From Darin our editor
Hi there - just a real quick introduction to me... and why I've devoted part of my media design company to this project.
There are two things that paid for my institutionalized education - Construction and the Food and Beverage Industry. Simply put; I used to build houses in the summer and cooked/served during the winter in order to pay for my education, a divorce, and then a new marriage to Amanda (we started that 20 years ago). Right now - I use about 1/100th of my education from any level... I'm in small business and management design... and MOST of what we learn in institutions don't address real, human, needs.
As a bar manager for over a decade, I worked with entry level kids just out of high school all the time, and their skill sets were so lacking, half of them couldn't count change from cash purchases, or figure out how to clean and sanitize anything... that was ridiculous.
I learned how to train 'logical thinking patterns' really quick in those who made it past the first couple days. You can see the results managers like me every day - with respect and proper training - we all take average kids, and we run multi-million dollar food and beverage outlets successfully. We have always run restaurants like families, with the older ones doing the skilled work - and the younger ones doing the real work (lol... a little restaurant joke that's true). Everyone is vitally important - from the dishwasher and bus person... to the Exec and General Manager - but our culture has altered drastically since the 80's when chef's yelled, swore, got drunk and broke every rule we now take for granted... and yes... I'm going to be telling those stories.
In 2022 - things have really changed. I only work with owners that respect their whole staff, all the time. But the culture that formed the restaurant industry, and the school system, was based on 'all people are stupid' concepts. That's just not true, that's what I changed - that's what worked. We knew in 2000 that we could retrain staff coming out of every level of institutional education with positive reinforcement and logical problem solving structures. We were adapting to the fact the school system was failing us; the most integrated and purposeful industry operating since Og noticed Bog was cooking something in the other camp.
Education, or 're-education' started with us in Calgary with Fine Art Bartending Schools flagship operation downtown on MacLeod Trail. Leading up to our published, and news worthy work in Calgary in 1999 and 2000, we developed training programs for national franchise service providers with quick, easy to understand systems and profit structures - because we all liked serving people; but we don't all like floundering with taxes and payroll, mixed with human resource crap and the ever popular 'Karen' clients who make our days so wonderful. Using common sense - we solved problems - and I still do to this day.
But directly after our work in 2000 - I got custody of my kids - and after three years of developing advanced training structures for the food and beverage industry... I was saddled with the public school system, that was failing my kids at a fantastic rate.
20 years ago - my first children where in Grade School and Middle School respectively - and let me tell you - I really don't think they were ready for a single dad that was motivated, and interested in my kids education... a guy that went to the recitals and made the costumes - went to the games and helped every night homework was due. Neither of my kids benefitted from the public school system, but after they were out of the brick and mortar hell, they thrived in their own way.
I was also filling in as a newsprint reporter for a friend during this time - so life became very busy - and now as I look back to the years after 2000, I wish I had taken both my kids outta school - and home schooled. But everything worked out - and here we are - myself and our new family - doing it 'right'... sort of.
(nope - nobody's perfect - we're a work in progress too :)
So on this page and on our upcoming blog - I'm going to tell stories, and share solutions - about how 'common sense' left the institutions a long time ago - and how I got it back.
And of course, I have something for you;
In my career I've created training programs for corporations that work wonders with adult learners, so I'm adapting a lot of that to kids - with a real old world edge of common sense and just practical reality.
I hope you can join us for our adventure - we have four kids learning at home now... and three of them sit down every day, a couple times, and learn together... and once again - we're having great success....
...and the youngest... one year old... now joins in naturally every day. Wow... four boys... learning... naturally every day.
Time to share - because everyone deserves this!
Welcome to the adventure!
Darin Howard, owner - head janitor
Our adventure... begins...