be back home, not like it's felt on previous visits, it felt like a natural fit. We also have property in Tennessee on Cherokee Lake but my wife feels like it's entirely too close to the drama of her side of the family and I tend to agree. So, God willing, my inevitable exit from the Air Force will take us back to Florida. Mark that off the list.

After this posting some time ago http://archive.grassrootsmotorsports.com/board/viewtopic.php?id=24140 I've realized my retirement income can give me the freedom to not have to make a huge amount of money to stay happy. I have made some decisions on what not to do when I retire. I don't want to use my security clearance and my job related Air Force experience and continue the DC area grind. I'm not very interested in Federal Service as the inefficiency of it is too similar to working for the DOD. I feel like I should take advantage of my monthly retirement income and try to find something that I like to do and use that to add to my income. Like take something I love and turn it into income. What that may be, who knows at this point? I'm still probably 3 years away but as most of you older guys know, time flies by. I have definitely decided against doing mechanical work on cars for a living, which I had given serious thought in the past, as my body can't take the strain anymore and it would likely turn me off to the automotive hobby.

So, to the point of the post. Again, as before, I'm looking for opinions regarding my newest ideas. I have thrown the idea around about becoming an elementary school teacher over the last several months. I see a need for men to be involved in the education system now that my son has started school. There is a huge void of men not only in the school system but in a lot of these kids lives. But, after a realistic look at myself, although my heart would be in it, my shortcomings would make it a difficult road. I have a huge problem with being on time and after years of spending too many hours at work, I feel this option might not be the best choice for me right out of retirement. Early mornings and long days would offer me very little time for myself and in the end my family as well. Being an involved parent can be just as satisfying I think and I've decided to step up and give the PTA a try this year. The vice president's job was open and I took it, we'll see how it pans out but I'm optimistic.

The new idea. I love cars and being around cars. Most of you share my automotive appreciation I'm sure. I also love meeting new people and I'm a particularly good networker. I have been told by countless people that I should go into sales but have wondered how to get started. So, while home during this last visit I was talking with my Dad's good buddy, now my Mom's good friend since Dad's passing(a whole other story), about selling cars. WT (short for something or another) has been involved with the car business since the early 50's. He's pretty much done it all and knows the business inside and out. WT has a similar personality to mine and being my Dad's son we have always clicked. WT has been in ill health over the last couple years and my Mom has been helping him out since my Dad's passing. Lately he's been on the mend and is now getting much better. Over the years and through 8 marriages WT has never had any children of his own. I got the distinct impression that he is wanting to pass the wisdom that he's gained over the years on to me and after talking with him, he was more than willing to answer any questions I had regarding the used car business. What WT has been doing for the last several years has been to buy cars at dealer auction, or wholesale direct from dealer lots, get the cars back to 100% and sell the cars at a profit. After a couple days of serious talk, this has really started to appeal to me. I believe I could make an honest go of it and open a small car lot with good solid cars at fair prices. This wouldn't be the kind of place your or I would buy a car but the kind of place folks that aren't looking for a new car would come for reliable transportation at a used car price. What do you guys think? Anyone else in the business that would encourage me one way or the other?

Thanks in Advance, Bruce

ClemSparks
ClemSparks SuperDork
6/27/08 10:57 a.m.

I've got an outgoing, honest personality. I sell real estate as a side job and really enjoy it.

I, too, thought selling used cars would be a fun business to get into. But then I did it for a while. Not as a full-time gig. I partnered up with a local small time dealer (who is now bankrupt) and bought and sold a few cars to boost the income. I found it wasn't quite as cool as I expected.

I still think I could make a go of it...but I'm pretty sure there are other things I would rather do.

Here's the main point of my post/reply. Before you commit to this...Get out there an experience it. Work with him part time for 6 months or a year. See if it's really something you'll end up enjoying. I'm sure you want to now...I've been there, and it sounds like it truly is a promising possibility. But get into it and really work the system and see if it's for you.
You know there are pitfalls and downsides...go figure out what they are and see if you're willing to take the bad with the good.

Good luck!
Clem

VWguyBruce
VWguyBruce Reader
6/27/08 11:32 a.m.

I was thinking of giving it a dry run before I retire, just to get some perspective. Similar to the way you did it under another dealer. I know there will be long hours running my own business but it would be my own. I'm just tired of working for someone else.

I have other ideas of expansion, detail, tint, tire/wheel service. I have a buddy at a dealership running the detail portion and tossed him the idea of giving him a space to work out of and using him exclusively for my cars. He will bring in detail customers that will likely need cars at some point. Just running ideas around in my head.

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter Online Editor
6/27/08 11:32 a.m.

What about teaching shop/automotive stuff?

I've found sales jobs are almost invariably easy to get into as they tend to quickly weed out those who don't have the temperament or skill for them.

VWguyBruce
VWguyBruce Reader
6/27/08 11:35 a.m.

I did have someone else mention the teaching shop angle in my post on the old board. I do instruct and evaluate now. Drives my wife crazy as instruction is instinctive to me and she has to remind me that she isn't one of my students

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
6/27/08 12:46 p.m.

I got a friend who likes radio broadcasting and going to see bands. He got a job with a recording studio.. Loved it but no money in lower levels.. Then he got a job with a promotions company and went to all the shows he could.. Beat you up.. Now he does public radio broadcasting (Jake Rabid on www.yrockonxpn.org).. and is teaching broadcasting classes at the tech highschool. Loves it.

Most places now do require a masters degree to teach, keep that in mind. They'll work with you and send you to night school, but it will be more school for you.

JFX001
JFX001 HalfDork
6/27/08 1:19 p.m.

I market both New & Used Commercial Vehicles with a friend who has a Dealership. I do it from home. Upside, no over-head/floor plan. Downside, I don't get to put my hands on the Units, and you deal with some first-class Weasels.

It works. We are currently working with buyers from all over.It's growing, and we hope to keep expanding.

I was pretty much born into doing something with trucks, my Father worked for U-Haul, then Ryder for 32 years, and then started 15 dealerships (since gone). I can't imagine doing anything else.

Good Luck to you,

-John

pete240z
pete240z HalfDork
6/27/08 2:43 p.m.

people always need decent cars. If WT is willing to help, I suggest you go for it. You can always get rid of the cars and usually at a profit. And you have an income, so that will help you keep afloat until more money rolls in.

did you mention 8 marriages? I always wonder what spouse #6 or #7 thinks......."Will there be a #7 or #8?"

Strizzo
Strizzo Dork
6/27/08 3:03 p.m.

theres an upscale used car lot that we worked with when i worked at AZ in austin. 5 star auto group or something like that. they were a "premium used car dealer" basically they only bought and sold the cleaner, more upscale cars. they were always the place that had really clean 2-6 year old cars, and a lot of the time they were either luxury or enthusiast cars. f/e they had a modified STi and a really nice mach 1, a couple of sentra se-r spec v's bmw, audi, merc, land rover, etc.

people who want nicer, used luxury cars would go there and it seemed like every time i went by they were making ready for delivery one car or another, you might try that type of business out, it might keep you from going insane haggling over 200 bucks on a 3 grand car with some moron.

minimac
minimac Dork
6/27/08 3:27 p.m.

I like the elementary school teacher idea. There is a real need to see MEN in the classroom-especially with younger kids. Venice is nice from May to November. Then the snowbirds arrive, and traffic is horrendous. Unless you can maneuver the back and side streets, you can't go anywhere. Also problems with water bans. We sold a place there a little while ago. I'd maybe be interested in your property in Tn! Just returned from that area and Crossville, looking for my retirement place. In a week or two, we'll be giving South Carolina (northern/western)a looksee. BTW, I'm home recovering from the same. Word of advice....plan on doing absolutely nothing physical, other than walking, for at least 3 weeks, despite how you feel.

Type Q
Type Q Reader
6/27/08 3:58 p.m.

If you are interested in sales and cars, but don't want the retail used car business, what about selling services to repair shops. Alldata, Mitchell and their competitors have some pretty cool offerings these days. There is a lot of new stuff in the works from smaller companies too. Its been a pretty underserved market by the software industry.

VWguyBruce
VWguyBruce Reader
6/27/08 4:05 p.m.
pete240z wrote: people always need decent cars. If WT is willing to help, I suggest you go for it. You can always get rid of the cars and usually at a profit. And you have an income, so that will help you keep afloat until more money rolls in. did you mention 8 marriages? I always wonder what spouse #6 or #7 thinks......."Will there be a #7 or #8?"

Also my thinking and yes I said 8 marriages. At least 2 were in Las Vegas on a drunk and I believe he married the same one at least 4 times. So, I don't actually think there's 8 ladies. You guys should here this man's stories

Strizzo wrote: theres an upscale used car lot that we worked with... had really clean 2-6 year old cars, and a lot of the time they were either luxury or enthusiast cars.... it might keep you from going insane haggling over 200 bucks on a 3 grand car with some moron.

I have thought of this also as I did a bit of business with these guys, http://www.theuag.com/ ,and was very impressed. Had a long talk with the parts/service manager about how the business got it's start and he was very forthcoming with info. These guys love their jobs. I want that.

minimac wrote: I like the elementary school teacher idea. There is a real need to see MEN in the classroom-especially with younger kids.... Venice is nice from May to November. Then the snowbirds arrive, and traffic is horrendous.... Word of advice....plan on doing absolutely nothing physical, other than walking, for at least 3 weeks, despite how you feel.

I'm not discounting this idea all together as I can make decent money substitute teaching to fill in the gaps if I need to. I was amazed at how easy it is to be a sub. Here in Maryland all you need to do is fill out a form for a background check and that's it. You get $90 a day for that, $130 if you're willing to say you're willing to work 5 days a week. It's not big bucks but not bad either.

Ahhh Venice and the snowbirds! My wife and I grew up down there and are all too familiar with them. The road system is vastly improved and continuing to get better, I'm optimistic. I'll get a Go Ped if I have to

I'll also take your advice on the recovery. Work is already putting the pressure on me to get back up and flying by the end of July but I'm gonna take the full 4 weeks to recover. I want to be 100% when this is all said and done.

Type Q wrote: If you are interested in sales and cars, but don't want the retail used car business, what about selling services to repair shops. Alldata, Mitchell and their competitors have some pretty cool offerings these days. There is a lot of new stuff in the works from smaller companies too. Its been a pretty underserved market by the software industry.

Very interesting and as a tech guy might fit my niche very well. Hadn't thought of this. Although I often wonder when the last time the alignment machine was updated when I got to TiresPlus for an alignment.

Thanks for all the replies so far.

neon4891
neon4891 HalfDork
6/27/08 11:40 p.m.

good luck with retirement and I hope you do better than my father did when he left the navy after 20 years. He used his GI bill and got his bachelors, and is finally making a decent amount of money working for KBR over in Iraq, in an entierly unrelated feild.

VWguyBruce
VWguyBruce Reader
6/28/08 8:19 a.m.

We learn a great deal in the military and a lot of it is unrelated to our day to day job. A lot of guys I know want pigeon hole themselves when they get out in one area but we get out with a broad skill set. Not saying your Dad did that but I know guys in his shoes. I wish him a safe return. Hopefully, he's in the green zone and stays there.

I encourage my guys getting out to have 3 or 4 different resumes that focus in different areas. You never know where you'll end up. I encourage them to actually USE their GI Bill too, they paid for it. Hopefully, the proposed legislation passes to let these guys keep it for more than 10 years. Lots of times it can take that long to establish yourself into a position where you can take the time to go to school after you exit the military. Time gets away from you.

neon4891
neon4891 HalfDork
6/28/08 7:19 p.m.

not sure if it is a green zone, but he said something about it being the worlds largest(buziest?) truck stop

Schump
Schump New Reader
7/30/08 11:46 p.m.

Bruce, You might be the same guy who I chatted w/ several times (once or twice on the phone) like a year back, when I still lived w/ the 'rents in Vienna.? Do you live in southern B.F.E., MD? I seem to remember that and an 8v red Jetta/Junka II as well...being prepped for the $2008 challenge?

Well, I'm in the same boat, although not nearly ready to retire yet...(i'm not quite 32.) I'm job farming as well, but I actually want to use my mechanical engineering background more now. I worked as the parts manager at Volkswerks for over a year, and as all the shops around us slowed down due to our gangbuster economy, we stayed busy. Something to do with being an honest shop, not B.S.'ing like some dealers (stealerships!) do, and being around for 11 years now. While being the parts manager wasn't sitting in front of a CAD station all day or even better, in they dyno room tuning a turbocharged 12,000rpm motorcycle engine like I did @ VT a lot, it was quite educational. Unbenounced to me, it is quite a marketable skill, and I learned a LOT about how to run a business, supply and demand, the ridiculous % of "German parts" now coming straight out of China, and being poopy, or even better, coming out of somewhere further into Asia and more remote, then maybe even shipped to germany and put in a box that says "Made in Germany"...SURE, the box is made in Germany, but the part sure as hell isn't!

I also tried my hand at selling Toyotas for a few months after I came home to re-hab my shattered femur in the winter/spring of 2006. I was talking to my very experienced and good salesman friend's friend one night and I told him, "Man, I think I'm too honest to sell cars." He said, "yeah, it might not be the job for you..." I try never to lie, cheat, or steal, and to be a good car salesman, it's all about profit margain. You get paid 100% on comission based on your net income/car. Of course you get a paltry base salary, but that'll hardly pay your rent, it's enough for fast food on a busy day and gas money, that's about it. Our best salesman Tony was on track to sell a car a day in 2005, but he took a 3 month vacation to his native Mexico in the end of the year instead. He made $193k that year, btw.

I hear you on your point about not turning your hobby into your job because it would burn you out, it has somewhat for me!!! (why do you think my 3.5 VW 020 gearboxes are all in parts in bins in my shed, and have been since the end of Jan....and I ONLY have 62 days left to build this car??? DOAH!!!

Also agree, try selling cars part or full time first and see if you can do it. I've always said that I could sell ice to an eskimo...not that I would, but I could. I was good at selling my mom's pottery as a kid and adult, good at selling stuff I loved, skis, mountain bikes, etc. Car sales is too cut throat for me. If you don't keep the eyes in the back of your head open all day long, another salesman will snake you and your customers right from in front of your face!

If you're personable and ambitious and you like the product you're selling and believe in it, give it a shot. I 2nd the idea about selling Mitchell software as well. We used BayMaster at our shop and it's pretty nice setup. It's made by a small company in NJ...I think some of their coders were community college dropouts, however!...Every new edition had a few nice, new features, but was inevitably slower than the last, and my boss would curse his computer all day as he was the only competant service writer and that and WorldPAC like to slow down or lockup when he REALLY didn't have time to wait (not that he ever did!) There's another idea, work for WorldPAC? I don't know if they have a sales office near you, my salesman Arturo was based in NJ. Nothing else car-wise comes to mind now, but good luck.

Now I need to get some shut eye so I can devour monster.com tomorrow and get several interviews lined up!

Working at a dealership is sometimes very interesting, however, just as working at a good independent shop is. The amount of $$$ going through a successfull dealership per month/year is astounding! (not to mention the cost of the property...you don't want to know what Ourisman paid for the Buick/GMC? dealership property they bought in '05 or '06 down the street from the original Fairfax store...Recockulous! But hey, it takes $$$$ to make $.

wlkelley3
wlkelley3 Reader
7/31/08 11:36 a.m.

I was in the some situation 12 years ago when I retired from the Army. My military back ground was Aviation. I'm not sure if they still have it but there was a program called "Troops to Teachers", they qualified me to teach auto shop. I used the GI Bill to get my bachelors but it took a several years of night school 1/2 - 3/4 time. Teaching can be fun, I taught for a while at a small Aviation Trade School. Most fun job I've had but the pay didn't cut it for me. Worked for a short time at one of your friendly auto parts store chain. Just wasn't interested long term (sales isn't me), but they have programs for management, which you learn in the military. Pay isn't bad at management level.

Thought the same way you do about hours, when I first started as a Contractor at Army Aviation Command I was going to work the same time as military - 0630 and hated it. Now I've been doing it for so long I like working 6:30 to 3:00, there is enough time after work to actually accomplish things. I'm DAC now.

Susbtitute teaching seems to be a way to find out if you really like it.

Schump
Schump New Reader
7/31/08 11:30 p.m.

{Disclaimer: Grab a frosty pint of your favorite beverage...I wrote too much!}

One other line of work I didn't mention... I taught sailing camp for 3 summers after taking it at my club for the 2 summers before. Sometimes I'd just look up and say "When IS the day going to be over???" It can also be very rewarding, though. There was one girl who would cringe and scream when the boat did ANYTHING...uh oh, here comes a puff, lisa's gonna make noise and get the boat going in circles. But, I took my 6'4" Big Galloot frame and sat between the daggerboard trunk and the tank right behind the mast so that she had room to steer in the back of the boat (Optomists are a WHOLE 8' long.) After an hour or so, she quit screaming and no longer sailed in cirlces. SWEET, we don't have to keep 1 eye on her ALL the time or an instructor/competant student in her boat anymore. My co-workers said, "HOW did you do it???" Well, I've learned to have the patience of a saint! Just as well, one of my favorite days of my life, we had a storm roll down the bay into West River and it started blowin' like stink, prob 15-20 knots, complete with a summer storm and PLENTY of rain. We scurried to get all the kids and boats on the beach and run the sails inside the clubhouse before everything was soaked. Of course, most kids were scared out of their mind, getting Mommy Syndrome. The best part was, John Howell was fired up, so we went back out in the Whaler and he took an Opti back out. He's HAULING ARSE, spray everywhere, boat is planing, and he's having more fun than is legal in 17 states... Icing in the cake was he kept screaming at the top of his lungs to us..."TAKE ME OUT TO MORE WIND!!!!"...Definitely would've taught for free that day, and the extra layer of icing was that I found out he was just voted Collegiate Sailor of the Year last year. That and another one of my best students, Jamie Smith, earned a 1st team All American a few years ago, while @ the same school, St. Mary's. Not to say at all that I earned that for her, if you get 1st team All American in the NCAA, chances are, you can make any boat go faster than 99% of your competitors, and make it look easy while you do it. But it's cool to know that I was one of the first people to teach her. Same thing happened to me while teaching childrens' ski school in Mammoth, CA. I had a 6 year old French kid in an upper level lesson. He came down from the poma lift so we could evaluate him and my supervisors were saying "aw, he's not a deer, he's just a bear.' [fyi 4-6 year-old upper level kids are bears, coyotes, or deers, or rarely "eagles" which means they might be better than their instructors....Bears can make it down the bunny slope w/o much trouble, 'yotes are intermediates, and deer advanced skiers. Anyhow, I, in the afternoon, after he got his ski legs back (he hadn't been on the hill in at least a year, but was an athlete and not one of the unfortunate PlayStation Generation. We took the gondy up to the top of Mammoth, and he KILLED it down Cornice...dynamic carving parallel turns and it was beautiful. Thursday again, i had a de facto private lesson with him. We went up chair 22, the steepest chair on the mountain. He looks over the safety bar and goes, "uuh, Dave, I dunno, it looks a little steep!" That it was, but i told him "no worries man, we're going to ski off the backside of Lincoln, it's not as steep." So we blew through powder bumps ALL DAY long...w/ a 6 year old, no less! That was honestly the best week of my life. By that time in the season, I was making $18/hr and his parents gave me a $20 tip thursday and friday. Granted, teaching kids skiing is like hearding cats, count the # of helmets you see EVERY 10 seconds or you might loose one!

For the most part, I loved teaching kids, but, of course, there were some days you DEFINITELY wished you called in sick....just like any other job. I don't think you can make bank as an instructor of anything until you become a tenured professor, but of course, that requires a grad degree and some time doing the grind at a university. I'm told good tenured prof's can make $100k. Also, my advisor @ VT started his own consulting company along the lines of what he did in the lab. He even hired a few grad students to help. Plus, you'll have access to do research that excites you, and "free labor" aka grad students and usually very good equipment to use. I think most schools claim rights to any intellectual property or inventions you create, at least Virginia Tech does. That's mostly fair, they provided the environment for you to create. There are definitely some REALLY cool/interesting projects going on at colleges, Tech even has the AVDL, or Advanced Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory, and is the cornerstone for the smart road being built from VT to roanoke where cars will eventually drive themselves. I'm sure other schools have a lot of interesting stuff going on, not just in engineering but all subjects.

[oooops! I wrote another novel. Doah!] that's my 2c

Schump
Schump New Reader
7/31/08 11:32 p.m.

{Disclaimer: Grab a frosty pint of your favorite beverage...I wrote too much!}

One other line of work I didn't mention... I taught sailing camp for 3 summers after taking it at my club for the 2 summers before. Sometimes I'd just look up and say "When IS the day going to be over???" It can also be very rewarding, though. There was one girl who would cringe and scream when the boat did ANYTHING...uh oh, here comes a puff, lisa's gonna make noise and get the boat going in circles. But, I took my 6'4" Big Galloot frame and sat between the daggerboard trunk and the tank right behind the mast so that she had room to steer in the back of the boat (Optomists are a WHOLE 8' long.) After an hour or so, she quit screaming and no longer sailed in cirlces. SWEET, we don't have to keep 1 eye on her ALL the time or an instructor/competant student in her boat anymore. My co-workers said, "HOW did you do it???" Well, I've learned to have the patience of a saint! Just as well, one of my favorite days of my life, we had a storm roll down the bay into West River and it started blowin' like stink, prob 15-20 knots, complete with a summer storm and PLENTY of rain. We scurried to get all the kids and boats on the beach and run the sails inside the clubhouse before everything was soaked. Of course, most kids were scared out of their mind, getting Mommy Syndrome. The best part was, John Howell was fired up, so we went back out in the Whaler and he took an Opti back out. He's HAULING ARSE, spray everywhere, boat is planing, and he's having more fun than is legal in 17 states... Icing in the cake was he kept screaming at the top of his lungs to us..."TAKE ME OUT TO MORE WIND!!!!"...Definitely would've taught for free that day, and the extra layer of icing was that I found out he was just voted Collegiate Sailor of the Year last year. That and another one of my best students, Jamie Smith, earned a 1st team All American a few years ago, while @ the same school, St. Mary's. Not to say at all that I earned that for her, if you get 1st team All American in the NCAA, chances are, you can make any boat go faster than 99% of your competitors, and make it look easy while you do it. But it's cool to know that I was one of the first people to teach her. Same thing happened to me while teaching childrens' ski school in Mammoth, CA. I had a 6 year old French kid in an upper level lesson. He came down from the poma lift so we could evaluate him and my supervisors were saying "aw, he's not a deer, he's just a bear.' [fyi 4-6 year-old upper level kids are bears, coyotes, or deers, or rarely "eagles" which means they might be better than their instructors....Bears can make it down the bunny slope w/o much trouble, 'yotes are intermediates, and deer advanced skiers. Anyhow, I, in the afternoon, after he got his ski legs back (he hadn't been on the hill in at least a year, but was an athlete and not one of the unfortunate PlayStation Generation. We took the gondy up to the top of Mammoth, and he KILLED it down Cornice...dynamic carving parallel turns and it was beautiful. Thursday again, i had a de facto private lesson with him. We went up chair 22, the steepest chair on the mountain. He looks over the safety bar and goes, "uuh, Dave, I dunno, it looks a little steep!" That it was, but i told him "no worries man, we're going to ski off the backside of Lincoln, it's not as steep." So we blew through powder bumps ALL DAY long...w/ a 6 year old, no less! That was honestly the best week of my life. By that time in the season, I was making $18/hr and his parents gave me a $20 tip thursday and friday. Granted, teaching kids skiing is like hearding cats, count the # of helmets you see EVERY 10 seconds or you might loose one!

For the most part, I loved teaching kids, but, of course, there were some days you DEFINITELY wished you called in sick....just like any other job. I don't think you can make bank as an instructor of anything until you become a tenured professor, but of course, that requires a grad degree and some time doing the grind at a university. I'm told good tenured prof's can make $100k. Also, my advisor @ VT started his own consulting company along the lines of what he did in the lab. He even hired a few grad students to help. Plus, you'll have access to do research that excites you, and "free labor" aka grad students and usually very good equipment to use. I think most schools claim rights to any intellectual property or inventions you create, at least Virginia Tech does. That's mostly fair, they provided the environment for you to create. There are definitely some REALLY cool/interesting projects going on at colleges, Tech even has the AVDL, or Advanced Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory, and is the cornerstone for the smart road being built from VT to roanoke where cars will eventually drive themselves. I'm sure other schools have a lot of interesting stuff going on, not just in engineering but all subjects.

[oooops! I wrote another novel. Doah!] that's my 2c

Schump
Schump New Reader
7/31/08 11:34 p.m.

{Disclaimer: Grab a frosty pint of your favorite beverage...I wrote too much!}

One other line of work I didn't mention... I taught sailing camp for 3 summers after taking it at my club for the 2 summers before. Sometimes I'd just look up and say "When IS the day going to be over???" It can also be very rewarding, though. There was one girl who would cringe and scream when the boat did ANYTHING...uh oh, here comes a puff, lisa's gonna make noise and get the boat going in circles. But, I took my 6'4" Big Galloot frame and sat between the daggerboard trunk and the tank right behind the mast so that she had room to steer in the back of the boat (Optomists are a WHOLE 8' long.) After an hour or so, she quit screaming and no longer sailed in cirlces. SWEET, we don't have to keep 1 eye on her ALL the time or an instructor/competant student in her boat anymore. My co-workers said, "HOW did you do it???" Well, I've learned to have the patience of a saint! Just as well, one of my favorite days of my life, we had a storm roll down the bay into West River and it started blowin' like stink, prob 15-20 knots, complete with a summer storm and PLENTY of rain. We scurried to get all the kids and boats on the beach and run the sails inside the clubhouse before everything was soaked. Of course, most kids were scared out of their mind, getting Mommy Syndrome. The best part was, John Howell was fired up, so we went back out in the Whaler and he took an Opti back out. He's HAULING ARSE, spray everywhere, boat is planing, and he's having more fun than is legal in 17 states... Icing in the cake was he kept screaming at the top of his lungs to us..."TAKE ME OUT TO MORE WIND!!!!"...Definitely would've taught for free that day, and the extra layer of icing was that I found out he was just voted Collegiate Sailor of the Year last year. That and another one of my best students, Jamie Smith, earned a 1st team All American a few years ago, while @ the same school, St. Mary's. Not to say at all that I earned that for her, if you get 1st team All American in the NCAA, chances are, you can make any boat go faster than 99% of your competitors, and make it look easy while you do it. But it's cool to know that I was one of the first people to teach her. Same thing happened to me while teaching childrens' ski school in Mammoth, CA. I had a 6 year old French kid in an upper level lesson. He came down from the poma lift so we could evaluate him and my supervisors were saying "aw, he's not a deer, he's just a bear.' [fyi 4-6 year-old upper level kids are bears, coyotes, or deers, or rarely "eagles" which means they might be better than their instructors....Bears can make it down the bunny slope w/o much trouble, 'yotes are intermediates, and deer advanced skiers. Anyhow, I, in the afternoon, after he got his ski legs back (he hadn't been on the hill in at least a year, but was an athlete and not one of the unfortunate PlayStation Generation. We took the gondy up to the top of Mammoth, and he KILLED it down Cornice...dynamic carving parallel turns and it was beautiful. Thursday again, i had a de facto private lesson with him. We went up chair 22, the steepest chair on the mountain. He looks over the safety bar and goes, "uuh, Dave, I dunno, it looks a little steep!" That it was, but i told him "no worries man, we're going to ski off the backside of Lincoln, it's not as steep." So we blew through powder bumps ALL DAY long...w/ a 6 year old, no less! That was honestly the best week of my life. By that time in the season, I was making $18/hr and his parents gave me a $20 tip thursday and friday. Granted, teaching kids skiing is like hearding cats, count the # of helmets you see EVERY 10 seconds or you might loose one!

For the most part, I loved teaching kids, but, of course, there were some days you DEFINITELY wished you called in sick....just like any other job. I don't think you can make bank as an instructor of anything until you become a tenured professor, but of course, that requires a grad degree and some time doing the grind at a university. I'm told good tenured prof's can make $100k. Also, my advisor @ VT started his own consulting company along the lines of what he did in the lab. He even hired a few grad students to help. Plus, you'll have access to do research that excites you, and "free labor" aka grad students and usually very good equipment to use. I think most schools claim rights to any intellectual property or inventions you create, at least Virginia Tech does. That's mostly fair, they provided the environment for you to create. There are definitely some REALLY cool/interesting projects going on at colleges, Tech even has the AVDL, or Advanced Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory, and is the cornerstone for the smart road being built from VT to roanoke where cars will eventually drive themselves. I'm sure other schools have a lot of interesting stuff going on, not just in engineering but all subjects.

[oooops! I wrote another novel. Doah!] that's my 2c

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