Andrew Braaksma’s: some Lessons from the Assembly Line

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In my essay Andrew Braaksma’s “Some Lessons from the Assembly Line” my main goal is to analyze and understand the author’s main points. Analyzing this gives me better insight into what the author is saying and how he is saying it. Taking context, breaking it into smaller sections giving the opportunity to see the article from the author’s view. Studying the author’s tone, filling in any missing pieces making the point clear, so the audience better understands the key points. To understand the valuable lessons, he learned while he was able to come and go from the plant. The “lessons about education that were learned at the expense of those who weren’t fortunate enough to receive one.”

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The author offers a strong claim in the value of education and realizing how to appreciate the role of education in our society. Empowering students to take their education seriously they don’t have to work such long hours, bringing home little pay in the blue-collar sector. The solid claim that the author offers is his personal experience working and sweating his days away in the factory. Relating long hours of work, and the dangers to which everyone is exposed day after day.
When determining key points several I perceived throughout the essay are:

“People my age always seem to overestimate the value of their time and knowledge” (Braaksma, 2005), quickly learned that to live, life does not come easy, it is tough and takes work. It requires dedication and long hours, learning by the end of the day he is exhausted, and the pay does not account for what has been accomplished.

Second “blue-collar life is knowing your job could disappear overnight”, Knowing that overseas relocation can happen is saddening. To see how a person would work for sixty cents to the dollar is unheard of. Seeing the harsh reality that we take many things for granted and others out there are willing to take over our jobs for less money. It’s business and that is the game in this world. It is not fair, and many people get hurt (Braaksma, 2005).

“Sweating away my summers as a factory worker makes me more than happy to hit the books”, seeing the clearer picture, when only giving a fraction of yourself to schooling, Andrew Braaksma saw how he could be working in the blue-collar sector the remainder of his life. I feel Andrew Braaksma succeeded at what he set out to accomplish. As one co-worker says, “this job pays well, but it’s hell on the body” (Braaksma, 2005). Joining those that dedicate over thirty years of their lives and the once touristy drop-ins would become a thing of the past.

Finally, “making the transition between school and full-time blue-collar work during the break never gets any easier” (Braaksma, 2005) During this time, it is good they know the benefits that come with continuing education, realizing it is a privilege not just something we do or is handed to us. He personally saw how you must work hard for what you want.

Three aspects supported in this essay that analysis can help prove.
How stressful and challenging life in blue-collar work can be without higher education, shows how you must work hard for what you want. Presenting insight and flashbacks to given moments with former coworkers showed Andrew the value of education. Recalling how the brutally long, laborious days affected those working at the factory. Moreover, seeing the clearer picture, that when you only give a fraction of yourself to schooling, you could be working in the blue-collar sector the remainder of your life.

Working in the blue-collar field, although necessary in society many see it as evil. Manual labor is tough and does not come easy as many employers require more education out of high school but a bachelor’s is not necessary. Getting this training costs money, which is where most do not continue as the financial aspect is a burden.

Lastly, as the blue-collar sector has high rates of unemployed is a fundamental burden to many that they secure their job maintaining it once it is obtained. Knowing if they lose their job it will be quickly filled. Furthermore, lacking higher education is detrimental to their well-being.

“Issues like downsizing and overseas relocation had always seemed distant to me until my co-workers at one factory told me that the unit, I was working in would be shut down within six months and moved to Mexico, where people would work for 60 cents an hour.” Second, is the promotion of higher education. “For me, and probably many of my fellow students, higher education always seemed like a foregone conclusion. After working 12-hour shifts in a factory, the other options have become brutally clear. When I’m back at the university, skipping classes and turning in lazy re-writes seems like a cop-out after seeing what I would be doing without school. All the advice and public-service announcements about the value of an education that used to sound trite now ring true.” It shows the challenges the author faces without education.

The purpose of this article is to address students on the aspects of life if they bypassed schooling. Taking higher education for granted gives us insight and meaning into what life looks like without it. Never knowing if the job you currently hold is secure or is moving on necessary. Also, when attending college, working hard is necessary and vital, “not turn in lazy re-writes and skip classes” (Braaksma, 2005), as gaining this education is bettering his future, shaping his life set him up for success and opportunity.

In my essay, Andrew Braaksma’s “Some Lessons from the Assembly Line,” receiving feedback would benefit me in a few ways. I am not a person who reads much as it is difficult for me to get into. Continually reading this essay many times to get out information makes time daunting. Taking that time to observe the information that sat in front of me as nothing seemed to click. Receiving feedback would help me understand more perspectives and my purpose. Helping me to keep what I am trying to say in focus without straying. Receiving this would allow me more information and details to clarify what I may be missing via grammar, helpful hints or words, and even structure. Receiving feedback helps me learn from what I may be doing incorrectly giving me the opportunity to improve my writing. I choose this essay as I felt it pertained to my life. I have always worked hard for what I want and I do not like to give up easily.

When working on my revision strategy I like to gather as much detail and information as I can. I take my time reading everything aloud as it may take me several attempts to bring light to what is being said. Reading out loud also helps me retain more information and gives me a better understanding of what I am trying to absorb. Once I have read the information, I usually take it step-by-step breaking things into paragraphs. Taking notes and making pointers on the highlights focused on throughout the essay, even highlighting important factors. When focusing on these I try to gain a picture or create a puzzle (as I like puzzles) of how I want to assemble points. Although this is not always easy, I can take given information forming my overall structure. Once I have the plot and key points recognized I am then able to modify what needs to be edited, rearrange, or keep what I have currently done.


  • Braaksma, A. (2005). Some Lessons From The Assembly Line. Newsweek, 146(11), 17.
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Andrew Braaksma’s: Some Lessons from the Assembly Line. (2020, May 13). Retrieved January 29, 2023 , from

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