4 years of college not only road to success
DEAR ABBY: Do you think every American child should get a four-year college degree? I keep meeting students who have a real talent and passion for other jobs — military, cosmetology or skilled trades, such as Internet technology and carpentry — but whose parents are furious at the suggestion they might not graduate from a four-year college.
It’s a little-known fact that there actually is a shortage of skilled tradespeople these days. As my grandmother used to say, “Everyone needs a plumber when the toilet’s clogged.” It distresses me to see so many parents disregard their kids’ instincts about their skills and desired careers in favor of the “more schooling is always better” philosophy.
Graduating from college has been part of what we envision as the “American dream,” but not every kid is going to be fulfilled after getting one of those degrees when the jobs that go with it don’t materialize. If a child wants to go into the military or become a skilled tradesperson, parents should at least consider what they’re suggesting. Because someone chooses a career path that isn’t what a parent hoped for doesn’t mean he or she can’t be successful. — ANN ARBOR READER
DEAR READER: I have had this discussion with many people over the years, and I agree. While it is crucial that young people finish high school, not every child is intellectually inclined. Many have talents better suited to the trades.
Some brilliant and successful people started but didn’t finish college. Many of them are in the arts and technology fields. Economic realities being what they are today, parents should be flexible and sensitive to their children’s aspirations on this subject. DEAR ABBY: For 20 years, my secret (to some, but not to others) involvement with a married man has kept me on an emotional roller coaster. We were both married at the time it began, and it always was understood that we would not leave our partners. Since then, however, my marriage has broken down.
Conventional wisdom — expressed by friends, family and your column repeatedly — has it that I should end this hopeless affair, get out and meet other men. I have made numerous attempts, but have accepted that he’s the only man I feel comfortable being intimate with.
I don’t want him to leave his marriage. However, his obvious delight in our afternoon trysts does suggest his so-called “picture-perfect” marriage doesn’t meet his needs.
This couple presents a happy profile in our community. The urge to burst his hypocritical bubble is growing within me with every passing year. Would it be morally reprehensible for me to let his wife know she has been made a fool of for the last 20 years? — SEETHING IN CANADA
DEAR SEETHING: Yes. Resist the urge. What makes you think his wife doesn’t know? Once more than two people know this kind of “secret,” word has a way of circulating. I see nothing positive to be gained by trying to hurt the wife. And you may find it is not the wife who has been a fool for 20 years, but you.
A declarer should be willing to sacrifice a trick if it increases his overall chance of making the contract. Thus, if South makes exactly four hearts in the present case, he scores 620 points (at duplicate or Chicago scoring); if he makes an overtrick, he scores 650; but if he goes down one, he is minus 100. The 30 points declarer can gain by making five hearts are obviously a drop in the bucket compared with what he can lose if he goes down trying for an overtrick.
Observe how this applies to today’s deal. South takes the diamond lead with the ace and sees he could lose a spade, a club and an unknown number of trumps. How many trump tricks he will lose depends on how the trumps are divided or on how he plays the suit.
At trick two, declarer plays the ace of trumps, on which East produces the jack. If South carelessly continues with the king, he goes down one, losing two trump tricks, a spade and a club. But South should not play the king after East’s jack appears, since if the jack is a singleton, the king play almost surely will prove fatal.
Declarer should reason that East started with either the singleton jack or the doubleton Q-J. By leading a low trump next, South can restrict himself to one trump loser in either case. This safety play will cost him a trick if East started with the Q-J, but South should be willing to lose 30 points to ensure the contract.
In the actual deal, if South decides to play safe and leads a low trump toward dummy at trick three, he loses only one trump trick — regardless of which heart West chooses to play — and so finishes with 10 tricks.